GENTECH archive



It looks like this actually means:
"Hey folks, we had these vitamin A rich millet laying around in the genebank
here. We took them from the fields some 40 years ago or so, when we had to push for 
the Green Revolution. Of course we could have worked with this millet in the fields in 
the past 40 years in order to get higher yielding varieties with high vitamin A content but 
we did not bother about that. But now we can possibly GE this millet. Aren't we great?" 


On 29 Jun 2002 at 13:19, Rick Roush wrote:

June 28, 2002
Crop Biotech Update
Scientists at the International Crops Research Institute of the Semi Arid
Tropics (ICRISAT) have developed an intermediate product that could lead to
a "Golden Millet", a conventionally bred pearl millet high in beta-carotene.
This product could be an alternative to Golden Rice, the genetically
engineered vitamin A-enriched rice, especially in India and Africa where
millet is a staple food.
The development of this product resulted from variability testing of the
ICRISAT's seed collections which revealed millet samples from Burkina Faso
in West Africa with unusually high amounts of beta-carotene.
CT Hash, ICRISAT principal scientist, notes that "with additional financial
support for applied plant breeding based on this intermediate product,
ICRISAT and its partners might be able to move this trait rapidly into
genetic background having reasonably high yield potential, tolerance to
locally-prevalent abiotic stresses and resistance s to the most common
biotic constraints to pearl millet grain production in the dry areas. Once
transferred to these genetic backgrounds and appropriately tested, some of
the resulting "golden millets" could be commercially cultivated.
Scientists also see the potential to employ genetic marker techniques to
create new varieties with even higher beta-carotene levels.

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