CHRIS KNAPTON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS KNAPTON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
GM barley (Hordeum sp.). Genetic modification (GM) of plants involves altering their Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the molecule that controls every part of an organism's growth and development. This is a "double haploid" trial where pollen cells (micro- spores) are cultured so that they form embryos with only half of the DNA's chromosome pairs (haploid). These haploid cells are then treated so that they duplicate the chromosomes present, forming a double haploid cell. The plants that are developed from these cells have beneficial traits such as increased yields. This technique can also be achieved through selective breeding, although a true double haploid is never achieved.
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