KANSAS CITY — Research on bioengineered wheat containing a pheromone known to repel aphids failed to indicate significantly better results warding off the destructive pest compared with conventional wheat varieties. Results of the research conducted in 2012-13 were published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Because aphids are a destructive pest that can transmit viruses to wheat plants and decrease crop yields, farmers have typically applied insecticides to control infestations. Rothamsted Research in the United Kingdom bioengineered wheat to contain within the plant the pheromone known to repel aphids. But field tests failed to show significant reductions in aphid infestations in the bioengineered wheat compared with conventional wheat lacking the special anti-aphid trait.