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Sample records for gm crops protect

  1. GM as a route for delivery of sustainable crop protection.

    PubMed

    Bruce, Toby J A

    2012-01-01

    Modern agriculture, with its vast monocultures of lush fertilized crops, provides an ideal environment for adapted pests, weeds, and diseases. This vulnerability has implications for food security: when new pesticide-resistant pest biotypes evolve they can devastate crops. Even with existing crop protection measures, approximately one-third yield losses occur globally. Given the projected increase in demand for food (70% by 2050 according to the UN), sustainable ways of preventing these losses are needed. Development of resistant crop cultivars can make an important contribution. However, traditional crop breeding programmes are limited by the time taken to move resistance traits into elite crop genetic backgrounds and the limited gene pools in which to search for novel resistance. Furthermore, resistance based on single genes does not protect against the full spectrum of pests, weeds, and diseases, and is more likely to break down as pests evolve counter-resistance. Although not necessarily a panacea, GM (genetic modification) techniques greatly facilitate transfer of genes and thus provide a route to overcome these constraints. Effective resistance traits can be precisely and conveniently moved into mainstream crop cultivars. Resistance genes can be stacked to make it harder for pests to evolve counter-resistance and to provide multiple resistances to different attackers. GM-based crop protection could substantially reduce the need for farmers to apply pesticides to their crops and would make agricultural production more efficient in terms of resources used (land, energy, water). These benefits merit consideration by environmentalists willing to keep an open mind on the GM debate. PMID:22016426

  2. Risk Management of GM Crops

    EPA Science Inventory

    Driven by biofuel demand, a significant increase in GM corn acreage is anticipated for the 2007 growing season with future planted GM corn acreage approaching 80% of the corn crop by 2009. As demand increases, grower non-compliance with mandated planting requirements is likely to...

  3. Effects of GM crops on non-target organisms

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop genetically engineered to provide resistance to specific groups of insect pests have been adopted by millions of growers throughout the world. GM crops have become important tools in crop production and protection in many countries and contribute significantly to overall IPM programs. There, ...

  4. Human health concerns with GM crops.

    PubMed

    Malarkey, Trish

    2003-11-01

    Biotechnology was used in the first generation of so-called 'GM' crops to provide growers with complimentary and sometimes alternative crop management solutions to pesticides. Selected host genes or genes identified from other plants or non-plant sources are modified or transferred to a crop plant. The new or altered protein expression resulting from these modifications confer on the plant a desired physiological trait, such as resistance to particular herbicides or insect pests. Second generation modifications provide traits such as enhanced nutritional or health-promoting characteristics that are of benefit to consumers. The commonly raised concerns about possible implications for human health are: inherent toxicity of the novel gene and their products, the potential to express novel antigenic proteins or alter levels of existing protein allergens, the potential for unintended effects resulting from alterations of host metabolic pathways or over expression of inherently toxic or pharmacologically active substances and the potential for nutrient composition in the new food occur differing significantly from a conventional counterpart. Foods produced using biotechnology are subjected to far greater levels of scrutiny than foods produced by traditional plant breeding techniques. The accepted analytical, nutritional and toxicological methods employed to support this scrutiny and to assess and assure that a 'GM' food is a safe and nutritious as its 'non-GM' counterpart are discussed. The challenges associated with identifying unintended effects in whole GM foods and the promise new (proteomics/genomic) technologies offer opposite traditional toxicity testing paradigms are appraised. PMID:14644323

  5. Epistemological depth in a GM crops controversy.

    PubMed

    Hicks, Daniel J

    2015-04-01

    This paper examines the scientific controversy over the yields of genetically modified [GM] crops as a case study in epistemologically deep disagreements. Appeals to "the evidence" are inadequate to resolve such disagreements; not because the interlocutors have radically different metaphysical views (as in cases of incommensurability), but instead because they assume rival epistemological frameworks and so have incompatible views about what kinds of research methods and claims count as evidence. Specifically, I show that, in the yield debate, proponents and opponents of GM crops cite two different sets of claims as evidence, which correspond to two rival epistemological frameworks, classical experimental epistemology and Nancy Cartwright's evidence for use. I go on to argue that, even if both sides of the debate accepted Cartwright's view, they might still disagree over what counts as evidence, because evidence for use ties standards of evidence to what is sometimes called the "context of application." PMID:25768981

  6. Ecological Compatibility of GM Crops and Biological Control

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect-resistant and herbicide-tolerant genetically modified (GM) crops pervade many modern cropping systems, and present challenges and opportunities for developing biologically-based pest management programs. Interactions between biological control agents (insect predators, parasitoids, and pathog...

  7. Integrating insect-resistant GM Crops in pest management systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In 2006, GM cotton and maize with insect resistance were grown on 12.1 and 20.1 million hectares in 9 and 13 countries, respectively. These insect resistant GM crops produce various Cry toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and provide highly selective and effective control of lepidopteran and col...

  8. Risk, regulation and biotechnology: the case of GM crops.

    PubMed

    Smyth, Stuart J; Phillips, Peter W B

    2014-07-01

    The global regulation of products of biotechnology is increasingly divided. Regulatory decisions for genetically modified (GM) crops in North America are predictable and efficient, with numerous countries in Latin and South America, Australia and Asia following this lead. While it might have been possible to argue that Europe's regulations were at one time based on real concerns about minimizing risks and ensuring health and safety, it is increasingly apparent that the entire European Union (EU) regulatory system for GM crops and foods is now driven by political agendas. Countries within the EU are at odds with each other as some have commercial production of GM crops, while others refuse to even develop regulations that could provide for the commercial release of GM crops. This divide in regulatory decision-making is affecting international grain trade, creating challenges for feeding an increasing global population. PMID:25437235

  9. GM crops and the rat digestive tract: a critical review.

    PubMed

    Zdziarski, I M; Edwards, J W; Carman, J A; Haynes, J I

    2014-12-01

    The aim of this review is to examine the relationship between genetically modified (GM) crops and health, based on histopathological investigations of the digestive tract in rats. We reviewed published long-term feeding studies of crops containing one or more of three specific traits: herbicide tolerance via the EPSPS gene and insect resistance via cry1Ab or cry3Bb1 genes. These genes are commonly found in commercialised GM crops. Our search found 21 studies for nine (19%) out of the 47 crops approved for human and/or animal consumption. We could find no studies on the other 38 (81%) approved crops. Fourteen out of the 21 studies (67%) were general health assessments of the GM crop on rat health. Most of these studies (76%) were performed after the crop had been approved for human and/or animal consumption, with half of these being published at least nine years after approval. Our review also discovered an inconsistency in methodology and a lack of defined criteria for outcomes that would be considered toxicologically or pathologically significant. In addition, there was a lack of transparency in the methods and results, which made comparisons between the studies difficult. The evidence reviewed here demonstrates an incomplete picture regarding the toxicity (and safety) of GM products consumed by humans and animals. Therefore, each GM product should be assessed on merit, with appropriate studies performed to indicate the level of safety associated with them. Detailed guidelines should be developed which will allow for the generation of comparable and reproducible studies. This will establish a foundation for evidence-based guidelines, to better determine if GM food is safe for human and animal consumption. PMID:25244705

  10. Attitudes of European farmers towards GM crop adoption.

    PubMed

    Areal, Francisco J; Riesgo, Laura; Rodríguez-Cerezo, Emilio

    2011-12-01

    This article analyses European Union (EU) farmers' attitudes towards adoption of genetically modified crops by identifying and classifying groups of farmers. Cluster analysis provided two groups of farmers allowing us to classify farmers into potential adopters or rejecters of genetically modified herbicide-tolerant (GMHT) crops. Results showed that economic issues such as the guarantee of a higher income and the reduction of weed control costs are the most encouraging reasons for potential adopters and rejecters of GMHT crops. This article also examines how putting in place measures to ensure coexistence between GM and non-GM crops may influence farmers' attitudes towards GMHT crop adoption. Results show that the implementation of a coexistence policy would have a negative impact on farmers' attitudes on adoption and consequently may hamper GMHT adoption in the EU. PMID:21923717

  11. Public Acceptance of Plant Biotechnology and GM Crops.

    PubMed

    Lucht, Jan M

    2015-08-01

    A wide gap exists between the rapid acceptance of genetically modified (GM) crops for cultivation by farmers in many countries and in the global markets for food and feed, and the often-limited acceptance by consumers. This review contrasts the advances of practical applications of agricultural biotechnology with the divergent paths-also affecting the development of virus resistant transgenic crops-of political and regulatory frameworks for GM crops and food in different parts of the world. These have also shaped the different opinions of consumers. Important factors influencing consumer's attitudes are the perception of risks and benefits, knowledge and trust, and personal values. Recent political and societal developments show a hardening of the negative environment for agricultural biotechnology in Europe, a growing discussion-including calls for labeling of GM food-in the USA, and a careful development in China towards a possible authorization of GM rice that takes the societal discussions into account. New breeding techniques address some consumers' concerns with transgenic crops, but it is not clear yet how consumers' attitudes towards them will develop. Discussions about agriculture would be more productive, if they would focus less on technologies, but on common aims and underlying values. PMID:26264020

  12. Global Adoption of Genetically Modified (GM) Crops: Challenges for the Public Sector.

    PubMed

    Huesing, Joseph E; Andres, David; Braverman, Michael P; Burns, Andrea; Felsot, Allan S; Harrigan, George G; Hellmich, Richard L; Reynolds, Alan; Shelton, Anthony M; Jansen van Rijssen, Wilna; Morris, E Jane; Eloff, Jacobus N

    2016-01-20

    Advances in biotechnology continue to drive the development of a wide range of insect-protected, herbicide-tolerant, stress-tolerant, and nutritionally enhanced genetically modified (GM) crops, yet societal and public policy considerations may slow their commercialization. Such restrictions may disproportionately affect developing countries, as well as smaller entrepreneurial and public sector initiatives. The 2014 IUPAC International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry (San Francisco, CA, USA; August 2014) included a symposium on "Challenges Associated with Global Adoption of Agricultural Biotechnology" to review current obstacles in promoting GM crops. Challenges identified by symposium presenters included (i) poor public understanding of GM technology and the need for enhanced communication strategies, (ii) nonharmonized and prescriptive regulatory requirements, and (iii) limited experience with regulations and product development within some public sector programs. The need for holistic resistance management programs to enable the most effective use of insect-protected crops was also a point of emphasis. This paper provides details on the symposium discussion and provides background information that can be used in support of further adoption of beneficial GM crops. Overall, it emphasizes that global adoption of modern agricultural biotechnology has not only provided benefits to growers and consumers but has great potential to provide solutions to an increasing global population and diminishing agricultural land. This potential will be realized by continued scientific innovation, harmonized regulatory systems, and broader communication of the benefits of the high-yielding, disease-resistant, and nutritionally enhanced crops attainable through modern biotechnology. PMID:26751159

  13. Public Acceptance of Plant Biotechnology and GM Crops

    PubMed Central

    Lucht, Jan M.

    2015-01-01

    A wide gap exists between the rapid acceptance of genetically modified (GM) crops for cultivation by farmers in many countries and in the global markets for food and feed, and the often-limited acceptance by consumers. This review contrasts the advances of practical applications of agricultural biotechnology with the divergent paths—also affecting the development of virus resistant transgenic crops—of political and regulatory frameworks for GM crops and food in different parts of the world. These have also shaped the different opinions of consumers. Important factors influencing consumer’s attitudes are the perception of risks and benefits, knowledge and trust, and personal values. Recent political and societal developments show a hardening of the negative environment for agricultural biotechnology in Europe, a growing discussion—including calls for labeling of GM food—in the USA, and a careful development in China towards a possible authorization of GM rice that takes the societal discussions into account. New breeding techniques address some consumers’ concerns with transgenic crops, but it is not clear yet how consumers’ attitudes towards them will develop. Discussions about agriculture would be more productive, if they would focus less on technologies, but on common aims and underlying values. PMID:26264020

  14. Biotech/GM crops in horticulture: plum cv. HoneySweet resistant to plum pox virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Commercialization of Biotech crops started in 1995. By 2011, genetically modified (GM) crops were grown world-wide on 160 million ha. Only 114.507 ha of GM crops were grown in Europe, of that, 114.490 ha were Bt maize and 17 ha were potato for industrial starch production. Currently, developing c...

  15. Ethical arguments relevant to the use of GM crops.

    PubMed

    Weale, Albert

    2010-11-30

    The Nuffield Council on Bioethics (NCOB) has published two reports (1999 and 2004) on the social and ethical issues involved in the use of genetically modified crops. This presentation summarises their core ethical arguments. Five sets of ethical concerns have been raised about GM crops: potential harm to human health; potential damage to the environment; negative impact on traditional farming practice; excessive corporate dominance; and the 'unnaturalness' of the technology. The NCOB examined these claims in the light of the principle of general human welfare, the maintenance of human rights and the principle of justice. It concluded in relation to the issue of 'unnaturalness' that GM modification did not differ to such an extent from conventional breeding that it is in itself morally objectionable. In making an assessment of possible costs, benefits and risks, it was necessary to proceed on a case-by-case basis. However, the potential to bring about significant benefits in developing countries (improved nutrition, enhanced pest resistance, increased yields and new products) meant that there was an ethical obligation to explore these potential benefits responsibly, to contribute to the reduction of poverty, and improve food security and profitable agriculture in developing countries. NCOB held that these conclusions were consistent with any practical precautionary approach. In particular, in applying a precautionary approach the risks associated with the status quo need to be considered, as well as any risks inherent in the technology. These ethical requirements have implications for the governance of the technology, in particular mechanisms for enabling small-scale farmers to express their preferences for traits selected by plant breeders and mechanisms for the diffusion of risk-based evaluations. PMID:20850572

  16. GM crops, the environment and sustainable food production.

    PubMed

    Raven, Peter H

    2014-12-01

    Today, over 7.1 billion people rely on the earth's resources for sustenance, and nearly a billion people are malnourished, their minds and bodies unable to develop properly. Globally, population is expected to rise to more than 9 billion by 2050. Given the combined pressures of human population growth, the rapidly growing desire for increased levels of consumption, and the continued use of inappropriate technologies, it is not surprising that humans are driving organisms to extinction at an unprecedented rate. Many aspects of the sustainable functioning of the natural world are breaking down in the face of human-induced pressures including our individual and collective levels of consumption and our widespread and stubborn use of destructive technologies. Clearly, agriculture must undergo a redesign and be better and more effectively managed so as to contribute as well as possible to feeding people, while at the same time we strive to lessen the tragic loss of biodiversity and damage to all of its productive systems that the world is experiencing. For GM crops to be part of the solution, biosafety assessments should not be overly politically-driven or a burdensome impedance to delivering this technology broadly. Biosafety scientists and policy makers need to recognize the undeniable truth that inappropriate actions resulting in indecision also have negative consequences. It is no longer acceptable to delay the use of any strategy that is safe and will help us achieve the ability to feed the world's people. PMID:24150918

  17. Africa's inevitable walk to genetically modified (GM) crops: opportunities and challenges for commercialization.

    PubMed

    Okeno, James A; Wolt, Jeffrey D; Misra, Manjit K; Rodriguez, Lulu

    2013-01-25

    High relative poverty levels in Africa are attributed to the continent's under performing agriculture. Drought, low-yielding crop varieties, pests and diseases, poor soils, low fertilizer use, limited irrigation and lack of modern technologies are among the problems that plague African agriculture. Genetically modified (GM) crops may possess attributes that can help overcome some of these constraints, but have yet to be fully embraced in the mix of technology solutions for African agriculture. Cognizant of this, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Egypt are steadily growing GM crops on a commercial scale. Countries like Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda are increasingly field-testing these crops with the view to commercialize them. These countries show strong government support for GM technology. Progress by these first adopter nations provides an insight as to how GM crops are increasingly being viewed as one of the ways in which the continent can invigorate the agriculture sector and achieve food security. PMID:22985799

  18. Response to issues on GM agriculture in Africa: Are transgenic crops safe?

    PubMed

    Adenle, Ademola A

    2011-01-01

    The controversies surrounding transgenic crops, often called Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), call for a need to raise the level of public awareness of Genetic Modification (GM) technology in Africa. This should be accomplished by educating the public about the potential benefits and risks that may be associated with this new technology. In the last 15 years, GM crop producing countries have benefited from adoption of this new technology in the form of improved crop productivity, food security, and quality of life. The increased income to resource-poor farmers is a key benefit at the individual level especially as most countries using this technology are in the developing world, including three African countries (South Africa, Burkina Faso and Egypt). Despite clear benefits to countries and farmers who grow GMOs, many people are concerned about suspected potential risks associated with GMOs. This sparks debate as to whether GM technology should be adopted or not. Given the concerns regarding the safety of GMO products, thorough scientific investigation of safe application of GMOs is required. The objective of this paper is to respond to the issues of GM agriculture in Africa and some of the issues surrounding the adoption of GM crops between developed and developing countries. In this article, I analyse relevant papers relating to the adoption of GM technology particularly in developing countries including the few African countries that have adopted GM crops. The issues discussed span a wide range including: safety; potential benefits and risks; disputes between the United States of America (USA) and the European Union (EU) over adoption of GM crops with a focus on Africa continent. This article is concluded by summarising the issues raised and how GM technology can be adopted for agricultural development in Africa. PMID:21981823

  19. Assessment of the safety of foods derived from genetically modified (GM) crops.

    PubMed

    König, A; Cockburn, A; Crevel, R W R; Debruyne, E; Grafstroem, R; Hammerling, U; Kimber, I; Knudsen, I; Kuiper, H A; Peijnenburg, A A C M; Penninks, A H; Poulsen, M; Schauzu, M; Wal, J M

    2004-07-01

    This paper provides guidance on how to assess the safety of foods derived from genetically modified crops (GM crops); it summarises conclusions and recommendations of Working Group 1 of the ENTRANSFOOD project. The paper provides an approach for adapting the test strategy to the characteristics of the modified crop and the introduced trait, and assessing potential unintended effects from the genetic modification. The proposed approach to safety assessment starts with the comparison of the new GM crop with a traditional counterpart that is generally accepted as safe based on a history of human food use (the concept of substantial equivalence). This case-focused approach ensures that foods derived from GM crops that have passed this extensive test-regime are as safe and nutritious as currently consumed plant-derived foods. The approach is suitable for current and future GM crops with more complex modifications. First, the paper reviews test methods developed for the risk assessment of chemicals, including food additives and pesticides, discussing which of these methods are suitable for the assessment of recombinant proteins and whole foods. Second, the paper presents a systematic approach to combine test methods for the safety assessment of foods derived from a specific GM crop. Third, the paper provides an overview on developments in this area that may prove of use in the safety assessment of GM crops, and recommendations for research priorities. It is concluded that the combination of existing test methods provides a sound test-regime to assess the safety of GM crops. Advances in our understanding of molecular biology, biochemistry, and nutrition may in future allow further improvement of test methods that will over time render the safety assessment of foods even more effective and informative. PMID:15123382

  20. Applying a weed risk assessment approach to GM crops.

    PubMed

    Keese, Paul K; Robold, Andrea V; Myers, Ruth C; Weisman, Sarah; Smith, Joe

    2014-12-01

    Current approaches to environmental risk assessment of genetically modified (GM) plants are modelled on chemical risk assessment methods, which have a strong focus on toxicity. There are additional types of harms posed by plants that have been extensively studied by weed scientists and incorporated into weed risk assessment methods. Weed risk assessment uses robust, validated methods that are widely applied to regulatory decision-making about potentially problematic plants. They are designed to encompass a broad variety of plant forms and traits in different environments, and can provide reliable conclusions even with limited data. The knowledge and experience that underpin weed risk assessment can be harnessed for environmental risk assessment of GM plants. A case study illustrates the application of the Australian post-border weed risk assessment approach to a representative GM plant. This approach is a valuable tool to identify potential risks from GM plants. PMID:24046097

  1. Tanzanian farmers' knowledge and attitudes to GM biotechnology and the potential use of GM crops to provide improved levels of food security. A Qualitative Study

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Genetically Modified (GM) crops have been championed as one possible method to improve food security and individual nutritional status in sub Saharan Africa. Understanding and acceptability of GM crop technology to farmers and consumers have not been assessed. We developed a qualitative research study involving farmers as both producers and consumers to gauge the understanding of GM crop technology, its acceptability, and identifying issues of concern. Methods Nineteen individual interviews (10 male and 9 female) and five mixed gender focus group discussions with local farmers were conducted in 3 regions in Tanzania. Analysis took place concurrently with data collection. Following initial interviews, subsequent questions were adjusted based on emerging themes. Results Understanding, awareness and knowledge of GM crop technology and terminology and its potential risks and benefits was very poor in all regions. Receptivity to the potential use of GM crops was, however, high. Respondents focused on the potential benefits of GM crops rather than any potential longer term health risks. A number of factors, most significantly field trial data, would influence farmers' decisions regarding the introduction of GM crop varieties into their farming practice. Understanding of the potential improved health provision possible by changes in agricultural practice and food-related decision making, and the health benefits of a diet containing essential vitamins, minerals and micronutrients is also poor in these communities. Conclusion This study forms a basis from which further research work can be undertaken. It is important to continue to assess opinions and attitudes of farmers and consumers in sub Saharan Africa towards potential use of GM technologies whilst highlighting the importance of the relationship between agriculture, health and development. This will allow people in the region to make accurate, informed decisions about whether they believe use of GM

  2. GM crops and foods: what do consumers want to know?

    PubMed

    McHughen, Alan

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural biotechnology--GMOs--has a huge positive impact on farming and farmers but remains controversial among the skeptical public. Curious but anxious consumers, driven by scare stories and pseudo-science provided by anti-GMO activists, seek accurate and authoritative answers to their questions. Here, I address a sample of such queries directed to me from the public, including the ubiquitous "Is it safe?" and also discuss some of the shameful tactics used by anti-GM activists in the public debate to garner support at the cost of inciting unnecessary anxiety among the public. PMID:24051491

  3. Capitalizing on deliberate, accidental, and GM-driven environmental change caused by crop modification.

    PubMed

    Knox, Oliver G G; Walker, Robin L; Booth, Elaine J; Hall, Clare; Crossan, Angus N; Gupta, Vadakattu V S R

    2012-01-01

    The transgenic traits associated with the majority of commercial genetically modified crops are focused on improving herbicide and insecticide management practices. The use of the transgenic technology in these crops and the associated chemistry has been the basis of studies that provide evidence for occasional improvement in environmental benefits due to the use of less residual herbicides, more targeted pesticides, and reduced field traffic. This is nicely exemplified through studies using Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ) assessments. Whilst EIQ evaluations may sometimes illustrate environmental benefits they have their limitations. EIQ evaluations are not a surrogate for Environmental Risk Assessments and may not reflect real environmental interactions between crops and the environment. Addressing the impact cultivated plants have on the environment generally attracts little public attention and research funding, but the introduction of GM has facilitated an expansion of research to address potential environmental concerns from government, NGOs, industry, consumers, and growers. In this commentary, some evidence from our own research and several key papers that highlight EIQ assessments of the impact crops are having on the environment are presented. This information may be useful as an education tool on the potential benefits of GM and conventional farming. In addition, other deliberate, accidental, and GM-driven benefits derived from the examination of GM cropping systems is briefly discussed. PMID:22090440

  4. Regulatory challenges for GM crops in developing economies: the African experience.

    PubMed

    Nang'ayo, Francis; Simiyu-Wafukho, Stella; Oikeh, Sylvester O

    2014-12-01

    Globally, transgenic or genetically modified (GM) crops are considered regulated products that are subject to regulatory oversight during trans-boundary movement, testing and environmental release. In Africa, regulations for transgenic crops are based on the outcomes of the historic Earth Summit Conference held in Rio, Brazil two decades ago, namely, the adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the subsequent adoption of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. To exploit the potential benefits of transgenic crops while safeguarding the potential risks on human health and environment, most African countries have signed and ratified the CBD and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. Consequently, these countries are required to take appropriate legal, administrative and other measures to ensure that the handling and utilization of living modified organisms are undertaken in a manner that reduces the risks to humans and the environment. These countries are also expected to provide regulatory oversight on transgenic crops through functional national biosafety frameworks (NBFs). While in principle this approach is ideal, NBFs in most African countries are steeped in a host of policy, legal and operational challenges that appear to be at cross-purposes with the noble efforts of seeking to access, test and deliver promising GM crops for use by resource-limited farmers in Africa. In this paper we discuss the regulatory challenges faced during the development and commercialization of GM crops based on experiences from countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. PMID:24821674

  5. Unintended compositional changes in genetically modified (GM) crops: 20 years of research.

    PubMed

    Herman, Rod A; Price, William D

    2013-12-01

    The compositional equivalency between genetically modified (GM) crops and nontransgenic comparators has been a fundamental component of human health safety assessment for 20 years. During this time, a large amount of information has been amassed on the compositional changes that accompany both the transgenesis process and traditional breeding methods; additionally, the genetic mechanisms behind these changes have been elucidated. After two decades, scientists are encouraged to objectively assess this body of literature and determine if sufficient scientific uncertainty still exists to continue the general requirement for these studies to support the safety assessment of transgenic crops. It is concluded that suspect unintended compositional effects that could be caused by genetic modification have not materialized on the basis of this substantial literature. Hence, compositional equivalence studies uniquely required for GM crops may no longer be justified on the basis of scientific uncertainty. PMID:23414177

  6. Continents divided: Understanding differences between Europe and North America in acceptance of GM crops.

    PubMed

    Zilberman, David; Kaplan, Scott; Kim, Eunice; Hochman, Gal; Graff, Gregory

    2013-01-01

    The differences between GM policies in the US and Europe have several causes. GM technology holds a home court advantage in the US and European chemical companies did not support its introduction. The technology did not seem to provide benefits to consumers, and the crops it applied to were not so significant in Europe. The technology was introduced during a time when the political influence of green parties in Europe was especially significant, and European trust of government capacity to enter food security issues was at its lowest. PMID:24281195

  7. GM crop co-existence: a question of choice, not prejudice.

    PubMed

    Pearsall, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    The rapid uptake of biotech crops around the world demonstrates not only strong producer and consumer demand for the technology and its products, but also that where regulatory regimes function effectively and markets are allowed to operate as normal, co-existence between genetically modified (GM) and non-GM supply chains is readily achievable. However, the polarized debate over GMOs within the European Union over the past 15 years has resulted in a highly politicized and progressively impractical approach to the issue of GM crop co-existence, which in itself has become a further barrier to the technology's development. This article argues that co-existence should not be treated as a pro- or anti-GM issue, and that the aim of co-existence measures should be to permit consumer choice and freedom to operate whatever the production method involved. It suggests that supply chain-based solutions to co-existence, rather than Government prescription, offer the most pragmatic and flexible response to the commercial realities of servicing differentiated market demands. PMID:23988874

  8. Key global environmental impacts of genetically modified (GM) crop use 1996-2012.

    PubMed

    Barfoot, Peter; Brookes, Graham

    2014-01-01

    Against the background of increasing awareness and appreciation of issues such as global warming and the impact of mankind's activities such as agriculture on the global environment, this paper updates previous assessments of some key environmental impacts that crop biotechnology has had on global agriculture. It focuses on the environmental impacts associated with changes in pesticide use and greenhouse gas emissions arising from the use of GM crops. The adoption of the technology has reduced pesticide spraying by 503 million kg (-8.8%) and, as a result, decreased the environmental impact associated with herbicide and insecticide use on these crops (as measured by the indicator the Environmental Impact Quotient [EIQ]) by 18.7%. The technology has also facilitated a significant reduction in the release of greenhouse gas emissions from this cropping area, which, in 2012, was equivalent to removing 11.88 million cars from the roads. PMID:24637726

  9. Key environmental impacts of global genetically modified (GM) crop use 1996-2011.

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Given the increasing awareness and appreciation of issues such as global warming and the impact of mankind's activities such as agriculture on the global environment, this paper updates previous assessments of the environmental impact of an important and relatively new technology, crop biotechnology has had on global agriculture. It focuses on the environmental impacts associated with changes in pesticide use and greenhouse gas emissions arising from the use of GM crops. The adoption of the technology has reduced pesticide spraying by 474 million kg (-8.9%) and, as a result, decreased the environmental impact associated with herbicide and insecticide use on these crops [as measured by the indicator the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ)] by 18.1%. The technology has also facilitated a significant reduction in the release of greenhouse gas emissions from this cropping area, which, in 2011, was equivalent to removing 10.22 million cars from the roads. PMID:23635915

  10. Global income and production impacts of using GM crop technology 1996-2014.

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2016-01-01

    This paper provides an economic assessment of the value of using genetically modified (GM) crop technology in agriculture at the farm level. It follows and updates earlier annual studies which examined economic impacts on yields, key costs of production, direct farm income and effects, and impacts on the production base of the 4 main crops of soybeans, corn, cotton and canola. The commercialisation of GM crops has continued to occur at a rapid rate since the mid 1990s, with important changes in both the overall level of adoption and impact occurring in 2014. This annual updated analysis shows that there continues to be very significant net economic benefits at the farm level amounting to $17.7 billion in 2014 and $150.3 billion for the 19-year period 1996-2014 (in nominal terms). These economic gains have been divided roughly 50% each to farmers in developed and developing countries. About 65% of the gains have derived from yield and production gains with the remaining 35% coming from cost savings. The technology has also made important contributions to increasing global production levels of the 4 main crops, having, for example, added 158 million tonnes and 322 million tonnes respectively, to the global production of soybeans and maize since the introduction of the technology in the mid 1990s. PMID:27116697

  11. Global income and production impacts of using GM crop technology 1996-2013.

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2015-01-01

    This paper provides an economic assessment of the value of using genetically modified (GM) crop technology in agriculture at the farm level. It follows and updates earlier annual studies which examined economic impacts on yields, key costs of production, direct farm income and effects, and impacts on the production base of the 4 main crops of soybeans, corn, cotton and canola. The commercialisation of GM crops has continued to occur at a rapid rate since the mid 1990s, with important changes in both the overall level of adoption and impact occurring in 2013. This annual updated analysis shows that there continues to be very significant net economic benefits at the farm level amounting to $20.5 billion in 2013 and $133.4 billion for the 18 years period (in nominal terms). These economic gains have been divided roughly 50% each to farmers in developed and developing countries. About 70% of the gains have derived from yield and production gains with the remaining 30% coming from cost savings. The technology have also made important contributions to increasing global production levels of the 4 main crops, having added 138 million tonnes and 273 million tonnes respectively, to the global production of soybeans and maize since the introduction of the technology in the mid 1990s. PMID:25738324

  12. The global income and production effects of genetically modified (GM) crops 1996-2011.

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2013-01-01

    A key part of any assessment of the global value of crop biotechnology in agriculture is an examination of its economic impact at the farm level. This paper follows earlier annual studies which examined economic impacts on yields, key costs of production, direct farm income and effects and impacts on the production base of the four main crops of soybeans, corn, cotton and canola. The commercialization of genetically modified (GM) crops has continued to occur at a rapid rate, with important changes in both the overall level of adoption and impact occurring in 2011. This annual updated analysis shows that there have been very significant net economic benefits at the farm level amounting to $19.8 billion in 2011 and $98.2 billion for the 16 year period (in nominal terms). The majority (51.2%) of these gains went to farmers in developing countries. GM technology have also made important contributions to increasing global production levels of the four main crops, having added 110 million tonnes and 195 million tonnes respectively, to the global production of soybeans and maize since the introduction of the technology in the mid-1990s. PMID:23549349

  13. Economic impact of GM crops: the global income and production effects 1996-2012.

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2014-01-01

    A key part of any assessment of the global value of crop biotechnology in agriculture is an examination of its economic impact at the farm level. This paper follows earlier annual studies which examined economic impacts on yields, key costs of production, direct farm income and effects, and impacts on the production base of the four main crops of soybeans, corn, cotton and canola. The commercialization of genetically modified (GM) crops has continued to occur at a rapid rate, with important changes in both the overall level of adoption and impact occurring in 2012. This annual updated analysis shows that there have been very significant net economic benefits at the farm level amounting to $18.8 billion in 2012 and $116.6 billion for the 17-year period (in nominal terms). These economic gains have been divided roughly 50% each to farmers in developed and developing countries. GM technology have also made important contributions to increasing global production levels of the four main crops, having added 122 million tonnes and 230 million tonnes respectively, to the global production of soybeans and maize since the introduction of the technology in the mid-1990s. PMID:24637520

  14. Government regulation and public opposition create high additional costs for field trials with GM crops in Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Bernauer, Thomas; Tribaldos, Theresa; Luginbühl, Carolin; Winzeler, Michael

    2011-12-01

    Field trials with GM crops are not only plant science experiments. They are also social experiments concerning the implications of government imposed regulatory constraints and public opposition for scientific activity. We assess these implications by estimating additional costs due to government regulation and public opposition in a recent set of field trials in Switzerland. We find that for every Euro spent on research, an additional 78 cents were spent on security, an additional 31 cents on biosafety, and an additional 17 cents on government regulatory supervision. Hence the total additional spending due to government regulation and public opposition was around 1.26 Euros for every Euro spent on the research per se. These estimates are conservative; they do not include additional costs that are hard to monetize (e.g. stakeholder information and dialogue activities, involvement of various government agencies). We conclude that further field experiments with GM crops in Switzerland are unlikely unless protected sites are set up to reduce these additional costs. PMID:21279684

  15. Environmental impacts of genetically modified (GM) crop use 1996-2014: Impacts on pesticide use and carbon emissions.

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2016-04-01

    This paper updates previous assessments of important environmental impacts associated with using crop biotechnology in global agriculture. It focuses on the environmental impacts associated with changes in pesticide use and greenhouse gas emissions arising from the use of GM crops since their first widespread commercial use in the mid 1990s. The adoption of GM insect resistant and herbicide tolerant technology has reduced pesticide spraying by 581.4 million kg (-8.2%) and, as a result, decreased the environmental impact associated with herbicide and insecticide use on these crops (as measured by the indicator, the Environmental Impact Quotient [EIQ]) by18.5%. The technology has also facilitated important cuts in fuel use and tillage changes, resulting in a significant reduction in the release of greenhouse gas emissions from the GM cropping area. In 2014, this was equivalent to removing nearly 10 million cars from the roads. PMID:27253265

  16. Environmental impacts of genetically modified (GM) crop use 1996-2013: Impacts on pesticide use and carbon emissions.

