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Wild plants could be treated with herbicides.

Credit: Xiao Yang
It has been established that a technique for genetic modification is extensively used to make crops herbicide-resistant, confers advantages on a weedy variety of rice. This indicates that the modifications could be detrimental to the environment beyond farms.

A wide range of crops has been modified genetically so that they are immune to Roundup herbicide glyphosate. This resistance to glyphosate permits farmers to eradicate most herbicides, without causing damage to their crop. Glyphosate inhibits plant growth by blocking an enzyme referred to as EPSP synthase. It is responsible for the production of specific amino acids and other molecules that comprise about 35% of the plant’s mass. Genetic modification, like the Roundup Ready crops manufactured by Monsanto in St. Louis, Missouri, involves inserting genes into a plant’s genetic code to increase EPSP production. ラウンドアップ These genes usually come from bacteria that have affected plants.

The plant can endure the negative effects of glyphosate due to its extra EPSP-synthase. Biotechnology labs have also attempted to make use of genes from plants rather than bacteria to increase EPSP-synthase levels partly to make use of the loophole within US law that facilitates regulatory approval of organisms carrying transgenes that aren’t derived from bacterial pests.

There aren’t many studies that have examined the possibility that transgenes, like those that confer resistance the chemical glyphosate can make plants more resilient in their survival and reproduction after they cross-pollinate with weedy or wild species. Norman Ellstrand is a University of California Riverside plant geneticist. ラウンドアップ “The expectation is that any kind of transgene will cause disadvantage in the wild, in the absence of selective pressure due to the fact that it reduces fitness,” Ellstrand said.

Lu Baorong, an ecologist from Fudan University in Shanghai has changed the way that he views this. He discovered that resistance to glyphosate provides a significant fitness lift to a weedy version of the common rice plant Oryza sativa.

Their research was published in 1. Lu and his collaborators genetically modified cultivated rice to increase its EPSP synthase expression and crossed it 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 apart from the amount of copies of the gene that encodes EPSP synthase. As one would expect, more copies resulted in higher levels of enzyme, and also more tryptophan, than their unmodified counterparts.

Researchers also discovered that plants with transgenic genes had higher rates for photosynthesis and produced more flowers and produced 48-125% fewer seeds per plant than nontransgenic hybrids. This was in spite of the fact that glyphosate was not present.

Lu states that making weedy grains more competitive may increase the difficulties it causes for farmers across the world whose crops are infected by the pest.

Brian Ford-Lloyd from Brian Ford-Lloyd, a researcher at the University of Birmingham, UK Brian Ford-Lloyd, a researcher at the University of Birmingham in the “If the EPSP synthase gene is introduced to wild rice species the genetic diversity of their species is crucial to conserve, may be endangered because it will beat out the conventional varieties.” “This is among the most evident instances of extremely plausible negative consequences [of GM crops] upon the natural environment.”

Many people believe that genetically modified plants containing more copies of their own genes than microorganisms are safe. ラウンドアップ This notion is also challenged by this study. “Our study shows that this is not always the case,” says Lu.

ラウンドアップ The research results call for a review of future regulations for the genetically altered crops, scientists say. Ellstrand says that “some people are now of the opinion that biosafety regulation could be relaxed due to our the most comfort with genetic engineering for two decades.” “But the study demonstrates that the new technologies require cautious assessment.”