Scientists Disappointed with Results from GM Wheat Field Trial

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GM wheat did not repel aphid pests in the field as was hypothesized and was initially seen in laboratory experiments conducted by scientists in the United Kingdom, new study results show.

The results of the GM wheat field trial held by Rothamsted Research in the United Kingdom in 2012-2013 are published in the scientific journal Scientific Reports today.

Aphids are serious pests of wheat and other arable crops cultivated in the U.K., transmitting viruses and reducing yield. Farmers spray insecticides to control aphids when infestations become severe due to lack of an alternative approach. Scientists at Rothamsted Research conducted experiments to discover whether wheat could be genetically modified to produce an aphid alarm pheromone and whether it would repel aphids in the lab and field. This would allow farmers to reduce insecticide spraying, benefiting the environment and making farming more sustainable.

Although the GM wheat did not repel aphids in the field, the five-year project did score some notable successes.

More information is available here: http://www.rothamsted.ac.uk/news-views/scientists-disappointed-results-gm-wheat-field-trial

 

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