09/02/2007

New Success shows way for NZ Research

 

New Success Shows Way for NZ Research
New Zealand must re-focus its scientific programmes around non-GE plant and animal research to gain advances that will appeal to consumers, farmers and which are environmentally safe. Overseas scientists are moving away from genetically engineered research and into marker assisted selection (MAS) and gene pyramiding using conventional crossing of non GE plants withthe desired traits. New Research has just been released on a bean resistant to four different kinds of rust.The beans are conventionally pollinated crossing two beans with the desired traits then using selection process to find the beans
that have been “gene pyramided”. The creation of the beans has been all done by natural and selective pollination of plants, avoiding the problems related to GE techniques. Each time a generation is crossed and its progeny carries the extra genetic desired traits it is called “gene pyramiding”. Each resulting generation of bean seeds are tested for the presence of the desired gene using
PCR techniques. Dr Pastor-Corrales, of the Plant Sciences Institute in Beltsville Agricultural Research Center is the scientist who has worked on this research and writes “None of the beans used in our breedingscheme to produce the great northern (BelMiNeb-RMR-8, -9, -10, -11, -12, and -13) and pinto (BelDakMi-19, -20, -21, -22, and -23) bean germplasm lines - with four genes for rust resistance and two genes for resistance to bean
common mosaic and bean common mosaic necrosis poly-viruses - are from genetically modified beans”. This is the kind of research that New Zealand CRI’s and scientists should be involved in. These beans have been produced using processes that do not introduce the genetically modified viral or bacterial genes into the DNA of plants and is a positive use of new diagnostictools to select for traits. The process can also be fast; the beans have only taken a few generations to produce the desired traits and are similar to the seed saving traditions of indigenous peoples over millennia. We hope that this promising research and outcome will be used to help all farmers and not become restricted by expensive patents or prohibition on seed-saving that GE seed-producers have tried to force on
them. ERMA must consider such alternative methods of achieving desired resistance in their latest GE brassica (GMF 06001) assessment. The continual push for GE is going to become an expensive white elephant that New Zealand will regret because it is unmarketable, and obscures the great non-GE achievements of our scientists in the agricultural sector. ENDS:Jon Carapiet 0210507681 References:"Breeding Better Beans Increasing Disease Resistance in Common Beans" (2007) M. A. Pastor-Corrales, Ph.D. Research Plant Pathologist, Vegetable Laboratory - Plant Sciences Institute Beltsville Agricultural Research Center Agricultural Research
Service - United States Department of Agriculture

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