The Art and Science of Developing Safe New Crop Varieties
Original Article Reference
This SciPod is a summary of the paper ‘The role of conventional plant breeding in ensuring safe levels of naturally occurring toxins in food crops’, from Trends in Food Science & Technology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tifs.2020.03.042
Conflict of interest and funding disclosures
Authors N. Kaiser, D. David, A. Dhingra, and E. C. Stowe have no interests to declare. Authors S. Swarup, P.R. Herzig, and K.C. Glenn are employees of Bayer Crop Science and were provided financial support in the form of authors’ salaries and research materials. The production of this SciPod was commissioned by Bayer Crop Science.
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About this episode
Many of the plant species that we depend on for food produce toxins. The wild ancestors of these crops relied on toxins to ward off diseases and prevent them from being eaten by animals. By choosing individual plants that lack the genes necessary to produce toxins, generations of selective breeding have produced countless crop varieties that are safe to eat. In a recent review, Natalie Kaiser from Michigan State University and her co-authors review the history of developing safe crop varieties, and discuss the special considerations given to plants that produce toxins.
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