The Körber Prize, worth 750, 000 euros (1.467 million marks), goes to an international research team this year, which aims to increase the yield of food crops with the help of genetic engineering. The five scientists are world leaders in the investigation of transport processes through plant cell membranes, said the Hamburg Körber Foundation on Thursday. The team also wants to use genetic engineering to grow plants that are more salt-tolerant. With their approach, the winners expect new approaches to solving ecological and economic problems. In particular, cultivation problems in developing countries could be solved in the long term. But even in our latitudes, the breeding of higher-yielding crops could become increasingly important. For example, these new plant varieties would make it unnecessary to add animal meal to cover protein levels in animals.

The award winners include Prof. Wolf-Bernd Frommer (Tübingen), Prof. Rainer Hedrich (Würzburg), Prof. Enrico Martinoia (Switzerland), Prof. Dale Sanders (Great Britain) and Prof. Dr. med. Norbert Sauer (Erlangen-Nuremberg). The private and non-profit Körber Foundation has been committed to international understanding for four decades, promoting historical and political culture as well as science and research.

dpa

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