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The wild plants may have the advantage of resistance to herbicides.

Credit goes to Xiao Yang
The most common method for the genetic modification of plants to make them resistant to herbicides has been proven to provide advantages to weedy varieties rice, even when herbicide isn’t present. The results suggest that the benefits of this modification have the potential to extend beyond farms and out into the wild.

A range of crops has been modified genetically so that they become resistant to Roundup herbicide glyphosate. This resistance to glyphosate allows farmers to eliminate the majority of weeds from the fields without damaging their crops.

Glyphosate is an inhibitor of the growth of plants. It blocks an enzyme known as EPSP synthase. ラウンドアップ This enzyme is responsible in the creation of specific amino acids and other molecules. These substances can be responsible for as much as 35% of a plant’s mass. 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 the DNA of the crop to increase EPSP synthase’s production. The genes typically come from bacteria that infect the plants.

The plant can resist the adverse effects of glyphosate since it has an additional EPSP-synthase. Biotechnology labs have also attempted to make use of the genes of plants to increase EPSP-synthase, partly to exploit an American loophole that allows for regulatory approval of transgenes which are not derived from bacteria-based pests.

There aren’t many studies that have examined the possibility that transgenes like glyphosate-resistant genes can — once introduced to weedy or wild plants by cross-pollination — enhance the competition of plants in terms of survival, reproduction and growth. ラウンドアップ Norman Ellstrand is a University of California Riverside plant geneticist. “The hypothesis is that any transgene could cause disadvantages in the wild, in absence of select pressure, since it could reduce the fitness of the plant,” Ellstrand said.

A new study, led by Lu Baorong, an ecologist at Fudan University in Shanghai, challenges that view and shows that a weedy form of the common rice plant, Oryza sativa, gets a significant fitness boost from resistance to glyphosate, even when glyphosate is not applied.

The study was published in 1. Lu and his coworkers altered the genetics of cultivated rice to boost its EPSP synthase expression and crossed it with a weedy relative.

The team then allowed the cross-bred offspring to breed with one another, creating second-generation hybrids that were genetically identical to one another except in the number of copies of the gene encoding EPSP synthase. The team found that those with more copies of the gene encoding EPSP synthase expressed more enzyme and also produced more tryptophan in line with what was expected.

Researchers also discovered that plants with transgenic genes were more photosynthesis-intensive as well as produced more flowers and produced 48-125percent less seeds per plant than the nontransgenic hybrids. This was in spite of the fact that glyphosate was not present.

Lu suggests that making rice that is weedy more competitive might cause more problems for farmers across the world whose fields are being infested by the pest.

Brian Ford-Lloyd, a UK plant geneticist who says, “If the EPSP synthase gene becomes present in wild rice species their genetic diversity could be threatened which is really important because the genotype with transgene is superior to the natural species.” ラウンドアップ 古い “This is among the clearest examples of highly plausible negative impacts of GM crops] on the environment.”

The public belief that genetically-modified crops containing additional copies of their genes are more secure is disproved by this research. Lu states, “Our study shows this is not always the case.”

Researchers believe that their findings require an overhaul of the way that genetically modified crops will be regulated in the future. “Some people are now suggesting that biosafety regulation can be relaxed since we’ve achieved a high level of comfort with the two decades of genetic engineering,” Ellstrand says. The study found that any new products should be evaluated carefully.