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2-Plants: World's first GMO peanut

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TITLE:  World's first GMO peanut
SOURCE: The Philippine Star, by Rudy A Fernandez
DATE:   May 25, 2003

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World's first GMO peanut

Within three years, a genetically modified organism (GMO) peanut will be
commercialized in groundnut-producing countries. The transgenic peanut
variety has been developed by the International Crops Research Institute
for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). India-based ICRISAT is headed by Dr.
William D. Dar, former DA Acting Secretary and the first director of the
DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR). Currently headed by Director
William C. Medrano, Bar is the DA agency mandated to "ensure that all
agricultural research is coordinated and undertaken for maximum utility
to agriculture." Dr. Dar had earlier told The STAR that the GMO peanut
was being tested in greenhouses and fields in India. Results of the
initial trial showed that the new peanut yielded 30 percent more than the
farmers' traditional varieties. As reported by BAR's Rita dela Cruz,
ICRISAT, before coming out with the new groundnut, had screened more than
10,000 peanut line to identify traditional resistance to peanut clump
virus (PCV), a type of virus transmitted by a soil-borne fungus. The
symptoms of the disease are stunted growth and discolored leaves. Every
year, PCV causes a loss of $40 million in peanut-producing countries
across the world. It also affects various economically important crops
such as corn, sugarcane, sorghum, cowpea, and other legumes.


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