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Battling Parasitic Weeds


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Prof. Jonathan Gressel
Prof. Jonathan Gressel developed herbicide resistance methods for battling parasitic weeds such as witchweeds and broomrapes, which ravage grain and legume crops in several parts of the world, particularly in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. An estimated 100 million farmers lose half their yield to these parasites.


In experiments in Kenya, conducted with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), maize yields tripled thanks to this approach. The new varieties have been released to seed companies, which commercialized them in western Kenya and Uganda and are continuing to breed additional resistant varieties, appropriate for other regions.

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