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Plant Breeding & Biotechnology

On the latest Tillage Edge podcast, Dr Ewen Mullins from Teagasc, Oak Park joined Michael Hennessy to discuss and explain the developments in plant breeding and biotechnology.


Ewen briefly mapped breeding developments over the last 150 years before describing the different types of Genetically Modified (GM) techniques in use today.

The most used GM technique is transgenics which uses genes from one plant to transform another (these plants would not breed in the wild).  He used the example of Golden Rice which used daffodil genes in rice plants to improve vitamin A levels in rice to help deficient populations in Asia.

Ewen described work being done in Teagasc which ranges from developing new GM techniques to growing GM crops but none of this work will result in crops for Irish farmers anytime soon.  
However Ewen is more hopeful for gene editing or Crispr-Cas9 technologies which could be used in the medium term and when available this technique can quickly improve weaknesses in varieties already in use.  

For more episodes and information from the Tillage Edge podcast go to: teagasc.ie/thetillageedge

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The Tillage Edge podcast continues every two weeks with the latest news and insights for tillage farmers.

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