Gold-flecked GM ‘wonder-wheat’ to feed the world

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Gold-flecked GM ‘wonder-wheat’ to feed the world

An Essex University Professor, Christine Raines, is leading a team of scientists who are at the forefront of research into genetically modified crops.

This team is researching whether wheat can be made to increase its yield, by looking into an enzyme crucial in the process of photosynthesis. The wheat seeds are sprinkled with gold dust, which are coated with the DNA to help transport the genes into the plant.

The study is expected to begin trials from spring next year in Hertfordshire. If successful, the study could boost grain yields by up to 40%. Former research has proven this can occur in plants, but now is focusing on crops instead to see if results can be replicated. Furthermore, it could lead to other research being conducted into boosting photosynthesis into crops such as rice, which is a staple food consumed all over the world.

Professor Christine Raines is quoted as saying, “we really do have an impending major food shortage across the globe,” stressing the crisis of food shortages and the importance of finding new resources.

Rabeeah Moeen

(Image: Smallgrains.org)

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