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New Technique Offers Potential for Quick Identification of Wheat Varieties

by 5m Editor
18 September 2006, at 10:28am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2249. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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Farm-Scape, Episode 2249

A Guelph, Ontario based biotechnology company is confident a new technique it has developed has the potential to quickly identify grain varieties as well as specific traits within those varieties.

In an effort to eliminate the need for the visual identification of wheat varieties at the elevator and regulations that prohibit the registration of varieties that look like Canada Western Red Spring or Canada Western Amber Durum, several organizations are seeking alternative identification methods.

One project is being spearheaded by the Canadian Wheat Board in collaboration with NeoVentures Biotechnology with funding provided by the Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council.

NeoVentures President and CEO Dr. Greg Penner explains his company's approach uses a combination of two technologies.

One is based on aptimers which are nucleic acids, DNA or RNA fragments.

We think of DNA as what's in plants and animals and all of that.

DNA is actually capable of doing things and what we're doing is we're using lab based techniques to identify DNA fragments that are capable of binding to specific molecules within wheat varieties.

By having them bind specifically we are then combining that with another technology which allows us rapid signal amplification so that we can quantitatively determine the amount of target molecules present in any variety and, if the varieties differ for the amount of any given target molecule present we can tell them apart.

Ultimately what we're looking at is a five to ten minute detection at primary point of grain delivery."

Dr. Penner notes the technique promises not only the ability to quickly identify grain varieties with a minimum of operator involvement but also to determine specifications within those varieties.

Staff Farmscape.Ca

5m Editor