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2015-01-01

    This paper updates previous assessments of how crop biotechnology has changed the environmental impact of global agriculture. It focuses on the environmental impacts associated with changes in pesticide use and greenhouse gas emissions arising from the use of GM crops since their first widespread commercial use in the mid 1990s. The adoption of GM insect resistant and herbicide tolerant technology has reduced pesticide spraying by 553 million kg (-8.6%) and, as a result, decreased the environmental impact associated with herbicide and insecticide use on these crops (as measured by the indicator the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ)) by 19.1%. The technology has also facilitated important cuts in fuel use and tillage changes, resulting in a significant reduction in the release of greenhouse gas emissions from the GM cropping area. In 2013, this was equivalent to removing 12.4 million cars from the roads. PMID:25760405

  17. Crop protection by seed coating.

    PubMed

    Ehsanfar, S; Modarres-Sanavy, S A M

    2005-01-01

    Providence of sufficient and healthy food for increasing human population clears the importance of notice to increasing crop production in company with environmental loss reduction. Growth and yield of every plant with sexual reproduction, depends on germination & emergence of sown seeds. Seed is a small alive plant that its biological function is protection and nutrition of embryo. Biological, chemical and physiological characteristics of seed, affect on plant performance & its resistance to undesirable environmental conditions, and even on its total yield. So attention to seed and try to increase its performance is so important. One of the factors that cause reduction in germination percentage and seedling establishment, is seed disease. It's possible to control these diseases by treating the seed before planting it. Coating the seed with pesticides, is one of the ways to gain this goal. Seed coating is a technique in which several material as fertilizers, nutritional elements, moisture attractive or repulsive agents, plant growth regulators, rhizobium inocolum, chemical & pesticide etc, add to seed by adhesive agents and cause to increase seed performance and germination. Seed coating, leads to increase benefits in seed industry, because seeds can use all of their genetic vigor. This technique is used for seeds of many garden plants, valuable crops (such as corn, sunflower, canola, alfalfa,...) and some of the grasses. In this technique that was first used in coating cereal seeds in 1930, a thin and permeable layer of pesticide is stuck on seed surface and prevent damage of seedborn pathogens. This layer is melted or splited after absorption of moisture and suitable temperature by seed, and let the radical to exit the seed. In this approach materials are used accurately with seed, evaporation & leakage of pesticide and also adverse effects of some pesticides on seeds are diminished, and these factors cause to increase the accuracy and performance of pesticide

  18. Application of GM crops in Sub-Saharan Africa: lessons learned from Green Revolution.

    PubMed

    Bazuin, Sjoerd; Azadi, Hossein; Witlox, Frank

    2011-01-01

    While the Green Revolution has been successful in some regions like South and East Asia, it could hardly address any achievement in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This paper tries to draw a picture on lessons learned from the failures of this revolution that should be taken into account before implementing the so-called Gene Revolution in the SSA region. After scrutinizing the failures and the pros and cons of GM crops in the region, the paper introduces some potentials for improving the malnutrition situation in SSA through launching a successful GM technology. However, it remains doubtful whether this technology can improve the situation of small-scale farmers as long as they receive no financial support from their national governments. Therefore, before any intervention, the socio-economic and environmental impacts of GM technology need to be carefully addressed in the framework of a series of risk assessment studies. Besides, some sort of multi-stakeholder dialog (from small-scale farmers to consumers) involving public-private sector and non-governmental organizations should be heated up at both national and regional levels with regard to the myths and truths of this technology. PMID:21813087

  19. The present status of commercialized and developed biotech (GM) crops, results of evaluation of plum 'HoneySweet" for resistance to plum pox virus in the Czech Republic

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Commercialization of biotech (GM) crops started in 1996. A significant increase of 9 million hectars was realized in 1996-2009. In the years 2010-2011, it was already 12 million hectars (8 percent of total crop area). 16.7 million farmers in 29 countries planted 160 million hectars of GM crops in...

  20. Experiences in sub-Saharan Africa with GM crop risk communication: outcome of a workshop.

    PubMed

    Racovita, Monica; Obonyo, Dennis Ndolo; Abdallah, Roshan; Anguzu, Robert; Bamwenda, Gratian; Kiggundu, Andrew; Maganga, Harrison; Muchiri, Nancy; Nzeduru, Chinyere; Otadoh, Jane; Rumjaun, Anwar; Suleiman, Iro; Sunil, Manjusha; Tepfer, Mark; Timpo, Samuel; van der Walt, Wynand; Kaboré-Zoungrana, Chantal; Nfor, Lilian; Craig, Wendy

    2013-01-01

    In tackling agricultural challenges, policy-makers in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have increasingly considered genetically modified (GM) crops as a potential tool to increase productivity and to improve product quality. Yet, as elsewhere in the world, the adoption of GM crops in SSA has been marked by controversy, encompassing not only the potential risks to animal and human health, and to the environment, but also other concerns such as ethical issues, public participation in decision-making, socio-economic factors and intellectual property rights. With these non-scientific factors complicating an already controversial situation, disseminating credible information to the public as well as facilitating stakeholder input into decision-making is essential. In SSA, there are various and innovative risk communication approaches and strategies being developed, yet a comprehensive analysis of such data is missing. This gap is addressed by giving an overview of current strategies, identifying similarities and differences between various country and institutional approaches and promoting a way forward, building on a recent workshop with risk communicators working in SSA. PMID:23090016

  1. Experience with environmental issues in GM crop production and the likely future scenarios.

    PubMed

    Gaugitsch, Helmut

    2002-02-28

    In the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, standards for risk assessment of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been set. The criteria and information basis for the risk assessment of GMOs have been modified by the EU Directive 2001/18/EC. Various approaches to further improve the criteria for environmental risk assessment of GMOs are described in this study. Reports on the ecological impacts of the cultivation of certain non-transgenic crop plants with novel or improved traits as analogy models to transgenic plants showed that the effects of agricultural practice can be at least equally important as the effects of gene transfer and invasiveness, although the latter currently play a major role in risk assessment of transgenic crops. Based on these results the applicability of the methodology of 'Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)' for genetically modified plants in comparison with conventionally bred and organically grown crop plants was evaluated. The methodology was regarded as applicable with some necessary future improvements. In current projects, the assessment of toxicology and allergenicity of GM crops are analysed, and suggestions for standardization are developed. Based on results and recommendations from these efforts there are still the challenges of how to operationalize the precautionary principle and how to take into account ecologically sensitive ecosystems, including centres of origin and centres of genetic diversity. PMID:12052677

  2. Protective effects of GM-CSF in experimental neonatal hypothyroidism.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, R G; Abdel-Latif, M; Ahmed, F

    2015-12-01

    Hypothyroidism induced by methimazole (MMI), has a negative impact on the postnatal development. Neonatal Granulocyte Macrophage-Colony Stimulating Factor [GM-CSF; 50μg/kg, intramuscular injection at postnatal day (PND) 17] had been tested to ameliorate the effects of MMI [0.05%, (weight per volume; w/v), intraperitoneal injection at PND 15]-induced hypothyroidism in Wistar rats. The hypothyroid conditions due to the administration of MMI produced inhibitory effects on neonatal serum thyroxine (T4), 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3), neutrophil count in bone marrow and blood, cerebellar glutathione (GSH) and acetylcholinesterase (AchE), although it induced stimulatory actions on serum thyrotropin (TSH), growth hormone (GH), insulin growth factor-II (IGF-II), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and cerebellar malondialdehyde (MDA) at PND 19. The treatment with GM-CSF could reverse the depressing and stimulating effects of MMI on these markers except for cerebellar AchE where its enhancement was non-significant (P>0.05) at tested PND. Thus, neonatal GM-CSF may be responsible for suppressing autoimmune responses and preventing hypothyroidism. PMID:26453507

  3. Innovation in Crop Protection: Trends in Research.

    PubMed

    Stetter; Lieb

    2000-05-15

    In the absence of the remarkable levels of growth in the yields of important crops, neither the rapid increase in living standards in industrialized countries nor the adequate standard of nutrition for the greater part of the world's population would have been possible. Alongside high-yielding varieties, improved agricultural techniques, and rapid mechanization, the chemical industry has also contributed substantially to progress in agriculture since roughly the middle of the nineteenth century. From the chemists "kitchens" came two "magic weapons": artificial fertilisers and chemical agents for crop protection. Today both have become indispensable to modern yield- and quality-orientated agriculture. This review spans the development of the crop-protection industry from its earliest beginnings to the present day and attempts to portray how the research-based crop-protection industry is prepared for current and future challenges. Considerable space is thus dedicated to the discussion of trends in research. PMID:10934351

  4. Natural Products in Crop Protection

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The success of modern agricultural practices is due in part to discovery and adoption of chemicals for pest control. Indeed, the tremendous increase in crop yields associated with the ‘green’ revolution would not have been achieved without the contribution of these synthetic compounds. The abundance...

  5. Protection against Experimental Stroke by Ganglioside GM1 Is Associated with the Inhibition of Autophagy

    PubMed Central

    Li, Li; Tian, Jinghua; Long, Mitchell King-Wei; Chen, Yong; Lu, Jianfei; Zhou, Changman; Wang, Tianlong

    2016-01-01

    Ganglioside GM1, which is particularly abundant in the central nervous system (CNS), is closely associated with the protection against several CNS disorders. However, controversial findings have been reported on the role of GM1 following ischemic stroke. In the present study, using a rat middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model, we investigated whether GM1 can protect against ischemic brain injury and whether it targets the autophagy pathway. GM1 was delivered to Sprague-Dawley male rats at 3 doses (25 mg/kg, 50 mg/kg, 100 mg/kg) by intraperitoneal injection soon after reperfusion and then once daily for 2 days. The same volume of saline was given as a control. Tat–Beclin-1, a specific autophagy inducer, was administered by intraperitoneal injection at 24 and 48 hours post-MCAO. Infarction volume, mortality and neurological function were assessed at 72 hours after ischemic insult. Immunofluorescence and Western blotting were performed to determine the expression of autophagy-related proteins P62, LC3 and Beclin-1 in the penumbra area. No significant changes in mortality and physiological variables (heart rate, blood glucose levels and arterial blood gases) were observed between the different groups. However, MCAO resulted in enhanced conversion of LC3-I into LC3-II, P62 degradation, high levels of Beclin-1, a large area infarction (26.3±3.6%) and serious neurobehavioral deficits. GM1 (50 mg/kg) treatment significantly reduced the autophagy activation, neurobehavioral dysfunctions, and infarction volume (from 26.3% to 19.5%) without causing significant adverse side effects. However, this biological function could be abolished by Tat–Beclin-1. In conclusion: GM1 demonstrated safe and robust neuroprotective effects that are associated with the inhibition of autophagy following experimental stroke. PMID:26751695

  6. GM-CSF provides autocrine protection for murine alveolar epithelial cells from oxidant-induced mitochondrial injury.

    PubMed

    Sturrock, Anne; Seedahmed, Elfateh; Mir-Kasimov, Mustafa; Boltax, Jonathan; McManus, Michael L; Paine, Robert

    2012-02-01

    Exposure of mice to hyperoxia induces alveolar epithelial cell (AEC) injury, acute lung injury and death. Overexpression of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in the lung protects against these effects, although the mechanisms are not yet clear. Hyperoxia induces cellular injury via effects on mitochondrial integrity, associated with induction of proapoptotic members of the Bcl-2 family. We hypothesized that GM-CSF protects AEC through effects on mitochondrial integrity. MLE-12 cells (a murine type II cell line) and primary murine type II AEC were subjected to oxidative stress by exposure to 80% oxygen and by exposure to H(2)O(2). Exposure to H(2)O(2) induced cytochrome c release and decreased mitochondrial reductase activity in MLE-12 cells. Incubation with GM-CSF significantly attenuated these effects. Protection induced by GM-CSF was associated with Akt activation. GM-CSF treatment also resulted in increased expression of the antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family member, Mcl-1. Primary murine AEC were significantly more tolerant of oxidative stress than MLE-12 cells. In contrast to MLE-12 cells, primary AEC expressed significant GM-CSF at baseline and demonstrated constitutive activation of Akt and increased baseline expression of Mcl-1. Treatment with exogenous GM-CSF further increased Akt activation and Mcl-1 expression in primary AEC. Conversely, suppression of AEC GM-CSF expression by use of GM-CSF-specific small interfering RNA resulted in decreased tolerance of oxidative stress, Furthermore, silencing of Mcl-1 prevented GM-CSF-induced protection. We conclude that GM-CSF protects alveolar epithelial cells against oxidative stress-induced mitochondrial injury via the Akt pathway and its downstream components, including Mcl-1. Epithelial cell-derived GM-CSF may contribute to intrinsic defense mechanisms limiting lung injury. PMID:22140071

  7. Africa needs streamlined regulation to support the deployment of GM crops.

    PubMed

    Atkinson, Howard J; Roderick, Hugh; Tripathi, Leena

    2015-08-01

    Future food security in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) requires enhancement of its crop production. Transgenic crops with a poverty focus can enhance harvests and are available for staples such as cooking bananas and plantains. One constraint is optimisation of national biosafety processes to support rapid and safe uptake of such beneficial crops. PMID:26194465

  8. Assessment of possible allergenicity of hypothetical ORFs in common food crops using current bioinformatic guidelines and its implications for the safety assessment of GM crops.

    PubMed

    Young, Gregory J; Zhang, Shiping; Mirsky, Henry P; Cressman, Robert F; Cong, Bin; Ladics, Gregory S; Zhong, Cathy X

    2012-10-01

    Before a genetically modified (GM) crop can be commercialized it must pass through a rigorous regulatory process to verify that it is safe for human and animal consumption, and to the environment. One particular area of focus is the potential introduction of a known or cross-reactive allergen not previously present within the crop. The assessment of possible allergenicity uses the guidelines outlined by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization's (WHO) Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) to evaluate all newly expressed proteins. Some regulatory authorities have broadened the scope of the assessment to include all DNA reading frames between stop codons across the insert and spanning the insert/genomic DNA junctions. To investigate the utility of this bioinformatic assessment, all naturally occurring stop-to-stop frames in the non-transgenic genomes of maize, rice, and soybean, as well as the human genome, were compared against the AllergenOnline (www.allergenonline.org) database using the Codex criteria. We discovered thousands of frames that exceeded the Codex defined threshold for potential cross-reactivity suggesting that evaluating hypothetical ORFs (stop-to-stop frames) has questionable value for making decisions on the safety of GM crops. PMID:22867756

  9. The present state of research and exploitation of biotech (GM) crops in horticulture: results of research on plum cv. 'HoneySweet' resistant to plum pox virus (Sharka) and the deregulation of this cultivar in the CR & Europe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Gentically modified (GM) crops were grown world-wide on 160 million ha in 2011. Only 114.57 ha of GM crops were grown in Europe, of that, 114.90 ha were Bt maize and 17 ha were potato for industrial starch production. Commercialization of Biotech crops started in 1995. Currently, developing count...

  10. The Japanese experience with the Blue Book and subsequent activities in environmental biosafety of GM crops.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Kenichi

    2006-01-01

    The Blue Book made a big contribution to the development of the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) guidelines established in 1991 for almost all of the basic issues. However, the MAFF guidelines could not sufficiently cover some important areas that the Blue Book addressed well, such as potential consequences. This gap has been recovered substantially by a new law established in 2003. Japan still faces several important issues, including assessment of stacked products, potential consequences, comparative assessment, assessment of imported GM commodities and movement of concerned groups. PMID:17640516

  11. Potential damage of GM crops to the country image of the producing country.

    PubMed

    Knight, John G; Clark, Allyson; Mather, Damien W

    2013-01-01

    Frequently heard within New Zealand are arguments that release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the environment will harm the "clean green" image of the country, and therefore do irreparable harm to export markets for food products and also to the New Zealand tourism industry. But where is the evidence? To investigate the likelihood of harmful effects on New Zealand's clean green image in relation to food exports, we have previously used face-to-face interviews with gatekeepers in the food distribution channel in five countries in Europe, in China, and in India. To investigate potential impacts on the New Zealand tourism sector, we have surveyed first-time visitors to New Zealand at Auckland International Airport soon after arrival. We conclude that it is highly unlikely that introduction of GM plants into New Zealand would have any long-term deleterious effect on perceptions in overseas markets of food products sourced from New Zealand. Furthermore it is highly unlikely that New Zealand's image as a tourist destination would suffer if GM plants were introduced. PMID:24002524

  12. Insecticide use and crop selection in regions with high GM adoption rates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    South Dakota has recently experienced a significant increase in the proportion of acres treated with insecticide. Unfortunately, data on insecticide usage by crop at the county level is not available. The following case study seeks to uncover the reasons for this increase by analyzing county-leve...

  13. Micrometeorological principles of protected cultivation for fruit crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Protected cultivation is a broad term commonly used among producers of specialty crops. Techniques can range from complex fixed structures to field site selection, to straightforward cultural practices in the field. This introduction to the ASHS workshop "Protected cultivation for fruit crops" consi...

  14. Compositional analysis of genetically modified (GM) crops: key issues and future needs.

    PubMed

    Hoekenga, Owen A; Srinivasan, Jannavi; Barry, Gerard; Bartholomaeus, Andrew

    2013-09-01

    Effective symposia need two strong legs to stand upon: informative presentations of recent research paired with lively discussion of these topics. Although it is easy for the organizers of a symposium to predict the usefulness of the former, as they select the speakers and their topic areas, guaranteeing productive discussion is a far more difficult task. For the Crop Composition Workshop sponsored by the International Life Sciences Institute's Committee on Food and Biotechnology (ILSI IFBIC), the organizers scheduled four roundtable discussions with preselected questions and with rapporteurs drawn from governmental organizations and public-sector research institutes (the authors). It was also the organizers' intent to let these discussions flow on the basis of the experiences of the participants and pressing issues within the overall debate on the role of crop compositional analysis within safety assessment of biotechnology as it exists now and in the future. The goal of this perspective is to summarize the issues raised, providing references when possible, and to describe the consensus statements reached through the course of these discussions. PMID:23746303

  15. Pleural innate response activator B cells protect against pneumonia via a GM-CSF-IgM axis.

    PubMed

    Weber, Georg F; Chousterman, Benjamin G; Hilgendorf, Ingo; Robbins, Clinton S; Theurl, Igor; Gerhardt, Louisa M S; Iwamoto, Yoshiko; Quach, Tam D; Ali, Muhammad; Chen, John W; Rothstein, Thomas L; Nahrendorf, Matthias; Weissleder, Ralph; Swirski, Filip K

    2014-06-01

    Pneumonia is a major cause of mortality worldwide and a serious problem in critical care medicine, but the immunophysiological processes that confer either protection or morbidity are not completely understood. We show that in response to lung infection, B1a B cells migrate from the pleural space to the lung parenchyma to secrete polyreactive emergency immunoglobulin M (IgM). The process requires innate response activator (IRA) B cells, a transitional B1a-derived inflammatory subset which controls IgM production via autocrine granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) signaling. The strategic location of these cells, coupled with the capacity to produce GM-CSF-dependent IgM, ensures effective early frontline defense against bacteria invading the lungs. The study describes a previously unrecognized GM-CSF-IgM axis and positions IRA B cells as orchestrators of protective IgM immunity. PMID:24821911

  16. Performing IgE serum testing due to bioinformatics matches in the allergenicity assessment of GM crops.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Richard E

    2008-10-01

    Proteins introduced into genetically modified (GM) organisms through genetic engineering must be evaluated for their potential to cause allergic disease under various national laws and regulations. The Codex Alimentarius Commission guidance document (2003) calls for testing of serum IgE binding to the introduced protein if the gene was from an allergenic source, or the sequence of the transferred protein has >35% identity in any segment of 80 or more amino acids to a known allergen or shares significant short amino acid identities. The Codex guidance recognized that the assessment will evolve based on new scientific knowledge. Arguably, the current criteria are too conservative as discussed in this paper and they do not provide practical guidance on serum testing. The goals of this paper are: (1) to summarize evidence supporting the level of identity that indicates potential risk of cross-reactivity for those with existing allergies; (2) to provide example bioinformatics results and discuss their interpretation using published examples of proteins expressed in transgenic crops; and (3) to discuss key factors of experimental design and methodology for serum IgE tests to minimize the rate of false negative and false positive identification of potential allergens and cross-reactive proteins. PMID:18715545

  17. Increased occurrence of pesticide residues on crops grown in protected environments compared to crops grown in open field conditions.

    PubMed

    Allen, Gina; Halsall, Crispin J; Ukpebor, Justina; Paul, Nigel D; Ridall, Gareth; Wargent, Jason J

    2015-01-01

    Crops grown under plastic-clad structures or in greenhouses may be prone to an increased frequency of pesticide residue detections and higher concentrations of pesticides relative to equivalent crops grown in the open field. To test this we examined pesticide data for crops selected from the quarterly reports (2004-2009) of the UK's Pesticide Residue Committee. Five comparison crop pairs were identified whereby one crop of each pair was assumed to have been grown primarily under some form of physical protection ('protected') and the other grown primarily in open field conditions ('open'). For each pair, the number of detectable pesticide residues and the proportion of crop samples containing pesticides were statistically compared (n=100 s samples for each crop). The mean concentrations of selected photolabile pesticides were also compared. For the crop pairings of cabbage ('open') vs. lettuce ('protected') and 'berries' ('open') vs. strawberries ('protected') there was a significantly higher number of pesticides and proportion of samples with multiple residues for the protected crops. Statistically higher concentrations of pesticides, including cypermethrin, cyprodinil, fenhexamid, boscalid and iprodione were also found in the protected crops compared to the open crops. The evidence here demonstrates that, in general, the protected crops possess a higher number of detectable pesticides compared to analogous crops grown in the open. This may be due to different pesticide-use regimes, but also due to slower rates of pesticide removal in protected systems. The findings of this study raise implications for pesticide management in protected-crop systems. PMID:25465948

  18. GM1 monosialoganglioside pretreatment protects against soman-induced seizure-related brain damage.

    PubMed

    Ballough, G P; Cann, F J; Smith, C D; Forster, J S; Kling, C E; Filbert, M G

    1998-05-01

    The effects of GM1 monosialoganglioside pretreatment on brain damage resulting from soman-induced seizure activity were examined in this study. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were infused with GM1 via an osmotic minipump connected through a permanent cannula implanted intracerebroventricularly and challenged with soman (83 micrograms/kg, i.e., 1.25 x LD50) 4 d after initiation of GM1 infusion. Electrocorticographic recordings were monitored via indwelling cortical electrodes. Twenty-seven hours after soman administration, anesthetized rats were euthanized via transcardial perfusion with buffered paraformaldehyde. Brains were processed for hematoxylin and eosin (H&E), cresyl violet (CV), and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) histochemistry, and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) immunohistochemistry. All soman-challenged rats not infused with GM1 (n = 14) developed status epilepticus (SE). PMID:9778643

  19. Dealing with transgene flow of crop protection traits from crops to their relatives.

    PubMed

    Gressel, Jonathan

    2015-05-01

    Genes regularly move within species, to/from crops, as well as to their con- specific progenitors, feral and weedy forms ('vertical' gene flow). Genes occasionally move to/from crops and their distantly related, hardly sexually interbreeding relatives, within a genus or among closely related genera (diagonal gene flow). Regulators have singled out transgene flow as an issue, yet non-transgenic herbicide resistance traits pose equal problems, which cannot be mitigated. The risks are quite different from genes flowing to natural (wild) ecosystems versus ruderal and agroecosystems. Transgenic herbicide resistance poses a major risk if introgressed into weedy relatives; disease and insect resistance less so. Technologies have been proposed to contain genes within crops (chloroplast transformation, male sterility) that imperfectly prevent gene flow by pollen to the wild. Containment does not prevent related weeds from pollinating crops. Repeated backcrossing with weeds as pollen parents results in gene establishment in the weeds. Transgenic mitigation relies on coupling crop protection traits in a tandem construct with traits that lower the fitness of the related weeds. Mitigation traits can be morphological (dwarfing, no seed shatter) or chemical (sensitivity to a chemical used later in a rotation). Tandem mitigation traits are genetically linked and will move together. Mitigation traits can also be spread by inserting them in multicopy transposons which disperse faster than the crop protection genes in related weeds. Thus, there are gene flow risks mainly to weeds from some crop protection traits; risks that can and should be dealt with. PMID:24977384

  20. GM-CSF and IL-2 induce specific cellular immunity and provide protection against Epstein-Barr virus lymphoproliferative disorder.

    PubMed

    Baiocchi, R A; Ward, J S; Carrodeguas, L; Eisenbeis, C F; Peng, R; Roychowdhury, S; Vourganti, S; Sekula, T; O'Brien, M; Moeschberger, M; Caligiuri, M A

    2001-09-01

    Epstein-Barr virus-associated lymphoproliferative disease (EBV-LPD) is a potentially life-threatening complication in immune-deficient patients. We have used the severe combined immune deficient (SCID) mouse engrafted with human leukocytes (hu-PBL-SCID) to evaluate the use of human cytokines in the prevention of EBV-LPD in vivo. Daily low-dose IL-2 therapy can prevent EBV-LPD in the hu-PBL-SCID mouse, but protection is lost if murine natural killer (NK) cells are depleted. Here we demonstrate that combined therapy with human GM-CSF and low-dose IL-2 is capable of preventing EBV-LPD in the hu-PBL-SCID mouse in the absence of murine NK cells. Lymphocyte depletion experiments showed that human NK cells, CD8(+) T cells, and monocytes were each required for the protective effects of GM-CSF and IL-2 combination therapy. This treatment resulted in a marked expansion of human CD3(+)CD8(+) lymphocytes in vivo. Using HLA tetramers complexed with EBV immunodominant peptides, a subset of these lymphocytes was found to be EBV-specific. These data establish that combined GM-CSF and low-dose IL-2 therapy can prevent the immune deficiencies that lead to fatal EBV-LPD in the hu-PBL-SCID mouse depleted of murine NK cells, and they point to a critical role for several human cellular subsets in mediating this protective effect. PMID:11560958

  1. GM-CSF and IL-2 induce specific cellular immunity and provide protection against Epstein-Barr virus lymphoproliferative disorder

    PubMed Central

    Baiocchi, Robert A.; Ward, Jacqueline S.; Carrodeguas, Lester; Eisenbeis, Charles F.; Peng, Ruoqi; Roychowdhury, Sameek; Vourganti, Srinivas; Sekula, Taryn; O’Brien, Maggie; Moeschberger, Melvin; Caligiuri, Michael A.

    2001-01-01

    Epstein-Barr virus–associated lymphoproliferative disease (EBV-LPD) is a potentially life-threatening complication in immune-deficient patients. We have used the severe combined immune deficient (SCID) mouse engrafted with human leukocytes (hu-PBL-SCID) to evaluate the use of human cytokines in the prevention of EBV-LPD in vivo. Daily low-dose IL-2 therapy can prevent EBV-LPD in the hu-PBL-SCID mouse, but protection is lost if murine natural killer (NK) cells are depleted. Here we demonstrate that combined therapy with human GM-CSF and low-dose IL-2 is capable of preventing EBV-LPD in the hu-PBL-SCID mouse in the absence of murine NK cells. Lymphocyte depletion experiments showed that human NK cells, CD8+ T cells, and monocytes were each required for the protective effects of GM-CSF and IL-2 combination therapy. This treatment resulted in a marked expansion of human CD3+CD8+ lymphocytes in vivo. Using HLA tetramers complexed with EBV immunodominant peptides, a subset of these lymphocytes was found to be EBV-specific. These data establish that combined GM-CSF and low-dose IL-2 therapy can prevent the immune deficiencies that lead to fatal EBV-LPD in the hu-PBL-SCID mouse depleted of murine NK cells, and they point to a critical role for several human cellular subsets in mediating this protective effect. PMID:11560958

  2. Induction of leukocyte infiltration at metastatic site mediates the protective effect of NGcGM3-based vaccine

    PubMed Central

    Labrada, Mayrel; Pablos, Isabel; Prete, Francesca; Hevia, Giselle; Clavell, Marilyn; Benvenuti, Federica; Fernández, Luis E

    2014-01-01

    While the NGcGM3/VSSP vaccine, a preparation consisting in very small sized proteoliposomes (VSSP) obtained by the incorporation of the NGcGM3 ganglioside into the outer membrane protein (OMP) complex of Neisseria meningitides, is currently studied in late stage clinical trials in breast cancer and melanoma patients, mechanisms involved in the vaccine’s antitumor effect are insufficiently understood. Here we have addressed the role of adaptive and innate immune cells in mediating the protective effect of the vaccine. To this aim we selected the 3LL-D122 Lewis lung spontaneous metastasis model. Unexpectedly, inoculation of the vaccine in tumor bearing C57BL/6 mice, either by subcutaneous (sc) or intraperitoneal (ip) routes, induced similar anti-metastatic effect. Regardless the T-independent nature of NGcGM3 ganglioside as antigen, the antimetastatic effect of NGcGM3/VSSP is dependent on CD4+ T cells. In a further step we found that the vaccine was able to promote the increase, maturation, and cytokine secretion of conventional DCs and the maturation of Bone Marrow-derived plasmacytoid DCs. In line with this result the in vivo IFNα serum level in ip vaccinated mice increased as soon as 2h after treatment. On the other hand the infiltration of NK1.1+CD3- and NK1.1+CD3+ cells in lungs of vaccinated mice was significantly increased, compared with the presence of these cells in control animal lungs. In the same way NGcGM3/VSSP mobilized acquired immunity effector cells into the lungs of vaccinated tumor bearing mice. Finally and not less noteworthy, leukocyte infiltration in lungs of tumor bearing mice correlates with vaccine induced inhibition of lung metastization. PMID:25424937

  3. Induction of leukocyte infiltration at metastatic site mediates the protective effect of NGcGM3-based vaccine.

    PubMed

    Labrada, Mayrel; Pablos, Isabel; Prete, Francesca; Hevia, Giselle; Clavell, Marilyn; Benvenuti, Federica; Fernández, Luis E

    2014-01-01

    While the NGcGM3/VSSP vaccine, a preparation consisting in very small sized proteoliposomes (VSSP) obtained by the incorporation of the NGcGM3 ganglioside into the outer membrane protein (OMP) complex of Neisseria meningitides, is currently studied in late stage clinical trials in breast cancer and melanoma patients, mechanisms involved in the vaccine's antitumor effect are insufficiently understood. Here we have addressed the role of adaptive and innate immune cells in mediating the protective effect of the vaccine. To this aim we selected the 3LL-D122 Lewis lung spontaneous metastasis model. Unexpectedly, inoculation of the vaccine in tumor bearing C57BL/6 mice, either by subcutaneous (sc) or intraperitoneal (ip) routes, induced similar anti-metastatic effect. Regardless the T-independent nature of NGcGM3 ganglioside as antigen, the antimetastatic effect of NGcGM3/VSSP is dependent on CD4(+) T cells. In a further step we found that the vaccine was able to promote the increase, maturation, and cytokine secretion of conventional DCs and the maturation of Bone Marrow-derived plasmacytoid DCs. In line with this result the in vivo IFNα serum level in ip vaccinated mice increased as soon as 2h after treatment. On the other hand the infiltration of NK1.1(+)CD3(-) and NK1.1(+)CD3(+) cells in lungs of vaccinated mice was significantly increased, compared with the presence of these cells in control animal lungs. In the same way NGcGM3/VSSP mobilized acquired immunity effector cells into the lungs of vaccinated tumor bearing mice. Finally and not less noteworthy, leukocyte infiltration in lungs of tumor bearing mice correlates with vaccine induced inhibition of lung metastization. PMID:25424937

  4. Enhancing crop protection in sugarbeet using molecular technology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The research at the USDA – ARS Sugarbeet Pathology program at Fargo, ND focuses on minimizing yield losses from diseases through research on pathogen biology and detection, germplasm enhancement, and crop protection. These initiatives rely to a large extent on molecular technology. A key component o...

  5. A large-scale crop protection bioassay data set.

    PubMed

    Gaulton, Anna; Kale, Namrata; van Westen, Gerard J P; Bellis, Louisa J; Bento, A Patrícia; Davies, Mark; Hersey, Anne; Papadatos, George; Forster, Mark; Wege, Philip; Overington, John P

    2015-01-01

    ChEMBL is a large-scale drug discovery database containing bioactivity information primarily extracted from scientific literature. Due to the medicinal chemistry focus of the journals from which data are extracted, the data are currently of most direct value in the field of human health research. However, many of the scientific use-cases for the current data set are equally applicable in other fields, such as crop protection research: for example, identification of chemical scaffolds active against a particular target or endpoint, the de-convolution of the potential targets of a phenotypic assay, or the potential targets/pathways for safety liabilities. In order to broaden the applicability of the ChEMBL database and allow more widespread use in crop protection research, an extensive data set of bioactivity data of insecticidal, fungicidal and herbicidal compounds and assays was collated and added to the database. PMID:26175909

  6. Potential and actual uses of zeolites in crop protection.

    PubMed

    De Smedt, Caroline; Someus, Edward; Spanoghe, Pieter

    2015-10-01

    In this review, it is demonstrated that zeolites have a potential to be used as crop protection agents. Similarly to kaolin, zeolites can be applied as particle films against pests and diseases. Their honeycomb framework, together with their carbon dioxide sorption capacity and their heat stress reduction capacity, makes them suitable as a leaf coating product. Furthermore, their water sorption capacity and their smaller particle sizes make them effective against fungal diseases and insect pests. Finally, these properties also ensure that zeolites can act as carriers of different active substances, which makes it possible to use zeolites for slow-release applications. Based on the literature, a general overview is provided of the different basic properties of zeolites as promising products in crop protection. PMID:25727795

  7. The protective effect of GM-CSF on serum-induced neutrophil apoptosis in juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus patients.

