2-Plants: Non-GE fusarium-tolerant wheat developed in Canada
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TITLE: CANADIAN SCIENTISTS DEVELOP FIRST-EVER FUSARIUM-TOLERANT PASTRY
SOURCE: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
DATE: Nov 19, 2002
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CANADIAN SCIENTISTS DEVELOP FIRST-EVER FUSARIUM-TOLERANT PASTRY WHEAT
OTTAWA, Ontario, Nov. 19, 2002 Ð Eastern Canadian producers can now benefit
from a new wheat cultivar with increased tolerance to Fusarium head blight,
a fungal disease which has cost the Canadian agri-food industry hundreds of
millions of dollars.
The new line, a soft red winter wheat often used for pastries, exhibits
nearly four-times fewer mycotoxins when exposed to the fungus, than other
wheat varieties on the market. The level of mycotoxins present in wheat can
greatly affect yields, as well as grade and market value.
The line has been approved by the Ontario Cereal Crops Committee, and
registered for production in Eastern Canada under the name Wonder . The
line was developed by scientists with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
(AAFC) in Ottawa and Hyland Seeds in Blenheim, Ontario. The development of
Wonder was led by Dr. Radhey Pandeya of the Eastern Cereal and Oilseed
Research Centre, and Hyland cereal breeders.
"Wonder is a major step forward in the battle against Fusarium and a good
example of the type of innovation that can be achieved when government and
industry work together," said Dr. Pandeya. "Fusarium has cost the Canadian
agri-food industry hundreds of millions of dollars over the past 20 years,
and our scientists in Western Canada are continuing efforts to develop
similar varieties conducive to growing in that region."
Investments in research and development are a key priority of the
Agricultural Policy Framework, a comprehensive plan developed with the
provinces and industry to make Canada a world leader in food safety and
food quality, environmentally responsible production and innovation.
"To our knowledge Wonder is the first Fusarium-tolerant pastry wheat on the
market," said Henry Olechowski, research director with Hyland Seeds. "The
new variety is sure to be welcome news to growers as Fusarium head blight
is an ongoing concern in Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States."
This project was funded under a Matching Investment Initiative (MII) in
partnership with Hyland Seeds, a division of W.G. Thompson and Sons Ltd.
The MII is a federal program that aims to increase collaborative research
activity between the private sector and AAFC by matching the contribution
of an industry investment in research and development.
Wonder is expected to be in full commercial production by 2004.
For more information, media may contact: Media Relations Agriculture and
Agri-Food Canada Ottawa, Ontario (613) 759-7972
Henry Olechowski Research Director, Hyland Seeds Blenheim, Ontario (519)
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