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In the wild, herbicide resistance may confer advantages on plants.

Credit goes to Xiao Yang
The use of genetic modification to make crops resistant to herbicides has been extensively utilized to provide advantages to weedy rice varieties. ラウンドアップ These results suggest that such modifications can have a broad range of effects beyond the farms and out into the wild.

Many crop varieties have been genetically altered so that they can resist the effects of glyphosate. ラウンドアップ This herbicide was first sold under the tradename Roundup. Farmers can eradicate most the weeds that grow in their fields by using this glyphosate resistance without damaging their crops.

Glyphosate blocks an enzyme called EPSP synthase, which is responsible for the production of specific amino acids and other molecules. It also can hinder plant growth. Genetic modification — employed, for example, in Roundup Ready crops made by the biotechnology giant Monsanto located in St Louis, Missouri — typically involves inserting genes into the crop’s genome to increase the production of EPSP synthase. The genes typically come from bacteria that has caused the infection of the plants.

The extra EPSP synase allows for the plant to resist the effects of glyphosate. Biotechnology labs also have tried to use plants’ genes instead of bacteria to boost EPSP-synthase production, in part to exploit a loophole within US law that permits regulatory approval of organisms carrying transgenes not made from bacterial pests.

There aren’t many studies that have looked into whether transgenes like those which confer glyphosate resistance can make plants more competitive in reproduction and survival once they are introduced to wild or weedy relatives by cross-pollination. Norman Ellstrand of University of California Riverside declares, “The conventional expectation is that any type of transgene that is found in nature will cause disadvantages if there is no selection pressure , because the added machinery can reduce the health.”

Lu Baorong is an Ecologist in Fudan University Shanghai. ラウンドアップ His study shows that resistance to glyphosate is a major fitness benefit even when it’s not used.

Lu and his coworkers genetically modified the rice species to express the EPSP synthase. Then, they crossed it with a marijuana-producing parent.

ラウンドアップ The group then allowed hybrid offspring of crossbreds to reproduce with one another, creating 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 team discovered that the ones that had greater copies of the gene that codes for EPSP synthase had more enzyme expression and produced more tryptophan, in line with what was expected.

Researchers also discovered that transgenic hybrids were more photogenic, produced more plants per plant, and produced 48 to 125 percent higher yields of seeds than non-transgenic varieties.

Lu believes making weedy, invasive rice more competitive may make it harder for farmers to recover from the harm caused by this insect.

Brian Ford-Lloyd of Brian Ford-Lloyd, a researcher at the University of Birmingham, UK, says “If the EPSP synthase gene is introduced to wild rice species, their genetic variety, which was really important to conserve, may be at risk because it could surpass the regular varieties.” “This is among the most evident examples of highly plausible harmful effects of GM crops] upon the natural environment.”

Many people believe that genetically modified plants containing more than one copy of their genes than those from microorganisms are safer. ラウンドアップ This is also challenged by the study. ラウンドアップ Lu states that “our study doesn’t prove that this is the case.”

According to some scientists, the finding suggests that the future regulation of genetically engineered plants should be rethought. Ellstrand thinks that biosafety rules may be relaxed because we have a great level of satisfaction from the two decades of genetic engineering. “But the research indicates that innovative products require careful evaluation.”