CRISPR-edited sorghum could provide needed protein to 500 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa

EASorghum JPG

RESEARCHERS have achieved a major breakthrough in sorghum, elevating the protein of the globally important cereal crop from 9-10 per cent to a staggering 15-16pc.

The breakthrough was revealed by Professor Ian Godwin at the TropAg 2019 conference in Brisbane, following research carried out by the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation.

The development has the poultry and pigs industries particularly excited, as well as beef feedlots …. The breakthrough is also expected to generate big interest in the 46 Sub-Saharan African countries, where an estimated 500 million people rely on sorghum as a food source.

Professor Godwin said the genes of the sorghum plant had been edited to unlock the digestibility level of the available protein. “Gene editing has enabled us to knock out some of the existing genes,” Professor Godwin said. “That has increased the digestibility of the crop.”

Related article:  CRISPR cows could boost sustainable meat production, but regulations and wary consumers stand in the way

The first outdoor trial crop will be planted at the University of Queensland’s St Lucia Campus in Brisbane next week. To date, the gene edited variety has only been grown under greenhouse conditions.

Read full, original article: Gene editing delivers 15-16 pc protein sorghum

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