    PubMed

    Chiewchengchol, Direkrit; Midgley, Angela; Sodsai, Pimpayao; Deekajorndech, Tawatchai; Hirankarn, Nattiya; Beresford, Michael W; Edwards, Steven W

    2015-01-01

    Juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus (JSLE) is one of the most common autoimmune diseases in children and can affect multiple organs and systems. The etiology remains unclear, and current management only suppresses rather than eliminates the disease. The pathogenesis is triggered by autoantigens that induce autoantibody production. Apoptotic neutrophils may be one source of autoantigens in JSLE, and increased numbers of apoptotic neutrophils in JSLE have been reported. This study aimed to determine if factor(s) in JSLE serum induce neutrophil apoptosis, to identify the most potent cytokine in delaying neutrophil apoptosis, and to investigate whether this cytokine can reverse the pro-apoptotic effects of JSLE serum. Blood neutrophils and sera were collected from JSLE patients, healthy children and adult controls. Neutrophils from healthy adult controls were incubated with 10 % serum from either JSLE patients or pediatric controls. Neutrophils from healthy adult controls were also incubated with 10 % JSLE serum with or without granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) supplementation. Neutrophil apoptosis was measured by flow cytometry (annexin-V/propidium iodide staining). Caspase-3, caspase-7 and caspase-8 protein expression was detected using Western blotting. Neutrophils incubated with JSLE sera had significantly increased apoptosis at 6 h compared to those incubated with control sera. Cleaved (active) forms of caspase-3, caspase-7 and caspase-8 were identified in neutrophils incubated with JSLE sera (that showed high rates of apoptosis) compared to control sera. GM-CSF had the most protective effect on neutrophil apoptosis, significantly preventing neutrophil apoptosis and caspase activation induced by JSLE serum. JSLE serum significantly induced neutrophil apoptosis in healthy adult neutrophils, activating the extrinsic pathway of apoptosis. The observation that GM-CSF prevents activation of apoptosis in response to JSLE serum should prompt

  8. Effect of organic and conventional crop rotation, fertilization, and crop protection practices on metal contents in wheat (Triticum aestivum).

    PubMed

    Cooper, Julia; Sanderson, Roy; Cakmak, Ismail; Ozturk, Levent; Shotton, Peter; Carmichael, Andrew; Haghighi, Reza Sadrabadi; Tetard-Jones, Catherine; Volakakis, Nikos; Eyre, Mick; Leifert, Carlo

    2011-05-11

    The effects of organic versus conventional crop management practices (crop rotation, crop protection, and fertility management strategies) on wheat yields and grain metal (Al, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn) concentrations were investigated in a long-term field trial. The interactions between crop management practices and the season that the crop was grown were investigated using univariate and redundancy analysis approaches. Grain yields were highest where conventional fertility management and crop protection practices were used, but growing wheat after a previous crop of grass/clover was shown to partially compensate for yield reductions due to the use of organic fertility management. All metals except for Pb were significantly affected by crop management practices and the year that the wheat was grown. Grain Cd and Cu levels were higher on average when conventional fertility management practices were used. Al and Cu were higher on average when conventional crop protection practices were used. The results demonstrate that there is potential to manage metal concentrations in the diet by adopting specific crop management practices shown to affect crop uptake of metals. PMID:21495704

  9. Genetic Diversity of Oilseed Rape Fields and Feral Populations in the Context of Coexistence with GM Crops.

    PubMed

    Bailleul, Diane; Ollier, Sébastien; Lecomte, Jane

    2016-01-01

    Despite growing concern about transgenes escaping from fields, few studies have analysed the genetic diversity of crops in an agroecosystem over several years. Accurate information about the dynamics and relationship of the genetic diversity of crops in an agroecosystem is essential for risk assessment and policies concerning the containment of genetically modified crops and their coexistence with crops grown by conventional practices. Here, we analysed the genetic diversity of oilseed rape plants from fields and feral populations over 4 years in an agricultural landscape of 41 km2. We used exact compatibility and maximum likelihood assignment methods to assign these plants to cultivars. Even pure lines and hybrid cultivar seed lots contained several genotypes. The cultivar diversity in fields reflected the conventional view of agroecosystems quite well: that is, there was a succession of cultivars, some grown for longer than others because of their good performance, some used for one year and then abandoned, and others gradually adopted. Three types of field emerged: fields sown with a single cultivar, fields sown with two cultivars, and unassigned fields (too many cultivars or unassigned plants to reliably assign the field). Field plant diversity was higher than expected, indicating the persistence of cultivars that were grown for only one year. The cultivar composition of feral populations was similar to that of field plants, with an increasing number of cultivars each year. By using genetic tools, we found a link between the cultivars of field plants in a particular year and the cultivars of feral population plants in the following year. Feral populations on road verges were more diverse than those on path verges. All of these findings are discussed in terms of their consequences in the context of coexistence with genetically modified crops. PMID:27359342

  10. Genetic Diversity of Oilseed Rape Fields and Feral Populations in the Context of Coexistence with GM Crops

    PubMed Central

    Bailleul, Diane; Ollier, Sébastien; Lecomte, Jane

    2016-01-01

    Despite growing concern about transgenes escaping from fields, few studies have analysed the genetic diversity of crops in an agroecosystem over several years. Accurate information about the dynamics and relationship of the genetic diversity of crops in an agroecosystem is essential for risk assessment and policies concerning the containment of genetically modified crops and their coexistence with crops grown by conventional practices. Here, we analysed the genetic diversity of oilseed rape plants from fields and feral populations over 4 years in an agricultural landscape of 41 km2. We used exact compatibility and maximum likelihood assignment methods to assign these plants to cultivars. Even pure lines and hybrid cultivar seed lots contained several genotypes. The cultivar diversity in fields reflected the conventional view of agroecosystems quite well: that is, there was a succession of cultivars, some grown for longer than others because of their good performance, some used for one year and then abandoned, and others gradually adopted. Three types of field emerged: fields sown with a single cultivar, fields sown with two cultivars, and unassigned fields (too many cultivars or unassigned plants to reliably assign the field). Field plant diversity was higher than expected, indicating the persistence of cultivars that were grown for only one year. The cultivar composition of feral populations was similar to that of field plants, with an increasing number of cultivars each year. By using genetic tools, we found a link between the cultivars of field plants in a particular year and the cultivars of feral population plants in the following year. Feral populations on road verges were more diverse than those on path verges. All of these findings are discussed in terms of their consequences in the context of coexistence with genetically modified crops. PMID:27359342

  11. The use of existing environmental networks for the post-market monitoring of GM crop cultivation in the EU.

    PubMed

    Smets, G; Alcalde, E; Andres, D; Carron, D; Delzenne, P; Heise, A; Legris, G; Martinez Parrilla, M; Verhaert, J; Wandelt, C; Ilegems, M; Rüdelsheim, P

    2014-07-01

    The European Union (EU) Directive 2001/18/EC on the deliberate release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the environment requires that both Case-Specific Monitoring (CSM) and General Surveillance (GS) are considered as post-market implementing measures. Whereas CSM is directed to monitor potential adverse effects of GMOs or their use identified in the environmental risk assessment, GS aims to detect un-intended adverse effects of GMOs or their use on human and animal health or the environment. Guidance documents on the monitoring of genetically modified (GM) plants from the Commission and EFSA clarify that, as appropriate, GS can make use of established routine surveillance practices. Networks involved in routine surveillance offer recognised expertise in a particular domain and are designed to collect information on important environmental aspects over a large geographical area. However, as the suitability of existing monitoring networks to provide relevant data for monitoring impacts of GMOs is not known, plant biotechnology companies developed an approach to describe the processes and criteria that will be used for selecting and evaluating existing monitoring systems. In this paper, the availability of existing monitoring networks for this purpose is evaluated. By cataloguing the existing environmental monitoring networks in the EU, it can be concluded that they can only be used, in the context of GMO cultivation monitoring, as secondary tools to collect baseline information. PMID:24836113

  12. Microbial Diversity-Based Novel Crop Protection Products

    SciTech Connect

    Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc.; DuPont Experimental Station; Yalpani, Ronald Flannagan, Rafael Herrmann, James Presnail, Tamas Torok, and Nasser; Herrmann, Rafael; Presnail, James; Torok, Tamas; Yalpani, Nasser

    2007-05-10

    Extremophilic microorganisms are adapted to survive in ecological niches with high temperatures, extremes of pH, high salt concentrations, high pressure, radiation, etc. Extremophiles produce unique biocatalysts and natural products that function under extreme conditions comparab le to those prevailing in various industrial processes. Therefore, there is burgeoning interest in bioprospecting for extremophiles with potential immediate use in agriculture, the food, chemical, and pharm aceutical industries, and environmental biotechnology. Over the years, several thousand extremophilic bacteria, archaea, and filamentous fungi were collected at extreme environmental sites in the USA, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone surrounding the faeild nuclear power plant in Ukraine, in and around Lake Baikal in Siberia, and at geothermal sites on the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia. These organisms were cultured under proprietary conditions, and the cell- free supernatants were screened for biological activities against plant pathogenic fungi and major crop damaging insects. Promising peptide lead molecules were isolated, characterized, and sequenced. Relatively high hit rates characterized the tested fermentation broths. Of the 26,000 samples screened, over thousand contained biological activity of interest. A fair number of microorganisms expressed broad- spectrum antifungal or insecticidal activity. Two- dozen broadly antifungal peptides (AFPs) are alr eady patent protected, and many more tens are under further investigation. Tapping the gene pool of extremophilic microorganisms to provide novel ways of crop protection proved a successful strategy.

  13. A novel subunit vaccine co-expressing GM-CSF and PCV2b Cap protein enhances protective immunity against porcine circovirus type 2 in piglets.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Huawei; Qian, Ping; Peng, Bo; Shi, Lin; Chen, Huanchun; Li, Xiangmin

    2015-05-15

    Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) causes porcine circovirus-associated disease. Capsid (Cap) protein of PCV2 is the principal immunogenic protein that induces neutralizing antibodies and protective immunity. GM-CSF is an immune adjuvant that enhances responses to vaccines. In this study, recombinant baculoviruses Ac-Cap and Ac-Cap-GM-CSF expressing the Cap protein alone and co-expressing the Cap protein and porcine GM-CSF, respectively, were constructed successfully. The target proteins were analyzed by western blotting and IFA. Further, these proteins were confirmed by electron microscopy, which showed that Cap proteins could self-assemble into virus-like particles having diameters of 17-25nm. Animal experiments showed that pigs immunized with Cap-GM-CSF subunit vaccine showed significantly higher levels of PCV2-specific antibodies and neutralizing antibodies than pigs immunized with the Cap subunit vaccine and a commercial vaccine (Ingelvac CircoFLEX; P<0.05). After PCV2 wild strain challenged, Pigs receiving the Cap-GM-CSF subunit vaccine showed significantly higher average daily weight gain after wild-type PCV2 challenge than pigs receiving the other three vaccines (P<0.05). None of PCV2 DNA was detected in all immunized animals, except control animals immunized with phosphate-buffered saline. These results indicated that GM-CSF was a powerful immunoadjuvant for PCV2 subunit vaccines because it enhanced humoral immune response and improved immune protection against PCV2 infection in pigs. Thus, the novel Cap-GM-CSF subunit vaccine has the potential to be used as an effective and safe vaccine candidate against PCV2 infection. PMID:25863115

  14. Genetically modified crops and small-scale farmers: main opportunities and challenges.

    PubMed

    Azadi, Hossein; Samiee, Atry; Mahmoudi, Hossein; Jouzi, Zeynab; Khachak, Parisa Rafiaani; De Maeyer, Philippe; Witlox, Frank

    2016-01-01

    Although some important features of genetically modified (GM) crops such as insect resistance, herbicide tolerance, and drought tolerance might seem to be beneficial for small-scale farmers, the adoption of GM technology by smallholders is still slight. Identifying pros and cons of using this technology is important to understand the impacts of GM crops on these farmers. This article reviews the main opportunities and challenges of GM crops for small-scale farmers in developing countries. The most significant advantages of GM crops include being independent to farm size, environment protection, improvement of occupational health issues, and the potential of bio-fortified crops to reduce malnutrition. Challenges faced by small-scale farmers for adoption of GM crops comprise availability and accessibility of GM crop seeds, seed dissemination and price, and the lack of adequate information. In addition, R&D and production costs in using GM crops make it difficult for these farmers to adopt the use of these crops. Moreover, intellectual property right regulations may deprive resource poor farmers from the advantages of GM technology. Finally, concerns on socio-economic and environment safety issues are also addressed in this paper. PMID:25566797

  15. Emulsions Made of Oils from Seeds of GM Flax Protect V79 Cells against Oxidative Stress.

    PubMed

    Skorkowska-Telichowska, Katarzyna; Hasiewicz-Derkacz, Karolina; Gębarowski, Tomasz; Kulma, Anna; Moreira, Helena; Kostyn, Kamil; Gębczak, Katarzyna; Szyjka, Anna; Wojtasik, Wioleta; Gąsiorowski, Kazimierz

    2016-01-01

    Polyunsaturated fatty acids, sterols, and hydrophilic phenolic compounds are components of flax oil that act as antioxidants. We investigated the impact of flax oil from transgenic flax in the form of emulsions on stressed Chinese hamster pulmonary fibroblasts. We found that the emulsions protect V79 cells against the H2O2 and the effect is dose dependent. They reduced the level of intracellular reactive oxygen species and protected genomic DNA against damage. The rate of cell proliferation increased upon treatment with the emulsions at a low concentration, while at a high concentration it decreased significantly, accompanied by increased frequency of apoptotic cell death. Expression analysis of selected genes revealed the upregulatory impact of the emulsions on the histones, acetylases, and deacetylases. Expression of apoptotic, proinflammatory, and anti-inflammatory genes was also altered. It is thus suggested that flax oil emulsions might be useful as a basis for biomedical products that actively protect cells against inflammation and degeneration. The beneficial effect on fibroblast resistance to oxidative damage was superior in the emulsion made of oil from transgenic plants which was correlated with the quantity of antioxidants and squalene. The emulsions from transgenic flax are promising candidates for skin protection against oxidative damage. PMID:26779302

  16. Emulsions Made of Oils from Seeds of GM Flax Protect V79 Cells against Oxidative Stress

    PubMed Central

    Skorkowska-Telichowska, Katarzyna; Hasiewicz-Derkacz, Karolina; Gębarowski, Tomasz; Kulma, Anna; Kostyn, Kamil; Gębczak, Katarzyna; Szyjka, Anna; Wojtasik, Wioleta; Gąsiorowski, Kazimierz

    2016-01-01

    Polyunsaturated fatty acids, sterols, and hydrophilic phenolic compounds are components of flax oil that act as antioxidants. We investigated the impact of flax oil from transgenic flax in the form of emulsions on stressed Chinese hamster pulmonary fibroblasts. We found that the emulsions protect V79 cells against the H2O2 and the effect is dose dependent. They reduced the level of intracellular reactive oxygen species and protected genomic DNA against damage. The rate of cell proliferation increased upon treatment with the emulsions at a low concentration, while at a high concentration it decreased significantly, accompanied by increased frequency of apoptotic cell death. Expression analysis of selected genes revealed the upregulatory impact of the emulsions on the histones, acetylases, and deacetylases. Expression of apoptotic, proinflammatory, and anti-inflammatory genes was also altered. It is thus suggested that flax oil emulsions might be useful as a basis for biomedical products that actively protect cells against inflammation and degeneration. The beneficial effect on fibroblast resistance to oxidative damage was superior in the emulsion made of oil from transgenic plants which was correlated with the quantity of antioxidants and squalene. The emulsions from transgenic flax are promising candidates for skin protection against oxidative damage. PMID:26779302

  17. Do whole-food animal feeding studies have any value in the safety assessment of GM crops?

    PubMed

    Herman, Rod A; Ekmay, Ricardo

    2014-02-01

    The use of whole-food (grain meal contained in feed) animal-feeding studies to support the safety assessment of genetically modified crops has been contentious. This may be, in part, a consequence of poorly agreed upon study objectives. Whole-food animal-feeding studies have been postulated to be useful in detecting both expected and unexpected effects on the composition of genetically modified crops. While the justification of animal feeding studies to detect unexpected effects may be inadequately supported, there may be better justification to conduct such studies in specific cases to investigate the consequences of expected compositional effects including expression of transgenic proteins. Such studies may be justified when (1) safety cannot reasonably be predicted from other evidence, (2) reasonable hypothesis for adverse effects are postulated, (3) the compositional component in question cannot be isolated or enriched in an active form for inclusion in animal feeding studies, and (4) reasonable multiples of exposure can be accomplished relative to human diets. The study design for whole-food animal-feeding studies should be hypotheses-driven, and the types of data collected should be consistent with adverse effects that are known to occur from dietary components of biological origin. PMID:23851038

  18. Fate of the insecticidal Cry1Ab protein of GM crops in two agricultural soils as revealed by ¹⁴C-tracer studies.

    PubMed

    Valldor, Petra; Miethling-Graff, Rona; Martens, Rainer; Tebbe, Christoph C

    2015-09-01

    Insecticidal delta-endotoxins of Bacillus thuringiensis are among the most abundant recombinant proteins released by genetically modified (GM) crops into agricultural soils worldwide. However, there is still controversy about their degradation and accumulation in soils. In this study, (14)C-labelled Cry1Ab protein was applied to soil microcosms at two concentrations (14 and 50 μg g(-1) soil) to quantify the mineralization of Cry1Ab, its incorporation into the soil microbial biomass, and its persistence in two soils which strongly differed in their texture but not in silt or pH. Furthermore, ELISA was used to quantify Cry1Ab and its potential immunoreactive breakdown products in aqueous soil extracts. In both soils, (14)CO2-production was initially very high and then declined during a total monitoring period of up to 135 days. A total of 16 to 23 % of the (14)C activity was incorporated after 29 to 37 days into the soil microbial biomass, indicating that Cry1Ab protein was utilized by microorganisms as a growth substrate. Adsorption in the clay-rich soil was the most important factor limiting microbial degradation; as indicated by higher degradation rates in the more sandy soil, extremely low concentrations of immunoreactive Cry1Ab molecules in the soils' aqueous extracts and a higher amount of (14)C activity bound to the soil with more clay. Ecological risk assessments of Bt-crops should therefore consider that the very low concentrations of extractable Cry1Ab do not reflect the actual elimination of the protein from soils but that, on the other hand, desorbed proteins mineralize quickly due to efficient microbial degradation. PMID:25967657

  19. Communication and implementation of change in crop protection.

    PubMed

    Escalada, M M; Heong, K L

    1993-01-01

    The slow adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) has been attributed to the widespread gaps in farmers' knowledge of rational pest management. Other factors such as farmers' perception of high input use and promotion of pesticides also influence decisions to practise rational pest management. To bridge these gaps and improve farmers' pest management practices, most IPM implementation programmes rely on communication strategies. These communication approaches utilize either mass media or interpersonal channels or a combination. The choice of which communication approach to employ depends on project objectives and resources. Among extension and communication approaches used in crop protection, strategic extension campaigns, farmer field schools and farmer participatory research stand out in their ability to bring about significant changes in farmers' pest management practices. While extension campaigns have greater reach, farmer participation and experiential learning achieve more impact because learning effects are sustained. Communication media are important in raising awareness and creating a demand for IPM information but interpersonal channels and group methods such as the farmer field school and farmer participatory research are essential to accomplish the tasks of discovery and experiential learning of IPM skills. PMID:8149821

  20. Can GM sorghum impact Africa?

    PubMed

    Botha, Gerda M; Viljoen, Christopher D

    2008-02-01

    It is said that genetic modification (GM) of grain sorghum has the potential to alleviate hunger in Africa. To this end, millions of dollars have been committed to developing GM sorghum. Current developments in the genetic engineering of sorghum are similar to efforts to improve cassava and other traditional African crops, as well as rice in Asia. On closer analysis, GM sorghum is faced with the same limitations as 'Golden Rice' (GM rice) in the context of combating vitamin A deficiency (VAD) efficiently and sustainably. Thus, it is questionable whether the cost of developing GM sorghum can be justified when compared to the cost of investing in sustainable agricultural practice in Africa. PMID:18191263

  1. Moving beyond the GM debate.

    PubMed

    Leyser, Ottoline

    2014-06-01

    Once again, there are calls to reopen the debate on genetically modified (GM) crops. I find these calls frustrating and unnecessarily decisive. In my opinion the GM debate, on both sides, continues to hamper the urgent need to address the diverse and pressing challenges of global food security and environmental sustainability. The destructive power of the debate comes from its conflation of unrelated issues, coupled with deeply rooted misconceptions of the nature of agriculture. PMID:24914954

  2. Best management practices: Managing cropping systems for soil protection and bioenergy production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Interest in renewable alternatives to fossil fuels has increased. Crop residue such as corn stover or wheat straw can be used for bioenergy including a substitution for natural gas or coal. Harvesting crop residue needs to be managed to protect the soil and future soil productivity. The amount of bi...

  3. 77 FR 20005 - Solicitation of Input From Stakeholders Regarding the Proposed Crop Protection Competitive Grants...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-03

    ...The President's budget proposal for FY 2013 consolidates six funding lines addressing pest management and integrated pest management (IPM) issues into a single budgetary line, called the Crop Protection Program (CPP). The six budgetary lines being consolidated are Expert Integrated Pest Management Decision Support System, IPM and Biological Control, Minor Crop Pest Management/IR-4, Pest......

  4. Novel enabling technologies of gene isolation and plant transformation for improved crop protection

    SciTech Connect

    Torok, Tamas

    2013-02-04

    Meeting the needs of agricultural producers requires the continued development of improved transgenic crop protection products. The completed project focused on developing novel enabling technologies of gene discovery and plant transformation to facilitate the generation of such products.

  5. Plant Defense against Herbivorous Pests: Exploiting Resistance and Tolerance Traits for Sustainable Crop Protection.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Carolyn; Brennan, Rex M; Graham, Julie; Karley, Alison J

    2016-01-01

    Interactions between plants and insect herbivores are important determinants of plant productivity in managed and natural vegetation. In response to attack, plants have evolved a range of defenses to reduce the threat of injury and loss of productivity. Crop losses from damage caused by arthropod pests can exceed 15% annually. Crop domestication and selection for improved yield and quality can alter the defensive capability of the crop, increasing reliance on artificial crop protection. Sustainable agriculture, however, depends on reduced chemical inputs. There is an urgent need, therefore, to identify plant defensive traits for crop improvement. Plant defense can be divided into resistance and tolerance strategies. Plant traits that confer herbivore resistance typically prevent or reduce herbivore damage through expression of traits that deter pests from settling, attaching to surfaces, feeding and reproducing, or that reduce palatability. Plant tolerance of herbivory involves expression of traits that limit the negative impact of herbivore damage on productivity and yield. Identifying the defensive traits expressed by plants to deter herbivores or limit herbivore damage, and understanding the underlying defense mechanisms, is crucial for crop scientists to exploit plant defensive traits in crop breeding. In this review, we assess the traits and mechanisms underpinning herbivore resistance and tolerance, and conclude that physical defense traits, plant vigor and herbivore-induced plant volatiles show considerable utility in pest control, along with mixed species crops. We highlight emerging approaches for accelerating the identification of plant defensive traits and facilitating their deployment to improve the future sustainability of crop protection. PMID:27524994

  6. Plant Defense against Herbivorous Pests: Exploiting Resistance and Tolerance Traits for Sustainable Crop Protection

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Carolyn; Brennan, Rex M.; Graham, Julie; Karley, Alison J.

    2016-01-01

    Interactions between plants and insect herbivores are important determinants of plant productivity in managed and natural vegetation. In response to attack, plants have evolved a range of defenses to reduce the threat of injury and loss of productivity. Crop losses from damage caused by arthropod pests can exceed 15% annually. Crop domestication and selection for improved yield and quality can alter the defensive capability of the crop, increasing reliance on artificial crop protection. Sustainable agriculture, however, depends on reduced chemical inputs. There is an urgent need, therefore, to identify plant defensive traits for crop improvement. Plant defense can be divided into resistance and tolerance strategies. Plant traits that confer herbivore resistance typically prevent or reduce herbivore damage through expression of traits that deter pests from settling, attaching to surfaces, feeding and reproducing, or that reduce palatability. Plant tolerance of herbivory involves expression of traits that limit the negative impact of herbivore damage on productivity and yield. Identifying the defensive traits expressed by plants to deter herbivores or limit herbivore damage, and understanding the underlying defense mechanisms, is crucial for crop scientists to exploit plant defensive traits in crop breeding. In this review, we assess the traits and mechanisms underpinning herbivore resistance and tolerance, and conclude that physical defense traits, plant vigor and herbivore-induced plant volatiles show considerable utility in pest control, along with mixed species crops. We highlight emerging approaches for accelerating the identification of plant defensive traits and facilitating their deployment to improve the future sustainability of crop protection. PMID:27524994

  7. Delivering sustainable crop protection systems via the seed: exploiting natural constitutive and inducible defence pathways

    PubMed Central

    Pickett, John A.; Aradottír, Gudbjorg I.; Birkett, Michael A.; Bruce, Toby J. A.; Hooper, Antony M.; Midega, Charles A. O.; Jones, Huw D.; Matthes, Michaela C.; Napier, Johnathan A.; Pittchar, Jimmy O.; Smart, Lesley E.; Woodcock, Christine M.; Khan, Zeyaur R.

    2014-01-01

    To reduce the need for seasonal inputs, crop protection will have to be delivered via the seed and other planting material. Plant secondary metabolism can be harnessed for this purpose by new breeding technologies, genetic modification and companion cropping, the latter already on-farm in sub-Saharan Africa. Secondary metabolites offer the prospect of pest management as robust as that provided by current pesticides, for which many lead compounds were, or are currently deployed as, natural products. Evidence of success and promise is given for pest management in industrial and developing agriculture. Additionally, opportunities for solving wider problems of sustainable crop protection, and also production, are discussed. PMID:24535389

  8. PLANT INCORPORATED PROTECTANT CROP MONITORING USING REMOTE SENSING

    EPA Science Inventory

    The extent of past and anticipated plantings of transgenic corn in the United States requires a new approach to monitor this important crop for the development of pest resistance. Remote sensing by aerial and/or satellite images may provide a method of identifying transgenic pest...

  9. The world of "GM-free".

    PubMed

    Moses, Vivian; Brookes, Graham

    2013-01-01

    The rapid global development of agricultural production systems using seeds derived from genetic modification (GM) has been paralleled by the growth of attempts to keep at least a part of the world's agriculture and food as free from GM-crops and their products as possible. The ideal for some proponents of such "GM-free" activity would be a total absence, usually styled "zero content"; others, perhaps more realistically, opt for a definition usually not precisely defined that allows for minimal trace levels of GM material. The reasons for wanting "GM-free" agriculture and its products are varied; they include philosophical and religious beliefs, concern for human (and animal) health--and for "the environment"-as well as commercial and political interests. With such a variety of motivations, and in the absence of legal rulings, the definitions of "GM-free" vary according to inclination and circumstances. Whatever the precise meaning, the maintenance of a "GM-free" product stream in a world where GM crop production is widespread requires the establishment of identity preservation and segregation systems in which traceability and testing are cornerstones. Inevitably these have cost implications for the supply chain and/or the ultimate consumer. In a number of countries different forms of "GM-free" labels exist for some products; the style of such labels is variable with schemes and labels typically voluntary or privately organized. In more recent years, some governments have begun to regularize the definition and meaning of "GM-free." We conclude our analysis by exploring consumer reactions both to "GM-free" and to "GM-free" labels, and ask who ultimately benefits from preserving a product stream substantially or entirely devoid of GM-content. PMID:24401659

  10. The future of starch bioengineering: GM microorganisms or GM plants?

    PubMed Central

    Hebelstrup, Kim H.; Sagnelli, Domenico; Blennow, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Plant starches regularly require extensive modification to permit subsequent applications. Such processing is usually done by the use of chemical and/or physical treatments. The use of recombinant enzymes produced by large-scale fermentation of GM microorganisms is increasingly used in starch processing and modification, sometimes as an alternative to chemical or physical treatments. However, as a means to impart the modifications as early as possible in the starch production chain, similar recombinant enzymes may also be expressed in planta in the developing starch storage organ such as in roots, tubers and cereal grains to provide a GM crop as an alternative to the use of enzymes from GM microorganisms. We here discuss these techniques in relation to important structural features and modifications of starches such as: starch phosphorylation, starch hydrolysis, chain transfer/branching and novel concepts of hybrid starch-based polysaccharides. In planta starch bioengineering is generally challenged by yield penalties and inefficient production of the desired product. However, in some situations, GM crops for starch bioengineering without deleterious effects have been achieved. PMID:25954284

  11. Remote sensing applied to the evaluation of crop freeze protection devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sutherland, R. A.

    1979-01-01

    Thermal images from an aircraft-mounted scanner are used to evaluate the effectiveness of crop freeze protection devices. Fuel oil heaters, wind machines and irrigation systems are evaluated from flights at an altitude of 450 m over an experimental citrus grove of 1.5 hectares.

  12. Natural Products That Have Been Used Commercially As Crop Protection Agents - A Review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many compounds derived from living organisms have found a use in crop protection. These compounds have formed the basis of chemical synthesis programmes to derive new chemical products; they have been used to identify new biochemical modes of action that can be exploited by industry led discovery pr...

  13. Developing Global Leaders for Research, Regulation, and Stewardship of Crop Protection Chemistry in the 21st Century

    EPA Science Inventory

    To provide sufficient food and fiber to the increasing global population, the technologies associated with crop protection are growing ever more sophisticated but, at the same time, societal expectations for the safe use of crop protection chemistry tools are also increasing. The...

  14. A comparative evaluation of the regulation of GM crops or products containing dsRNA and suggested improvements to risk assessments.

    PubMed

    Heinemann, Jack A; Agapito-Tenfen, Sarah Zanon; Carman, Judy A

    2013-05-01

    Changing the nature, kind and quantity of particular regulatory-RNA molecules through genetic engineering can create biosafety risks. While some genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are intended to produce new regulatory-RNA molecules, these may also arise in other GMOs not intended to express them. To characterise, assess and then mitigate the potential adverse effects arising from changes to RNA requires changing current approaches to food or environmental risk assessments of GMOs. We document risk assessment advice offered to government regulators in Australia, New Zealand and Brazil during official risk evaluations of GM plants for use as human food or for release into the environment (whether for field trials or commercial release), how the regulator considered those risks, and what that experience teaches us about the GMO risk assessment framework. We also suggest improvements to the process. PMID:23523853

  15. Effect on soil chemistry of genetically modified (GM) vs. non-GM maize.

    PubMed

    Liu, Na; Zhu, Ping; Peng, Chang; Kang, Lingsheng; Gao, Hongjun; Clarke, Nicholas J; Clarke, Jihong Liu

    2010-01-01

    The effects of genetically modified (GM) maize (Zea mays L.) expressing the Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner Cry1Fa2 protein (Bt) and phosphinothricin or glyphosate herbicide tolerance on soil chemistry (organic matter, N, P, K and pH), compared with non-GM controls, were assessed in field and pot experiments. In the field experiment, NH(4)(+) was significantly higher in soil under the crop modified for herbicide tolerance compared to the control (mean values of 11 and 9.6 mg N/kg respectively) while P was significantly higher in soil under the control compared to under the GM crop (mean values of 6.9 and 6.4 dg P/kg, respectively). No significant differences were found as a result of growing Bt/herbicide tolerant maize. In the pot experiment, using soils from three sites (Gongzhuling, Dehui and Huadian), significant effects of using Bt maize instead of conventional maize were found for all three soils. In the Gongzhuling soil, P was significantly higher in soil under the control compared to under the GM crop (mean values of 4.8 and 4.0 dg P/kg, respectively). For the Dehui soil, the pH was significantly higher in soil under the control compared to under the GM crop (mean values for {H(+)} of 1.1 and 2.4 μM for the control and the GM crop respectively). In the Huadian soil, organic matter and total N were both higher in soil under the GM crop than under the control. For organic matter, the mean values were 3.0 and 2.9% for the GM crop and the control, respectively, while for total nitrogen the mean values were 2.02 and 1.96% for the GM crop and the control respectively. Our results indicate that growing GM crops instead of conventional crops may alter soil chemistry, but not greatly, and that effects will vary with both the specific genetic modification and the soil. PMID:21844670

  16. Biosafety management and commercial use of genetically modified crops in China.

    PubMed

    Li, Yunhe; Peng, Yufa; Hallerman, Eric M; Wu, Kongming

    2014-04-01

    As a developing country with relatively limited arable land, China is making great efforts for development and use of genetically modified (GM) crops to boost agricultural productivity. Many GM crop varieties have been developed in China in recent years; in particular, China is playing a leading role in development of insect-resistant GM rice lines. To ensure the safe use of GM crops, biosafety risk assessments are required as an important part of the regulatory oversight of such products. With over 20 years of nationwide promotion of agricultural biotechnology, a relatively well-developed regulatory system for risk assessment and management of GM plants has been developed that establishes a firm basis for safe use of GM crops. So far, a total of seven GM crops involving ten events have been approved for commercial planting, and 5 GM crops with a total of 37 events have been approved for import as processing material in China. However, currently only insect-resistant Bt cotton and disease-resistant papaya have been commercially planted on a large scale. The planting of Bt cotton and disease-resistant papaya have provided efficient protection against cotton bollworms and Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV), respectively. As a consequence, chemical application to these crops has been significantly reduced, enhancing farm income while reducing human and non-target organism exposure to toxic chemicals. This article provides useful information for the colleagues, in particular for them whose mother tongue is not Chinese, to clearly understand the biosafety regulation and commercial use of genetically modified crops in China. PMID:24493253

  17. Exploiting phytochemicals for developing a 'push-pull' crop protection strategy for cereal farmers in Africa.

    PubMed

    Khan, Zeyaur R; Midega, Charles A O; Bruce, Toby J A; Hooper, Antony M; Pickett, John A

    2010-10-01

    Lepidopteran stemborers and parasitic weeds in the genus Striga are major constraints to efficient production of cereals, the most important staple food crops in Africa. Smallholder farmers are resource constrained and unable to afford expensive chemicals for crop protection. Development of a push-pull approach for integrated pest and weed management is reviewed here. Appropriate plants were discovered that naturally emit signalling chemicals (semiochemicals). Plants highly attractive for egg laying by stemborer pests were selected and employed as trap crops (pull), to draw pests away from the main crop. Of these, Napier grass, Pennisetum purpureum (Schumach), despite its attractiveness, supported minimal survival of the pests' immature stages. Plants that repelled stemborer pests, notably molasses grass, Melinis minutiflora P. Beauv., and forage legumes in the genus Desmodium, were selected as intercrops (push). Desmodium intercrops suppress Striga hermonthica (Del.) Benth. through an allelopathic mechanism. Their root exudates contain novel flavonoid compounds, which stimulate suicidal germination of S. hermonthica seeds and dramatically inhibit its attachment to host roots. The companion crops provide valuable forage for farm animals while the leguminous intercrops also improve soil fertility and moisture retention. The system is appropriate as it is based on locally available plants, not expensive external inputs, and fits well with traditional mixed cropping systems in Africa. To date it has been adopted by more than 30,000 smallholder farmers in East Africa where maize yields have increased from ∼1 t ha(-1) to 3.5 t ha(-1). Future directions for semiochemical delivery by plants including biotechnological opportunities are discussed. PMID:20670998

  18. Integrating Large-Scale Data and RNA Technology to Protect Crops from Fungal Pathogens.

    PubMed

    Girard, Ian J; Mcloughlin, Austein G; de Kievit, Teresa R; Fernando, Dilantha W G; Belmonte, Mark F

    2016-01-01

    With a rapidly growing human population it is expected that plant science researchers and the agricultural community will need to increase food productivity using less arable land. This challenge is complicated by fungal pathogens and diseases, many of which can severely impact crop yield. Current measures to control fungal pathogens are either ineffective or have adverse effects on the agricultural enterprise. Thus, developing new strategies through research innovation to protect plants from pathogenic fungi is necessary to overcome these hurdles. RNA sequencing technologies are increasing our understanding of the underlying genes and gene regulatory networks mediating disease outcomes. The application of invigorating next generation sequencing strategies to study plant-pathogen interactions has and will provide unprecedented insight into the complex patterns of gene activity responsible for crop protection. However, questions remain about how biological processes in both the pathogen and the host are specified in space directly at the site of infection and over the infection period. The integration of cutting edge molecular and computational tools will provide plant scientists with the arsenal required to identify genes and molecules that play a role in plant protection. Large scale RNA sequence data can then be used to protect plants by targeting genes essential for pathogen viability in the production of stably transformed lines expressing RNA interference molecules, or through foliar applications of double stranded RNA. PMID:27303409

  19. Integrating Large-Scale Data and RNA Technology to Protect Crops from Fungal Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Girard, Ian J.; Mcloughlin, Austein G.; de Kievit, Teresa R.; Fernando, Dilantha W. G.; Belmonte, Mark F.

