Biotechnology to improve resistance to pests
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CTA. 1990. Biotechnology to improve resistance to pests. Spore 25. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45219
Scientists at IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) are using biotechnology to transfer the natural pest resistance found in wild rices into domesticated varieties, and thus develop improved cultivars that require few or no pesticides. Up...
Scientists at IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) are using biotechnology to transfer the natural pest resistance found in wild rices into domesticated varieties, and thus develop improved cultivars that require few or no pesticides. Up till now these valuable genes could not be used because wild rices (Oryza spp.) were so different geneticaIly from the cultivated varieties, but the problem has been overcome by using a technique called 'embryo rescue'. To transfer a trait from a wild Oryza species, a cultivated variety is first fertilized with pollen from the wild one. Hybrid seeds do not survive, so they are harvested after 14 days and their embryos are 'rescued' under sterile laboratory conditions. The embryos are cultured in vitro in the dark until they germinate,they are then brought into the light, and when they have developed sufficiently are transferred to a nutrient solution and grown in a controlled environment. The sterile hybrid is then back-crossed to its domestic parent. The progeny are also back-crossed several times to improve plant type and fertility. The process can incorporate desirable traits of the wild species, such as pest resistance, into a good plant type. Each generation is screened for the desired trait. The final product will be similar to the domesticated parent but will have the pest resistance of the wild species. For more details, contact: Dr Lesley Sitch - IRRI PO Box 933 - Manila PHILIPPINES