The Wheat Initiative will help support informed and open discussion around the development and application of gene editing technologies for wheat improvement.
The Wheat Initiative held an international workshop in Frankfurt, Germany on the 6th and 7th of December 2016 to discuss a wide range of issues around the coordination and delivery of science to enhance sustainable wheat production in both the developed and developing world. As part of these discussions, the participants recognised the huge potential of gene editing, combined with other breeding strategies, to improve the efficiency and sustainability of wheat production. Many research groups are now actively applying these technologies to the study of wheat gene function and we are now seeing the first practical applications of gene editing to improve agronomic traits in wheat, such as the development of powdery mildew resistance wheat by a research group in China.
The Wheat Initiative discussions also made it clear that community support and understanding will be critical for the effective deployment of the technology. Strong public sector engagement in the technology development was seen as critical to help ensure that applications address the needs and priorities of all wheat farmers and consumers. The researchers present at the Frankfurt meeting decided to prepare a document for community discussion and consultation that could be used to support a frank and informed consideration of the most appropriate path forward for capturing the opportunities while also addressing concerns surrounding these exciting technological advances.
For more information please contact:
Peter Langridge, University of Adelaide, Australia, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wheat Initiative
The mission of the Wheat Initiative is to encourage and support the development of a vibrant global public-private research community sharing resources, capabilities, data and ideas to improve wheat productivity, quality and sustainable production around the world.
For further information on the Wheat Initiative please see http://www.wheatinitiative.org