Kenyan Bt maize project strives for GMOs
Researchers on a Kenyan public-private project are to continue work on developing a genetically modified insect-resistant Bt maize variety. The Insect Resistant Maize for Africa (IRMA) project has just developed a conventional trait but still seeks a GM product for Kenya, its co-ordinator Dr Stephen Mugo told Agrow. IRMA has sought products, through testing Bt lines, that have resistance to stem borers ( Chilo partellus) and the storage pest, larger grain borer ( Prostephanus truncatus), since 1999. IRMA partner Syngenta told the newswire, Africa Science News Service, that slow progress on Kenyan biosafety legislation, had hindered development of a GM product. “Our evaluation of [Monsanto’s GM] MON810 maize showed its effectiveness against all [stem borer] species and this may be one of the options,” Dr Mugo says.