Dr Richard Espley
The real advantage of using this transformation of plants is so that we can study exactly what individual genes do in a plant. We can take 1 gene and show exactly what it does. We can analyse the tree and how it grows and how efficiently it grows and how tall and how big it grows, so we can predict what would happen, for example, in an orchard situation.
But really importantly, we can look at how it flowers and how much fruit it will produce and ultimately what that fruit will be like, which is what we are really interested in.
So we are using this technology to predict what our breeding programme will eventually produce. Now a breeding programme takes a long time. We can do this transformation relatively quickly and with that knowledge we can look at all those aspects such as how the apple will store, even how it will taste, and we can then predict what the bred apple will be like.
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