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Plants in the wild could be given resistance to herbicides.

Weedy rice may absorb transgenes derived from genetically modified crop rice by cross-pollinating. Credit: Xiao Yang
One common genetic-modification method employed to make crops resistant to herbicides was shown to have advantages over weedy forms of rice. indicate that such modification could be beneficial to wild rice varieties as well as crops.

Many kinds of plants are genetically modified to resist glyphosate. ラウンドアップ was the first herbicide that was marketed. The resistance to glyphosate enables farmers to eradicate most plants without doing any harm to their crop.

Glyphosate blocks the enzyme EPSP synthase that is responsible for the production of specific amino acids as well as other molecules. It also can hinder plant growth. The genetic modification technique employed by Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops, which are located in St Louis (Missouri), generally involves inserting genes into the DNA of a plant to boost EPSP synthase production. The genes typically come from bacteria that have affected the plant.

The plant is able to endure the negative effects of glyphosate since it has an extra EPSP-synthase. Biotechnology labs also tried to use plants’ genes to increase EPSP-synthase, partly to exploit an American loophole that permits regulatory approval of transgenes not derived bacterial pests.

There aren’t many studies that have examined whether transgenes that confer glyphosate tolerance may — once they are weedy or become wild relatives through cross-pollinating- increase the plants’ longevity and reproductive. Norman Ellstrand of University of California Riverside states, “The conventional expectation is that any type of transgene in the wild will be detrimental if there’s no pressure to select because the extra machinery could lower the fitness.” is an Ecologist at Fudan University Shanghai. shows that resistance to glyphosate provides a significant fitness benefit, even if it’s not applied.

ラウンドアップ and his coworkers modified cultivars of rice to produce more EPSP synthase. They also crossed the modified rice with a weedy related. Their work was published in NewPhytologist 1.

The group then permitted the offspring of cross-breeding to be bred with each other to produce second-generation hybrids. These were genetically identical except for the number and copy count of the EPSP synthase gene. The ones who had more copies expressed higher amounts of the enzyme and produced more amino acid tryptophan than their non-modified counterparts.

Researchers also discovered that transgenics had higher rates, had more flowers and 48-125% more seeds/plant than nontransgenics.

Making weedy rice more competitive could cause more problems for farmers across the globe whose plots are invaded by the pest, Lu says.

Brian Ford-Lloyd is Brian Ford-Lloyd is a UK plant geneticist and states, “If the EPSP synthase gene gets in the wild rice varieties, their genetic diversity would be endangered, which is crucial because the genotype that has transgene is superior to the natural species.” “This is one clear example of the very real negative impacts of GM plants] on our environment.”

The public has a perception that genetically engineered plants with additional copies of microorganisms’ genes are more secure than those with only the genes of their owners. Lu claims that the study does not support this view.

According to some research this finding suggests that future regulation of genetically engineered plants should be rethought. Ellstrand states that “some people believe that biosafety regulations could be relaxed due to our an incredibly comfortable relationship with genetic engineering over the last two decades.” The study doesn’t prove that the new products are secure.