Sterile GMO grass could provide sustainable biofuel, cut water use on golf courses

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As representatives from agri-chemical and seed companies seek ways to feed a world population that is projected to balloon during the next half-century, all indications are that genetically modified foods are the way of the future.

In the world of turfgrass, GMO is an acronym that probably will become part of the everyday vernacular for turf managers, as well.

Clemson University’s Hong Luo, Ph.D., a professor of genetics and biochemistry, recently received a half-million-dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop genetically improved turfgrass and switchgrass.

Research will focus on developing new turfgrasses that will require less water and will be more tolerant to stressors, such as heat, drought and traffic. Research on switchgrass will be directed toward developing biofuels.

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Related article:  Viewpoint: Government-funded anti-GMO groups promote hunger in world's poorest nations

One of the challenges standing in the way of genetically modified turf has been preventing the unintentional spread of seed into fields nearby or downwind …. Luo’s approach to containing the engineered genes is to integrate two site-specific DNA recombination systems with sterility-induction mechanisms ….

Read full, original article: Clemson research could yield new GMO turf varieties

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