Auto Draft

Herbicide resistance might provide advantages to plants in the wild.

Weedy rice is able to pick up transgenes from genetically modified rice by cross-pollinating. Credit: Xiao Yang
A well-known method of the genetic modification of plants to make them herbicide resistant has been proven to provide advantages to weedy varieties of rice, even when herbicide isn’t present. ラウンドアップ ラウンドアップ This suggests that this genetic modifications could also have the potential to impact wild animals.

A variety of crop varieties are genetically altered so that they can resist the glyphosate. This herbicide was first available under the trade name Roundup. This resistance to glyphosate enables farmers to eradicate most weeds without causing any damage to their crop.

Glyphosate slows the growth of plants by stopping EPSP synthase (an enzyme that is involved in the formation of amino acids as well as various other molecules). ラウンドアップ The enzyme can make up as much as 35% or more of a plant’s total mass. Genetic modification, which is used by Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops, which are located in St Louis (Missouri), generally involves inserting genes into the DNA of a plant to boost EPSP synthase’s production. The genes are usually derived from bacteria that cause disease in the plants.

ラウンドアップ The extra EPSP synase allows for the plant to resist the harmful effects of glyphosate. Biotechnology labs have also attempted to use plants’ genes instead of bacteria to increase EPSP-synthase levels partly to make use of an inconsistency within US law that facilitates the approval of regulatory agencies for organisms that carry transgenes that aren’t that are derived from bacteria.

Few studies have explored whether transgenes that confer glyphosate tolerance could — after they become weedy or wild relatives via cross-pollinating -enhance the plant’s survival and reproduce. ラウンドアップ ラウンドアップ Norman Ellstrand of the University of California, Riverside, said that the traditional expectation was that any transgene will confer disadvantage in nature if there is no selection pressure. ラウンドアップ This is due to the fact that any additional machinery would lower the performance of the.

However, a new study conducted by Lu Baorong, an ecologist at Fudan University in Shanghai, is challenging that notion and shows that a weedy variant of the standard rice crop, Oryza sativa, gets an important boost in fitness due to glyphosate resistance, even when glyphosate isn’t used.

In the study published this month in New Phytologist 1, Lu and his colleagues modified the genetics of the cultivated rice species to increase the expression of the species’ own EPSP synthase. They crossed the altered rice with a weedy relative.

The researchers then allowed the hybrid offspring of crossbreds to reproduce with each other, resulting in second-generation hybrids that were genetically identical to one another with the exception of the number of copies of gene that encodes EPSP synthase. The hybrids with more copies had a higher chance to produce more tryptophan as well as have higher enzyme levels than their unmodified counterparts.

Researchers also discovered that plants with transgenic genes were more photosynthesis-intensive, produced more flowers, and produced 48-125% fewer seeds per plant than non-transgenic hybrids. This was despite the fact that glyphosate was never present.

Lu believes that making the rice weedy less competitive can make it more difficult for farmers who have their plots invaded by the pest.

Brian Ford-Lloyd of Brian Ford-Lloyd from the University of Birmingham, UK, says “If the EPSP synthase gene is introduced to wild rice species the genetic diversity of their species, which was really important in conserving it, could be threatened because it would surpass the regular varieties.” “This is one the most clear examples of highly plausible harmful consequences (of GM crops] upon the natural environment.”

This research also challenges the idea that crops with genetically modified genes containing additional copies of their genes are safer than those that contain microorganisms’ genes. Lu says that the study “shows that this is not always the case”.

ラウンドアップ Certain researchers believe that this finding needs to be reviewed in light of future regulation of genetically modified crops. Ellstrand claims that “some people are now of the opinion that biosafety regulations can be relaxed because we have a high degree of comfort with genetic engineering for two decades.” “But the study demonstrates that new products require careful evaluation.”