Environmental Release of Genetically Engineered Mustard Hybrid (DMH-11) Developed at University of Delhi Approved
The Government of India approved on Tuesday the 25th October, environmental release of the GM mustard hybrid DMH-11 and its parental lines Varuna bn 3.6 carrying the barnase and bar genes and EH-2 modbs 2.99 carrying the barstar and bar genes. These lines and the hybrid were developed at the Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants (CGMCP) and the Department of Genetics located at the South Campus of the University under the stewardship of Prof. Deepak Pental (currently SERB National Science Chair), the then Professor at the Department of Genetics and a former Vice Chancellor of DU. The hybrid and the parental lines were developed indigenously and covered by National and International patents. This is the second GM crop after Bt. cotton to get environmental clearance in India and the first GM food crop to be approved. This landmark approval paves the way for hybrid mustard which has ~25-30% higher yield, to reach the farmer’s field within an estimated period of 2-3 years. This acceptance is also a positive step toward recognition of genetically engineered crop as a measure for food security.