Genetic engineering of wheat – current challenges and opportunities
Wheat is one of the major staple food crops grown worldwide; however, productivity in cereal crops has not kept pace with the world population growth. A significant increase in wheat production (>40% by 2020) is needed simply to keep up with the growing demand. This increase is unlikely to be achieved by conventional plant breeding methods because of the limited gene pool available. The application of recombinant techniques to improve wheat quality and yield is not only desirable but also has potential to open up new opportunities. Although there has been significant progress in developing gene-transformation technologies for improving these traits, this remains an important challenge for plant biotechnology. Obstacles to translate the full potential of the genomic era to wheat breeding include the need to develop elite wheat varieties without selectable markers, introducing minimal or nil intergenic DNA and social and market issues concerning genetically engineered food products.
Journal: - Volume 24, Issue 7, July 2006, Pages 305–311