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Feb 8, 2012

Salt Tolerant GM Barley Trials in Australia Successful

GM barley field trials, Australia
Photo: CSIRO

On 8 February 2012 GreenBio News reported that scientists based in western Australia had announced that the first field tests on salt-tolerant gene-modified (GM) barley had been successful. This announcement concerned trials at Corrigan in Australia's central wheat belt that were being undertaken by the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG).

According to ACPFG researcher Dr. Stuart Roy, the GM barley yielded 20-30% more than non-GM barley in regular soil and 50-70% in soil high in salt.

GM barley field tests were approved by the government of Australia's Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR). Six field test sites were approved under strict growing conditions. These experiments are part of a collaborative research effort between CSIRO, The Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics and Arcadia Biosciences, a U.S. biotechnology company headquartered in Davis, California.

Arcadia just received a US$4.5 million in January 2012 from USAID's Feed the Future initiative to develop salt-tolerant rice in Bangladesh and nitrogen-efficiency crops in Indonesia.

For more see:
"Arcadia - New Grant Builds Upon Achievements From 2008 USAID Grant to Develop Improvd Crops in Bangladesh and Indonesia."  Arcadia Press Release, 31 January 2012.

"GM barley trial 'success'," GreenBio News, 8 February 2012.

"Improving wheat and barley for Australia’s food security GM wheat and barley trial - OGTR application DIR111," CSIRO, Australia, 2011.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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