THE government of Indonesia has approved the first locally developed genetically modified crop which will soon be commercialised in the country.
The biotech sugarcane event NXI-4T which contains the betaine gene was developed by the state-owned sugar company, PT Perkebunan Nusantara XI (PTPN XI).
The gene expressed osmoprotectant compound which was introduced using Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated plant transformation.
The GM crop was developed through the collaborative efforts of PTPN XI, Jember University, and Ajinomoto Company.
The biotech sugarcane can produce 10-30% more sugar than conventional parental lines under drought conditions.
The feed safety approval has been granted by the Ministry of Agriculture in August this year. The next step of the developers is to plan the commercialisation of the biotech crop to meet the demands for sugarcane and its by-products in Indonesia.