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Sample records for crop genetic resources

  1. Cotton genetic resources and crop vulnerability

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    A report on the genetic vulnerability of cotton was provided to the National Genetic Resources Advisory Council. The report discussed crop vulnerabilities associated with emerging diseases, emerging pests, and a narrowing genetic base. To address these crop vulnerabilities, the report discussed the ...

  2. Plant genetic resources: What can they contribute toward increased crop productivity?

    PubMed Central

    Hoisington, David; Khairallah, Mireille; Reeves, Timothy; Ribaut, Jean-Marcel; Skovmand, Bent; Taba, Suketoshi; Warburton, Marilyn

    1999-01-01

    To feed a world population growing by up to 160 people per minute, with >90% of them in developing countries, will require an astonishing increase in food production. Forecasts call for wheat to become the most important cereal in the world, with maize close behind; together, these crops will account for ≈80% of developing countries’ cereal import requirements. Access to a range of genetic diversity is critical to the success of breeding programs. The global effort to assemble, document, and utilize these resources is enormous, and the genetic diversity in the collections is critical to the world’s fight against hunger. The introgression of genes that reduced plant height and increased disease and viral resistance in wheat provided the foundation for the “Green Revolution” and demonstrated the tremendous impact that genetic resources can have on production. Wheat hybrids and synthetics may provide the yield increases needed in the future. A wild relative of maize, Tripsacum, represents an untapped genetic resource for abiotic and biotic stress resistance and for apomixis, a trait that could provide developing world farmers access to hybrid technology. Ownership of genetic resources and genes must be resolved to ensure global access to these critical resources. The application of molecular and genetic engineering technologies enhances the use of genetic resources. The effective and complementary use of all of our technological tools and resources will be required for meeting the challenge posed by the world’s expanding demand for food. PMID:10339521

  3. Valuation of crop genetic resources in Kaski, Nepal: farmers' willingness to pay for rice landraces conservation.

    PubMed

    Poudel, Diwakar; Johnsen, Fred H

    2009-01-01

    Crop genetic resources constitute an important aspect of biodiversity conservation, both because of their direct value to the farmers and due to their indirect global value. This study uses the contingent valuation method to document the economic value of crop genetic resources based on the farmers' willingness to pay for conservation. A total of 107 households in Kaski, Nepal were surveyed in November 2003. Their mean willingness to pay was USD 4.18 for in situ and USD 2.20 for ex situ conservation per annum. Landholding size, household size, education level, socio-economic status, sex of respondent, number of crop landraces grown, and knowledge on biodiversity influenced the willingness to pay for in situ conservation, whereas only landholding size and household size influenced the willingness to pay for ex situ conservation. The respondents were willing to contribute more for in situ than ex situ conservation because of the additional effect of direct use and direct involvement of the farmers in in situ conservation. This study supports the view that economic valuation of crop genetic resources can assist the policy makers in setting conservation priorities.

  4. Domestication to Crop Improvement: Genetic Resources for Sorghum and Saccharum (Andropogoneae)

    PubMed Central

    Dillon, Sally L.; Shapter, Frances M.; Henry, Robert J.; Cordeiro, Giovanni; Izquierdo, Liz; Lee, L. Slade

    2007-01-01

    Background Both sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) are members of the Andropogoneae tribe in the Poaceae and are each other's closest relatives amongst cultivated plants. Both are relatively recent domesticates and comparatively little of the genetic potential of these taxa and their wild relatives has been captured by breeding programmes to date. This review assesses the genetic gains made by plant breeders since domestication and the progress in the characterization of genetic resources and their utilization in crop improvement for these two related species. Genetic Resources The genome of sorghum has recently been sequenced providing a great boost to our knowledge of the evolution of grass genomes and the wealth of diversity within S. bicolor taxa. Molecular analysis of the Sorghum genus has identified close relatives of S. bicolor with novel traits, endosperm structure and composition that may be used to expand the cultivated gene pool. Mutant populations (including TILLING populations) provide a useful addition to genetic resources for this species. Sugarcane is a complex polyploid with a large and variable number of copies of each gene. The wild relatives of sugarcane represent a reservoir of genetic diversity for use in sugarcane improvement. Techniques for quantitative molecular analysis of gene or allele copy number in this genetically complex crop have been developed. SNP discovery and mapping in sugarcane has been advanced by the development of high-throughput techniques for ecoTILLING in sugarcane. Genetic linkage maps of the sugarcane genome are being improved for use in breeding selection. The improvement of both sorghum and sugarcane will be accelerated by the incorporation of more diverse germplasm into the domesticated gene pools using molecular tools and the improved knowledge of these genomes. PMID:17766842