    2016-01-01

    With a rapidly growing human population it is expected that plant science researchers and the agricultural community will need to increase food productivity using less arable land. This challenge is complicated by fungal pathogens and diseases, many of which can severely impact crop yield. Current measures to control fungal pathogens are either ineffective or have adverse effects on the agricultural enterprise. Thus, developing new strategies through research innovation to protect plants from pathogenic fungi is necessary to overcome these hurdles. RNA sequencing technologies are increasing our understanding of the underlying genes and gene regulatory networks mediating disease outcomes. The application of invigorating next generation sequencing strategies to study plant–pathogen interactions has and will provide unprecedented insight into the complex patterns of gene activity responsible for crop protection. However, questions remain about how biological processes in both the pathogen and the host are specified in space directly at the site of infection and over the infection period. The integration of cutting edge molecular and computational tools will provide plant scientists with the arsenal required to identify genes and molecules that play a role in plant protection. Large scale RNA sequence data can then be used to protect plants by targeting genes essential for pathogen viability in the production of stably transformed lines expressing RNA interference molecules, or through foliar applications of double stranded RNA. PMID:27303409

  20. Anti-glycoprotein D monoclonal antibody protects against herpes simplex virus type 1-induced diseases in mice functionally depleted of selected T-cell subsets or asialo GM1+ cells.

    PubMed Central

    Staats, H F; Oakes, J E; Lausch, R N

    1991-01-01

    Passive transfer of a monoclonal antibody (MAb) specific for glycoprotein D (gD) is highly effective in preventing the development of herpes simplex virus type 1-induced stromal keratitis. In the present study, we investigated whether animals which had been functionally depleted of T-cell subsets or asialo GM1+ cells would continue to be responsive to MAb therapy. BALB/c mice were depleted of CD4+, CD8+, or asialo GM1+ cells by treatment with anti-L3T4, anti-Lyt 2.2, or anti-asialo GM1 antibodies, respectively. Functional depletion of CD4+ cells was documented by the loss of delayed-type hypersensitivity responsiveness, while CD8+ cell depletion was accompanied by abrogation of cytotoxic lymphocyte activity. Anti-asialo GM1 treatment led to the loss of natural killer cell lytic activity. Mice depleted of the desired cell population and infected on the scarified cornea with herpes simplex virus type 1 uniformly developed necrotizing stromal keratitis by 3 weeks postinfection. A single inoculation of anti-gD MAb (55 micrograms) given intraperitoneally 24 h postinfection strongly protected hosts depleted of CD4+ cells against stromal keratitis. Likewise, antibody treatment in CD8+ or asialo GM1+ cell-depleted hosts was as therapeutically effective as that seen in non-cell-depleted mice. We also observed that in cell-depleted mice, the virus spread into the central nervous system and caused encephalitis. The CD4+ cell-depleted mice were the most severely affected, as 100% developed fatal disease. Anti-gD MAb treatment successfully protected all (32 of 32) CD4+-, CD8+-, or asialo GM1(+)-depleted hosts against encephalitis. We therefore conclude that antibody-mediated prevention of stromal keratitis and encephalitis does not require the obligatory participation of CD4+, CD8+, or asialo GM1+ cells. However, when mice were simultaneously depleted of both CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell subsets, antibody treatment could not prevent fatal encephalitis. Thus, antibody can compensate for

  1. Review of anthraquinone applications for pest management and agricultural crop protection.

    PubMed

    DeLiberto, Shelagh T; Werner, Scott J

    2016-10-01

    We have reviewed published anthraquinone applications for international pest management and agricultural crop protection from 1943 to 2016. Anthraquinone (AQ) is commonly found in dyes, pigments and many plants and organisms. Avian repellent research with AQ began in the 1940s. In the context of pest management, AQ is currently used as a chemical repellent, perch deterrent, insecticide and feeding deterrent in many wild birds, and in some mammals, insects and fishes. Criteria for evaluation of effective chemical repellents include efficacy, potential for wildlife hazards, phytotoxicity and environmental persistence. As a biopesticide, AQ often meets these criteria of efficacy for the non-lethal management of agricultural depredation caused by wildlife. We summarize published applications of AQ for the protection of newly planted and maturing crops from pest birds. Conventional applications of AQ-based repellents include preplant seed treatments [e.g. corn (Zea mays L.), rice (Oryza sativa L.), sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.), wheat (Triticum spp.), millet (Panicum spp.), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.), pelletized feed and forest tree species] and foliar applications for rice, sunflower, lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), turf, sugar beets (Beta vulgaris L.), soybean (Glycine max L.), sweet corn and nursery, fruit and nut crops. In addition to agricultural repellent applications, AQ has also been used to treat toxicants for the protection of non-target birds. Few studies have demonstrated AQ repellency in mammals, including wild boar (Sus scrofa, L.), thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus, Mitchill), black-tailed prairie dogs (Cyomys ludovicainus, Ord.), common voles (Microtus arvalis, Pallas), house mice (Mus musculus, L.), Tristram's jirds (Meriones tristrami, Thomas) and black rats (Rattus rattus L.). Natural sources of AQ and its derivatives have also been identified as insecticides and insect repellents. As a natural or synthetic biopesticide, AQ

  2. SIDE-EFFECTS OF COMMONLY USED CROP PROTECTION PRODUCTS IN PEAR ON TWO BENEFICIAL MIRIDAE BUGS.

    PubMed

    Vrancken, K; Belien, T; Bylemans, D

    2015-01-01

    Anthocoris nemoralis, Anthocoris nemorum and Orius spp. are not the only beneficial predatory bugs inhabiting pear orchards in Belgium. Quite often, the Miridae bugs Heterotoma spp. and Pilophorus spp. can be found during spring and summer in these orchards, thereby feeding on several pests such as psyllids, aphids, spider mites, ... . Side-effects are usually assessed on Anthocoris and Orius spp., but due to the potential importance of Miridae bugs in pest reduction, we tested some commonly used crop protection products used in pear cultivation on Heterotoma planicornis and Pilophorus perplexus (residue-based tests in petri-dishes). One day after treatment, mortalities already could be observed for some products. Seven days after treatment, abamectin, deltamethrin and thiacloprid were considered the most toxic products as stated by the IOBC classification. This outcome was then analysed with regard to different treatment schedules, providing insights in potential side-effects on crop protection treatments on the composition of beneficial fauna in pear orchards. PMID:27145577

  3. Developing Global Leaders for Research, Regulation, and Stewardship of Crop Protection Chemistry in the 21st Century.

    PubMed

    Unsworth, John B; Corsi, Camilla; Van Emon, Jeanette M; Farenhorst, Annemieke; Hamilton, Denis J; Howard, Cody J; Hunter, Robert; Jenkins, Jeffrey J; Kleter, Gijs A; Kookana, Rai S; Lalah, Joseph O; Leggett, Michael; Miglioranza, Karina S B; Miyagawa, Hisashi; Peranginangin, Natalia; Rubin, Baruch; Saha, Bipul; Shakil, Najam A

    2016-01-13

    To provide sufficient food and fiber to the increasing global population, the technologies associated with crop protection are growing ever more sophisticated but, at the same time, societal expectations for the safe use of crop protection chemistry tools are also increasing. The goal of this perspective is to highlight the key issues that face future leaders in crop protection, based on presentations made during a symposium titled "Developing Global Leaders for Research, Regulation and Stewardship of Crop Protection Chemistry in the 21st Century", held in conjunction with the IUPAC 13th International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry in San Francisco, CA, USA, during August 2014. The presentations highlighted the fact that leaders in crop protection must have a good basic scientific training and understand new and evolving technologies, are aware of the needs of both developed and developing countries, and have good communication skills. Concern is expressed over the apparent lack of resources to meet these needs, and ideas are put forward to remedy these deficiencies. PMID:25855233

  4. The state of genetically modified crop regulation in Canada.

    PubMed

    Smyth, Stuart J

    2014-07-01

    Genetically modified (GM) crops were first commercialized in Canada in 1995 and the 2014 crop represents the 20th year of successful production. Prior to the first commercialization of GM crops, Canada reviewed its existing science-based regulatory framework and adapted the existing framework to allow for risk assessments on the new technology to be undertaken in a timely and efficient manner. The result has been the rapid and widespread adoption of GM varieties of canola, corn and soybeans. The first decade of GM crop production precipitated 2 landmark legal cases relating to patent infringement and economic liability, while the second decade witnessed increased political efforts to have GM crops labeled in Canada as well as significant challenges from the low level comingling of GM crops with non-GM commodities. This article reviews the 20 y of GM crop production in Canada from a social science perspective that includes intellectual property, consumer acceptance and low level presence. PMID:25437238

  5. Consumer and farmer safety evaluation of application of botanical pesticides in black pepper crop protection.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Moreno, David; Soffers, Ans E M F; Wiratno; Falke, Hein E; Rietjens, Ivonne M C M; Murk, Albertinka J

    2013-06-01

    This study presents a consumer and farmer safety evaluation on the use of four botanical pesticides in pepper berry crop protection. The pesticides evaluated include preparations from clove, tuba root, sweet flag and pyrethrum. Their safety evaluation was based on their active ingredients being eugenol, rotenone, β-asarone and pyrethrins, respectively. Botanical pesticides from Acorus calamus are of possible concern because of the genotoxic and carcinogenic ingredient β-asarone although estimated margins of exposure (MOE) for consumers indicate a low priority for risk management. For the other three botanical pesticides the margin of safety (MOS) between established acute reference doses and/or acceptable daily intake values and intake estimates for the consumer, resulting from their use as a botanical pesticide are not of safety concern, with the exception for levels of rotenone upon use of tuba root extracts on stored berries. Used levels of clove and pyrethrum as botanical pesticides in pepper berry crop production is not of safety concern for consumers or farmers, whereas for use of tuba root and sweet flag some risk factors were defined requiring further evaluation and/or risk management. It seems prudent to look for alternatives for use of sweet flag extracts containing β-asarone. PMID:23376780

  6. Insecticidal activity of plant lectins and potential application in crop protection.

    PubMed

    Macedo, Maria Lígia R; Oliveira, Caio F R; Oliveira, Carolina T

    2015-01-01

    Lectins constitute a complex group of proteins found in different organisms. These proteins constitute an important field for research, as their structural diversity and affinity for several carbohydrates makes them suitable for numerous biological applications. This review addresses the classification and insecticidal activities of plant lectins, providing an overview of the applicability of these proteins in crop protection. The likely target sites in insect tissues, the mode of action of these proteins, as well as the use of lectins as biotechnological tools for pest control are also described. The use of initial bioassays employing artificial diets has led to the most recent advances in this field, such as plant breeding and the construction of fusion proteins, using lectins for targeting the delivery of toxins and to potentiate expected insecticide effects. Based on the data presented, we emphasize the contribution that plant lectins may make as tools for the development of integrated insect pest control strategies. PMID:25633332

  7. GM Risk Assessment.

    PubMed

    Sparrow, Penny A C

    2009-01-01

    GM risk assessments play an important role in the decision-making process surrounding the regulation, notification and permission to handle Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Ultimately the role of a GM risk assessment will be to ensure the safe handling and containment of the GMO; and to assess any potential impacts on the environment and human health. A risk assessment should answer all 'what if' scenarios, based on scientific evidence. This chapter sets out to provide researchers with helpful guidance notes on producing their own GM risk assessment. While reference will be made to UK and EU regulations, the underlying principles and points to consider are generic to most countries. PMID:19009454

  8. Forecasting the Feasibility of Implementing Isolation Perimeters Between GM and non-GM Maize Fields Under Agricultural Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devos, Yann; Cougnon, Mathias; Thas, Olivier; De Clercq, Eva M.; Cordemans, Karl; Reheul, Dirk

    2008-10-01

    Although spatially isolating genetically modified (GM) maize fields from non-GM maize fields is a robust on-farm strategy to keep the adventitious presence of GM material in the harvests of neighboring non-GM maize fields due to cross-fertilizations below established labeling thresholds (and thus to ensure the spatial co-existence between maize cropping systems), the practical implementation of isolation perimeters attracted little research efforts. In this study, the feasibility of implementing isolation perimeters around GM maize fields is investigated. Using Geographic Information System datasets and Monte Carlo simulations, various scenarios differing in shares and spatial distributions of GM maize were tested for various isolation perimeters in six agricultural areas in Flanders. Factors that affect the feasibility of implementing isolation perimeters are discussed.

  9. GM Risk Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sparrow, Penny A. C.

    GM risk assessments play an important role in the decision-making process surrounding the regulation, notification and permission to handle Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Ultimately the role of a GM risk assessment will be to ensure the safe handling and containment of the GMO; and to assess any potential impacts on the environment and human health. A risk assessment should answer all ‘what if’ scenarios, based on scientific evidence.

  10. Improvement of crop protection against greenbug using the worldwide sorghum germplasm collection and genomics-based approaches

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Successful development of new sorghum cultivars and hybrids to ensure sustainable production depends largely on the availability of genetic resources with desirable traits such as pest resistance. Our recent research has focused on improvement of crop protection against greenbug using worldwide ger...

  11. A Demonstration Project in New York and Virginia: Retrofitting Cost-Effective Roll-over Protective Structures (CROPS) on Tractors.

    PubMed

    Hard, D L; McKenzie, E A; Cantis, D; May, J; Sorensen, J; Bayes, B; Madden, E; Wyckoff, S; Stone, B; Maass, J

    2015-07-01

    The NIOSH cost-effective roll-over protective structure (CROPS) demonstration project sought to determine whether three prototype roll-over protective structures (ROPS) designed to be retrofitted on Ford 8N, Ford 3000, Ford 4000, and Massey Ferguson 135 tractors could be installed in the field and whether they would be acceptable by the intended end users (farmers). There were a total of 50 CROPS. demonstrators (25 in New York and 25 in Virginia), with 45 observers attending the New York CROPS demonstrations and 36 observers attending the Virginia CROPS demonstrations, for a total of 70 participants in New York and 61 in Virginia. The oldest retrofitted tractors were 77 to 62 years old, while the newest retrofitted tractors were 40 to 37 years old. The most frequently retrofitted tractor in the CROPS demonstration project was a Ford 3000 series tractor (n = 19; 38%), followed by Ford 4000 (n = 11; 22%), Massey Ferguson 135 (n = 11; 22%), and Ford 8N (n = 9; 18%). A major issue of CROPS retrofitting was the rear wheel fenders. The effort involved in disassembling the fenders (removing the old bolts was often faster by cutting them with a torch), modifying the fender mounting brackets, and then reinstalling the fenders with the CROPS generally required the most time. In addition, various other semi-permanent equipment attachments, such as front-end loaders, required additional time and effort to fit with the CROPS. Demonstrators were asked to rank the reasons why they had not retrofitted their tractors with ROPS until they had enrolled in the CROPS demonstration program. ROPS "cost too much" was ranked as the primary reason for participants in both states (80% for New York and 88% for Virginia). The second highest ranked reasons were "ROPS wasn't available" for Virginia (80%) and "hassle to find ROPS" for New York (69%). The third highest ranked reasons were "not enough time to find ROPS" for New York (67%) and "hassle to find ROPS" for Virginia (79%). All

  12. A Demonstration Project in New York and Virginia: Retrofitting Cost-Effective Roll-over Protective Structures (CROPS) on Tractors

    PubMed Central

    Hard, David L.; McKenzie, E. A.; Cantis, Douglas; May, John; Sorensen, Julie; Bayes, Barbara; Madden, Erin; Wyckoff, Sherry; Stone, Bruce; Maass, Jimmy

    2015-01-01

    The NIOSH cost-effective roll-over protective structure (CROPS) demonstration project sought to determine whether three prototype roll-over protective structures (ROPS) designed to be retrofitted on Ford 8N, Ford 3000, Ford 4000, and Massey Ferguson 135 tractors could be installed in the field and whether they would be acceptable by the intended end users (farmers). There were a total of 50 CROPS demonstrators (25 in New York and 25 in Virginia), with 45 observers attending the New York CROPS demonstrations and 36 observers attending the Virginia CROPS demonstrations, for a total of 70 participants in New York and 61 in Virginia. The oldest retrofitted tractors were 77 to 62 years old, while the newest retrofitted tractors were 40 to 37 years old. The most frequently retrofitted tractor in the CROPS demonstration project was a Ford 3000 series tractor (n = 19; 38%), followed by Ford 4000 (n = 11; 22%), Massey Ferguson 135 (n = 11; 22%), and Ford 8N (n = 9; 18%). A major issue of CROPS retrofitting was the rear wheel fenders. The effort involved in disassembling the fenders (removing the old bolts was often faster by cutting them with a torch), modifying the fender mounting brackets, and then reinstalling the fenders with the CROPS generally required the most time. In addition, various other semi-permanent equipment attachments, such as front-end loaders, required additional time and effort to fit with the CROPS. Demonstrators were asked to rank the reasons why they had not retrofitted their tractors with ROPS until they had enrolled in the CROPS demonstration program. ROPS “cost too much” was ranked as the primary reason for participants in both states (80% for New York and 88% for Virginia). The second highest ranked reasons were “ROPS wasn’t available” for Virginia (80%) and “hassle to find ROPS” for New York (69%). The third highest ranked reasons were “not enough time to find ROPS” for New York (67%) and “hassle to find ROPS” for Virginia

  13. GM-CSF modulates pulmonary resistance to influenza A infection

    PubMed Central

    Sever-Chroneos, Zvjezdana; Murthy, Aditi; Davis, Jeremy; Florence, Jon Matthew; Kurdowska, Anna; Krupa, Agnieszka; Tichelaar, Jay W.; White, Mitchell R.; Hartshorn, Kevan L.; Kobzik, Lester; Whitsett, Jeffrey A.; Chroneos, Zissis C.

    2016-01-01

    Alveolar type II epithelial or other pulmonary cells secrete GM-CSF that regulates surfactant catabolism and mucosal host defense through its capacity to modulate the maturation and activation of alveolar macrophages. GM-CSF enhances expression of scavenger receptors MARCO and SR-A. The alveolar macrophage SP-R210 receptor binds the surfactant collectin SP-A mediating clearance of respiratory pathogens. The current study determined the effects of epithelial-derived GM-CSF in host resistance to influenza A pneumonia. The results demonstrate that GM-CSF enhanced resistance to infection with 1.9 × 104 ffc of the mouse-adapted influenza A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (PR8) H1N1 strain, as indicated by significant differences in mortality and mean survival of GM-CSF-deficient (GM−/−) mice compared to GM−/− mice in which GM-CSF is expressed at increased levels. Protective effects of GM-CSF were observed both in mice with constitutive and inducible GM-CSF expression under the control of the pulmonary-specific SFTPC or SCGB1A1 promoters, respectively. Mice that continuously secrete high levels of GM-CSF developed desquamative interstitial pneumonia that impaired long-term recovery from influenza. Conditional expression of optimal GM-CSF levels at the time of infection, however, resulted in alveolar macrophage proliferation and focal lymphocytic inflammation of distal airways. GM-CSF enhanced alveolar macrophage activity as indicated by increased expression of SP-R210 and CD11c. Infection of mice lacking the GM-CSF-regulated SR-A and MARCO receptors revealed that MARCO decreases resistance to influenza in association with increased levels of SP-R210 in MARCO−/− alveolar macrophages. In conclusion, GM-CSF enhances early host resistance to influenza. Targeting of MARCO may reinforce GM-CSF-mediated host defense against pathogenic influenza. PMID:21925209

  14. Modeling gene flow distribution within conventional fields and development of a simplified sampling method to quantify adventitious GM contents in maize.

    PubMed

    Melé, Enric; Nadal, Anna; Messeguer, Joaquima; Melé-Messeguer, Marina; Palaudelmàs, Montserrat; Peñas, Gisela; Piferrer, Xavier; Capellades, Gemma; Serra, Joan; Pla, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Genetically modified (GM) crops have been commercially grown for two decades. GM maize is one of 3 species with the highest acreage and specific events. Many countries established a mandatory labeling of products containing GM material, with thresholds for adventitious presence, to support consumers' freedom of choice. In consequence, coexistence systems need to be introduced to facilitate commercial culture of GM and non-GM crops in the same agricultural area. On modeling adventitious GM cross-pollination distribution within maize fields, we deduced a simple equation to estimate overall GM contents (%GM) of conventional fields, irrespective of its shape and size, and with no previous information on possible GM pollen donor fields. A sampling strategy was designed and experimentally validated in 19 agricultural fields. With 9 samples, %GM quantification requires just one analytical GM determination while identification of the pollen source needs 9 additional analyses. A decision support tool is provided. PMID:26596213

  15. Modeling gene flow distribution within conventional fields and development of a simplified sampling method to quantify adventitious GM contents in maize

    PubMed Central

    Melé, Enric; Nadal, Anna; Messeguer, Joaquima; Melé-Messeguer, Marina; Palaudelmàs, Montserrat; Peñas, Gisela; Piferrer, Xavier; Capellades, Gemma; Serra, Joan; Pla, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Genetically modified (GM) crops have been commercially grown for two decades. GM maize is one of 3 species with the highest acreage and specific events. Many countries established a mandatory labeling of products containing GM material, with thresholds for adventitious presence, to support consumers’ freedom of choice. In consequence, coexistence systems need to be introduced to facilitate commercial culture of GM and non-GM crops in the same agricultural area. On modeling adventitious GM cross-pollination distribution within maize fields, we deduced a simple equation to estimate overall GM contents (%GM) of conventional fields, irrespective of its shape and size, and with no previous information on possible GM pollen donor fields. A sampling strategy was designed and experimentally validated in 19 agricultural fields. With 9 samples, %GM quantification requires just one analytical GM determination while identification of the pollen source needs 9 additional analyses. A decision support tool is provided. PMID:26596213

  16. Adaptive mechanisms of insect pests against plant protease inhibitors and future prospects related to crop protection: a review.

    PubMed

    Macedo, Maria L R; de Oliveira, Caio F R; Costa, Poliene M; Castelhano, Elaine C; Silva-Filho, Marcio C

    2015-01-01

    The overwhelming demand for food requires the application of technology on field. An important issue that limits the productivity of crops is related to insect attacks. Hence, several studies have evaluated the application of different compounds to reduce the field losses, especially insecticide compounds from plant sources. Among them, plant protease inhibitors (PIs) have been studied in both basic and applied researches, displaying positive results in control of some insects. However, certain species are able to bypass the insecticide effects exerted by PIs. In this review, we disclosed the adaptive mechanisms showed by lepidopteran and coleopteran insects, the most expressive insect orders related to crop predation. The structural aspects involved in adaptation mechanisms are presented as well as the newest alternatives for pest control. The application of biotechnological tools in crop protection will be mandatory in agriculture, and it will be up to researchers to find the best candidates for effective control in long-term. PMID:25329404

  17. Does the growing of Bt maize change populations or ecological functions of non-target animals compared to the growing of conventional non-GM maize? A systematic review protocol

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Since 1996, genetically modified (GM) crops have been grown on an ever increasing area worldwide. Maize producing a Cry protein from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) was among the first GM crops released for commercial production and it is the only GM crop currently cultivated in Europe. A ...

  18. Will GM animals follow the GM plant fate?

    PubMed

    Vàzquez-Salat, Núria; Houdebine, Louis-Marie

    2013-02-01

    Despite being both Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), GM plants and GM animals share few similarities outside the laboratory premises. Whilst GM plants were soon embraced by industry and became a commercial success, only recently have GM animals reached the market. However, an area where GM animals are likely to follow the GM plant path is on their potential to cause social unrest. One of the major flaws of the 90s GMO crisis was the underestimation of the influence that different players can have in the adoption of new biotechnological applications. In this article we describe the unique evolution of GM animals in two of the most important fields: the pharmaceutical and the breeding sectors. For our analysis, we have subdivided the production chain into three governance domains: Science, Market and Public. We describe the influence and interaction of each of these domains as a vehicle for predicting the future adoptability of GM animals and to highlight conflicting areas. PMID:22987246

  19. NON-TARGET AND ECOSYSTEM IMPACTS FROM GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS CONTAINING PLANT INCORPORATED PROTECTANTS (PIPS)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The risk of unintended and unexpected adverse impacts on non-target organisms and ecosystems is a key issue in environmental risk assessment of PIP crop plants. While there has been considerable examination of the effects of insect resistant crops on certain non-target organisms...

  20. Constantly evolving safety assessment protocols for GM foods.

    PubMed

    Sesikeran, B; Vasanthi, Siruguri

    2008-01-01

    he introduction of GM foods has led to the evolution of a food safety assessment paradigm that establishes safety of the GM food relative to its conventional counterpart. The GM foods currently approved and marketed in several countries have undergone extensive safety testing under a structured safety assessment framework evolved by international organizations like FAO, WHO, Codex and OECD. The major elements of safety assessment include molecular characterization of inserted genes and stability of the trait, toxicity and allergenicity potential of the expressed substances, compositional analysis, potential for gene transfer to gut microflora and unintentional effects of the genetic modification. As more number and type of food crops are being brought under the genetic modification regime, the adequacy of existing safety assessment protocols for establishing safety of these foods has been questioned. Such crops comprise GM crops with higher agronomic vigour, nutritional or health benefit/ by modification of plant metabolic pathways and those expressing bioactive substances and pharmaceuticals. The safety assessment challenges of these foods are the potential of the methods to detect unintentional effects with higher sensitivity and rigor. Development of databases on food compositions, toxicants and allergens is currently seen as an important aid to development of safety protocols. With the changing global trends in genetic modification technology future challenge would be to develop GM crops with minimum amount of inserted foreign DNA so as to reduce the burden of complex safety assessments while ensuring safety and utility of the technology. PMID:18296346

  1. Looking forward to genetically edited fruit crops.

    PubMed

    Nagamangala Kanchiswamy, Chidananda; Sargent, Daniel James; Velasco, Riccardo; Maffei, Massimo E; Malnoy, Mickael

    2015-02-01

    The availability of genome sequences for many fruit crops has redefined the boundaries of genetic engineering and genetically modified (GM) crop plants. However commercialization of GM crops is hindered by numerous regulatory and social hurdles. Here, we focus on recently developed genome-editing tools for fruit crop improvement and their importance from the consumer perspective. Challenges and opportunities for the deployment of new genome-editing tools for fruit plants are also discussed. PMID:25129425

  2. 13th IUPAC International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry: Crop, Environment, and Public Health Protection, Technologies for a Changing World.

    PubMed

    McConnell, Laura L; Racke, Kenneth D; Hapeman, Cathleen J; Seiber, James N

    2016-01-13

    This introductory paper provides an overview of Perspectives papers written by plenary speakers from the 13th IUPAC International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry held in San Francisco, CA, USA, in August 2014. This group of papers emphasizes some of the emerging issues and challenges at the forefront of agricultural research: sustainability; agriculture's response to climate change and population growth; pollinator health and risk assessment; and global food production and food security. In addition, as part of the Congress, a workshop on "Developing Global Leaders for Research, Regulation, and Stewardship of Crop Protection Chemistry in the 21st Century" identified specific recommendations to attract the best scientists to agricultural science, to provide opportunities to study and conduct research on crop protection chemistry topics, and to improve science communication skills. PMID:26709728

  3. GM1 and GM2 gangliosides: recent developments.

    PubMed

    Bisel, Blaine; Pavone, Francesco S; Calamai, Martino

    2014-03-01

    GM1 and GM2 gangliosides are important components of the cell membrane and play an integral role in cell signaling and metabolism. In this conceptual overview, we discuss recent developments in our understanding of the basic biological functions of GM1 and GM2 and their involvement in several diseases. In addition to a well-established spectrum of disorders known as gangliosidoses, such as Tay-Sachs disease, more and more evidence points at an involvement of GM1 in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. New emerging methodologies spanning from single-molecule imaging in vivo to simulations in silico have complemented standard studies based on ganglioside extraction. PMID:25372744

  4. Impact of insect-resistant GM rice on pesticide use and farmers' health in China.

    PubMed

    Huang, JiKun; Hu, RuiFa; Qiao, FangBin; Yin, YanHong; Liu, HuaiJu; Huang, ZhuRong

    2015-05-01

    The economic benefits of insect-resistant genetically modified (GM) crops have been well documented, but the impact of such crops and the consequent reduction in pesticide use on farmers' health remains largely unknown. Through the analysis of the data collected from the physical examination from farmers in China, we show that GM rice significantly reduces pesticide use and the resultant not only visible but also invisible adverse effects on farmers' neurological, hematological, and electrolyte system. Hence, the commercialization of GM rice is expected to improve the health of farmers in developing countries, where pesticide application is necessary to mitigate crop loss. PMID:25576299

  5. Promise and issues of genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hao; Lin, Yongjun

    2013-05-01

    The growing area of genetically modified (GM) crops has substantially expanded since they were first commercialized in 1996. Correspondingly, the adoption of GM crops has brought huge economic and environmental benefits. All these achievements have been primarily supported by two simple traits of herbicide tolerance and insect resistance in the past 17 years. However, this situation will change soon. Recently, the advance of new products, technologies and safety assessment approaches has provided new opportunities for development of GM crops. In this review, we focus on the developmental trend in various aspects of GM crops including new products, technical innovation and risk assessment approaches, as well as potential challenges that GM crops are currently encountering. PMID:23571013

  6. Human and ecological risk assessment of a crop protection chemical: a case study with the azole fungicide epoxiconazole.

    PubMed

    Chambers, Janice E; Greim, Helmut; Kendall, Ronald J; Segner, Helmut; Sharpe, Richard M; Van Der Kraak, Glen

    2014-02-01

    Conventional risk assessments for crop protection chemicals compare the potential for causing toxicity (hazard identification) to anticipated exposure. New regulatory approaches have been proposed that would exclude exposure assessment and just focus on hazard identification based on endocrine disruption. This review comprises a critical analysis of hazard, focusing on the relative sensitivity of endocrine and non-endocrine endpoints, using a class of crop protection chemicals, the azole fungicides. These were selected because they are widely used on important crops (e.g. grains) and thereby can contact target and non-target plants and enter the food chain of humans and wildlife. Inhibition of lanosterol 14α-demethylase (CYP51) mediates the antifungal effect. Inhibition of other CYPs, such as aromatase (CYP19), can lead to numerous toxicological effects, which are also evident from high dose human exposures to therapeutic azoles. Because of its widespread use and substantial database, epoxiconazole was selected as a representative azole fungicide. Our critical analysis concluded that anticipated human exposure to epoxiconazole would yield a margin of safety of at least three orders of magnitude for reproductive effects observed in laboratory rodent studies that are postulated to be endocrine-driven (i.e. fetal resorptions). The most sensitive ecological species is the aquatic plant Lemna (duckweed), for which the margin of safety is less protective than for human health. For humans and wildlife, endocrine disruption is not the most sensitive endpoint. It is concluded that conventional risk assessment, considering anticipated exposure levels, will be protective of both human and ecological health. Although the toxic mechanisms of other azole compounds may be similar, large differences in potency will require a case-by-case risk assessment. PMID:24274332

  7. An update on polygalacturonase-inhibiting protein (PGIP), a leucine-rich repeat protein that protects crop plants against pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Kalunke, Raviraj M.; Tundo, Silvio; Benedetti, Manuel; Cervone, Felice; De Lorenzo, Giulia; D'Ovidio, Renato

    2015-01-01

    Polygalacturonase inhibiting proteins (PGIPs) are cell wall proteins that inhibit the pectin-depolymerizing activity of polygalacturonases secreted by microbial pathogens and insects. These ubiquitous inhibitors have a leucine-rich repeat structure that is strongly conserved in monocot and dicot plants. Previous reviews have summarized the importance of PGIP in plant defense and the structural basis of PG-PGIP interaction; here we update the current knowledge about PGIPs with the recent findings on the composition and evolution of pgip gene families, with a special emphasis on legume and cereal crops. We also update the information about the inhibition properties of single pgip gene products against microbial PGs and the results, including field tests, showing the capacity of PGIP to protect crop plants against fungal, oomycetes and bacterial pathogens. PMID:25852708

  8. Remote sensing of thermal radiation from an aircraft - An analysis and evaluation of crop-freeze protection methods

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sutherland, R. A.; Hannah, H. E.; Cook, A. F.; Martsolf, J. D.

    1981-01-01

    Thermal images from an aircraft-mounted scanner are used to evaluate the effectiveness of crop-freeze protection devices. Data from flights made while using fuel oil heaters, a wind machine and an undercanopy irrigation system are compared. Results show that the overall protection provided by irrigation (at approximately 2 C) is comparable to the less energy-efficient heater-wind machine combination. Protection provided by the wind machine alone (at approximately 1 C) was found to decrease linearly with distance from the machine by approximately 1 C/100 m. The flights were made over a 1.5 hectare citrus grove at an altitude of 450 m with an 8-14 micron detector. General meteorological conditions during the experiments, conducted during the nighttime, were cold (at approximately -6 C) and calm with clear skies.

