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UK GM wheat trial highlights costs of violent activism

A five-year long field trial to test a genetically modified variety of wheat found that the crop did not repel pests as it was designed to. The news media, both in the UK and U.S., widely covered the story. Why was this unusual? It’s not often that a hypothesis that is not confirmed by experiments is published, let alone that it would receive so much attention.

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Flag smut appears for first time in decades in Kansas wheat

During the week of May 6, wheat flag smut was detected in a field demonstration plot in Rooks County in Kansas and confirmed by laboratory tests. This disease hasn’t been detected in Kansas since the 1920’s and 30’s.

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Researchers lead international initiative to face devastating crop disease

With financial support from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Exeter researchers have now started an international initiative to face the challenge to our food security from Septoria tritici blotch. Based on the research activity of several groups in Biosciences, the international journal Fungal Genetics and Biology is dedicating its entire June 2015 issue to STB and Zymoseptoria tritici.

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Developing wheat free of gluten is promising

Washington State University researcher Diter von Wettstein is working toward developing gluten-free wheat varieties safe to eat for people who have Celiac disease. His research that was first fully funded in 2008 is reaping success that could have gluten-free wheat being produced in about 10 years. It would be classified as a genetically modified wheat.

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Scientists close gap on yellow rust, a devastating cereal killer

The scientists who recently identified dramatic changes in yellow rust populations affecting wheat in the UK, have just been awarded £1.2 million to develop a new, quicker, cheaper version of their field–based diagnostic tool. This project will improve the UK’s national surveillance program by examining hundreds more yellow rust samples annually.

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