Buckler, Ronald and others are bullish on the potential of molecular breeding and advanced GM crops. But they remain wary of making predictions of genetic mastery that characterized the field previously. Much needs to be learned about the influence of environment on gene expression, they stress.
Yet it is clear that the promise of genetic engineering and molecular breeding has at least started to catch the hype.
With so many crop genomes sequenced, there is "so much more information that is available now than 10 years ago ... an overwhelming amount," Ronald said. It took seven years to sequence the first plant genome. Next year, the same genome could be sequenced for $70 in one day.
"There's enough to occupy us geneticists for the ends of our lives," she said.
Reprinted from Greenwire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500