Boosting Crop Yields Without GMO

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Yann Coeuru/Flickr.com

Thanks to Anthropocene for this summary on agricultural technology possibly breaking through the GMO debate in the near future:

A non-GMO approach to producing bigger, better wheat

by Catherine Elton

Researchers have developed a new technology that not only increases the yield of wheat plants, but also makes them more resilient to drought. What makes this technology so interesting is that—if  successful in field trials—it might provide an alternative to genetic modification approaches to boosting wheat yields.

The technology consists of a synthetic molecule that, when dissolved in water and applied to the plant, boosts the plant’s levels of a sugar signal that is key to growth. “The potential to contribute to global food security seems notable and immediate,” the researchers concluded…

…Researchers will need to see if they can achieve similar success in field trials. If they do, this technology could have broad applications beyond wheat, as the same sugar signaling pathway exists in many plants. And it might just be a technology that GMO-concerned consumers will find palatable.

Source: Griffiths CA et al. Chemical intervention in plant sugar signalling increases yield and resilience. Nature. 2016.

Read the whole summary here.

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