TVNZ/NZPA: AgResearch to go offshore for GE clover

Some of the research into the development of genetically engineered (GE) clover which could reduce pastoral greenhouse gas emissions will be done overseas, says AgResearch.

The aim of the research is to switch on a specific gene in white clover which would reduce methane emissions and nitrogen waste, provide livestock with extra protein, and improve their health.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“AgResearch scientists have previously shown that condensed tannins – chemical compounds that are able to bind to and protect protein being broken down early in digestion – can directly reduce methane emissions when livestock eat them in forage plants such as found in some pasture species, such as lotus, a legume. But such plants can be difficult to establish and keep growing in grazed pastures.

“Dr Chris Jones, the section manager of forage biotechnology with Grasslanz in Palmerston North, said last year that GE technology was the only way to develop clover traits to reduce methane emissions.”