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UK approves Rothamsted’s GM wheat trials

UK-based research centre Rothamsted Research (Harpenden, Hertfordshire) has received approval for field trials on genetically modified insect-resistant wheat from the UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The GM lines are resistant to aphids by utilising an aphid pheromone alarm system. They contain two synthetic genes that encode enzymes leading to the production of a volatile chemical, (E)-β–farnesene (EBF). EBF is used by aphids under attack as an alarm pheromone or signal and causes other aphids to stop feeding and move away from the source. The trials are to be conducted over two years in 2012 and 2013 on an area of 288 m 2. Rothamsted applied to the DEFRA for the trials in June ( Agrow No 619, p 12).

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