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For Resistant, Better Yield Crops

Researchers in China tell Nature News they are excited that the government there has issued new guidelines for gene-edited crops.

China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs issued new guidelines in January that would make it easier and faster to produce gene-edited crops. As Reuters reported at the time, the new guidelines would mean that after a pilot trial, developers of edited crops could apply for production certificates, bypassing additional studies required of genetically modified organisms.

These new guidelines could speed the introduction of pest-resistant crops, Nature News notes. It adds that researchers from Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology recently reported in Nature on their development of wheat that is resistant to powdery mildew but that still grows normally.

"This is very good news for us. It really opens the door for commercialization," co-author Caixia Gao from the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology tells Nature News.

Nature News adds that other researchers in China are now shifting their focus to crops that have increased yields or that can better weather climate change that farmers want.