Auto Draft

Wild plants may be resistant to herbicides.

Credit Xiao Yang
A technique of genetic modification widely used to make crops herbicide resistant has been shown to confer advantages on an invasive form of rice even in the absence of herbicide. These results suggest that such modifications could have a wide variety of impacts that extend beyond farms and into the wild.

There are many kinds of crops are genetically modified to resist the glyphosate. ラウンドアップ Roundup was the first herbicide to be sold. This makes it possible for farmers to eliminate most herbicides from their fields, without causing harm to their crops.

Glyphosate hinders growth of plants through blocking an enzyme, known as EPSP synthase. It is responsible for the production of specific amino acids as well as other molecules that comprise approximately 35% of a plant’s mass. The genetic modification method used in Roundup Ready crops by Monsanto (based in St Louis in Missouri) is the process of inserting genes into a crop to increase EPSP synthase’s output. Genes are usually derived from bacteria that infect crops.

This additional EPSP synthase enables plants to resist the effects of glyphosate. Biotechnology laboratories are trying to utilize genes from plants instead of bacteria to boost EPSP synthase. This is due to the fact that the US law allows approval by the regulatory authorities to allow organisms with transgenes to be approved.

Few studies have tested whether transgenes , such as those that confer glyphosate resistance are able to — once they become wild or weedy relatives via cross-pollination -make plants more competitive for survival and reproduction. Norman Ellstrand, a University of California plant geneticist states that without competition, any kind of transgene could be expected to cause disadvantages on wild plants. The extra machinery would decrease fitness. Lu Baorong (an ecologist at Fudan University, Shanghai) has now challenged that view. ラウンドアップ It has shown that glyphosate resistance can give significant benefits to fitness for the weedy rice crop, called Oryza Sativa even when it is not used.

Lu and his coworkers modified the cultivars of rice to make more EPSP synthase. They also crossed the modified rice with a weedy related. Their research was published in NewPhytologist 1.

The researchers then allowed the cross-bred offspring to breed with one another, resulting in second-generation hybrids genetically identical to one another except in the amount of copies of the gene encoding EPSP synthase. The hybrids that had more copies of the gene had a higher chance to make more tryptophan and have greater levels of enzymes over their counterparts that were not modified.

Researchers also discovered that transgenic hybrids produced 48-125percent more seeds per plant, and had higher photosynthesis rates and produced more shoots than non-transgenic ones.

Lu believes that making weedy invasive rice more competitive may make it harder for farmers to repair the damage caused by this pest.

Brian Ford Lloyd, a UK plant scientist, stated that the EPSP Synthase gene is able to get into wild rice species. This would threaten their genetic diversity, which is very crucial. “This is among the clearest instances of the extremely damaging effects of GM crops on the environment.”

ラウンドアップ The public has a perception that genetically engineered crops with extra copies or microorganisms genes are more secure than those with only the genes of their owners. Lu states that his study doesn’t support this view.

ラウンドアップ A few researchers believe this discovery needs to be reviewed in light of future regulation of crops that have been genetically modified. Ellstrand thinks that biosafety rules may be relaxed because we are able to have a great level of satisfaction from the two decades of genetic engineering. “But the research still shows that novel products require an in-depth evaluation.”