  9. Pest control. Full crop protection from an insect pest by expression of long double-stranded RNAs in plastids.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiang; Khan, Sher Afzal; Hasse, Claudia; Ruf, Stephanie; Heckel, David G; Bock, Ralph

    2015-02-27

    Double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) targeted against essential genes can trigger a lethal RNA interference (RNAi) response in insect pests. The application of this concept in plant protection is hampered by the presence of an endogenous plant RNAi pathway that processes dsRNAs into short interfering RNAs. We found that long dsRNAs can be stably produced in chloroplasts, a cellular compartment that appears to lack an RNAi machinery. When expressed from the chloroplast genome, dsRNAs accumulated to as much as 0.4% of the total cellular RNA. Transplastomic potato plants producing dsRNAs targeted against the β-actin gene of the Colorado potato beetle, a notorious agricultural pest, were protected from herbivory and were lethal to its larvae. Thus, chloroplast expression of long dsRNAs can provide crop protection without chemical pesticides. PMID:25722411

  10. The Phorbol Ester Fraction from Jatropha curcas Seed Oil: Potential and Limits for Crop Protection against Insect Pests

    PubMed Central

    Ratnadass, Alain; Wink, Michael

    2012-01-01

    The physic nut shrub, Jatropha curcas (Euphorbiaceae), has been considered as a “miracle tree”, particularly as a source of alternate fuel. Various extracts of the plant have been reported to have insecticidal/acaricidal or molluscicidal/anthelminthic activities on vectors of medical or veterinary interest or on agricultural or non-agricultural pests. Among those extracts, the phorbol ester fraction from seed oil has been reported as a promising candidate for use as a plant-derived protectant of a variety of crops, from a range of pre-harvest and post-harvest insect pests. However, such extracts have not been widely used, despite the “boom” in the development of the crop in the tropics during recent years, and societal concerns about overuse of systemic chemical pesticides. There are many potential explanations to such a lack of use of Jatropha insecticidal extracts. On the one hand, the application of extracts potentially harmful to human health on stored food grain, might not be relevant. The problem of decomposition of phorbol esters and other compounds toxic to crop pests in the field needing further evaluation before such extracts can be widely used, may also be a partial explanation. High variability of phorbol ester content and hence of insecticidal activity among physic nut cultivars/ecotypes may be another. Phytotoxicity to crops may be further limitation. Apparent obstacles to a wider application of such extracts are the costs and problems involved with registration and legal approval. On the other hand, more studies should be conducted on molluscicidal activity on slugs and land snails which are major pests of crops, particularly in conservation agriculture systems. Further evaluation of toxicity to natural enemies of insect pests and studies on other beneficial insects such as pollinators are also needed. PMID:23203190

  11. GM risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Sparrow, P A C

    2010-03-01

    GM risk assessments (GMRAs) play an important role in the decision-making process surrounding the regulation, notification and permission to handle Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Ultimately the role of each GMRA will be able to ensure the safe handling and containment of the GMO; and to asses any potential impacts on the environment and human health. A risk assessment should answer all "what if" scenarios, based on scientific evidence. This article sets out to provide researchers with helpful guidance notes on producing their own GMRA. While reference is made to UK and EU regulations, the underlying principles and points to consider are generic to most countries. PMID:20087690

  12. LONG-DISTANCE GM POLLEN MOVEMENT OF CREEPING BENTGRASS USING MODELED WIND TRAJECTORY ANALYSIS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The importance of understanding the role of atmospheric conditions in pollen dispersal has grown in recent years with increased field-testing of genetically modified (GM) crop plants. An atmospheric model was used to characterize wind trajectories at 10 m and 100 m above GM polle...

  13. Protection goals in environmental risk assessment: a practical approach.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Alonso, Monica; Raybould, Alan

    2014-12-01

    Policy protection goals are set up in most countries to minimise harm to the environment, humans and animals caused by human activities. Decisions on whether to approve new agricultural products, like pesticides or genetically modified (GM) crops, take into account these policy protection goals. To support decision-making, applications for approval of commercial uses of GM crops usually comprise an environmental risk assessment (ERA). These risk assessments are analytical tools, based on science, that follow a conceptual model that includes a problem formulation step where policy protection goals are considered. However, in most countries, risk assessors face major problems in that policy protection goals set in the legislation are stated in very broad terms and are too ambiguous to be directly applicable in ERAs. This means that risk assessors often have to interpret policy protection goals without clear guidance on what effects would be considered harmful. In this paper we propose a practical approach that may help risk assessors to translate policy protection goals into unambiguous (i.e., operational) protection goals and to establish relevant assessment endpoints and risk hypotheses that can be used in ERAs. Examples are provided to show how this approach can be applied to two areas of environmental concern relevant to the ERAs of GM crops. PMID:24154954

  14. Appropriate Analytical Methods are Necessary to Assess Non-target Effects of Insecticidal Proteins in GM Crops Through Meta-Analysis (response to Andow et al.): Letter to the Editor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There has been an on-going debate over an article published in Environmental Entomology by Lovei et al. (Transgenic Insecticidal Crops and Natural Enemies: A Detailed Review of Laboratory Studies). A rebuttal letter was published in Transgenic Research and Lovei et al. have responded to our letter....

  15. Soybean GmMYB73 promotes lipid accumulation in transgenic plants

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Soybean is one of the most important oil crops. The regulatory genes involved in oil accumulation are largely unclear. We initiated studies to identify genes that regulate this process. Results One MYB-type gene GmMYB73 was found to display differential expression in soybean seeds of different developing stages by microarray analysis and was further investigated for its functions in lipid accumulation. GmMYB73 is a small protein with single MYB repeat and has similarity to CPC-like MYB proteins from Arabidopsis. GmMYB73 interacted with GL3 and EGL3, and then suppressed GL2, a negative regulator of oil accumulation. GmMYB73 overexpression enhanced lipid contents in both seeds and leaves of transgenic Arabidopsis plants. Seed length and thousand-seed weight were also promoted. GmMYB73 introduction into the Arabidopsis try cpc double mutant rescued the total lipids, seed size and thousand-seed weight. GmMYB73 also elevated lipid levels in seeds and leaves of transgenic Lotus, and in transgenic hairy roots of soybean plants. GmMYB73 promoted PLDα1 expression, whose promoter can be bound and inhibited by GL2. PLDα1 mutation reduced triacylglycerol levels mildly in seeds but significantly in leaves of Arabidopsis plants. Conclusions GmMYB73 may reduce GL2, and then release GL2-inhibited PLDα1 expression for lipid accumulation. Manipulation of GmMYB73 may potentially improve oil production in legume crop plants. PMID:24655684

  16. Proteomic evaluation of genetically modified crops: current status and challenges.

    PubMed

    Gong, Chun Yan; Wang, Tai

    2013-01-01

    Hectares of genetically modified (GM) crops have increased exponentially since 1996, when such crops began to be commercialized. GM biotechnology, together with conventional breeding, has become the main approach to improving agronomic traits of crops. However, people are concerned about the safety of GM crops, especially GM-derived food and feed. Many efforts have been made to evaluate the unintended effects caused by the introduction of exogenous genes. "Omics" techniques have advantages over targeted analysis in evaluating such crops because of their use of high-throughput screening. Proteins are key players in gene function and are directly involved in metabolism and cellular development or have roles as toxins, antinutrients, or allergens, which are essential for human health. Thus, proteomics can be expected to become one of the most useful tools in safety assessment. This review assesses the potential of proteomics in evaluating various GM crops. We further describe the challenges in ensuring homogeneity and sensitivity in detection techniques. PMID:23471542

  17. Soybean GmPHD-Type Transcription Regulators Improve Stress Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis Plants

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Yu-Jun; Zou, Hong-Feng; Wang, Hui-Wen; Zhao, Jing-Yun; Liu, Xue-Yi; Zhang, Wan-Ke; Ma, Biao; Zhang, Jin-Song; Chen, Shou-Yi

    2009-01-01

    Background Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] is one of the most important crops for oil and protein resource. Improvement of stress tolerance will be beneficial for soybean seed production. Principal Findings Six GmPHD genes encoding Alfin1-type PHD finger protein were identified and their expressions differentially responded to drought, salt, cold and ABA treatments. The six GmPHDs were nuclear proteins and showed ability to bind the cis-element “GTGGAG”. The N-terminal domain of GmPHD played a major role in DNA binding. Using a protoplast assay system, we find that GmPHD1 to GmPHD5 had transcriptional suppression activity whereas GmPHD6 did not have. In yeast assay, the GmPHD6 can form homodimer and heterodimer with the other GmPHDs except GmPHD2. The N-terminal plus the variable regions but not the PHD-finger is required for the dimerization. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing the GmPHD2 showed salt tolerance when compared with the wild type plants. This tolerance was likely achieved by diminishing the oxidative stress through regulation of downstream genes. Significance These results provide important clues for soybean stress tolerance through manipulation of PHD-type transcription regulator. PMID:19789627

  18. GM1 Ganglioside: Past Studies and Future Potential.

    PubMed

    Aureli, Massimo; Mauri, Laura; Ciampa, Maria Grazia; Prinetti, Alessandro; Toffano, Gino; Secchieri, Cynthia; Sonnino, Sandro

    2016-04-01

    Gangliosides (sialic acid-containing glycosphingolipids) are abundant in neurons of all animal species and play important roles in many cell physiological processes, including differentiation, memory control, cell signaling, neuronal protection, neuronal recovery, and apoptosis. Gangliosides also function as anchors or entry points for various toxins, bacteria, viruses, and autoantibodies. GM1, a ganglioside component of mammalian brains, is present mainly in neurons. GM1 is one of the best studied gangliosides, and our understanding of its properties is extensive. Simple and rapid procedures are available for preparation of GM1 as a natural compound on a large scale, or as a derivative containing an isotopic radionuclide or a specific probe. Great research interest in the properties of GM1 arose from the discovery in the early 1970s of its role as receptor for the bacterial toxin responsible for cholera pathogenesis. PMID:25762012

  19. A new attractant for monitoring western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis in protected crops.

    PubMed

    Abdullah, Zayed S; Greenfield, Bethany Pj; Ficken, Katherine J; Taylor, James Wd; Wood, Martyn; Butt, Tariq M

    2015-01-01

    Monitoring of pest populations is an essential component of integrated pest management. An early warning system helps growers decide when best to take control measures, or when to alter them, should a control method prove inadequate. Studies have shown that adding chemical attractants to sticky cards can increase trap catch of western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, a global pest of agriculture and horticulture, giving more accurate accounts of population size and dynamics, thus leading to more efficient monitoring. We identify a novel semiochemical to the species, (S)-(-)-verbenone, showing that addition of this compound to sticky traps significantly increased F. occidentalis catch in two geographically distinct populations, infesting two unrelated crops of global economic importance. We validate through field trials that (S)-(-)-verbenone is highly attractive to F.occidentalis and can be used with blue sticky traps to enhance trap catch, leading to better estimations of pest population densities. The compound may be used in other control methods against F.occidentalis such as lure and kill, mass trapping and push-pull. PMID:25763301

  20. Arabidopsis KLU homologue GmCYP78A72 regulates seed size in soybean.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Baotian; Dai, Aihua; Wei, Haichao; Yang, Suxin; Wang, Baoshan; Jiang, Ning; Feng, Xianzhong

    2016-01-01

    Soybean (Glycine max) is one of the most important crops in the world, and its yield is largely determined by grain weight and grain size. However, the genes that regulate soybean seed size have not been identified. CYP78A, which is highly conserved within terrestrial plants, regulates organ development. In Arabidopsis, AtCYP78A5/KLU has been shown to determine seed size. In the present study, soybean CYP78A72 (GmCYP78A72), one of the orthologs of KLU, was over-expressed in both Arabidopsis and soybean to examine its function in plant development. GmCYP78A72 heterologous expression in Arabidopsis resulted in enlarged sepals, petals, seeds and carpel. Over-expression of GmCYP78A72 in soybean resulted in increased pea size, which is an extremely desirable trait for enhancing productivity. Moreover, knock-down of GmCYP78A72 does not reduce grain size. However, silencing of GmCYP78A57, GmCYP78A70 and GmCYP78A72 genes in triplet reduces the seed size significantly indicating functional redundancy of these three GmCYP78A genes. In conclusion, we investigated the role of CYP78A in soybean seed regulation, and our strategy can be effectively used to engineer large seed traits in soybean varieties as well as other crops. PMID:26482479

  1. Genetically modified crops and food security.

    PubMed

    Qaim, Matin; Kouser, Shahzad

    2013-01-01

    The role of genetically modified (GM) crops for food security is the subject of public controversy. GM crops could contribute to food production increases and higher food availability. There may also be impacts on food quality and nutrient composition. Finally, growing GM crops may influence farmers' income and thus their economic access to food. Smallholder farmers make up a large proportion of the undernourished people worldwide. Our study focuses on this latter aspect and provides the first ex post analysis of food security impacts of GM crops at the micro level. We use comprehensive panel data collected over several years from farm households in India, where insect-resistant GM cotton has been widely adopted. Controlling for other factors, the adoption of GM cotton has significantly improved calorie consumption and dietary quality, resulting from increased family incomes. This technology has reduced food insecurity by 15-20% among cotton-producing households. GM crops alone will not solve the hunger problem, but they can be an important component in a broader food security strategy. PMID:23755155

  2. Characterization of in-swath spray deposition for CP-11TT flat-fan nozzles used in low volume aerial application of crop production and protection materials

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For aerial application of crop production and protection materials, a complex interaction of controllable and uncontrollable factors is involved. It is difficult to completely characterize spray drift and deposition, but estimates can be made with appropriate sampling protocol and analysis. With c...

  3. Genetically modified crops: detection strategies and biosafety issues.

    PubMed

    Kamle, Suchitra; Ali, Sher

    2013-06-15

    Genetically modified (GM) crops are increasingly gaining acceptance but concurrently consumers' concerns are also increasing. The introduction of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) genes into the plants has raised issues related to its risk assessment and biosafety. The International Regulations and the Codex guidelines regulate the biosafety requirements of the GM crops. In addition, these bodies synergize and harmonize the ethical issues related to the release and use of GM products. The labeling of GM crops and their products are mandatory if the genetically modified organism (GMO) content exceeds the levels of a recommended threshold. The new and upcoming GM crops carrying multiple stacked traits likely to be commercialized soon warrant sensitive detection methods both at the DNA and protein levels. Therefore, traceability of the transgene and its protein expression in GM crops is an important issue that needs to be addressed on a priority basis. The advancement in the area of molecular biology has made available several bioanalytical options for the detection of GM crops based on DNA and protein markers. Since the insertion of a gene into the host genome may even cause copy number variation, this may be uncovered using real time PCR. Besides, assessing the exact number of mRNA transcripts of a gene, correlation between the template activity and expressed protein may be established. Here, we present an overview on the production of GM crops, their acceptabilities, detection strategies, biosafety issues and potential impact on society. Further, overall future prospects are also highlighted. PMID:23566850

  4. Genetically modified crops: Brazilian law and overview.

    PubMed

    Marinho, C D; Martins, F J O; Amaral Júnior, A T; Gonçalves, L S A; dos Santos, O J A P; Alves, D P; Brasileiro, B P; Peternelli, L A

    2014-01-01

    In Brazil, the first genetically modified (GM) crop was released in 1998, and it is estimated that 84, 78, and 50% of crop areas containing soybean, corn, and cotton, respectively, were transgenic in 2012. This intense and rapid adoption rate confirms that the choice to use technology has been the main factor in developing national agriculture. Thus, this review focuses on understanding these dynamics in the context of farmers, trade relations, and legislation. To accomplish this goal, a survey was conducted using the database of the National Cultivar Registry and the National Service for Plant Variety Protection of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply [Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (MAPA)] between 1998 and October 13, 2013. To date, 36 events have been released: five for soybeans, 18 for corn, 12 for cotton, and one for beans. From these events, 1395 cultivars have been developed and registered: 582 for soybean, 783 for corn and 30 for cotton. Monsanto owns 73.05% of the technologies used to develop these cultivars, while the Dow AgroScience - DuPont partnership and Syngenta have 16.34 and 4.37% ownership, respectively. Thus, the provision of transgenic seeds by these companies is an oligopoly supported by legislation. Moreover, there has been a rapid replacement of conventional crops by GM crops, whose technologies belong almost exclusively to four multinational companies, with the major ownership by Monsanto. These results reflect a warning to the government of the increased dependence on multinational corporations for key agricultural commodities. PMID:25061747

  5. GM foods: is there a way forward?

    PubMed

    Jones, Huw D

    2015-08-01

    There are many quality targets in cereals that could generate step-change improvements in nutritional or food-processing characteristics. For instance, levels of acrylamide, soluble and insoluble fibre, antioxidants, allergens and intolerance factors in food are, to a large extent, determined by the genetics of the raw materials used. However, improvements to these traits pose significant challenges to plant breeders. For some traits, this is because the underlying genetic and biochemical basis of the traits is not fully understood but for others, there is simply a lack of natural genetic variation in commercially useful germplasm. One strategy to overcome the latter hindrance is to use wide crosses with more exotic germplasm; however, this can bring other difficulties such as yield loss and linkage drag of deleterious alleles. As DNA sequencing becomes cheaper and faster, it drives the research fields of reverse genetics and functional genomics which in turn will enable the incorporation of desirable traits into crop varieties via molecular breeding and biotechnology. I will discuss the evolution of these techniques from conventional genetic modification to more recent developments in targeted gene editing and the potential of biotechnology to complement conventional breeding methods. I will also discuss the role of risk assessment and regulation in the commercialisation of GM crops. PMID:26186672

  6. Acceptability of GM foods among Pakistani consumers.

    PubMed

    Ali, Akhter; Rahut, Dil Bahadur; Imtiaz, Muhammad

    2016-04-01

    In Pakistan majority of the consumers do not have information about genetically modified (GM) foods. In developing countries particularly in Pakistan few studies have focused on consumers' acceptability about GM foods. Using comprehensive primary dataset collected from 320 consumers in 2013 from Pakistan, this study analyzes the determinants of consumers' acceptability of GM foods. The data was analyzed by employing the bivariate probit model and censored least absolute deviation (CLAD) models. The empirical results indicated that urban consumers are more aware of GM foods compared to rural consumers. The acceptance of GM foods was more among females' consumers as compared to male consumers. In addition, the older consumers were more willing to accept GM food compared to young consumers. The acceptability of GM foods was also higher among wealthier households. Low price is the key factor leading to the acceptability of GM foods. The acceptability of the GM foods also reduces the risks among Pakistani consumers. PMID:27494790

  7. Explaining the present GM business strategy on the EU food market: the gatekeepers' perspective.

    PubMed

    Inghelbrecht, Linde; Dessein, Joost; Van Huylenbroeck, Guido

    2015-01-25

    The use of genetically modified (GM) crops and their applications is partially suppressed in European Union (EU) agriculture, even if one would expect otherwise given their complementarity with the neoliberal and industrialised EU agricultural regime in place. By applying a qualitative content analysis, this paper analyses how food manufacturers and retailers (referred to as gatekeepers in the food industry) explain and defend the exclusion of GM-labelled food products on the EU market. The study design places emphasis on the role of perceptions in the strategic behaviour of gatekeepers and on the role of interaction in this regard, as we assume that the way in which gatekeepers perceive the 'rules of the game' for commercialising GM crop applications on the EU food market will be influenced by their interaction with other agribusiness actors. In a first stage, the analysis determines thematic congruence in the (types of) perceptions that explain an agribusiness actor's overall interpretation of the EU business environment for GM crop applications. This perceived 'structuring arena' (SA) for GM crop applications - as conceptualised within our framework - contains areas of either internal and external tensions, that have a compelling or non-committal influence on the agribusiness actor's interpretation. In a second stage, the analysis particularly defines how gatekeepers in the food industry perceive and experience the SA for GM crop applications on the EU market, and how these perceptual tensions subsequently influence their strategic behaviour for GM-labelled products on the EU market. Finally, we highlight how these perceptions and actions (or inaction) suppress the main changes in practice that are necessary to manage this wicked problem. PMID:25252022

  8. A critical review on fungi mediated plant responses with special emphasis to Piriformospora indica on improved production and protection of crops.

    PubMed

    Ansari, Mohammad Wahid; Trivedi, Dipesh Kumar; Sahoo, Ranjan Kumar; Gill, Sarvajeet Singh; Tuteja, Narendra

    2013-09-01

    The beneficial fungi are potentially useful in agriculture sector to avail several services to crop plants such as water status, nutrient enrichment, stress tolerance, protection, weed control and bio-control. Natural agro-ecosystem relies on fungi because of it takes part in soil organic matter decomposition, nutrient acquisition, organic matter recycling, nutrient recycling, antagonism against plant pests, and crop management. The crucial role of fungi in normalizing the toxic effects of phenols, HCN and ROS by β-CAS, ACC demainase and antioxidant enzymes in plants is well documented. Fungi also play a part in various physiological processes such as water uptake, stomatal movement, mineral uptake, photosynthesis and biosynthesis of lignan, auxins and ethylene to improve growth and enhance plant fitness to cope heat, cold, salinity, drought and heavy metal stress. Here, we highlighted the ethylene- and cyclophilin A (CypA)-mediated response of Piriformospora indica for sustainable crop production under adverse environmental conditions. PMID:23831950

  9. Genetically modified food in the news: media representations of the GM debate in the UK.

    PubMed

    Augoustinos, Martha; Crabb, Shona; Shepherd, Richard

    2010-01-01

    This paper analyses a corpus of articles on GM crops and food which appeared in six UK newspapers in the first three months of 2004, the year following the GM Nation? debate (2003). Using the methods of critical discourse analysis we focus on how specific and pervasive representations of the major stakeholders in the national debate on GM--the British public, the British government, the science of GM, and biotechnology companies--served significant rhetorical functions in the controversy. Of particular significance was the pervasive representation of the British public as uniformly opposed to GM crops and food which served rhetorically to position the British government as undemocratic and as being beholden to powerful political and economic interests. Of significance also in our analysis, is how the science of GM farming itself became a highly contested arena. In short, our analysis demonstrates how the GM debate was represented in the newsprint media as a "battleground" of competing interests. We conclude by considering the possible implications of this representation given the increasing emphasis placed on the importance of deliberative and inclusive forms of science policy decision-making. PMID:20533793

  10. GM Prototype Moon Buggy Wheel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1967-01-01

    Under the direction of Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) was designed to allow Apollo astronauts a greater range of mobility during lunar exploration missions. During the development process, LRV prototype wheels underwent soil tests in building 4481 at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). Pictured is the GM wheel design.

  11. Science, politics, and the GM debate in Europe.

    PubMed

    Tencalla, Francesca

    2006-02-01

    Europe today stands at a crossroad, facing challenges but also opportunities. In its intent to make Europe a leading technology-based economy by 2010, the European Commission has identified biotechnology and genomics as fields for future growth, crucial for supporting the agricultural and food processing industry. Since first commercialization in 1996, GM crop areas have grown at double-digit rates, making this one of the most rapidly adopted technologies in agriculture. However, in contrast to other world areas and despite European Commission support, Europe has found itself 'bogged-down' in a polemic between opponents and supporters of plant biotechnology. As a result, planted areas have remained small. This stalemate is due to a lack of political leadership, especially at the Member State level, all the more surprising in light of European early development and competitive advantage with crop biotechnology. This situation proves once again that, for cutting-edge innovations, a solid science base alone is not sufficient. Acceptance or rejection of new technologies depends on interlinked political, economic, and societal factors that create a favorable or unfavorable situation at a given time. This article will look at GM crops in Europe and the role science and politics have played in the introduction of crop biotechnology. PMID:16188360

  12. Spatiotemporal patterns of non-genetically modified crops in the era of expansion of genetically modified food

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jing; Wu, Wenbin; Tang, Huajun; Liu, Jianguo

    2015-01-01

    Despite heated debates over the safety of genetically modified (GM) food, GM crops have been expanding rapidly. Much research has focused on the expansion of GM crops. However, the spatiotemporal dynamics of non-genetically modified (non-GM) crops are not clear, although they may have significant environmental and agronomic impacts and important policy implications. To understand the dynamics of non-GM crops and to inform the debates among relevant stakeholders, we conducted spatiotemporal analyses of China’s major non-GM soybean production region, the Heilongjiang Province. Even though the total soybean planting area decreased from 2005 to 2010, surprisingly, there were hotspots of increase. The results also showed hotspots of loss as well as a large decline in the number and continuity of soybean plots. Since China is the largest non-GM soybean producer in the world, the decline of its major production region may signal the continual decline of global non-GM soybeans. PMID:26380899

  13. Spatiotemporal patterns of non-genetically modified crops in the era of expansion of genetically modified food.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jing; Wu, Wenbin; Tang, Huajun; Liu, Jianguo

    2015-01-01

    Despite heated debates over the safety of genetically modified (GM) food, GM crops have been expanding rapidly. Much research has focused on the expansion of GM crops. However, the spatiotemporal dynamics of non-genetically modified (non-GM) crops are not clear, although they may have significant environmental and agronomic impacts and important policy implications. To understand the dynamics of non-GM crops and to inform the debates among relevant stakeholders, we conducted spatiotemporal analyses of China's major non-GM soybean production region, the Heilongjiang Province. Even though the total soybean planting area decreased from 2005 to 2010, surprisingly, there were hotspots of increase. The results also showed hotspots of loss as well as a large decline in the number and continuity of soybean plots. Since China is the largest non-GM soybean producer in the world, the decline of its major production region may signal the continual decline of global non-GM soybeans. PMID:26380899

  14. Dramatic reduction of crop-to-crop gene flow within a short distance from transgenic rice fields.

    PubMed

    Rong, Jun; Lu, Bao-Rong; Song, Zhiping; Su, Jun; Snow, Allison A; Zhang, Xinsheng; Sun, Shuguang; Chen, Rui; Wang, Feng

    2007-01-01

    Genetically modified (GM) rice with enhanced agronomic traits and pharmaceutical uses are ready for widespread adoption. Little is known about isolation requirements for achieving stringent transgene confinement in rice. To investigate the extent of pollen-mediated crop-to-crop transgene flow, we conducted a field experiment with four plot-size treatments of adjacent GM and nonGM rice (Oryza sativa) in China. Three insect-resistant GM rice (Bt/CpTI) and nonGM isogenic lines were used in the study. The hygromycin-resistance transgene (hpt) marker was used to screen seeds from the nonGM rice rows at different distance intervals from GM rice plots. Based on the examination of > 2.1 million germinated seeds, we found a dramatic reduction in transgene frequencies with increasing distance from the GM crop, ranging from c. 0.28% at 0.2 m to < 0.01% at 6.2 m. In addition, different plot size did not significantly affect the frequencies of gene flow. In conclusion, pollen-mediated crop-to-crop transgene flow in rice can be maintained at negligible levels with short spatial isolation. The model can also be applied to other crops with self- and wind-pollination. PMID:17204081

  15. Global value of GM rice: a review of expected agronomic and consumer benefits.

    PubMed

    Demont, Matty; Stein, Alexander J

    2013-06-25

    Unlike the other major crops, no genetically modified (GM) varieties of rice have been commercialized at a large scale. Within the next 2-3 years new transgenic rice varieties could be ready for regulatory approval and subsequent commercialization, though. Given the importance of rice as staple crop for many of the world's poorest people, this will have implications for the alleviation of poverty, hunger and malnutrition. Thus, policy-makers need to be aware of the potential benefits of GM rice. We provide an overview of the literature and discuss the evidence on expected agronomic and consumer benefits of genetically engineered rice. We find that while GM rice with improved agronomic traits could deliver benefits similar to already commercialized biotechnology crops, expected benefits of consumer traits could be higher by an order of magnitude. By aggregating the expected annual benefits, we estimate the global value of GM rice to be US$64 billion per year. This is only an indicative value, as more GM varieties will become available in future. Nevertheless, such a figure can help guide policy-makers when deciding on the approval or funding of biotechnology crops and it may also raise awareness among consumers about what is at stake for their societies. PMID:23628812

  16. Genetics Home Reference: GM3 synthase deficiency

    MedlinePlus

    ... GM3 synthase deficiency is characterized by recurrent seizures (epilepsy) and problems with brain development. Within the first ... diagnosis or management of GM3 synthase deficiency: American Epilepsy Society: Find a Doctor Clinic for Special Children ( ...

  17. Insect-resistant biotech crops and their impacts on beneficial arthropods

    PubMed Central

    Gatehouse, A. M. R.; Ferry, N.; Edwards, M. G.; Bell, H. A.

    2011-01-01

    With a projected population of 10 billion by 2050, an immediate priority for agriculture is to achieve increased crop yields in a sustainable and cost-effective way. The concept of using a transgenic approach was realized in the mid-1990s with the commercial introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops. By 2010, the global value of the seed alone was US $11.2 billion, with commercial biotech maize, soya bean grain and cotton valued at approximately US $150 billion. In recent years, it has become evident that insect-resistant crops expressing δ-endotoxin genes from Bacillus thuringiensis have made a significant beneficial impact on global agriculture, not least in terms of pest reduction and improved quality. However, because of the potential for pest populations to evolve resistance, and owing to lack of effective control of homopteran pests, alternative strategies are being developed. Some of these are based on Bacillus spp. or other insect pathogens, while others are based on the use of plant- and animal-derived genes. However, if such approaches are to play a useful role in crop protection, it is desirable that they do not have a negative impact on beneficial organisms at higher trophic levels thus affecting the functioning of the agro-ecosystem. This widely held concern over the ecological impacts of GM crops has led to the extensive examination of the potential effects of a range of transgene proteins on non-target and beneficial insects. The findings to date with respect to both commercial and experimental GM crops expressing anti-insect genes are discussed here, with particular emphasis on insect predators and parasitoids. PMID:21444317

  18. Safety assessment of foods from genetically modified crops in countries with developing economies.

    PubMed

    Delaney, Bryan

    2015-12-01

    Population growth particularly in countries with developing economies will result in a need to increase food production by 70% by the year 2050. Biotechnology has been utilized to produce genetically modified (GM) crops for insect and weed control with benefits including increased crop yield and will also be used in emerging countries. A multicomponent safety assessment paradigm has been applied to individual GM crops to determine whether they as safe as foods from non-GM crops. This paper reviews methods to assess the safety of foods from GM crops for safe consumption from the first generation of GM crops. The methods can readily be applied to new products developed within country and this paper will emphasize the concept of data portability; that safety data produced in one geographic location is suitable for safety assessment regardless of where it is utilized. PMID:26456807

  19. Framing GM Crops as a Food Security Solution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dibden, Jacqui; Gibbs, David; Cocklin, Chris

    2013-01-01

    The spectre of a food security crisis has raised important questions about future directions for agriculture and given fresh impetus to a long-standing debate about the potential contribution of agricultural biotechnology to food security. This paper considers the discursive foundations for promotion of agricultural biotechnology, arguing that…

  20. Compositional analysis of GM crops: key issues and future needs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Effective symposia need two strong legs to stand upon: informative presentations of recent research paired with lively discussion of these topics. While it is easy for the organizers of a symposium to predict the usefulness of the former, as they select the speakers and their topic areas, guaranteei...

  1. Assessment of Crop Damage by Protected Wild Mammalian Herbivores on the Western Boundary of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), Central India.

