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US scientists target virus-resistant wheat

US researchers are seeking to develop genetically modified and conventional wheat with resistance to several plant viruses. Scientists at Kansas State University and the USDA's Agricultural Research Service have developed GM wheat lines with resistance to individual viruses such as wheat streak mosaic virus, triticum mosaic virus, barley yellow dwarf virus and soil-borne mosaic viruses. They have also conducted "proof of concept" research on wheat lines with resistance to all four viruses and filed a patent application on the RNA-mediated resistance. The scientists are also looking to introduce broad virus resistance into non-GM lines using mutations to turn off specific plant genes.

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