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Workshop considers climate change adaptable crops

Wednesday November 7, 2012 - 14:25 EDT

Agricultural experts from across the Asia-Pacific region are meeting in Western Australia this week in an effort to develop new varieties of crop that are adaptable to climate change.

Representatives from 12 Asian nations are taking part in the workshop hosted by the Department of Agriculture and Food.

The department's grains industry executive director, Mark Sweetingham, says there will be immediate benefits, despite the work's long-term focus.

He says researchers are hopeful the talks will make significant advances in solving problems like drought stress and disease resistance.

"Whilst it might take 10 years or so to develop a new variety of whatever it might be, these new techniques improve what the breeders call the rate of genetic gain," he said.

"You're far more likely to put together a new, more effective and higher yielding variety if you're using these modern DNA technologies.

"What the team is up to is looking at leading edge breeding methods to learn how to apply advanced DNA market technology to tag genes of importance to solve problems like drought stress, high temperature stress, disease resistance and things like that."


- ABC

© ABC 2012

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