  5. Genetic Transformation and Genomic Resources for Next-Generation Precise Genome Engineering in Vegetable Crops

    PubMed Central

    Cardi, Teodoro; D’Agostino, Nunzio; Tripodi, Pasquale

    2017-01-01

    In the frame of modern agriculture facing the predicted increase of population and general environmental changes, the securement of high quality food remains a major challenge to deal with. Vegetable crops include a large number of species, characterized by multiple geographical origins, large genetic variability and diverse reproductive features. Due to their nutritional value, they have an important place in human diet. In recent years, many crop genomes have been sequenced permitting the identification of genes and superior alleles associated with desirable traits. Furthermore, innovative biotechnological approaches allow to take a step forward towards the development of new improved cultivars harboring precise genome modifications. Sequence-based knowledge coupled with advanced biotechnologies is supporting the widespread application of new plant breeding techniques to enhance the success in modification and transfer of useful alleles into target varieties. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 system, zinc-finger nucleases, and transcription activator-like effector nucleases represent the main methods available for plant genome engineering through targeted modifications. Such technologies, however, require efficient transformation protocols as well as extensive genomic resources and accurate knowledge before they can be efficiently exploited in practical breeding programs. In this review, we revise the state of the art in relation to availability of such scientific and technological resources in various groups of vegetables, describe genome editing results obtained so far and discuss the implications for future applications. PMID:28275380

  6. Genetic Transformation and Genomic Resources for Next-Generation Precise Genome Engineering in Vegetable Crops.

    PubMed

    Cardi, Teodoro; D'Agostino, Nunzio; Tripodi, Pasquale

    2017-01-01

    In the frame of modern agriculture facing the predicted increase of population and general environmental changes, the securement of high quality food remains a major challenge to deal with. Vegetable crops include a large number of species, characterized by multiple geographical origins, large genetic variability and diverse reproductive features. Due to their nutritional value, they have an important place in human diet. In recent years, many crop genomes have been sequenced permitting the identification of genes and superior alleles associated with desirable traits. Furthermore, innovative biotechnological approaches allow to take a step forward towards the development of new improved cultivars harboring precise genome modifications. Sequence-based knowledge coupled with advanced biotechnologies is supporting the widespread application of new plant breeding techniques to enhance the success in modification and transfer of useful alleles into target varieties. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 system, zinc-finger nucleases, and transcription activator-like effector nucleases represent the main methods available for plant genome engineering through targeted modifications. Such technologies, however, require efficient transformation protocols as well as extensive genomic resources and accurate knowledge before they can be efficiently exploited in practical breeding programs. In this review, we revise the state of the art in relation to availability of such scientific and technological resources in various groups of vegetables, describe genome editing results obtained so far and discuss the implications for future applications.

  7. Genetic perspectives on crop domestication

    PubMed Central

    Gross, Briana L.; Olsen, Kenneth M.

