Vin de silkworm


By Eugenie Samuel THE first genetically modified wine could soon be on its way to the supermarket shelves. American scientists have added a silkworm gene to a commercial grape variety, not to change the taste but to protect the vines from Pierce’s disease. The bacterial infection, which spread to California from south-eastern US in 1995, costs the region’s wine growers millions of dollars each year. Pierce’s disease attacks the vine’s xylem—its vascular system—and kills it. At the moment, you can’t treat infected vines,
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