    PubMed

    Bayani, Abhijeet; Tiwade, Dilip; Dongre, Ashok; Dongre, Aravind P; Phatak, Rasika; Watve, Milind

    2016-01-01

    Crop raiding by wild herbivores close to an area of protected wildlife is a serious problem that can potentially undermine conservation efforts. Since there is orders of magnitude difference between farmers' perception of damage and the compensation given by the government, an objective and realistic estimate of damage was found essential. We employed four different approaches to estimate the extent of and patterns in crop damage by wild herbivores along the western boundary of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve in the state of Maharashtra, central India. These approaches highlight different aspects of the problem but converge on an estimated damage of over 50% for the fields adjacent to the forest, gradually reducing in intensity with distance. We found that the visual damage assessment method currently employed by the government for paying compensation to farmers was uncorrelated to and grossly underestimated actual damage. The findings necessitate a radical rethinking of policies to assess, mitigate as well as compensate for crop damage caused by protected wildlife species. PMID:27093293

  2. Assessment of Crop Damage by Protected Wild Mammalian Herbivores on the Western Boundary of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), Central India

    PubMed Central

    Bayani, Abhijeet; Tiwade, Dilip; Dongre, Ashok; Dongre, Aravind P.; Phatak, Rasika; Watve, Milind

    2016-01-01

    Crop raiding by wild herbivores close to an area of protected wildlife is a serious problem that can potentially undermine conservation efforts. Since there is orders of magnitude difference between farmers’ perception of damage and the compensation given by the government, an objective and realistic estimate of damage was found essential. We employed four different approaches to estimate the extent of and patterns in crop damage by wild herbivores along the western boundary of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve in the state of Maharashtra, central India. These approaches highlight different aspects of the problem but converge on an estimated damage of over 50% for the fields adjacent to the forest, gradually reducing in intensity with distance. We found that the visual damage assessment method currently employed by the government for paying compensation to farmers was uncorrelated to and grossly underestimated actual damage. The findings necessitate a radical rethinking of policies to assess, mitigate as well as compensate for crop damage caused by protected wildlife species. PMID:27093293

  3. Membrane lipids regulate ganglioside GM2 catabolism and GM2 activator protein activity.

    PubMed

    Anheuser, Susi; Breiden, Bernadette; Schwarzmann, Günter; Sandhoff, Konrad

    2015-09-01

    Ganglioside GM2 is the major lysosomal storage compound of Tay-Sachs disease. It also accumulates in Niemann-Pick disease types A and B with primary storage of SM and with cholesterol in type C. Reconstitution of GM2 catabolism with β-hexosaminidase A and GM2 activator protein (GM2AP) at uncharged liposomal surfaces carrying GM2 as substrate generated only a physiologically irrelevant catabolic rate, even at pH 4.2. However, incorporation of anionic phospholipids into the GM2 carrying liposomes stimulated GM2 hydrolysis more than 10-fold, while the incorporation of plasma membrane stabilizing lipids (SM and cholesterol) generated a strong inhibition of GM2 hydrolysis, even in the presence of anionic phospholipids. Mobilization of membrane lipids by GM2AP was also inhibited in the presence of cholesterol or SM, as revealed by surface plasmon resonance studies. These lipids also reduced the interliposomal transfer rate of 2-NBD-GM1 by GM2AP, as observed in assays using Förster resonance energy transfer. Our data raise major concerns about the usage of recombinant His-tagged GM2AP compared with untagged protein. The former binds more strongly to anionic GM2-carrying liposomal surfaces, increases GM2 hydrolysis, and accelerates intermembrane transfer of 2-NBD-GM1, but does not mobilize membrane lipids. PMID:26175473

  4. Risk assessment of genetically modified crops for nutrition and health.

    PubMed

    Magaña-Gómez, Javier A; de la Barca, Ana M Calderón

    2009-01-01

    The risk assessment of genetically modified (GM) crops for human nutrition and health has not been systematic. Evaluations for each GM crop or trait have been conducted using different feeding periods, animal models, and parameters. The most common result is that GM and conventional sources induce similar nutritional performance and growth in animals. However, adverse microscopic and molecular effects of some GM foods in different organs or tissues have been reported. Diversity among the methods and results of the risk assessments reflects the complexity of the subject. While there are currently no standardized methods to evaluate the safety of GM foods, attempts towards harmonization are on the way. More scientific effort is necessary in order to build confidence in the evaluation and acceptance of GM foods. PMID:19146501

  5. Potential for the environmental impact of transgenic crops.

    PubMed

    Dale, Philip J; Clarke, Belinda; Fontes, Eliana M G

    2002-06-01

    In recent years, there has been increasing interest in how changes in agricultural practice associated with the introduction of particular genetically modified (GM) crops might indirectly impact the environment. There is also interest in any effects that might be associated with recombinant and novel combinations of DNA passing into the environment, and the possibility that they may be taken up by microorganisms or other live biological material. From the current state of knowledge, the impact of free DNA of transgenic origin is likely to be negligible compared with the large amount of total free DNA. We can find no compelling scientific arguments to demonstrate that GM crops are innately different from non-GM crops. The kinds of potential impacts of GM crops fall into classes familiar from the cultivation of non-GM crops (e.g., invasiveness, weediness, toxicity, or biodiversity). It is likely, however, that the novelty of some of the products of GM crop improvement will present new challenges and perhaps opportunities to manage particular crops in creative ways. PMID:12042859

  6. Genetically Modified (GM) Foods and Ethical Eating.

    PubMed

    Dizon, Francis; Costa, Sarah; Rock, Cheryl; Harris, Amanda; Husk, Cierra; Mei, Jenny

    2016-02-01

    The ability to manipulate and customize the genetic code of living organisms has brought forth the production of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and consumption of genetically modified (GM) foods. The potential for GM foods to improve the efficiency of food production, increase customer satisfaction, and provide potential health benefits has contributed to the rapid incorporation of GM foods into the American diet. However, GM foods and GMOs are also a topic of ethical debate. The use of GM foods and GM technology is surrounded by ethical concerns and situational judgment, and should ideally adhere to the ethical standards placed upon food and nutrition professionals, such as: beneficence, nonmaleficence, justice and autonomy. The future of GM foods involves many aspects and trends, including enhanced nutritional value in foods, strict labeling laws, and potential beneficial economic conditions in developing nations. This paper briefly reviews the origin and background of GM foods, while delving thoroughly into 3 areas: (1) GMO labeling, (2) ethical concerns, and (3) health and industry applications. This paper also examines the relationship between the various applications of GM foods and their corresponding ethical issues. Ethical concerns were evaluated in the context of the code of ethics developed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) that govern the work of food and nutrition professionals. Overall, there is a need to stay vigilant about the many ethical implications of producing and consuming GM foods and GMOs. PMID:26709962

  7. The Myth of Coexistence: Why Transgenic Crops Are Not Compatible With Agroecologically Based Systems of Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Altieri, Miguel

    2005-01-01

    The coexistence of genetically modified (GM) crops and non-GM crops is a myth because the movement of transgenes beyond their intended destinations is a certainty, and this leads to genetic contamination of organic farms and other systems. It is unlikely that transgenes can be retracted once they have escaped, thus the damage to the purity of…

  8. Attitudes of Agricultural Experts Toward Genetically Modified Crops: A Case Study in Southwest Iran.

    PubMed

    Ghanian, Mansour; Ghoochani, Omid M; Kitterlin, Miranda; Jahangiry, Sheida; Zarafshani, Kiumars; Van Passel, Steven; Azadi, Hossein

    2016-04-01

    The production of genetically modified (GM) crops is growing around the world, and with it possible opportunities to combat food insecurity and hunger, as well as solutions to current problems facing conventional agriculture. In this regard the use of GMOs in food and agricultural applications has increased greatly over the past decade. However, the development of GM crops has been a matter of considerable interest and worldwide public controversy. This, in addition to skepticism, has stifled the use of this practice on a large scale in many areas, including Iran. It stands to reason that a greater understanding of this practice could be formed after a review of the existing expert opinions surrounding GM crops. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze the predictors that influence agricultural experts' attitudes toward the development of and policies related to GM crops. Using a descriptive correlational research method, questionnaire data was collected from 65 experts from the Agricultural Organization in the Gotvand district in Southwest Iran. Results indicated that agricultural experts were aware of the environmental benefits and possible risks associated with GM crops. The majority of participants agreed that GM crops could improve food security and accelerate rural development, and were proponents of labeling practices for GM crops. Finally, there was a positive correlation between the perception of benefits and attitudes towards GM crops. PMID:26045394

  9. GM1 Ganglioside Inhibits β-Amyloid Oligomerization Induced by Sphingomyelin.

    PubMed

    Amaro, Mariana; Šachl, Radek; Aydogan, Gokcan; Mikhalyov, Ilya I; Vácha, Robert; Hof, Martin

    2016-08-01

    β-Amyloid (Aβ) oligomers are neurotoxic and implicated in Alzheimer's disease. Neuronal plasma membranes may mediate formation of Aβ oligomers in vivo. Membrane components sphingomyelin and GM1 have been shown to promote aggregation of Aβ; however, these studies were performed under extreme, non-physiological conditions. We demonstrate that physiological levels of GM1 , organized in nanodomains do not seed oligomerization of Aβ40 monomers. We show that sphingomyelin triggers oligomerization of Aβ40 and that GM1 is counteractive thus preventing oligomerization. We propose a molecular explanation that is supported by all-atom molecular dynamics simulations. The preventive role of GM1 in the oligomerization of Aβ40 suggests that decreasing levels of GM1 in the brain, for example, due to aging, could reduce protection against Aβ oligomerization and contribute to the onset of Alzheimer's disease. PMID:27295499

  10. Effect of crop protection and fertilization regimes used in organic and conventional production systems on feed composition and physiological parameters in rats.

    PubMed

    Srednicka-Tober, Dominika; Barański, Marcin; Gromadzka-Ostrowska, Joanna; Skwarło-Sońta, Krystyna; Rembiałkowska, Ewa; Hajslova, Jana; Schulzova, Vera; Cakmak, Ismail; Öztürk, Levent; Królikowski, Tomasz; Wiśniewska, Katarzyna; Hallmann, Ewelina; Baca, Elżbieta; Eyre, Mick; Steinshamn, Håvard; Jordon, Teresa; Leifert, Carlo

    2013-02-01

    Very little is known about the effects of an organic or conventional diet on animal physiology and health. Here, we report the effect of contrasting crop protection (with or without chemosynthetic pesticides) and fertilization (manure or mineral fertilizers) regimes on feed composition and growth and the physiological parameters of rats. The use of manure instead of mineral fertilizers in feed production resulted in lower concentrations of protein (18.8 vs 20.6%) and cadmium (3.33 vs 4.92 μg/100 g) but higher concentrations of polyphenols (1.46 vs 0.89 g/100 g) in feeds and higher body protein (22.0 vs 21.5%), body ash (3.59 vs 3.51%), white blood cell count (10.86 vs 8.19 × 10³/mm³), plasma glucose (7.23 vs 6.22 mmol/L), leptin (3.56 vs 2.78 ng/mL), insulin-like growth factor 1 (1.87 vs 1.28 μg/mL), corticosterone (247 vs 209 ng/mL), and spontaneous lymphocyte proliferation (11.14 vs 5.03 × 10³ cpm) but lower plasma testosterone (1.07 vs 1.97 ng/mL) and mitogen stimulated proliferation of lymphocytes (182 vs 278 × 10³ cpm) in rats. There were no main effects of crop protection, but a range of significant interactions between fertilization and crop protection occurred. PMID:23323826

  11. EXAMINING THE POTENTIAL UTILITY OF POLYGALACTURONASE-POLYGALALACTURONASE INHIBITING PROTEIN INTERACTIONS FOR PROTECTING CROP PLANTS AGAINST LYGUS BUG

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Lygus bug (Lygus hesperus) feeding causes significant economic losses to many important cultivated plants, including alfalfa and cotton. Strong (1970) suggested that crop damage caused by L. hesperus was principally due to the activity of the insect’s polygalacturonase (PG) secreted during feeding. ...

  12. Pesticides and honey bee health: High levels of Acaricides and crop protection chemicals in U.S. apiaires

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent declines in honey bees for crop pollination threaten nut, fruit, vegetable and seed production in the U.S. We have used LC/MS-MS and GC/MS to analyze bees and hive matrices for pesticide residues using a modified QuEChERS method. Samples came from mostly migratory beekeepers across 7 states ...

  13. Initial efforts to develop a national strategy to protect crop wild relatives native or naturalized in the United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Historically, the call to conserve crop wild relatives has been driven by habitat degradation fueled by exponential population growth. Today, we have a clarion call for action, as historic impetuses are compounded by the forecast of global climate change. In the United States efforts have been movin...

  14. Pheromone dispensers, including organic polymer fibers, described in the crop protection literature: comparison of their innovation potential.

    PubMed

    Hummel, Hans E; Langner, S S; Eisinger, M-T

    2013-01-01

    Pheromone dispensers, although known in a variety of different designs, are one of the few remaining technical bottlenecks along the way to a sustainable pheromone based strategy in integrated pest management (IPM). Mating disruption with synthetic pheromones is a viable pest management approach. Suitable pheromone dispensers for these mating disruption schemes, however, are lagging behind the general availability of pheromones. Specifically, there is a need for matching the properties of the synthetic pheromones, the release rates suitable for certain insect species, and the environmental requirements of specific crop management. The "ideal" dispenser should release pheromones at a constant but pre-adjustable rate, should be mechanically applicable, completely biodegradable and thus save the costs for recovering spent dispensers. These should be made from renewable, cheap organic material, be economically inexpensive, and be toxicologically and eco-toxicologically inert to provide satisfactory solutions for the needs of practicing growers. In favourable cases, they will be economically competitive with conventional pesticide treatments and by far superior in terms of environmental and eco-toxicological suitability. In the course of the last 40 years, mating disruption, a non-toxicological approach, provided proof for its potential in dozens of pest insects of various orders and families. Applications for IPM in many countries of the industrialized and developing world have been reported. While some dispensers have reached wide circulation, only few of the key performing parameters fit the above requirements ideally and must be approximated with some sacrifice in performance. A fair comparison of the innovation potential of currently available pheromone dispensers is attempted. The authors advance here the use of innovative electrospun organic fibers with dimensions in the "meso" (high nano- to low micrometer) region. Due to their unique multitude of adjustable

  15. Trends in global approvals of biotech crops (1992-2014).

    PubMed

    Aldemita, Rhodora R; Reaño, Ian Mari E; Solis, Renando O; Hautea, Randy A

    2015-01-01

    With the increasing number of genetically modified (GM) events, traits, and crops that are developed to benefit the global population, approval of these technologies for food, feed, cultivation and import in each country may vary depending on needs, demand and trade interest. ISAAA established a GMO Approval Database to document global approvals of biotech crops. GM event name, crops, traits, developer, year of approval for cultivation, food/feed, import, and relevant dossiers were sourced from credible government regulatory websites and biosafety clearinghouses. This paper investigates the trends in GM approvals for food, feed and cultivation based on the number of approving countries, GM crops, events, and traits in the last 23 y (1992-2014), rationale for approval, factors influencing approvals, and their implications in GM crop adoption. Results show that in 2014, there was an accumulative increase in the number of countries granting approvals at 29 (79% developing countries) for commercial cultivation and 31 (70% developing countries) for food and 19 (80% developing developing) for feed; 2012 had the highest number of approving countries and cultivation approvals; 2011 had the highest number of country approvals for feed, and 2014 for food approvals. Herbicide tolerance trait had the highest events approved, followed by insect tolerance traits. Approvals for food product quality increased in the second decade. Maize had the highest number of events approved (single and stacked traits), and stacked traits product gradually increased which is already 30% of the total trait approvals. These results may indicate understanding and acceptance of countries to enhance regulatory capability to be able to benefit from GM crop commercialization. Hence, the paper provided information on the trends on the growth of the GM crop industry in the last 23 y which may be vital in predicting future GM crops and traits. PMID:26039675

  16. Overexpression of GmHsp90s, a heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) gene family cloning from soybean, decrease damage of abiotic stresses in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jinyan; Xue, Chenchen; Xue, Dong; Zhao, Jinming; Gai, Junyi; Guo, Na; Xing, Han

    2013-01-01

    Hsp90 is one of the most conserved and abundant molecular chaperones and is an essential component of the protective stress response; however, its roles in abiotic stress responses in soybean (Glycine max) remain obscure. Here, 12 GmHsp90 genes from soybean were identified and found to be expressed and to function differentially under abiotic stresses. The 12 GmHsp90 genes were isolated and named GmHsp90A1-GmHsp90A6, GmHsp90B1, GmHsp90B2, GmHsp90C1.1, GmHsp90C1.2, GmHsp90C2.1 and GmHsp90C2.2 based on their characteristics and high homology to other Hsp90s according to a new nomenclature system. Quantitative real-time PCR expression data revealed that all the genes exhibited higher transcript levels in leaves and could be strongly induced under heat, osmotic and salt stress but not cold stress. Overexpression of five typical genes (GmHsp90A2, GmHsp90A4, GmHsp90B1, GmHsp90C1.1 and GmHsp90C2.1) in Arabidopsis thaliana provided useful evidences that GmHsp90 genes can decrease damage of abiotic stresses. In addition, an abnormal accumulation of proline was detected in some transgenic Arabidopsis plants suggested overexpressing GmHsp90s may affect the synthesis and response system of proline. Our work represents a systematic determination of soybean genes encoding Hsp90s, and provides useful evidence that GmHsp90 genes function differently in response to abiotic stresses and may affect the synthesis and response system of proline. PMID:23936107

  17. Combined influences of Gm and HLA phenotypes upon multiple sclerosis susceptibility and severity.

    PubMed Central

    Salier, J P; Sesboüé, R; Martin-Mondière, C; Daveau, M; Cesaro, P; Cavelier, B; Coquerel, A; Legrand, L; Goust, J M; Degos, J D

    1986-01-01

    In some Caucasian populations, multiple sclerosis (MS) susceptibility has been independently related to given alleles of HLA or Gm systems that respectively code for major histocompatibility complex class I and II antigens or immunoglobulin G heavy chains. Whether given combinations of alleles at both series of loci simultaneously influence MS susceptibility and/or severity was investigated by comparing 147 French MS patients and 226 geographically-matched healthy controls. The G2m(-23)/HLA-B35 phenotype and G1m(-1)/HLA-B7(-)/HLA-DR2 phenotype were respectively associated with significant protection against (relative risk = 0.05) and susceptibility to (relative risk = 4.3) MS. When considering MS severity, the presence of HLA-B7 antigen correlated with a more severe disease in Gm1/Gm3 heterozygous patients, but not in Gm3/Gm3 homozygous patients. Conversely, an HLA-B12-associated milder disease was restricted to Gm3/Gm3 homozygotes. These results demonstrate the combined influence on MS of genetic loci that are unlinked but immune response-associated. Combined Gm and HLA typing is very likely able to serve as a prognostic indicator in this disease. PMID:3461005

  18. Combined influences of Gm and HLA phenotypes upon multiple sclerosis susceptibility and severity.

    PubMed

    Salier, J P; Sesboüé, R; Martin-Mondière, C; Daveau, M; Cesaro, P; Cavelier, B; Coquerel, A; Legrand, L; Goust, J M; Degos, J D

    1986-08-01

    In some Caucasian populations, multiple sclerosis (MS) susceptibility has been independently related to given alleles of HLA or Gm systems that respectively code for major histocompatibility complex class I and II antigens or immunoglobulin G heavy chains. Whether given combinations of alleles at both series of loci simultaneously influence MS susceptibility and/or severity was investigated by comparing 147 French MS patients and 226 geographically-matched healthy controls. The G2m(-23)/HLA-B35 phenotype and G1m(-1)/HLA-B7(-)/HLA-DR2 phenotype were respectively associated with significant protection against (relative risk = 0.05) and susceptibility to (relative risk = 4.3) MS. When considering MS severity, the presence of HLA-B7 antigen correlated with a more severe disease in Gm1/Gm3 heterozygous patients, but not in Gm3/Gm3 homozygous patients. Conversely, an HLA-B12-associated milder disease was restricted to Gm3/Gm3 homozygotes. These results demonstrate the combined influence on MS of genetic loci that are unlinked but immune response-associated. Combined Gm and HLA typing is very likely able to serve as a prognostic indicator in this disease. PMID:3461005

  19. DNA Barcoding Simplifies Environmental Risk Assessment of Genetically Modified Crops in Biodiverse Regions

    PubMed Central

    Nzeduru, Chinyere V.; Ronca, Sandra; Wilkinson, Mike J.

    2012-01-01

    Transgenes encoding for insecticidal crystal (Cry) proteins from the soil-dwelling bacterium Bacillus Thuringiensis have been widely introduced into Genetically Modified (GM) crops to confer protection against insect pests. Concern that these transgenes may also harm beneficial or otherwise valued insects (so-called Non Target Organisms, NTOs) represents a major element of the Environmental Risk Assessments (ERAs) used by all countries prior to commercial release. Compiling a comprehensive list of potentially susceptible NTOs is therefore a necessary part of an ERA for any Cry toxin-containing GM crop. In partly-characterised and biodiverse countries, NTO identification is slowed by the need for taxonomic expertise and time to enable morphological identifications. This limitation represents a potentially serious barrier to timely adoption of GM technology in some developing countries. We consider Bt Cry1A cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) in Nigeria as an exemplar to demonstrate how COI barcoding can provide a simple and cost-effective means of addressing this problem. Over a period of eight weeks, we collected 163 insects from cowpea flowers across the agroecological and geographic range of the crop in Nigeria. These individuals included 32 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) spanning four Orders and that could mostly be assigned to genus or species level. They included 12 Lepidopterans and two Coleopterans (both potentially sensitive to different groups of Cry proteins). Thus, barcode-assisted diagnoses were highly harmonised across groups (typically to genus or species level) and so were insensitive to expertise or knowledge gaps. Decisively, the entire study was completed within four months at a cost of less than 10,000 US$. The broader implications of the findings for food security and the capacity for safe adoption of GM technology are briefly explored. PMID:22567120

  20. DNA barcoding simplifies environmental risk assessment of genetically modified crops in biodiverse regions.

    PubMed

    Nzeduru, Chinyere V; Ronca, Sandra; Wilkinson, Mike J

    2012-01-01

    Transgenes encoding for insecticidal crystal (Cry) proteins from the soil-dwelling bacterium Bacillus Thuringiensis have been widely introduced into Genetically Modified (GM) crops to confer protection against insect pests. Concern that these transgenes may also harm beneficial or otherwise valued insects (so-called Non Target Organisms, NTOs) represents a major element of the Environmental Risk Assessments (ERAs) used by all countries prior to commercial release. Compiling a comprehensive list of potentially susceptible NTOs is therefore a necessary part of an ERA for any Cry toxin-containing GM crop. In partly-characterised and biodiverse countries, NTO identification is slowed by the need for taxonomic expertise and time to enable morphological identifications. This limitation represents a potentially serious barrier to timely adoption of GM technology in some developing countries. We consider Bt Cry1A cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) in Nigeria as an exemplar to demonstrate how COI barcoding can provide a simple and cost-effective means of addressing this problem. Over a period of eight weeks, we collected 163 insects from cowpea flowers across the agroecological and geographic range of the crop in Nigeria. These individuals included 32 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) spanning four Orders and that could mostly be assigned to genus or species level. They included 12 Lepidopterans and two Coleopterans (both potentially sensitive to different groups of Cry proteins). Thus, barcode-assisted diagnoses were highly harmonised across groups (typically to genus or species level) and so were insensitive to expertise or knowledge gaps. Decisively, the entire study was completed within four months at a cost of less than 10,000 US$. The broader implications of the findings for food security and the capacity for safe adoption of GM technology are briefly explored. PMID:22567120

  1. An Overview of CRISPR-Based Tools and Their Improvements: New Opportunities in Understanding Plant–Pathogen Interactions for Better Crop Protection

    PubMed Central

    Barakate, Abdellah; Stephens, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    Modern omics platforms have made the determination of susceptible/resistance genes feasible in any species generating huge numbers of potential targets for crop protection. However, the efforts to validate these targets have been hampered by the lack of a fast, precise, and efficient gene targeting system in plants. Now, the repurposing of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) system has solved this problem. CRISPR/Cas9 is the latest synthetic endonuclease that has revolutionized basic research by allowing facile genome editing in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Gene knockout is now feasible at an unprecedented efficiency with the possibility of multiplexing several targets and even genome-wide mutagenesis screening. In a short time, this powerful tool has been engineered for an array of applications beyond gene editing. Here, we briefly describe the CRISPR/Cas9 system, its recent improvements and applications in gene manipulation and single DNA/RNA molecule analysis. We summarize a few recent tests targeting plant pathogens and discuss further potential applications in pest control and plant–pathogen interactions that will inform plant breeding for crop protection. PMID:27313592

  2. An Overview of CRISPR-Based Tools and Their Improvements: New Opportunities in Understanding Plant-Pathogen Interactions for Better Crop Protection.

    PubMed

    Barakate, Abdellah; Stephens, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    Modern omics platforms have made the determination of susceptible/resistance genes feasible in any species generating huge numbers of potential targets for crop protection. However, the efforts to validate these targets have been hampered by the lack of a fast, precise, and efficient gene targeting system in plants. Now, the repurposing of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) system has solved this problem. CRISPR/Cas9 is the latest synthetic endonuclease that has revolutionized basic research by allowing facile genome editing in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Gene knockout is now feasible at an unprecedented efficiency with the possibility of multiplexing several targets and even genome-wide mutagenesis screening. In a short time, this powerful tool has been engineered for an array of applications beyond gene editing. Here, we briefly describe the CRISPR/Cas9 system, its recent improvements and applications in gene manipulation and single DNA/RNA molecule analysis. We summarize a few recent tests targeting plant pathogens and discuss further potential applications in pest control and plant-pathogen interactions that will inform plant breeding for crop protection. PMID:27313592

  3. From the LCA of food products to the environmental assessment of protected crops districts: a case-study in the south of Italy.

    PubMed

    Cellura, Maurizio; Ardente, Fulvio; Longo, Sonia

    2012-01-01

    In the present study, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology was applied to evaluate the energy consumption and environmental burdens associated with the production of protected crops in an agricultural district in the Mediterranean region. In this study, LCA was used as a 'support tool', to address local policies for sustainable production and consumption patterns, and to create a 'knowledge base' for environmental assessment of an extended agricultural production area. The proposed approach combines organisation-specific tools, such as Environmental Management Systems and Environmental Product Declarations, with the environmental management of the district. Questionnaires were distributed to producers to determine the life cycle of different protected crops (tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, peppers, melons and zucchinis), and obtain information on greenhouse usage (e.g. tunnel vs. pavilion). Ecoprofiles of products in the district were also estimated, to identify supply chain elements with the highest impact in terms of global energy requirements, greenhouse gas emissions, eutrophication, water consumption and waste production. These results of this study enable selection of the 'best practices' and ecodesign solutions, to reduce the environmental impact of these products. Finally, sensitivity analysis of key LCA issues was performed, to assess the variability associated with different parameters: vegetable production; water usage; fertiliser and pesticide usage; shared greenhouse use; substitution of plastics coverings; and waste recycling. PMID:22054586

  4. Investigating GM Risk Perceptions: A Survey of Anti-GM and Environmental Campaign Group Members

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Clare; Moran, Dominic

    2006-01-01

    This study investigates how members of anti-GM campaign groups and environment groups perceive the risks and benefits of genetically modified (GM) technology in food and agriculture. The study targeted these groups as the most risk-averse sector of society when considering GM technology. Survey respondents were asked to rank the current and future…

  5. 40 CFR 174.533 - Glycine max Herbicide-Resistant Acetolactate Synthase (GM-HRA) inert ingredient; exemption from...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Glycine max Herbicide-Resistant... Glycine max Herbicide-Resistant Acetolactate Synthase (GM-HRA) inert ingredient; exemption from the requirement of a tolerance. Residues of Glycine max herbicide-resistant acetolactate synthase (GM-HRA)...

  6. 40 CFR 174.533 - Glycine max Herbicide-Resistant Acetolactate Synthase (GM-HRA) inert ingredient; exemption from...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Glycine max Herbicide-Resistant... Glycine max Herbicide-Resistant Acetolactate Synthase (GM-HRA) inert ingredient; exemption from the requirement of a tolerance. Residues of Glycine max herbicide-resistant acetolactate synthase (GM-HRA)...

  7. Innovative farmers and regulatory gatekeepers: Genetically modified crops regulation and adoption in developing countries.

    PubMed

    Sinebo, Woldeyesus; Maredia, Karim

    2016-01-01

    The regulation of genetically modified (GM) crops is a topical issue in agriculture and environment over the past 2 decades. The objective of this paper is to recount regulatory and adoption practices in some developing countries that have successfully adopted GM crops so that aspiring countries may draw useful lessons and best practices for their biosafatey regulatory regimes. The first 11 mega-GM crops growing countries each with an area of more than one million hectares in 2014 were examined. Only five out of the 11 countries had smooth and orderly adoption of these crops as per the regulatory requirement of each country. In the remaining 6 countries (all developing countries), GM crops were either introduced across borders without official authorization, released prior to regulatory approval or unapproved seeds were sold along with the approved ones in violation to the existing regulations. Rapid expansion of transgenic crops over the past 2 decades in the developing world was a result of an intense desire by farmers to adopt these crops irrespective of regulatory roadblocks. Lack of workable biosafety regulatory system and political will to support GM crops encouraged unauthorized access to GM crop varieties. In certain cases, unregulated access in turn appeared to result in the adoption of substandard or spurious technology which undermined performance and productivity. An optimal interaction among the national agricultural innovation systems, biosafety regulatory bodies, biotech companies and high level policy makers is vital in making a workable regulated progress in the adoption of GM crops. Factoring forgone opportunities to farmers to benefit from GM crops arising from overregulation into biosafety risk analysis and decision making is suggested. Building functional biosafety regulatory systems that balances the needs of farmers to access and utilize the GM technology with the regulatory imperatives to ensure adequate safety to the environment and human

  8. Experiences with a PDS 2020 GM

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teuber, D.

    1984-01-01

    Various perturbations which occurred during the operation of a PDS 2020 GM microdensitometer are reviewed. The effects of elevated temperature, vibration, transient electrical noise, and photometric perturbations are briefly discussed. Sample astronomical results from the PDS 2020 GM unit are presented.

  9. Experiences with a PDS 2020 GM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teuber, D.

    1984-07-01

    Various perturbations which occurred during the operation of a PDS 2020 GM microdensitometer are reviewed. The effects of elevated temperature, vibration, transient electrical noise, and photometric perturbations are briefly discussed. Sample astronomical results from the PDS 2020 GM unit are presented.

  10. Ganglioside GM3 synthase depletion reverses neuropathic pain and small fiber neuropathy in diet-induced diabetic mice

    PubMed Central

    Jayaraj, Nirupa D; Wilson, Heather M; Ren, Dongjun; Flood, Kelsey; Wang, Xiao-Qi; Shum, Andrew; Miller, Richard J; Paller, Amy S

    2016-01-01

    Background Small fiber neuropathy is a well-recognized complication of type 2 diabetes and has been shown to be responsible for both neuropathic pain and impaired wound healing. In previous studies, we have demonstrated that ganglioside GM3 depletion by knockdown of GM3 synthase fully reverses impaired wound healing in diabetic mice. However, the role of GM3 in neuropathic pain and small fiber neuropathy in diabetes is unknown. Purpose Determine whether GM3 depletion is able to reverse neuropathic pain and small fibers neuropathy and the mechanism of the reversal. Results We demonstrate that GM3 synthase knockout and the resultant GM3 depletion rescues the denervation in mouse footpad skin and fully reverses the neuropathic pain in diet-induced obese diabetic mice. In cultured dorsal root ganglia from diet-induced diabetic mice, GM3 depletion protects against increased intracellular calcium influx in vitro. Conclusions These studies establish ganglioside GM3 as a new candidate responsible for neuropathic pain and small fiber neuropathy in diabetes. Moreover, these observations indicate that systemic or topically applied interventions aimed at depleting GM3 may improve both the painful neuropathy and the wound healing impairment in diabetes by protecting against nerve end terminal degeneration, providing a disease-modifying approach to this common, currently intractable medical issue. PMID:27590073

  11. The green, blue and grey water footprint of crops and derived crop products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mekonnen, M. M.; Hoekstra, A. Y.

    2011-05-01

    , while this is 121 m3 GJ-1 for maize. The global water footprint related to crop production in the period 1996-2005 was 7404 billion cubic meters per year (78 % green, 12 % blue, 10 % grey). A large total water footprint was calculated for wheat (1087 Gm3 yr-1), rice (992 Gm3 yr-1) and maize (770 Gm3 yr-1). Wheat and rice have the largest blue water footprints, together accounting for 45 % of the global blue water footprint. At country level, the total water footprint was largest for India (1047 Gm3 yr-1), China (967 Gm3 yr-1) and the USA (826 Gm3 yr-1). A relatively large total blue water footprint as a result of crop production is observed in the Indus river basin (117 Gm3 yr-1) and the Ganges river basin (108 Gm3 yr-1). The two basins together account for 25 % of the blue water footprint related to global crop production. Globally, rain-fed agriculture has a water footprint of 5173 Gm3 yr-1 (91 % green, 9 % grey); irrigated agriculture has a water footprint of 2230 Gm3 yr-1 (48 % green, 40 % blue, 12 % grey).

  12. The green, blue and grey water footprint of crops and derived crop products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mekonnen, M. M.; Hoekstra, A. Y.

    2011-01-01

    m3 GJ-1, while this is 121 m3 GJ-1 for maize. The global water footprint related to crop production in the period 1996-2005 was 7404 billion cubic meters per year (78% green, 12% blue, 10% grey). A large total water footprint was calculated for wheat (1087 Gm3 yr-1), rice (992 Gm3 yr-1) and maize (770 Gm3 yr-1). Wheat and rice have the largest blue water footprints, together accounting for 45% of the global blue water footprint. At country level, the total water footprint was largest for India (1047 Gm3 yr-1), China (967 Gm3 yr-1) and the USA (826 Gm3 yr-1). A relatively large total blue water footprint as a result of crop production is observed in the Indus River Basin (117 Gm3 yr-1) and the Ganges River Basin (108 Gm3 yr-1). The two basins together account for 25% of the blue water footprint related to global crop production. Globally, rain-fed agriculture has a water footprint of 5173 Gm3 yr-1 (91% green, 9% grey); irrigated agriculture has a water footprint of 2230 Gm3 yr-1 (48% green, 40% blue, 12% grey).

  13. Basis for the development of a scenario for ground water risk assessment of plant protection products to banana crop in the frame work of regulation 1107/2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alonso-Prados, Elena; Fernández-Getino, Ana Patricia; Alonso-Prados, Jose Luis

    2014-05-01

    The risk assessment to ground water of pesticides and their main metabolites is a data requirement under regulation 1107/2009, concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market. Predicted environmental concentrations (PEC) are calculated according to the recommendations of Forum for the Co-ordination of pesticide fate models and Their Use (FOCUS). The FOCUS groundwater working group developed scenarios for the main crops in European Union. However there are several crops which grow under specific agro-environmental conditions not covered by these scenarios and it is frequent to use the defined scenarios as surrogates. This practice adds an uncertainty factor in the risk assessment. One example is represented by banana crop which in Europe is limited to sub-tropical environmental conditions and with specific agronomic practices. The Canary Islands concentrates the higher production of banana in the European Union characterized by volcanic soils. Banana is located at low altitudes where soils have been eroded or degraded, and it is a common practice to transport soil materials from the high-mid altitudes to the low lands for cultivation. These cultivation plots are locally named "sorribas". These volcanic soils, classified as Andosols according to the FAO classification, have special physico-chemical properties due to noncrystalline materials and layer silicates. The good stability of these soils and their high permeability to water make them relatively resistant to water erosion. Physical properties of volcanic clayey soils are strongly affected by allophone and Fe and Al oxyhidroxides. The rapid weathering of porous volcanic material results in accumulation of stable organo-mineral complexes and short-range-order mineral such as allophane, imogolite and ferrihydrite. These components induce strong aggregation that partly favors properties such as: reduced swelling, increased aggregate stability of clay minerals, high soil water retention capacity

  14. Changes in GM1 ganglioside content and localization in cholestatic rat liver.

    PubMed

    Jirkovská, Marie; Majer, Filip; Smídová, Jaroslava; Stríteský, Jan; Shaik, Gouse Mohiddin; Dráber, Petr; Vítek, Libor; Marecek, Zdenek; Smíd, Frantisek

    2007-07-01

    (Glyco)sphingolipids (GSL) are believed to protect the cell against harmful environmental factors by increasing the rigidity of plasma membrane. Marked decrease of membrane fluidity in cholestatic hepatocytes was described but the role of GSL therein has not been investigated so far. In this study, localization in hepatocytes of a representative of GSL, the GM1 ganglioside, was compared between of rats with cholestasis induced by 17alpha-ethinylestradiol (EE) and vehicle propanediol treated or untreated animals. GM1 was monitored by histochemical reaction employing cholera toxin B-subunit. Our findings in normal rat liver tissue showed that GM1 was localized in sinusoidal and canalicular hepatocyte membranes in both peripheral and intermediate zones of the hepatic lobules, and was nearly absent in central zones. On the contrary, in EE-treated animals GM1 was also expressed in central lobular zones. Moreover, detailed densitometry analysis at high magnification showed greater difference of GM1 expression between sinusoidal surface areas and areas of adjacent cytoplasm, caused as well by increased sinusoidal staining in central lobular zone as by decreased staining in cytoplasm in peripheral zone. These differences correlated with serum bile acids as documented by linear regression analyses. Both GM1 content and mRNA corresponding to GM1-synthase remained unchanged in livers; the enhanced expression of GM1 at sinusoidal membrane thus seems to be due to re-distribution of cellular GM1 at limited biosynthesis and could be responsible for protection of hepatocytes against harmful effects of bile acids accumulated during cholestasis. PMID:17333356

  15. METHODS FOR DETERMINING EXPOSURE TO AND POTENTIAL ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF GENE FLOW FROM GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS TO COMPATIBLE RELATIVES

    EPA Science Inventory

    SCIENCE QUESTIONS:

    -Does gene flow occur from genetically modified (GM) crop plants to compatible plants?

