Emerging Genetic Technologies
Genetically modified diamondback moths reduce pest population and slow resistance to Bt crops in greenhouse trials
A genetically modified version of the diamondback moth, which can devastate cruciferous vegetables, significantly reduced pest populations and decreased spread of resistance to the Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) bacterial proteins engineered into transgenic broccoli to control pests.
Reintroducing beneficial properties found in wild plants but missing from their domesticated cousins could strengthen crop varieties and reduce the need for chemical inputs, which would benefit organic farmers looking to increase yields. A paper in Trends in Plant Science argues there is a place in organic agriculture for crops whose genome has been edited to make precise mutations which reintroduce wild-type properties, but where no foreign DNA is inserted. Continue reading