    2010-01-01

    The process of crop domestication has long been a topic of active research for biologists, anthropologists and others. Genetic data have proved a powerful resource for drawing inferences on questions regarding the geographical origins of crops, the numbers of independent domestication events for a given crop species, the specific molecular changes underlying domestication traits, and the nature of artificial selection during domestication and subsequent crop improvement. We would argue that these genetic inferences are fundamentally compatible with recent archaeological data that support a view of domestication as a geographically diffuse, gradual process. In this review, we summarize methodologies ranging from QTL mapping to resequencing used in genetic analyses of crop evolution. We also highlight recent major insights regarding the timing and spatial patterning of crop domestication and the distinct genetic underpinnings of domestication, diversification, and improvement traits. PMID:20541451

  8. Genetic diversity and genomic resources available for the small millet crops to accelerate a New Green Revolution

    PubMed Central

    Goron, Travis L.; Raizada, Manish N.

    2015-01-01

    Small millets are nutrient-rich food sources traditionally grown and consumed by subsistence farmers in Asia and Africa. They include finger millet (Eleusine coracana), foxtail millet (Setaria italica), kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum), proso millet (Panicum miliaceum), barnyard millet (Echinochloa spp.), and little millet (Panicum sumatrense). Local farmers value the small millets for their nutritional and health benefits, tolerance to extreme stress including drought, and ability to grow under low nutrient input conditions, ideal in an era of climate change and steadily depleting natural resources. Little scientific attention has been paid to these crops, hence they have been termed “orphan cereals.” Despite this challenge, an advantageous quality of the small millets is that they continue to be grown in remote regions of the world which has preserved their biodiversity, providing breeders with unique alleles for crop improvement. The purpose of this review, first, is to highlight the diverse traits of each small millet species that are valued by farmers and consumers which hold potential for selection, improvement or mechanistic study. For each species, the germplasm, genetic and genomic resources available will then be described as potential tools to exploit this biodiversity. The review will conclude with noting current trends and gaps in the literature and make recommendations on how to better preserve and utilize diversity within these species to accelerate a New Green Revolution for subsistence farmers in Asia and Africa. PMID:25852710

  9. Genetic diversity and genomic resources available for the small millet crops to accelerate a New Green Revolution.

    PubMed

    Goron, Travis L; Raizada, Manish N

    2015-01-01

    Small millets are nutrient-rich food sources traditionally grown and consumed by subsistence farmers in Asia and Africa. They include finger millet (Eleusine coracana), foxtail millet (Setaria italica), kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum), proso millet (Panicum miliaceum), barnyard millet (Echinochloa spp.), and little millet (Panicum sumatrense). Local farmers value the small millets for their nutritional and health benefits, tolerance to extreme stress including drought, and ability to grow under low nutrient input conditions, ideal in an era of climate change and steadily depleting natural resources. Little scientific attention has been paid to these crops, hence they have been termed "orphan cereals." Despite this challenge, an advantageous quality of the small millets is that they continue to be grown in remote regions of the world which has preserved their biodiversity, providing breeders with unique alleles for crop improvement. The purpose of this review, first, is to highlight the diverse traits of each small millet species that are valued by farmers and consumers which hold potential for selection, improvement or mechanistic study. For each species, the germplasm, genetic and genomic resources available will then be described as potential tools to exploit this biodiversity. The review will conclude with noting current trends and gaps in the literature and make recommendations on how to better preserve and utilize diversity within these species to accelerate a New Green Revolution for subsistence farmers in Asia and Africa.

  10. Genetic Resources of Energy Crops: Biological Systems to Combat Climate Change

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Biological systems are expected to contribute to renewable energy production, help stabilize rising levels of green house gases (GHG), and mitigate the risk of global climate change (GCC). Bioenergy crop plants that function as solar energy collectors and thermo-chemical energy storage systems are t...

  11. Genetics-based dynamic systems model of canopy photosynthesis: the key to improve light and resource use efficiencies for crops.

    PubMed

    Song, Qingfeng; Chu, Chengcai; Parry, Martin A J; Zhu, Xin-Guang

    2016-02-01

    Improving canopy photosynthetic light use efficiency instead of leaf photosynthesis holds great potential to catalyze the next "green revolution". However, leaves in a canopy experience different biochemical limitations due to the heterogeneities of microclimates and also physiological parameters. Mechanistic dynamic systems models of canopy photosynthesis are now available which can be used to design the optimal canopy architectural and physiological parameters to maximize CO 2 uptake. Rapid development of modern crop genetics research now makes it possible to link such canopy models with genetic variations of crops to develop genetics-based dynamic systems models of canopy photosynthesis. Such models can guide marker-assisted breeding or genomic selection or engineering of crops to enhance light and nitrogen use efficiencies for different regions under future climate change scenarios.