    -How can it be measured?

    -Are there ecological consequences of GM crop gene flow to plant communities?



    RESEARCH:

    The objectives ...

  16. The importance of regulatory data protection or exclusive use and other forms of intellectual property rights in the crop protection industry.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Michael J

    2016-09-01

    In order for a chemical plant protection product to be authorised for sale a registration dossier has to be assembled to demonstrate safety and efficacy to the satisfaction of government regulators. These studies and tests are protected for a period of 10 years in Europe, North America and some other jurisdictions from the date of first product authorisation so that only the data owner can gain commercial benefit from the data. Subsequent regulatory reviews which require new studies should not result in further periods of regulatory data protection exclusive use for the new data but compensation should be payable to the data generator. © 2016 The Authors. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry. PMID:27174559

  17. Debates on Genetically Modified Crops in the Context of Sustainable Development.

    PubMed

    Gerasimova, Ksenia

    2016-04-01

    The paper discusses conflicts in perceptions of GM crops illustrating the complexities of GM debates and applications of the concept of sustainable development. The concept consists of three discourses that both opponents and supporters of GM crops refer to in their analyses: environmentalism, social and economic development and the two sub-issues of sustainable development-biodiversity loss and food security. This creates a unique situation when both proponents and opponents of GM food use the same framework of sustainable development to support their arguments and do not reach a common ground. This will be illustrated by a review of the arguments brought by these two groups. PMID:26062746

  18. Recombinant rabies virus expressing dog GM-CSF is an efficacious oral rabies vaccine for dogs

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhao; Ruan, Juncheng; Tang, Lijun; Jia, Ziming; Cui, Min; Zhao, Ling; Fu, Zhen F.

    2015-01-01

    Developing efficacious oral rabies vaccines is an important step to increase immunization coverage for stray dogs, which are not accessible for parenteral vaccination. Our previous studies have demonstrated that recombinant rabies virus (RABV) expressing cytokines/chemokines induces robust protective immune responses after oral immunization in mice by recruiting and activating dendritic cells (DCs) and B cells. To develop an effective oral rabies vaccine for dogs, a recombinant attenuated RABV expressing dog GM-CSF, designated as LBNSE-dGM-CSF was constructed and used for oral vaccination in a dog model. Significantly more DCs or B cells were activated in the peripheral blood of dogs vaccinated orally with LBNSE-dGM-CSF than those vaccinated with the parent virus LBNSE, particularly at 3 days post immunization (dpi). As a result, significantly higher levels of virus neutralizing antibodies (VNAs) were detected in dogs immunized with LBNSE-dGM-CSF than with the parent virus. All the immunized dogs were protected against a lethal challenge with 4500 MICLD50 of wild-type RABV SXTYD01. LBNSE-dGM-CSF was found to replicate mainly in the tonsils after oral vaccination as detected by nested RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Taken together, our results indicate that LBNSE-dGM-CSF could be a promising oral rabies vaccine candidate for dogs. PMID:26436700

  19. Recombinant rabies virus expressing dog GM-CSF is an efficacious oral rabies vaccine for dogs.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Ming; Wang, Lei; Zhou, Songqin; Wang, Zhao; Ruan, Juncheng; Tang, Lijun; Jia, Ziming; Cui, Min; Zhao, Ling; Fu, Zhen F

    2015-11-17

    Developing efficacious oral rabies vaccines is an important step to increase immunization coverage for stray dogs, which are not accessible for parenteral vaccination. Our previous studies have demonstrated that recombinant rabies virus (RABV) expressing cytokines/chemokines induces robust protective immune responses after oral immunization in mice by recruiting and activating dendritic cells (DCs) and B cells. To develop an effective oral rabies vaccine for dogs, a recombinant attenuated RABV expressing dog GM-CSF, designated as LBNSE-dGM-CSF was constructed and used for oral vaccination in a dog model. Significantly more DCs or B cells were activated in the peripheral blood of dogs vaccinated orally with LBNSE-dGM-CSF than those vaccinated with the parent virus LBNSE, particularly at 3 days post immunization (dpi). As a result, significantly higher levels of virus neutralizing antibodies (VNAs) were detected in dogs immunized with LBNSE-dGM-CSF than with the parent virus. All the immunized dogs were protected against a lethal challenge with 4500 MICLD50 of wild-type RABV SXTYD01. LBNSE-dGM-CSF was found to replicate mainly in the tonsils after oral vaccination as detected by nested RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Taken together, our results indicate that LBNSE-dGM-CSF could be a promising oral rabies vaccine candidate for dogs. PMID:26436700

  20. Herbicide-resistant crops and weed resistance to herbicides.

    PubMed

    Owen, Micheal D K; Zelaya, Ian A

    2005-03-01

    The adoption of genetically modified (GM) crops has increased dramatically during the last 3 years, and currently over 52 million hectares of GM crops are planted world-wide. Approximately 41 million hectares of GM crops planted are herbicide-resistant crops, which includes an estimated 33.3 million hectares of herbicide-resistant soybean. Herbicide-resistant maize, canola, cotton and soybean accounted for 77% of the GM crop hectares in 2001. However, sugarbeet, wheat, and as many as 14 other crops have transgenic herbicide-resistant cultivars that may be commercially available in the near future. There are many risks associated with the production of GM and herbicide-resistant crops, including problems with grain contamination, segregation and introgression of herbicide-resistant traits, marketplace acceptance and an increased reliance on herbicides for weed control. The latter issue is represented in the occurrence of weed population shifts, the evolution of herbicide-resistant weed populations and herbicide-resistant crops becoming volunteer weeds. Another issue is the ecological impact that simple weed management programs based on herbicide-resistant crops have on weed communities. Asiatic dayflower (Commelina cumminus L) common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album L) and wild buckwheat (Polygonum convolvulus L) are reported to be increasing in prominence in some agroecosystems due to the simple and significant selection pressure brought to bear by herbicide-resistant crops and the concomitant use of the herbicide. Finally, evolution of herbicide-resistant weed populations attributable to the herbicide-resistant crop/herbicide program has been observed. Examples of herbicide-resistant weeds include populations of horseweed (Conyza canadensis (L) Cronq) resistant to N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine (glyphosate). An important question is whether or not these problems represent significant economic issues for future agriculture. PMID:15668920

  1. Transgenic Crops: Implications for Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garcia, Maria Alice; Altieri, Miguel A.

    2005-01-01

    The potential for genetically modified (GM) crops to threaten biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture is substantial. Megadiverse countries and centers of origin and/or diversity of crop species are particularly vulnerable regions. The future of sustainable agriculture may be irreversibly jeopardized by contamination of in situ…

  2. Estimation of plant protection product application dates for environmental fate modeling based on phenological stages of crops.

    PubMed

    Gericke, Dirk; Nekovar, Jiri; Horold, Claudia

    2010-10-01

    According to the EU directive 91/414/EEC potential environmental concentrations of pesticides have to be assessed with environmental fate models. For the calculation of pesticide concentrations it is necessary to provide an application date which has to match the specific Biologische Bundesanstalt, Bundesamt, Chemische Industrie (BBCH) stage at which the pesticide shall be applied. If these application dates are not available for a specific stage, crop and country they must be estimated, which adds an additional uncertainty to the predicted concentrations. In the present study, we therefore evaluate to which extent application dates can be derived from phenological data. For this analysis phenological data, converted to BBCH stages, of two field crops provided by the German Weather Service (DWD) were analyzed. We found a linear correlation between BBCH stages and the respective appearance dates, which can be used for interpolation of appearance dates of specific BBCH stages. Remarkably, when comparing BBCH stages from Germany and the Czech Republic almost identical correlations of appearance dates and BBCH stages were found. In the next step, soil and climate data from Joint Research Centre (JRC) were analyzed together with phenological data in order to evaluate if BBCH stages can be estimated for countries with other climate or soil conditions. This analysis revealed that temperature, global radiation and evaporation were the parameters with the strongest impact. These parameters were used for estimating appearance dates of BBCH stages for other countries. Exemplarily, appearance dates for maize BBCH were calculated for Italy. Estimated and observed appearance dates showed a high concordance (on average six days difference). Finally, the political of impact a variation of a few days on calculated pesticide concentration was analyzed. Exemplarily, the pesticide fate model FOCUS PEARL was used to estimate pesticide groundwater concentrations. When calculating

  3. Overexpression of the Transcription Factors GmSHN1 and GmSHN9 Differentially Regulates Wax and Cutin Biosynthesis, Alters Cuticle Properties, and Changes Leaf Phenotypes in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yangyang; Wu, Hanying; Zhao, Mingming; Wu, Wang; Xu, Yinong; Gu, Dan

    2016-01-01

    SHINE (SHN/WIN) clade proteins, transcription factors of the plant-specific APETALA 2/ethylene-responsive element binding factor (AP2/ERF) family, have been proven to be involved in wax and cutin biosynthesis. Glycine max is an important economic crop, but its molecular mechanism of wax biosynthesis is rarely characterized. In this study, 10 homologs of Arabidopsis SHN genes were identified from soybean. These homologs were different in gene structures and organ expression patterns. Constitutive expression of each of the soybean SHN genes in Arabidopsis led to different leaf phenotypes, as well as different levels of glossiness on leaf surfaces. Overexpression of GmSHN1 and GmSHN9 in Arabidopsis exhibited 7.8-fold and 9.9-fold up-regulation of leaf cuticle wax productions, respectively. C31 and C29 alkanes contributed most to the increased wax contents. Total cutin contents of leaves were increased 11.4-fold in GmSHN1 overexpressors and 5.7-fold in GmSHN9 overexpressors, mainly through increasing C16:0 di-OH and dioic acids. GmSHN1 and GmSHN9 also altered leaf cuticle membrane ultrastructure and increased water loss rate in transgenic Arabidopsis plants. Transcript levels of many wax and cutin biosynthesis and leaf development related genes were altered in GmSHN1 and GmSHN9 overexpressors. Overall, these results suggest that GmSHN1 and GmSHN9 may differentially regulate the leaf development process as well as wax and cutin biosynthesis. PMID:27110768

  4. Overexpression of the Transcription Factors GmSHN1 and GmSHN9 Differentially Regulates Wax and Cutin Biosynthesis, Alters Cuticle Properties, and Changes Leaf Phenotypes in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yangyang; Wu, Hanying; Zhao, Mingming; Wu, Wang; Xu, Yinong; Gu, Dan

    2016-01-01

    SHINE (SHN/WIN) clade proteins, transcription factors of the plant-specific APETALA 2/ethylene-responsive element binding factor (AP2/ERF) family, have been proven to be involved in wax and cutin biosynthesis. Glycine max is an important economic crop, but its molecular mechanism of wax biosynthesis is rarely characterized. In this study, 10 homologs of Arabidopsis SHN genes were identified from soybean. These homologs were different in gene structures and organ expression patterns. Constitutive expression of each of the soybean SHN genes in Arabidopsis led to different leaf phenotypes, as well as different levels of glossiness on leaf surfaces. Overexpression of GmSHN1 and GmSHN9 in Arabidopsis exhibited 7.8-fold and 9.9-fold up-regulation of leaf cuticle wax productions, respectively. C31 and C29 alkanes contributed most to the increased wax contents. Total cutin contents of leaves were increased 11.4-fold in GmSHN1 overexpressors and 5.7-fold in GmSHN9 overexpressors, mainly through increasing C16:0 di-OH and dioic acids. GmSHN1 and GmSHN9 also altered leaf cuticle membrane ultrastructure and increased water loss rate in transgenic Arabidopsis plants. Transcript levels of many wax and cutin biosynthesis and leaf development related genes were altered in GmSHN1 and GmSHN9 overexpressors. Overall, these results suggest that GmSHN1 and GmSHN9 may differentially regulate the leaf development process as well as wax and cutin biosynthesis. PMID:27110768

  5. Proteomic evaluation of genetically modified crops: current status and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Chun Yan; Wang, Tai

    2013-01-01

    Hectares of genetically modified (GM) crops have increased exponentially since 1996, when such crops began to be commercialized. GM biotechnology, together with conventional breeding, has become the main approach to improving agronomic traits of crops. However, people are concerned about the safety of GM crops, especially GM-derived food and feed. Many efforts have been made to evaluate the unintended effects caused by the introduction of exogenous genes. “Omics” techniques have advantages over targeted analysis in evaluating such crops because of their use of high-throughput screening. Proteins are key players in gene function and are directly involved in metabolism and cellular development or have roles as toxins, antinutrients, or allergens, which are essential for human health. Thus, proteomics can be expected to become one of the most useful tools in safety assessment. This review assesses the potential of proteomics in evaluating various GM crops. We further describe the challenges in ensuring homogeneity and sensitivity in detection techniques. PMID:23471542

  6. Factors influencing U.S. consumer support for genetic modification to prevent crop disease.

    PubMed

    McComas, Katherine A; Besley, John C; Steinhardt, Joseph

    2014-07-01

    This study examines support for the genetic modification (GM) of crops in the context of preventing "late blight," a devastating potato and tomato disease that caused the Irish Potato Famine in the 1850s and results in substantial crop loss today. We surveyed U.S. adults who do the primary grocery shopping in their household (n = 859). Half of the respondents were randomly assigned to read a vignette describing late blight before responding to questions about GM, whereas the other half read a vignette about generic crop disease before responding to questions. We also examine how the perceived fairness of decision makers relates to GM support and the perceived legitimacy of GM decision making. We found that disease specificity mattered less to support and legitimacy than the perceived fairness of decision makers. The perceived risks of GM to human and environmental health negatively related to GM support and legitimacy, whereas the perceived benefits (e.g. reduced threats to crops and a more secure food supply) positively related to support and legitimacy. Objective knowledge about GM had a small, negative relationship with legitimacy whereas self-assessed familiarity with GM had a positive relationship. Overall, the results offer additional confirmation of past findings from more localized settings that perceived fairness of decision makers matters to support for GM and underscore the importance of considering how risk managers' behaviors and actions are perceived alongside individuals' perceptions about the risks and benefits. PMID:24630937

  7. Targeting GM-CSF in rheumatoid arthritis.

    PubMed

    Avci, Ali Berkant; Feist, Eugen; Burmester, Gerd-Rüdiger

    2016-01-01

    Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is well-known as a haemopoietic growth factor. However, it is also essential in regulating functions of mature myeloid cells such as macrophages. Preclinical studies and observations of flares of arthritis in patients following GM-CSF treatment supported its important contribution to the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). As the most advanced compound, mavrilimumab, a monoclonal antibody against GM-CSF receptor, has already completed phase II trials with a long term of follow-up period of 74 weeks. During this exposure period, an acceptable sustained safety and tolerability profile has been observed addressing the concerns of development of cytopenias or pulmonary alveolar proteinosis. Of note, a rapid and sustained efficacy and normalisation of acute phase reactants were consistently shown in studies both targeting GM-CSF and its receptor. Its tumour necrosis factor (TNF) independent mode of action with concurrent blockade of GM-CSF as well as IL-17 signalling reported from preclinical studies supports the assumption that it can be a useful biologic and an alternative agent in TNF inhibitor resistant patients with RA. Therefore, subsequent studies are warranted to investigate the safety and efficacy of GM-CSF blocking agents in different subgroups of RA. PMID:27586802

  8. Attitudes in China about Crops and Foods Developed by Biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Han, Fei; Zhou, Dingyang; Liu, Xiaoxia; Cheng, Jie; Zhang, Qingwen; Shelton, Anthony M

    2015-01-01

    Transgenic Bt cotton has been planted in China since 1997 and, in 2009, biosafety certificates for the commercial production of Bt rice and phytase corn were issued by the Chinese government. The public attitude in China toward agricultural biotechnology and genetically modified (GM) crops and foods has received considerable attention worldwide. We investigated the attitudes of consumers, Bt cotton farmers and scientists in China regarding GM crops and foods and the factors influencing their attitudes. Data were collected using interview surveys of consumer households, farmer households and scientists. A discrete choice approach was used to elicit the purchase intentions of the respondents. Two separate probit models were developed to examine the effect of various factors on the choices of the respondents. Bt cotton farmers had a very positive attitude because Bt cotton provided them with significant economic benefits. Chinese consumers from developed regions had a higher acceptance and willingness to pay for GM foods than consumers in other regions. The positive attitude toward GM foods by the scientific community will help to promote biotechnology in China in the future. Our survey emphasized that educational efforts made by government officials, the media and scientists can facilitate the acceptance of GM technology in China. Further educational efforts will be critical for influencing consumer attitudes and decisions of government agencies in the future. More effective educational efforts by government agencies and public media concerning the scientific facts and safety of GM foods would enhance the acceptance of GM crops in China. PMID:26418161

  9. Attitudes in China about Crops and Foods Developed by Biotechnology

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiaoxia; Cheng, Jie; Zhang, Qingwen; Shelton, Anthony M.

    2015-01-01

    Transgenic Bt cotton has been planted in China since 1997 and, in 2009, biosafety certificates for the commercial production of Bt rice and phytase corn were issued by the Chinese government. The public attitude in China toward agricultural biotechnology and genetically modified (GM) crops and foods has received considerable attention worldwide. We investigated the attitudes of consumers, Bt cotton farmers and scientists in China regarding GM crops and foods and the factors influencing their attitudes. Data were collected using interview surveys of consumer households, farmer households and scientists. A discrete choice approach was used to elicit the purchase intentions of the respondents. Two separate probit models were developed to examine the effect of various factors on the choices of the respondents. Bt cotton farmers had a very positive attitude because Bt cotton provided them with significant economic benefits. Chinese consumers from developed regions had a higher acceptance and willingness to pay for GM foods than consumers in other regions. The positive attitude toward GM foods by the scientific community will help to promote biotechnology in China in the future. Our survey emphasized that educational efforts made by government officials, the media and scientists can facilitate the acceptance of GM technology in China. Further educational efforts will be critical for influencing consumer attitudes and decisions of government agencies in the future. More effective educational efforts by government agencies and public media concerning the scientific facts and safety of GM foods would enhance the acceptance of GM crops in China. PMID:26418161

  10. Soybean Salt Tolerance 1 (GmST1) Reduces ROS Production, Enhances ABA Sensitivity, and Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Ren, Shuxin; Lyle, Chimera; Jiang, Guo-Liang; Penumala, Abhishek

    2016-01-01

    Abiotic stresses, including high soil salinity, significantly reduce crop production worldwide. Salt tolerance in plants is a complex trait and is regulated by multiple mechanisms. Understanding the mechanisms and dissecting the components on their regulatory pathways will provide new insights, leading to novel strategies for the improvement of salt tolerance in agricultural and economic crops of importance. Here we report that soybean salt tolerance 1, named GmST1, exhibited strong tolerance to salt stress in the Arabidopsis transgenic lines. The GmST1-overexpressed Arabidopsis also increased sensitivity to ABA and decreased production of reactive oxygen species under salt stress. In addition, GmST1 significantly improved drought tolerance in Arabidopsis transgenic lines. GmST1 belongs to a 3-prime part of Glyma.03g171600 gene in the current version of soybean genome sequence annotation. However, comparative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis around Glyma.03g171600 genomic region confirmed that GmST1 might serve as an intact gene in soybean leaf tissues. Unlike Glyma.03g171600 which was not expressed in leaves, GmST1 was strongly induced by salt treatment in the leaf tissues. By promoter analysis, a TATA box was detected to be positioned close to GmST1 start codon and a putative ABRE and a DRE cis-acting elements were identified at about 1 kb upstream of GmST1 gene. The data also indicated that GmST1-transgenic lines survived under drought stress and showed a significantly lower water loss than non-transgenic lines. In summary, our results suggest that overexpression of GmST1 significantly improves Arabidopsis tolerance to both salt and drought stresses and the gene may be a potential candidate for genetic engineering of salt- and drought-tolerant crops. PMID:27148284

  11. Soybean Salt Tolerance 1 (GmST1) Reduces ROS Production, Enhances ABA Sensitivity, and Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Shuxin; Lyle, Chimera; Jiang, Guo-liang; Penumala, Abhishek

    2016-01-01

    Abiotic stresses, including high soil salinity, significantly reduce crop production worldwide. Salt tolerance in plants is a complex trait and is regulated by multiple mechanisms. Understanding the mechanisms and dissecting the components on their regulatory pathways will provide new insights, leading to novel strategies for the improvement of salt tolerance in agricultural and economic crops of importance. Here we report that soybean salt tolerance 1, named GmST1, exhibited strong tolerance to salt stress in the Arabidopsis transgenic lines. The GmST1-overexpressed Arabidopsis also increased sensitivity to ABA and decreased production of reactive oxygen species under salt stress. In addition, GmST1 significantly improved drought tolerance in Arabidopsis transgenic lines. GmST1 belongs to a 3-prime part of Glyma.03g171600 gene in the current version of soybean genome sequence annotation. However, comparative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis around Glyma.03g171600 genomic region confirmed that GmST1 might serve as an intact gene in soybean leaf tissues. Unlike Glyma.03g171600 which was not expressed in leaves, GmST1 was strongly induced by salt treatment in the leaf tissues. By promoter analysis, a TATA box was detected to be positioned close to GmST1 start codon and a putative ABRE and a DRE cis-acting elements were identified at about 1 kb upstream of GmST1 gene. The data also indicated that GmST1-transgenic lines survived under drought stress and showed a significantly lower water loss than non-transgenic lines. In summary, our results suggest that overexpression of GmST1 significantly improves Arabidopsis tolerance to both salt and drought stresses and the gene may be a potential candidate for genetic engineering of salt- and drought-tolerant crops. PMID:27148284

  12. Outcrossing potential between 11 important genetically modified crops and the Chilean vascular flora.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Miguel A; Cid, Pablo; Navarrete, Humberto; Aguirre, Carlos; Chacón, Gustavo; Salazar, Erika; Prieto, Humberto

    2016-02-01

    The potential impact of genetically modified (GM) crops on biodiversity is one of the main concerns in an environmental risk assessment (ERA). The likelihood of outcrossing and pollen-mediated gene flow from GM crops and non-GM crops are explained by the same principles and depend primarily on the biology of the species. We conducted a national-scale study of the likelihood of outcrossing between 11 GM crops and vascular plants in Chile by use of a systematized database that included cultivated, introduced and native plant species in Chile. The database included geographical distributions and key biological and agronomical characteristics for 3505 introduced, 4993 native and 257 cultivated (of which 11 were native and 246 were introduced) plant species. Out of the considered GM crops (cotton, soya bean, maize, grape, wheat, rice, sugar beet, alfalfa, canola, tomato and potato), only potato and tomato presented native relatives (66 species total). Introduced relative species showed that three GM groups were formed having: a) up to one introduced relative (cotton and soya bean), b) up to two (rice, grape, maize and wheat) and c) from two to seven (sugar beet, alfalfa, canola, tomato and potato). In particular, GM crops presenting introduced noncultivated relative species were canola (1 relative species), alfalfa (up to 4), rice (1), tomato (up to 2) and potato (up to 2). The outcrossing potential between species [OP; scaled from 'very low' (1) to 'very high' (5)] was developed, showing medium OPs (3) for GM-native relative interactions when they occurred, low (2) for GMs and introduced noncultivated and high (4) for the grape-Vitis vinifera GM-introduced cultivated interaction. This analytical tool might be useful for future ERA for unconfined GM crop release in Chile. PMID:26052925

  13. Real-time monitoring of nitrate transport in the deep vadose zone under a crop field - implications for groundwater protection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turkeltaub, Tuvia; Kurtzman, Daniel; Dahan, Ofer

    2016-08-01

    Nitrate is considered the most common non-point pollutant in groundwater. It is often attributed to agricultural management, when excess application of nitrogen fertilizer leaches below the root zone and is eventually transported as nitrate through the unsaturated zone to the water table. A lag time of years to decades between processes occurring in the root zone and their final imprint on groundwater quality prevents proper decision-making on land use and groundwater-resource management. This study implemented the vadose-zone monitoring system (VMS) under a commercial crop field. Data obtained by the VMS for 6 years allowed, for the first time known to us, a unique detailed tracking of water percolation and nitrate migration from the surface through the entire vadose zone to the water table at 18.5 m depth. A nitrate concentration time series, which varied with time and depth, revealed - in real time - a major pulse of nitrate mass propagating down through the vadose zone from the root zone toward the water table. Analysis of stable nitrate isotopes indicated that manure is the prevalent source of nitrate in the deep vadose zone and that nitrogen transformation processes have little effect on nitrate isotopic signature. The total nitrogen mass calculations emphasized the nitrate mass migration towards the water table. Furthermore, the simulated pore-water velocity through analytical solution of the convection-dispersion equation shows that nitrate migration time from land surface to groundwater is relatively rapid, approximately 5.9 years. Ultimately, agricultural land uses, which are constrained to high nitrogen application rates and coarse soil texture, are prone to inducing substantial nitrate leaching.

  14. Functional characterization of GmBZL2 (AtBZR1 like gene) reveals the conserved BR signaling regulation in Glycine max.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yu; Zhang, Yan-Jie; Yang, Bao-Jun; Yu, Xian-Xian; Wang, Dun; Zu, Song-Hao; Xue, Hong-Wei; Lin, Wen-Hui

    2016-01-01

    Brassinosteroids (BRs) play key roles in plant growth and development, and regulate various agricultural traits. Enhanced BR signaling leads to increased seed number and yield in Arabidopsis bzr1-1D (AtBZR1(P234L), gain-of-function mutant of the important transcription factor in BR signaling/effects). BR signal transduction pathway is well elucidated in Arabidopsis but less known in other species. Soybean is an important dicot crop producing edible oil and protein. Phylogenetic analysis reveals AtBZR1-like genes are highly conserved in angiosperm and there are 4 orthologues in soybean (GmBZL1-4). We here report the functional characterization of GmBZL2 (relatively highly expresses in flowers). The P234 site in AtBZR1 is conserved in GmBZL2 (P216) and mutation of GmBZL2(P216L) leads to GmBZL2 accumulation. GmBZL2(P216L) (GmBZL2*) in Arabidopsis results in enhanced BR signaling; including increased seed number per silique. GmBZL2* partially rescued the defects of bri1-5, further demonstrating the conserved function of GmBZL2 with AtBZR1. BR treatment promotes the accumulation, nuclear localization and dephosphorylation/phosphorylation ratio of GmBZL2, revealing that GmBZL2 activity is regulated conservatively by BR signaling. Our studies not only indicate the conserved regulatory mechanism of GmBZL2 and BR signaling pathway in soybean, but also suggest the potential application of GmBZL2 in soybean seed yield. PMID:27498784

  15. Functional characterization of GmBZL2 (AtBZR1 like gene) reveals the conserved BR signaling regulation in Glycine max

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yu; Zhang, Yan-Jie; Yang, Bao-Jun; Yu, Xian-Xian; Wang, Dun; Zu, Song-Hao; Xue, Hong-Wei; Lin, Wen-Hui

    2016-01-01

    Brassinosteroids (BRs) play key roles in plant growth and development, and regulate various agricultural traits. Enhanced BR signaling leads to increased seed number and yield in Arabidopsis bzr1-1D (AtBZR1P234L, gain-of-function mutant of the important transcription factor in BR signaling/effects). BR signal transduction pathway is well elucidated in Arabidopsis but less known in other species. Soybean is an important dicot crop producing edible oil and protein. Phylogenetic analysis reveals AtBZR1-like genes are highly conserved in angiosperm and there are 4 orthologues in soybean (GmBZL1-4). We here report the functional characterization of GmBZL2 (relatively highly expresses in flowers). The P234 site in AtBZR1 is conserved in GmBZL2 (P216) and mutation of GmBZL2P216L leads to GmBZL2 accumulation. GmBZL2P216L (GmBZL2*) in Arabidopsis results in enhanced BR signaling; including increased seed number per silique. GmBZL2* partially rescued the defects of bri1-5, further demonstrating the conserved function of GmBZL2 with AtBZR1. BR treatment promotes the accumulation, nuclear localization and dephosphorylation/phosphorylation ratio of GmBZL2, revealing that GmBZL2 activity is regulated conservatively by BR signaling. Our studies not only indicate the conserved regulatory mechanism of GmBZL2 and BR signaling pathway in soybean, but also suggest the potential application of GmBZL2 in soybean seed yield. PMID:27498784

  16. Isolation and characterization of the brassinosteroid receptor gene (GmBRI1) from Glycine max.

    PubMed

    Wang, Miao; Sun, Shi; Wu, Cunxiang; Han, Tianfu; Wang, Qingyu

    2014-01-01

    Brassinosteroids (BRs) constitute a group of steroidal phytohormones that contribute to a wide range of plant growth and development functions. The genetic modulation of BR receptor genes, which play major roles in the BR signaling pathway, can create semi-dwarf plants that have great advantages in crop production. In this study, a brassinosteroid insensitive gene homologous with AtBRI1 and other BRIs was isolated from Glycine max and designated as GmBRI1. A bioinformatic analysis revealed that GmBRI1 shares a conserved kinase domain and 25 tandem leucine-rich repeats (LRRs) that are characteristic of a BR receptor for BR reception and reaction and bear a striking similarity in protein tertiary structure to AtBRI1. GmBRI1 transcripts were more abundant in soybean hypocotyls and could be upregulated in response to exogenous BR treatment. The transformation of GmBRI1 into the Arabidopsis dwarf mutant bri1-5 restored the phenotype, especially regarding pod size and plant height. Additionally, this complementation is a consequence of a restored BR signaling pathway demonstrated in the light/dark analysis, root inhibition assay and BR-response gene expression. Therefore, GmBRI1 functions as a BR receptor to alter BR-mediated signaling and is valuable for improving plant architecture and enhancing the yield of soybean. PMID:24599079

  17. Evolution of risk assessment strategies for food and feed uses of stacked GM events.

    PubMed

    Kramer, Catherine; Brune, Phil; McDonald, Justin; Nesbitt, Monique; Sauve, Alaina; Storck-Weyhermueller, Sabine

    2016-09-01

    Data requirements are not harmonized globally for the regulation of food and feed derived from stacked genetically modified (GM) events, produced by combining individual GM events through conventional breeding. The data required by some regulatory agencies have increased despite the absence of substantiated adverse effects to animals or humans from the consumption of GM crops. Data from studies conducted over a 15-year period for several stacked GM event maize (Zea mays L.) products (Bt11 ×  GA21, Bt11 ×  MIR604, MIR604 ×  GA21, Bt11 ×  MIR604 ×  GA21, Bt11 ×  MIR162 ×  GA21 and Bt11 ×  MIR604 ×  MIR162 ×  GA21), together with their component single events, are presented. These data provide evidence that no substantial changes in composition, protein expression or insert stability have occurred after combining the single events through conventional breeding. An alternative food and feed risk assessment strategy for stacked GM events is suggested based on a problem formulation approach that utilizes (i) the outcome of the single event risk assessments, and (ii) the potential for interactions in the stack, based on an understanding of the mode of action of the transgenes and their products. PMID:26914314

  18. Expression of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen in transgenic chloroplasts of tobacco, a non-food/feed crop

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Jennifer; Koya, Vijay; Leppla, Stephen H.; Daniell, Henry

    2012-01-01

    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) lists Bacillus anthracis as a category A agent and estimates the cost of an anthrax attack to exceed US$ 26 billion per 100,000 exposed individuals. Concerns regarding anthrax vaccine purity, a requirement for multiple injections, and a limited supply of the protective antigen (PA), underscore the urgent need for an improved vaccine. Therefore, the 83 kDa immunogenic Bacillus anthracis protective antigen was expressed in transgenic tobacco chloroplasts. The PA gene (pag) was cloned into a chloroplast vector along with the psbA regulatory signals to enhance translation. Chloroplast integration of the transgenes was confirmed by PCR and Southern blot analyses. Crude plant extracts contained up to 2.5 mg full length PA/g of fresh leaf tissue and this showed exceptional stability for several months in stored leaves or crude extracts. Maximum levels of expression were observed in mature leaves under continuous illumination. Co-expression of the ORF2 chaperonin from Bacillus thuringiensis did not increase PA accumulation or induce folding into cuboidal crystals in transgenic chloroplasts. Trypsin, chymotrypsin and furin proteolytic cleavage sites present in PA were protected in transgenic chloroplasts because only full length PA 83 was observed without any degradation products. Both CHAPS and SDS detergents extracted PA with equal efficiency and PA was observed in the soluble fraction. Chloroplast-derived PA was functionally active in lysing mouse macrophages when combined with lethal factor (LF). Crude leaf extracts contained up to 25 μg functional PA/ml. With an average yield of 172 mg of PA per plant using an experimental transgenic cultivar grown in a greenhouse, 400 million doses of vaccine (free of contaminants) could be produced per acre, a yield that could be further enhanced 18-fold using a commercial cultivar in the field. PMID:15474731

  19. 5 CFR 531.243 - Promotion of a GM employee.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 5 Administrative Personnel 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Promotion of a GM employee. 531.243... UNDER THE GENERAL SCHEDULE Determining Rate of Basic Pay Special Rules for Gm Employees § 531.243 Promotion of a GM employee. (a) Upon promotion, an employee's status as a GM employee ends, as provided...

  20. How agro-ecological research helps to address food security issues under new IPM and pesticide reduction policies for global crop production systems.

