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Plants in the wild could be given herbicide resistance.

ラウンドアップ Credit: Xiao Yang
The use of genetic modification to make crops resistant to herbicides is widely utilized to provide advantages to the varieties of rice that are weedy. The findings suggest that this modification may be able to positively impact wild rice varieties, as well as the crops.

A variety of crop varieties are genetically modified so that they can resist glyphosate. ラウンドアップ The herbicide was initially offered under the trade name Roundup. ラウンドアップ This glyphosate resistance enables farmers to eradicate the majority of herbicides in their fields without damaging their crop.

Glyphosate inhibits an enzyme known as EPSP synthase which is responsible for the creation of certain amino acid and other molecules. It can also inhibit the growth of plants. The technique of genetic modification, which is used by Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops, which are located in St Louis (Missouri), typically involves inserting genes in a crop’s DNA to increase EPSP synthase production. The genes typically come from bacteria that infect plants.

ラウンドアップ The extra EPSP synase makes it possible for plants to resist the harmful effects of glyphosate. Biotechnology labs are also looking to utilize genes that come from plants instead of bacteria to increase EPSP synthase. This is due to the fact that the US law allows for approval by the regulatory authorities to allow organisms with transgenes to be approved.

A few studies have explored the possibility that transgenes, like those that confer resistance to the chemical glyphosate can increase the resilience of plants to surviving and reproduce once they cross-pollinate with weedy or wild species. Norman Ellstrand of University of California Riverside states, “The conventional expectation is that any type of transgene that is found in nature will confer disadvantage if there’s no selection pressure , because the added machinery can lower the health.”

Lu Baorong, an ecologist from Fudan University in Shanghai has rewritten that view. He discovered that resistance to glyphosate provides an impressive fitness boost to the weedy version of the popular rice plant Oryza Sativa.

Lu and his associates modified cultivated rice varieties to produce more EPSP synthase. They also crossed the modified rice with a weedy-related. Their findings were published in NewPhytologist 1.

The researchers then allowed cross-breeding offspring to be bred with each other to produce second-generation hybrids. They were genetically identical with the exception of the number and copy count of EPSP synthase gene. Like one might expect, the more copies of the gene produced higher levels enzyme, and also more tryptophan, than their counterparts that were not modified.

Researchers also found that plants with transgenic genes showed higher rates of photosynthesis, produced more flowers, and produced 48 to 125 percent fewer seeds per plant than nontransgenic hybrids. This was in spite of the fact that glyphosate was never present.

Lu states that making weedy grains more competitive can create more difficulties to farmers around the world who have crops affected by the pest.

Brian Ford-Lloyd from the University of Birmingham, UK Brian Ford-Lloyd from the University of Birmingham, UK “If the EPSP synthase gene is introduced to wild rice varieties the genetic diversity of their species that was so important for conserving, could be threatened because it would outcompete the normal varieties.” “This is among the clearest instances of the extremely damaging consequences [of GM crops on the environment.”

This study challenges belief that crops modified genetically that carry additional copies of their genes are less dangerous than those containing the genes of microorganisms. Lu states that his study doesn’t support this belief.

ラウンドアップ Researchers say this discovery calls for a review of the regulations for the future on genetically modified crops. Ellstrand believes that biosafety laws could be relaxed as we can benefit from a high degree of comfort from two decades worth of genetic engineering. ラウンドアップ “But the study demonstrates that novel products still need cautious assessment.”

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