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While Europe falters, the world unleashes its wheat with full force – the agricultural sector

While Europe falters, the world unleashes its wheat with full force – the agricultural sector

…well, “just” its genome, but that's enough to wipe out the rest of the European exporters. For example, wheat that is genetically bred for drought yields a 20% increase in drought tolerance (!). China, the world's largest wheat importer, recently approved a new type of wheat that is bred using genetic techniques capable of resisting powdery mildew.

More crops, more resistance

Although the dialogue about adopting precision genetic techniques for plant cultivation has intensified somewhat in recent months, the continent still lags behind America and Asia. While conventional genetic modification is prohibited under EU and, for example, Hungarian laws, there is no final decision on the new type of genetic techniques for precision breeding. But at the same time, time and scientific research are moving forward: in Argentina, for example, Bioceres Crop Solutions is selling genetically modified wheat seeds on a commercial scale for the first time this year. The GM HB4 wheat is resistant to drought stress – one of the major challenges for abiotic plant protection in Argentina and today in Europe – and has produced yields 20 percent higher than conventional varieties in drought stress planting trials. In Argentina and Brazil, the cultivation of genetically modified wheat has been approved.

Meanwhile, China has approved for the first time a wheat genome that has been modified using new genomic technologies (NGT), and these seeds are resistant to powdery mildew. Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have succeeded in changing the genetic makeup of wheat to make it resistant to plant diseases without affecting its yield. The property obtained in this way can be used in different types of wheat.

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more developed

Gene editing will sooner or later inevitably affect the export potential of European agriculture. In terms of quantity, we already lag behind exporters of wheat and other raw materials in South America and Eastern Europe. The weather will also prompt Europe to play catch-up in terms of licensing, research and application of new types of genetic technologies, as climate change increasingly threatens crops. Early decision making and advancement would also be justified because the more recent, More sophisticated genetic procedures They do not use foreign genes, and traditional breeding tools are modernized and accelerated to achieve precise changes in specific species.

We wrote about all this in our last article here, this and this.

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