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February 25, 2007

New Gene Deletor Technology

To stop genetically engineered plants from spreading their traits to nearby non-GMO crops, scientists at the University of Connecticut have developed a "GM gene-deletor."  The research is published in the March issue of Plant Biotechnology Journal.

The technology, developed in the laboratory of Yi Li, associate professor of plant science, provides a successful method for eliminating all the transgenic genes from pollen and seeds if needed. The research is published in the March issue of Plant Biotechnology Journal.

UConn’s GM-gene-deletor technology also could allow farmers to produce non-genetically modified consumer products, such as seeds, fruits, and flowers, from transgenic plants.

“For example,” Li explains, “herbicide-resistant genetically-modified traits are primarily needed to protect crops during growth prior to seed or fruit development.

The GM-gene-deletor could initiate the gene deletion process immediately prior to seed or fruit development.

That way, farmers would get the benefit of the added crop protection during a critical growth stage, without the unintended consequence of an uncontrolled spread of a herbicide-resistant gene, which some believe could create ‘super weeds.’”

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February 25, 2007 | Permalink

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