Wheat with the smell of mint

In the UK, conducted the first experiments with genetically modified plants, able to withstand an attack of aphids. The new wheat is able to emit a special pheromone that will keep insects away from plants. It is reported by BBC News.

This is the first experience of creating genetically modified plants with pheromone, which will scare off pests. Work is carried out at the Center for Plant in Hertfordshire. Eight plots of land — each about the size of 36 m? — Were planted with genetically modified wheat. According to scientists, aphid is one of the main problems in growing wheat. Professor Maurice Moloney (Maurice Moloney) insects called "the problem for $ 10 million."

The idea of creating varieties of wheat that have frightened off by the smell of pests, was first discussed in 1985. According to Professor John Pickett (John Pickett), the goal is to use natural processes, rather than the use of pesticides. Now tests are conducted for special protection, which protects plants from animals and protesters. In an experiment involving two varieties of wheat, one variety is developed using gene mint, and the second — using a synthetic gene. The goal is to make sure that the plants produce highly pure pheromone, known as A-Farnesene. Previous experiments have shown that the aphid has a very subtle scent and does not respond to odors created in the laboratory.

A further area of research will be figuring out the smell attracts the main enemies of aphids — tiny parasitic wasps. Laboratory tests have shown that smell has a double effect — it attracts wasps and repels aphids. One of the major questions risen discussion is the risk that pests are driven away from the wheat will be a danger to other cultures. The researchers say that the existing fields of wheat protected by pesticides, and wild field have their own security mechanisms.

Scientists hope that GM plants that will reduce the use of pesticides, will be able to support the use of this controversial technology. Science was defeated 10 years ago against the negative information and question the society in connection with GM products. Tests such as these can be approved by the governments of various countries. Among scientists there is a perception that the problem food 7,000,000,000 people in the world need to genetic modification.


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