The «wheat-cluster.ch» is a network of research groups from the Institutes of Plant Biology and Environmental Sciences of the University of Zurich, the Institute of Plant Science of the ETH Zurich, further University partners and the research institutes Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART and Changins-Wädenswil ACW. In two projects, wheat lines, which had been genetically modified for improved fungal resistance, were tested in field trials. The researchers investigated whether these plants, which are better protected against powdery mildew infections in the lab, also exhibit this capacity under natural environmental conditions, in wind and rain, and whether undesirable side effects (e.g. yield reduction) occur. In addition, a number of projects dealt with questions related to biosafety. These biosafety projects investigated the interplay of the genetically modified wheat plants with the environment, with other plants and non-target organisms.
The projects were conducted in the framework of the National Research Programme NRP 59 "Benefits and Risks of the Deliberate Release of Genetically Modified Plants (GM plants)"
under the direction of the Swiss National Science Foundation.
Further information is available in German or French or on the websites of the National Research Programme 59.