Field trials with genetically modified wheat given go-ahead

The Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) gave the go-ahead for field trials with genetically modified wheat lines on 15 August 2013. At the beginning of the year, the University of Zurich had submitted a request for authorisation of research to enable a better understanding of the resistance of wheat to the fungal disease mildew in the field. To this end, we are now able to investigate wheat lines to which a number of variants of a resistance gene have been transferred by means of genetic engineering. These genes occur naturally in several wheat lines. Fungal diseases threaten wheat crops worldwide, and a better understanding of natural defences should help us to combat these pathogens more effectively. The trials are to take place from 2014 to 2018 on the Protected Site, Agroscope's purpose-equipped test field.