    PubMed

    E Birch, A Nicholas; Begg, Graham S; Squire, Geoffrey R

    2011-06-01

    Drivers behind food security and crop protection issues are discussed in relation to food losses caused by pests. Pests globally consume food estimated to feed an additional one billion people. Key drivers include rapid human population increase, climate change, loss of beneficial on-farm biodiversity, reduction in per capita cropped land, water shortages, and EU pesticide withdrawals under policies relating to 91/414 EEC. IPM (Integrated Pest Management) will be compulsory for all EU agriculture by 2014 and is also being widely adopted globally. IPM offers a 'toolbox' of complementary crop- and region-specific crop protection solutions to address these rising pressures. IPM aims for more sustainable solutions by using complementary technologies. The applied research challenge now is to reduce selection pressure on single solution strategies, by creating additive/synergistic interactions between IPM components. IPM is compatible with organic, conventional, and GM cropping systems and is flexible, allowing regional fine-tuning. It reduces pests below economic thresholds utilizing key 'ecological services', particularly biocontrol. A recent global review demonstrates that IPM can reduce pesticide use and increase yields of most of the major crops studied. Landscape scale 'ecological engineering', together with genetic improvement of new crop varieties, will enhance the durability of pest-resistant cultivars (conventional and GM). IPM will also promote compatibility with semiochemicals, biopesticides, precision pest monitoring tools, and rapid diagnostics. These combined strategies are urgently needed and are best achieved via multi-disciplinary research, including complex spatio-temporal modelling at farm and landscape scales. Integrative and synergistic use of existing and new IPM technologies will help meet future food production needs more sustainably in developed and developing countries, in an era of reduced pesticide availability. Current IPM research gaps are

  1. Overexpression of β-expansin gene GmEXPB2 improves phosphorus efficiency in soybean.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jia; Xie, Jianna; Liao, Hong; Wang, Xiurong

    2014-02-01

    Soybean (Glycine max) is an important oil crop in agricultural production, but low phosphorus (P) availability limits soybean growth and production. Expansin is a family of plant cell wall proteins and involved in a variety of physiological processes, including cell division and enlargement, root growth and leaf development. To test the potential effects of expansins on crop production, we have developed soybean transgenic plants overexpressing a soybean β-expansin gene GmEXPB2, which was significantly induced by phosphate (Pi) starvation. The results indicated that constitutive overexpression of GmEXPB2 promoted leaf expansion, sequentially stimulated root growth and consequently resulted in improved P efficiency in the transgenic plants under P-limited conditions in hydroponics. In particular, when tested in calcareous (CS) and acid soils (AS), the two GmEXPB2 transgenic soybean lines showed above 25 and 40% increases in plant dry weight and P content, respectively to wild-type plants in low-P CS, but not in AS. To our knowledge, this is the first report in which improvement of P efficiency could be achieved through constitutive overexpression of an endogenous EXPB gene in soybean. These findings suggest that genetic modification of root and leaf traits might be a suitable strategy for improving crop production in low-P soils. PMID:23773128

  2. GmCLC1 Confers Enhanced Salt Tolerance through Regulating Chloride Accumulation in Soybean

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Peipei; Wang, Longchao; Liu, Ailin; Yu, Bingjun; Lam, Hon-Ming

    2016-01-01

    The family of chloride channel proteins that mediate Cl- transportation play vital roles in plant nutrient supply, cellular action potential and turgor pressure adjustment, stomatal movement, hormone signal recognition and transduction, Cl- homeostasis, and abiotic and biotic stress tolerance. The anionic toxicity, mainly caused by chloride ions (Cl-), on plants under salt stress remains poorly understood. In this work, we investigated the function of soybean Cl-/H+ antiporter GmCLC1 under salt stress in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana, soybean, and yeast. We found that GmCLC1 enhanced salt tolerance in transgenic A. thaliana by reducing the Cl- accumulation in shoots and hence released the negative impact of salt stress on plant growth. Overexpression of GmCLC1 in the hairy roots of soybean sequestered more Cl- in their roots and transferred less Cl- to their shoots, leading to lower relative electrolyte leakage values in the roots and leaves. When either the soybean GmCLC1 or the yeast chloride transporter gene, GEF1, was transformed into the yeast gef1 mutant, and then treated with different chloride salts (MnCl2, KCl, NaCl), enhanced survival rate was observed. The result indicates that GmCLC1 and GEF1 exerted similar effects on alleviating the stress of diverse chloride salts on the yeast gef1 mutant. Together, this work suggests a protective function of GmCLC1 under Cl- stress. PMID:27504114

  3. GmCLC1 Confers Enhanced Salt Tolerance through Regulating Chloride Accumulation in Soybean.

    PubMed

    Wei, Peipei; Wang, Longchao; Liu, Ailin; Yu, Bingjun; Lam, Hon-Ming

    2016-01-01

    The family of chloride channel proteins that mediate Cl(-) transportation play vital roles in plant nutrient supply, cellular action potential and turgor pressure adjustment, stomatal movement, hormone signal recognition and transduction, Cl(-) homeostasis, and abiotic and biotic stress tolerance. The anionic toxicity, mainly caused by chloride ions (Cl(-)), on plants under salt stress remains poorly understood. In this work, we investigated the function of soybean Cl(-)/H(+) antiporter GmCLC1 under salt stress in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana, soybean, and yeast. We found that GmCLC1 enhanced salt tolerance in transgenic A. thaliana by reducing the Cl(-) accumulation in shoots and hence released the negative impact of salt stress on plant growth. Overexpression of GmCLC1 in the hairy roots of soybean sequestered more Cl(-) in their roots and transferred less Cl(-) to their shoots, leading to lower relative electrolyte leakage values in the roots and leaves. When either the soybean GmCLC1 or the yeast chloride transporter gene, GEF1, was transformed into the yeast gef1 mutant, and then treated with different chloride salts (MnCl2, KCl, NaCl), enhanced survival rate was observed. The result indicates that GmCLC1 and GEF1 exerted similar effects on alleviating the stress of diverse chloride salts on the yeast gef1 mutant. Together, this work suggests a protective function of GmCLC1 under Cl(-) stress. PMID:27504114

  4. Compositional differences between near-isogenic GM and conventional maize hybrids are associated with backcrossing practices in conventional breeding.

    PubMed

    Venkatesh, Tyamagondlu V; Cook, Kevin; Liu, Bing; Perez, Timothy; Willse, Alan; Tichich, Ryan; Feng, Ping; Harrigan, George G

    2015-02-01

    Here, we show that differences between genetically modified (GM) and non-GM comparators cannot be attributed unequivocally to the GM trait, but arise because of minor genomic differences in near-isogenic lines. Specifically, this study contrasted the effect of three GM traits (drought tolerance, MON 87460; herbicide resistance, NK603; insect protection, MON 89034) on maize grain composition relative to the effects of residual genetic variation from backcrossing. Important features of the study included (i) marker-assisted backcrossing to generate genetically similar inbred variants for each GM line, (ii) high-resolution genotyping to evaluate the genetic similarity of GM lines to the corresponding recurrent parents and (iii) introgression of the different GM traits separately into a wide range of genetically distinct conventional inbred lines. The F1 hybrids of all lines were grown concurrently at three replicated field sites in the United States during the 2012 growing season, and harvested grain was subjected to compositional analysis. Proximates (protein, starch and oil), amino acids, fatty acids, tocopherols and minerals were measured. The number of statistically significant differences (α = 0.05), as well as magnitudes of difference, in mean levels of these components between corresponding GM variants was essentially identical to that between GM and non-GM controls. The largest sources of compositional variation were the genetic background of the different conventional inbred lines (males and females) used to generate the maize hybrids and location. The lack of any compositional effect attributable to GM suggests the development of modern agricultural biotechnology has been accompanied by a lack of any safety or nutritional concerns. PMID:25196222

  5. Two-spotted spider mite and its natural enemies on strawberry grown as protected and unprotected crops in Norway and Brazil.

    PubMed

    Castilho, Raphael C; Duarte, Vanessa S; de Moraes, Gilberto J; Westrum, Karin; Trandem, Nina; Rocha, Luiz Carlos D; Delalibera, Italo; Klingen, Ingeborg

    2015-08-01

    Cultivation of strawberry in plastic tunnels has increased considerably in Norway and in southeastern Brazil, mainly in an attempt to protect the crop from unsuitable climatic factors and some diseases as well as to allow growers to expand the traditional production season. It has been hypothesized that cultivation under tunnels could increase the incidence of one of its major pests in many countries where strawberry is cultivated, including Norway and Brazil, the two spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of the use of tunnels on the incidence of T. urticae and on its natural enemies on strawberry in two ecologically contrasting regions, Norway (temperate) and southeastern Brazil (subtropical). In both countries, peak densities of T. urticae in tunnels and in the open fields were lower than economic thresholds reported in the literature. Factors determining that systematically seem to be the prevailing relatively low temperature in Norway and high relative humidity in both countries. The levels of occurrence in Norway and Brazil in 2010 were so low that regardless of any potential effect of the use of tunnel, no major differences were observed between the two cropping systems in relation to T. urticae densities. In 2009 in Norway and in 2011 in Brazil, increase in T. urticae population seemed to have been restrained mainly by rainfall in the open field and by predatory mites in the tunnels. Phytoseiids were the most numerous predatory mite group of natural occurrence on strawberry, and the prevalence was higher in Brazil, where the most abundant species on strawberry leaves were Neoseiulus anonymus and Phytoseiulus macropilis. In Norway, the most abundant naturally occurring phytoseiids on strawberry leaves were Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) rhenanus and Typhlodromus (Typhlodromus) pyri. Predatory mites were very rare in the litter samples collected in Norway. Infection rate of the pest by the fungus Neozygites

  6. THE EVOLUTION OF RESISTANCE TO PLANT INCORPORATED PROTECTANTS BY TARGETED INSECT PESTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Genetically modified (GM) crops, also known as transgenic crops, offer potential economic, environmental, and human health benefits. Balanced against these potential benefits are several possible liabilities, one of which is environmental harm. The EPA must fulfill its mandate to...

  7. Tempest in a tea pot: How did the public conversation on genetically modified crops drift so far from the facts?

    PubMed

    Goldstein, Daniel A

    2014-06-01

    The debate over genetically modified (GM) crops has raged in Europe since 1996, but had barely risen above a whisper in the USA until recent labeling debates raised public attention. This article will explain GM crops and traits discuss safety assessment provide a view on safety from authoritative organizations discuss selected issues of current debate, and provide the author's perspective as to why the public debate has drifted so far from scientific reality. The economic and environmental benefits of GM crops are beyond scope, but references are provided. GM food and feed undergo comprehensive assessments using recognized approaches to assure they are as safe as the conventional congener. Issues of food safety and nutrition, unrelated to the GM process, may arise when GM foods display novel components or composition. Unanticipated genetic effects in GM crops appear to be limited in contrast to existing variations among conventional varieties resulting from breeding, mutation, and natural mobile genetic elements. Allergenic potential is assessed when selecting genes for introduction into GM crops and remains a theoretical risk to date. Emerging weed and insect resistance is not unique to GM technology and will require the use of integrated pest management/best practices for pest control. Gene flow from GM crops to wild relatives is limited by existing biological barriers but can at time be a relevant consideration in gene selection and planting practices. Insect-resistant GM crops have significantly reduced use of chemical insecticides and appear to have reduced the incidence of pesticide poisoning in areas where small scale farming and hand application are common. Changes in herbicide patterns are more complex and are evolving over time in response to weed resistance management needs. Recent public debate is driven by a combination of unfounded allegations about the technology and purveyors, pseudoscience, and attempts to apply a strict precautionary principle

  8. Cover Crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cover crops are great tools to improve soil quality and health, and great tools to increase carbon sequestration. They are nutrient management tools that can help scavenge nitrate, cycle nitrogen to the following crop, mine NO3 from groundwater, and increase nitrogen use efficiency of cropping syste...

  9. Evaluation of three herbicide resistance genes for use in genetic transformations and for potential crop protection in algae production.

    PubMed

    Brueggeman, Andrew J; Bruggeman, Andrew J; Kuehler, Daniel; Weeks, Donald P

    2014-09-01

    Genes conferring resistance to the herbicides glyphosate, oxyfluorfen and norflurazon were developed and tested for use as dominant selectable markers in genetic transformation of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and as potential tools for the protection of commercial-scale algal production facilities against contamination by organisms sensitive to these broad-spectrum herbicides. A synthetic glyphosate acetyltransferase (GAT) gene, when fitted with a strong Chlamydomonas promoter, conferred a 2.7×-fold increase in tolerance to the EPSPS inhibitor, glyphosate, in transgenic cells compared with progenitor WT cells. A mutant Chlamydomonas protoporphyrinogen oxidase (protox, PPO) gene previously shown to produce an enzyme insensitive to PPO-inhibiting herbicides, when genetically engineered, generated transgenic cells able to tolerate up to 136× higher levels of the PPO inhibitor, oxyfluorfen, than nontransformed cells. Genetic modification of the Chlamydomonas phytoene desaturase (PDS) gene-based gene sequences found in various norflurazon-resistant organisms allowed production of transgenic cells tolerant to 40× higher levels of norflurazon than nontransgenic cells. The high efficiency of all three herbicide resistance genes in producing transgenic cells demonstrated their suitability as dominant selectable markers for genetic transformation of Chlamydomonas and, potentially, other eukaryotic algae. However, the requirement for high concentrations of glyphosate and its associated negative effects on cell growth rates preclude its consideration for use in large-scale production facilities. In contrast, only low doses of norflurazon and oxyfluorfen (~1.5 μm and ~0.1 μm, respectively) are required for inhibition of cell growth, suggesting that these two herbicides may prove effective in large-scale algal production facilities in suppressing growth of organisms sensitive to these herbicides. PMID:24796724

  10. The past, present and future of crop genetic modification.

    PubMed

    Fedoroff, Nina V

    2010-11-30

    The introduction of science and technology into agriculture over the past two centuries has markedly increased agricultural productivity and decreased its labor-intensiveness. Chemical fertilization, mechanization, plant breeding and molecular genetic modification (GM) have contributed to unparalleled productivity increases. Future increases are far from assured because of underinvestment in agricultural research, growing population pressure, decreasing fresh water availability, increasing temperatures and societal rejection of GM crops in many countries. PMID:20074679

  11. Impact of Bt crops on non-target organisms – 3 systematic reviews

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops producing Cry toxins, originating from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), has raised environmental concerns over their sustainable use and consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem services in agricultural land. During the last two decades...

  12. Filipin recognizes both GM1 and cholesterol in GM1 gangliosidosis mouse brain

    PubMed Central

    Arthur, Julian R.; Heinecke, Karie A.; Seyfried, Thomas N.

    2011-01-01

    Filipin is an antibiotic polyene widely used as a histochemical marker for cholesterol. We previously reported cholesterol/filipin-positive staining in brain of β-galactosidase (β-gal) knockout (−/−) mice (GM1 gangliosidosis). The content and distribution of cholesterol and gangliosides was analyzed in plasma membrane (PM) and microsomal (MS) fractions from whole-brain tissue of 15 week-old control (β-gal+/−) and GM1 gangliosidosis (β-gal−/−) mice. Total ganglioside content (μg sialic acid/mg protein) was 3-fold and 7-fold greater in the PM and MS fractions, respectively, in βgal−/− mice than in βgal+/− mice. GM1 content was 30-fold and 50-fold greater in the PM and MS fractions, respectively. In contrast, unesterified cholesterol content (μg/mg protein) was similar in the PM and the MS fractions of the βgal−/− and βgal+/− mice. Filipin is known to bind to various sterol derivatives and phospholipids on thin-layer chromatograms. Biochemical evidence is presented showing that filipin also binds to GM1 with an affinity similar to that for cholesterol, with a corresponding fluorescent reaction. Our data suggest that the GM1 storage seen in the β-gal−/− mouse contributes to the filipin ultraviolet fluorescence observed in GM1 gangliosidosis brain. The data indicate that in addition to cholesterol, filipin can also be useful for detecting GM1. PMID:21508255

  13. Long-distance GM pollen movement of creeping bentgrass using modeled wind trajectory analysis.

    PubMed

    Van de Water, Peter K; Watrud, Lidia S; Lee, E Henry; Burdick, Connie; King, George A

    2007-06-01

    The importance of understanding the role of atmospheric conditions in pollen dispersal has grown in recent years with increased field-testing of genetically modified (GM) crop plants. An atmospheric model was used to characterize wind trajectories at 10 m and 100 m above GM pollen source fields located within a 4452-ha "control" area north of Madras, Oregon, USA, designated by the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA). The area was used in 2003 for the growth of GM creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) engineered to be resistant to glyphosate herbicide. The presence of the GM gene (CP4 EPSPS) provided a distinct selectable marker for pollen-mediated gene flow to sentinel and resident Agrostis spp. plants. Linkage of GM gene presence with wind flow characteristics over the "control" area became essential to understand the timing and processes leading to long-distance transport of this pollen. Wind trajectories showed a general pattern of northwest to southeast air movement. Trajectory travel distances calculated hourly from 06:00 hours to 15:00 hours during the 2003 pollination period (15 June-15 July) showed movement up to 15 km from the "control" area's center by the first hour. Maximum travel distances increased to 40 and 55 km after two and three hours from release, respectively. Calculated wind trajectory positions corresponded with observed long-distance pollen-mediated gene flow in the seedlings of sentinel and resident plants. The highest correlations were found during the late morning hours. Back-calculated wind trajectories from sentinel and resident locations with GM-gene-positive progeny suggested that most successful fertilizations occurred in the direction of prevailing winds during late June 2003. The occurrence of positive progeny from sentinel plants, upwind of the "control" area during this period, indicated the additional influence of local topography on pollen dispersal. PMID:17555232

  14. Regulatory options for genetically modified crops in India.

    PubMed

    Choudhary, Bhagirath; Gheysen, Godelieve; Buysse, Jeroen; van der Meer, Piet; Burssens, Sylvia

    2014-02-01

    The introduction of semi-dwarfing, high-yielding and nutrients-responsive crop varieties in the 1960s and 1970s alleviated the suffering of low crop yield, food shortages and epidemics of famine in India and other parts of the Asian continent. Two semi-dwarfing genes, Rht in wheat and Sd-1 in rice heralded the green revolution for which Dr. Norman Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. In contrast, the revolutionary new genetics of crop improvement shamble over formidable obstacles of regulatory delays, political interferences and public misconceptions. India benefited immensely from the green revolution and is now grappling to deal with the nuances of GM crops. The development of GM mustard discontinued prematurely in 2001 and insect-resistant Bt cotton varieties were successfully approved for commercial cultivation in 2002 in an evolving nature of regulatory system. However, the moratorium on Bt brinjal by MOEF in 2010 meant a considerable detour from an objective, science-based, rigorous institutional process of regulatory approval to a more subjective, nonscience-driven, political decision-making process. This study examines what ails the regulatory system of GM crops in India and the steps that led to the regulatory logjam. Responding to the growing challenges and impediments of existing biosafety regulation, it suggests options that are critical for GM crops to take roots for a multiplier harvest. PMID:24460889

  15. [Review of transgenic crop breeding in China].

    PubMed

    Huang, Dafang

    2015-06-01

    The development history and fundamental experience of transgenic crops (Genetically modified crops) breeding in China for near 30 years were reviewed. It was illustrated that a scientific research, development and industrialization system of transgenic crops including gene discovery, transformation, variety breeding, commercialization, application and biosafety assessment has been initially established which was few in number in the world. The research innovative capacity of transgenic cotton, rice and corn has been lifted. The research features as well as relative advantages have been initially formed. The problems and challenges of transgenic crop development were discussed. In addition, three suggestions of promoting commercialization, speeding up implementation of the Major National Project of GM Crops, and enhancing science communication were made. PMID:26672365

  16. A Novel Soybean Intrinsic Protein Gene, GmTIP2;3, Involved in Responding to Osmotic Stress

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Dayong; Tong, Jinfeng; He, Xiaolan; Xu, Zhaolong; Xu, Ling; Wei, Peipei; Huang, Yihong; Brestic, Marian; Ma, Hongxiang; Shao, Hongbo

    2016-01-01

    Water is essential for plant growth and development. Water deficiency leads to loss of yield and decreased crop quality. To understand water transport mechanisms in plants, we cloned and characterized a novel tonoplast intrinsic protein (TIP) gene from soybean with the highest similarity to TIP2-type from other plants, and thus designated GmTIP2;3. The protein sequence contains two conserved NPA motifs and six transmembrane domains. The expression analysis indicated that this gene was constitutively expressed in all detected tissues, with higher levels in the root, stem and pod, and the accumulation of GmTIP2;3 transcript showed a significant response to osmotic stresses, including 20% PEG6000 (polyethylene glycol) and 100 μM ABA (abscisic acid) treatments. The promoter-GUS (glucuronidase) activity analysis suggested that GmTIP2;3 was also expressed in the root, stem, and leaf, and preferentially expressed in the stele of root and stem, and the core promoter region was 1000 bp in length, located upstream of the ATG start codon. The GUS tissue and induced expression observations were consistent with the findings in soybean. In addition, subcellular localization showed that GmTIP2;3 was a plasma membrane-localized protein. Yeast heterologous expression revealed that GmTIP2;3 could improve tolerance to osmotic stress in yeast cells. Integrating these results, GmTIP2;3 might play an important role in response to osmotic stress in plants. PMID:26779248

  17. Adaptation of the ToxRTool to Assess the Reliability of Toxicology Studies Conducted with Genetically Modified Crops and Implications for Future Safety Testing.

    PubMed

    Koch, Michael S; DeSesso, John M; Williams, Amy Lavin; Michalek, Suzanne; Hammond, Bruce

    2016-01-01

    To determine the reliability of food safety studies carried out in rodents with genetically modified (GM) crops, a Food Safety Study Reliability Tool (FSSRTool) was adapted from the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods' (ECVAM) ToxRTool. Reliability was defined as the inherent quality of the study with regard to use of standardized testing methodology, full documentation of experimental procedures and results, and the plausibility of the findings. Codex guidelines for GM crop safety evaluations indicate toxicology studies are not needed when comparability of the GM crop to its conventional counterpart has been demonstrated. This guidance notwithstanding, animal feeding studies have routinely been conducted with GM crops, but their conclusions on safety are not always consistent. To accurately evaluate potential risks from GM crops, risk assessors need clearly interpretable results from reliable studies. The development of the FSSRTool, which provides the user with a means of assessing the reliability of a toxicology study to inform risk assessment, is discussed. Its application to the body of literature on GM crop food safety studies demonstrates that reliable studies report no toxicologically relevant differences between rodents fed GM crops or their non-GM comparators. PMID:25208336

  18. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) transgenic crop: an environment friendly insect-pest management strategy.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Suresh; Chandra, Amaresh; Pandey, K C

    2008-09-01

    of biosafety protocol is necessary to protect human health and environment from the possible adverse effects of the products of genetic engineering. The debate between proponents and opponents of GM technology has created major obstacles in hamessing benefits of the technology It has now become clear that transgenics willbe accepted by the public only when doubts related with general risks and environmental safety are adequately dispelled. Thus, there is need to organize public awareness and present the benefits of Bt transgenic crops to improve social attitude for their rational deployment. In this review, an attempt has been made to discuss social and environmental safety issues of Bt transgenic crops. PMID:19295059

  19. Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Producers who want to prevent soil erosion, improve nutrient cycling, sustain their soils, and protect/maintain the environment have been returning to a very old practice: planting cover crops. Cover crops are effective tools for reducing soil erosion and increasing nutrient recycling on farmlands, ...

  20. The three main monotheistic religions and gm food technology: an overview of perspectives

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Public acceptance of genetically modified crops is partly rooted in religious views. However, the views of different religions and their potential influence on consumers' decisions have not been systematically examined and summarized in a brief overview. We review the positions of the Judaism, Islam and Christianity – the three major monotheistic religions to which more than 55% of humanity adheres to – on the controversies aroused by GM technology. Discussion The article establishes that there is no overarching consensus within the three religions. Overall, however, it appears that mainstream theology in all three religions increasingly tends towards acceptance of GM technology per se, on performing GM research, and on consumption of GM foods. These more liberal approaches, however, are predicated on there being rigorous scientific, ethical and regulatory scrutiny of research and development of such products, and that these products are properly labeled. Summary We conclude that there are several other interests competing with the influence exerted on consumers by religion. These include the media, environmental activists, scientists and the food industry, all of which function as sources of information and shapers of perception for consumers. PMID:19698118

  1. Effect of alveolar epithelial cell plasticity on the regulation of GM-CSF expression.

    PubMed

    Mir-Kasimov, Mustafa; Sturrock, Anne; McManus, Michael; Paine, Robert

    2012-03-15

    Local pulmonary expression of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is critically important for defense of the pulmonary alveolar space. It is required for surfactant homeostasis and pulmonary innate immune responses and is protective against lung injury and aberrant repair. Alveolar epithelial cells (AEC) are a major source of GM-CSF; however, the control of homeostatic expression of GM-CSF is incompletely characterized. Increasing evidence suggests considerable plasticity of expression of AEC phenotypic characteristics. We tested the hypothesis that this plasticity extends to regulation of expression of GM-CSF using 1) MLE-12 cells (a commonly used murine cell line expressing some features of normal type II AEC, 2) primary murine AEC incubated under standard conditions [resulting in rapid spreading and loss of surfactant protein C (SP-C) expression with induction of the putative type I cell marker (T1α)], or 3) primary murine AEC on a hyaluronic acid/collagen matrix in defined medium, resulting in preservation of SP-C expression. AEC in standard cultures constitutively express abundant GM-CSF, with further induction in response to IL-1β but little response to TNF-α. In contrast, primary cells cultured to preserve SP-C expression and MLE-12 cells both express little GM-CSF constitutively, with significant induction in response to TNF-α and limited response to IL-1β. We conclude that constitutive and cytokine-induced expression of GM-CSF by AEC varies in concert with other cellular phenotypic characteristics. These changes may have important implications both for the maintenance of normal pulmonary homeostasis and for the process of repair following lung injury. PMID:22227205

  2. The PIP training programme: building of ACP experts capacities in crop protection and food safety to support local companies to comply with EU regulations on pesticides residues.

    PubMed

    Schiffers, B C; Schubert, A; Schiffers, C; Fontaine, S; Gumusboga, N; Werner, B; Webb, M; Lugros, H; Stinglhamber, G

    2006-01-01

    Regulatory requirements, and in particular phytosanitary quality standards change rapidly. As ACP producers/exporters race to become more competitive, to keep their market share and to satisfay their customers' commercial demands (e.g. EUREP-GAP certification), the need for competent staff who are aware of the company's quality objectives and trained to follow instructions is crucial. Mastering sanitary quality is only possible if matched with a programme to build the skills of companies' human resources. The Pesticide Initiative Programme (PIP), mindful of the importance of making operators autonomous and of training them to monitor EU food safety regulations and technology on their own, has successfully developed a training programme while building a quality network of local/ACP service providers. By building the capacities of ACP experts and then securing their services as trainers, PIP also guarantees companies' access to expertise and the sustainability of their efforts to comply with new EU regulations. The training strategy developed by PIP rests on two pilars: instructor training and collective training. Instructor training consists in reinforcing the technical knowledge of local experts (agronomists, hygienists, etc.) by providing them with active teaching methods. Once the ACP experts have gained enough technical knowledge of the key areas of crop protection--mainly pesticides management--and food safety, and have demonstrated their capacity to train the technical staff of local companies, the PIP has carried out a collective training programme in 2004, 2005 and 2006. To date, more than 130 consultants covering about 15 ACP countries have received instructor training, and more than 700 people have participated in collective and in-company training sessions. PMID:17390771

  3. Economic impacts of policies affecting crop biotechnology and trade.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Kym

    2010-11-30

    Agricultural biotechnologies, and especially transgenic crops, have the potential to boost food security in developing countries by offering higher incomes for farmers and lower priced and better quality food for consumers. That potential is being heavily compromised, however, because the European Union and some other countries have implemented strict regulatory systems to govern their production and consumption of genetically modified (GM) food and feed crops, and to prevent imports of foods and feedstuffs that do not meet these strict standards. This paper analyses empirically the potential economic effects of adopting transgenic crops in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. It does so using a multi-country, multi-product model of the global economy. The results suggest the economic welfare gains from crop biotechnology adoption are potentially very large, and that those benefits are diminished only very slightly by the presence of the European Union's restriction on imports of GM foods. That is, if developing countries retain bans on GM crop production in an attempt to maintain access to EU markets for non-GM products, the loss to their food consumers as well as to farmers in those developing countries is huge relative to the slight loss that could be incurred from not retaining EU market access. PMID:20478422

  4. Natural History of Infantile GM2 Gangliosidosis

    PubMed Central

    Bley, Annette E.; Giannikopoulos, Ourania A.; Hayden, Doug; Kubilus, Kim; Tifft, Cynthia J.

    2011-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: GM2 gangliosidoses are caused by an inherited deficiency of lysosomal β-hexosaminidase and result in ganglioside accumulation in the brain. Onset during infancy leads to rapid neurodegeneration and death before 4 years of age. We set out to quantify the rate of functional decline in infantile GM2 gangliosidosis on the basis of patient surveys and a comprehensive review of existing literature. METHODS: Patients with infantile GM2 gangliosidosis (N = 237) were surveyed via questionnaire by the National Tay Sachs & Allied Diseases Association (NTSAD). These data were supplemented by survival data from the NTSAD database and a literature survey. Detailed retrospective surveys from 97 patients were available. Five patients who had received hematopoietic stem cell transplantation were evaluated separately. The mortality rate of the remaining 92 patients was comparable to that of the 103 patients from the NTSAD database and 121 patients reported in the literature. RESULTS: Common symptoms at onset were developmental arrest (83%), startling (65%), and hypotonia (60%). All 55 patients who had learned to sit without support lost that ability within 1 year. Individual functional measures correlated with each other but not with survival. Gastric tube placement was associated with prolonged survival. Tay Sachs and Sandhoff variants did not differ. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation was not associated with prolonged survival. CONCLUSIONS: We studied the timing of regression in 97 cases of infantile GM2 gangliosidosis and conclude that clinical disease progression does not correlate with survival, likely because of the impact of improved supportive care over time. However, functional measures are quantifiable and can inform power calculations and study design of future interventions. PMID:22025593

  5. Crop residues

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop residues [e.g., corn (Zea mays) stover and small grain straw] are sometimes excluded when discussing cellulosic energy crops per se, but because of the vast area upon which they are grown and their current role in the development of cellulosic energy systems. This chapter focuses on current cor...

  6. Crop Biotechnology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The influence of crop biotechnology on outcomes of agricultural practices and economics is readily evidenced by the escalating acreage of genetically engineered crops, all occurring in a relatively short time span. Until the mid 1990s, virtually no acreage was planted with commercial genetically mo...

  7. Development of Compact 2K GM Cryocoolers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Mingyao; Bao, Qian; Tsuchiya, Akihiro; Li, Rui

    A compact 2K Gifford-McMahon (GM) cryocooler has been developed for cooling electronic devices, such as Superconducting Single Photo Detectors (SSPD). The heat exchangers, regenerators are optimized with the numerical simulation method developed for 4K GM cryocoolers. After optimizing, the cylinder length is reduced by 85 mm compared with a commercial 0.1W 4K GM cryocooler. With no load on the second stage, a temperature of about 2.1 K has been achieved. With 1 W and 20 mW heat load, the temperature is 44.4 K at the first stage and 2.23 K at the second stage with an input power of about 1.1 kW. And also, it is found that the temperature oscillation decreases as the average temperature decreases. A temperature oscillation of about ±20 mK has been achieved. The object of the project, target specification, and a summary of experiment results will also be introduced in this paper.

  8. Cisgenics - a sustainable approach for crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Telem, R S; Wani, Shabir H; Singh, N B; Nandini, R; Sadhukhan, R; Bhattacharya, S; Mandal, N

    2013-11-01

    The implication of molecular biology in crop improvement is now more than three decades old. Not surprisingly, technology has moved on, and there are a number of new techniques that may or may not come under the genetically modified (GM) banner and, therefore, GM regulations. In cisgenic technology, cisgenes from crossable plants are used and it is a single procedure of gene introduction whereby the problem of linkage drag of other genes is overcome. The gene used in cisgenic approach is similar compared with classical breeding and cisgenic plant should be treated equally as classically bred plant and differently from transgenic plants. Therefore, it offers a sturdy reference to treat cisgenic plants similarly as classically bred plants, by exemption of cisgenesis from the current GMO legislations. This review covers the implications of cisgenesis towards the sustainable development in the genetic improvement of crops and considers the prospects for the technology. PMID:24396278

  9. Cisgenics - A Sustainable Approach for Crop Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Telem, R.S.; Wani, Shabir. H.; Singh, N.B.; Nandini, R.; Sadhukhan, R.; Bhattacharya, S.; Mandal, N.

    2013-01-01

    The implication of molecular biology in crop improvement is now more than three decades old. Not surprisingly, technology has moved on, and there are a number of new techniques that may or may not come under the genetically modified (GM) banner and, therefore, GM regulations. In cisgenic technology, cisgenes from crossable plants are used and it is a single procedure of gene introduction whereby the problem of linkage drag of other genes is overcome. The gene used in cisgenic approach is similar compared with classical breeding and cisgenic plant should be treated equally as classically bred plant and differently from transgenic plants. Therefore, it offers a sturdy reference to treat cisgenic plants similarly as classically bred plants, by exemption of cisgenesis from the current GMO legislations. This review covers the implications of cisgenesis towards the sustainable development in the genetic improvement of crops and considers the prospects for the technology. PMID:24396278

  10. Direct and reverse pollen-mediated gene flow between GM rice and red rice weed

    PubMed Central

    Serrat, X.; Esteban, R.; Peñas, G.; Català, M. M.; Melé, E.; Messeguer, J.

    2013-01-01

    Potential risks of genetically modified (GM) crops must be identified before their commercialization, as happens with all new technologies. One of the major concerns is the proper risk assessment of adventitious presence of transgenic material in rice fields due to cross-pollination. Several studies have been conducted in order to quantify pollen-mediated gene flow from transgenic rice (Oryza sativa) to both conventional rice and red rice weed (O. sativa f. spontanea) under field conditions. Some of these studies reported GM pollen-donor rice transferring GM traits to red rice. However, gene flow also occurs in the opposite direction, in a phenomenon that we have called reverse gene flow, resulting in transgenic seeds that have incorporated the traits of wild red rice. We quantified reverse gene flow using material from two field trials. A molecular analysis based on amplified fragment length polymorphisms was carried out, being complemented with a phenotypic identification of red rice traits. In both field trials, the reverse gene flow detected was greater than the direct gene flow. The rate of direct gene flow varied according to the relative proportions of the donor (GM rice) and receptor (red rice) plants and was influenced by wind direction. The ecological impact of reverse gene flow is limited in comparison with that of direct gene flow because non-shattered and non-dormant seeds would be obtained in the first generation. Hybrid seed would remain in the spike and therefore most of it would be removed during harvesting. Nevertheless, this phenomenon must be considered in fields used for elite seed production and in developing countries where farmers often keep some seed for planting the following year. In these cases, there is a higher risk of GM red rice weed infestation increasing from year to year and therefore a proper monitoring plan needs to be established.