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Powdery mildew resistance, field performance and molecular analysis of GM wheat expressing barley chitinase and glucanase

Applicant Sautter Christof
Number 115606
Funding scheme NRP 59 Benefits and Risks of the Deliberate Release of Genetically Modified Plants
Research institution Departement Umweltsystemwissenschaften ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Botany
Start/End 01.03.2008 - 31.12.2011
Approved amount 360'572.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Agricultural and Forestry Sciences

Keywords (5)

GM crops; chitinase; glucanase; fungal resistance ; field testing

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
How does fungal resistance of transgenic wheat behave in the open?Fungi, and most particularly mildew, cause enormous losses in wheat harvests. To overcome this, wheat was genetically engineered to resist mildew. But there is still very little information about how this resistance functions in open cultivation.BackgroundMildew and other fungi cause tremendous damage in wheat production, necessitating the use of sprayed crop-protection products. It has been possible to use genetic engineering to overcome this problem by incorporating a specific barley gene in the wheat genome. This gene produces proteins that degrade the cell walls of fungi and destroy the pests. Little is known, though, about the efficacy of this method in open cultivation or the conceivable risks.ObjectivesThe project aims to investigate how fungal resistance in genetically modified wheat behaves in the open. The aim is to measure the efficacy of this resistance against fungal diseases and to assess the potential benefit for agriculture.MethodsThe efficacy of mildew resistance will be investigated in three successive years as part of the field trial with transgenic wheat (cf. Keller project I). Among other things, the activity of the resistance genes and the productivity of the wheat lines will be measured. Parallel trials will check the results of the field trial under greenhouse conditions.SignificancePlants behave differently in the greenhouse and in the open. It is therefore necessary to test the action of the additional resistance genes in field trials. This project will evaluate both resistance to true mildew and resistance to other pathogenic fungi.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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