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November 06, 2019 | Science
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New GM Corn Produces Up to 10% More Yield

GM hybrids typically yielded 3% to 5% more grain than control plants

Supporters of genetic engineering have long promised it will help meet the world’s growing demand for food. But despite the creation of many genetically modified (GM) pest- and herbicide-resistant crops, scientists haven’t had much success with boosting crop growth.

Now, according to a report at Science, researchers have for the first time shown they can reliably increase corn yields up to 10% by changing a gene that increases plant growth — regardless of whether growing conditions are poor or optimal. 

Researchers tested an enhanced gene’s performance in 48 commercial types of corn, known as hybrids, that are commonly used to feed livestock.

In field tests across corn-growing regions of the United States between 2014 and 2017, they found that the GM hybrids typically yielded 3% to 5% more grain than control plants.

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