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Herbicide resistance may give plants an advantage in the wild.

Weedy rice is able to take on transgenes from genetically modified rice through cross-pollination. Credit: Xiao Yang
It has been proven that a genetic modification technique is extensively used to make crops resistant to herbicides, gives advantages to a weedy variety of rice. These findings suggest that such modifications may have a wide spectrum of effects that extend beyond farms, and even into the wild.

A variety of varieties of crops are genetically modified to be resistive to glyphosate. Roundup was the first herbicide to be marketed. Farmers can eradicate most weeds from their fields with this glyphosate resistance without causing damage to their crops.

Glyphosate inhibits an enzyme known as EPSP synthase which is responsible for the production of specific amino acids and various other molecules. It can also inhibit the growth of plants. Genetic modification is used for instance, in Roundup Ready plants made by Monsanto, a biotechnology company located in St Louis, Missouri. It involves inserting genes into the genome of the crop to boost EPSP synthase synthase synthase production. The genes typically come from bacteria that are infected with plants.

ラウンドアップ The added EPSP synthase allows the plant to withstand the effects of glyphosate. Biotechnology labs have also tried to create EPSP-synthase that is more plant-based than bacteria using genes from plants. This was used to take advantage of an inconsistency found in US law that allows regulatory approval for organisms which aren’t the result of bacteria.

Few studies have tested whether transgenes , such as ones that confer resistance to glyphosate can — once they get into weedy or wild relatives through 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 would be expected to cause disadvantages in wild plants. The extra machinery would lower fitness.

Lu Baorong from Fudan University in Shanghai is now challenging that view. The study demonstrates that glyphosate resistance even when applied to a weedy type of rice crop can provide a significant health boost. Lu and colleagues modified cultivated rice species to enhance its EPSP synthase. The modified rice was then crossed with a wild-type relative.

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 copy count and number of EPSP synthase gene. Likely, the ones with more copies expressed higher levels of the enzyme and also produced more of the amino acid tryptophan than the unmodified ones.

Researchers also discovered that transgenic hybrids are more photogenic, had more seeds per plant and yielded 48-125 percent higher yields of seeds than non-transgenic varieties.

Lu believes that making the rice weedy less competitive might make it harder for farmers who have their plots infested by pests.

Brian Ford-Lloyd, a researcher at Brian Ford-Lloyd from 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 their genetic diversity that was so important in conserving it, could be endangered because it will beat out the conventional varieties.” This is among the clearest examples of extremely likely negative effects of GM crop on the environment.” The study also challenges the idea that crops with genetically modified genes containing extra copies of their genes are more safe than those that contain microorganisms’ genes. “Our study proves that this isn’t necessarily the case” Lu says. Lu.

According to some researchers this finding suggests that the future regulation of genetically engineered crops needs to be rethought. Ellstrand says that some people believe biosafety regulations can be relaxed since we have more than two decades of genetic engineering. The study showed that new products need to be evaluated carefully.

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