  12. Why genetically modified crops?

    PubMed

    Jones, Jonathan D G

    2011-05-13

    This paper is intended to convey the message of the talk I gave at the Theo Murphy meeting at the Kavli Centre in July 2010. It, like the talk, is polemical, and conveys the exasperation felt by a practitioner of genetically modified (GM) plant science at its widespread misrepresentation. I argue that sustainable intensification of agriculture, using GM as well as other technologies, reduces its environmental impact by reducing pesticide applications and conserving soil carbon by enabling low till methods. Current technologies (primarily insect resistance and herbicide tolerance) have been beneficial. Moreover, the near-term pipeline of new GM methods and traits to enhance our diet, increase crop yields and reduce losses to disease is substantial. It would be perverse to spurn this approach at a time when we need every tool in the toolbox to ensure adequate food production in the short, medium and long term.

  13. Genetic Engineering and Crop Production.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Helen C.; Frost, S.

    1991-01-01

    With a spotlight upon current agricultural difficulties and environmental dilemmas, this paper considers both the extant and potential applications of genetic engineering with respect to crop production. The nonagricultural factors most likely to sway the impact of this emergent technology upon future crop production are illustrated. (JJK)

  14. Genetic Engineering and Crop Production.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Helen C.; Frost, S.

    1991-01-01

    With a spotlight upon current agricultural difficulties and environmental dilemmas, this paper considers both the extant and potential applications of genetic engineering with respect to crop production. The nonagricultural factors most likely to sway the impact of this emergent technology upon future crop production are illustrated. (JJK)

  15. Excavating abiotic stress-related gene resources of terrestrial macroscopic cyanobacteria for crop genetic engineering: dawn and challenge

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Shuifeng; Gao, Xiang

    2015-01-01

    Genetically engineered (GE) crops with resistance to environmental stresses are one of the most important solutions for future food security. Numerous genes associated to plant stress resistance have been identified and characterized. However, the current reality is that only a few transgenic crops expressing prokaryotic genes are successfully applied in field conditions. These few prokaryotic genes include Agrobacterium strain CP4 EPSPS gene, Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab gene and a bacterial chaperonin gene. Thus, the excavation of potentially critical genes still remains an arduous task for crop engineering. Terrestrial macroscopic cyanobacteria, Nostoc commune and Nostoc flagelliforme, which exhibit extreme resistance to desiccation stress, may serve as new prokaryotic bioresources for excavating critical genes. Recently, their marker gene wspA was heterologously expressed in Arabidopsis plant and the transgenics exhibited more flourishing root systems than wild-type plants under osmotic stress condition. In addition, some new genes associated with drought response and adaptation in N. flagelliforme are being uncovered by our ongoing RNA-seq analysis. Although the relevant work about the terrestrial macroscopic cyanobacteria is still underway, we believe that the prospect of excavating their critical genes for application in GE crops is quite optimistic. PMID:26418632

  16. Excavating abiotic stress-related gene resources of terrestrial macroscopic cyanobacteria for crop genetic engineering: dawn and challenge.

    PubMed

    Ye, Shuifeng; Gao, Xiang

    2015-01-01

    Genetically engineered (GE) crops with resistance to environmental stresses are one of the most important solutions for future food security. Numerous genes associated to plant stress resistance have been identified and characterized. However, the current reality is that only a few transgenic crops expressing prokaryotic genes are successfully applied in field conditions. These few prokaryotic genes include Agrobacterium strain CP4 EPSPS gene, Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab gene and a bacterial chaperonin gene. Thus, the excavation of potentially critical genes still remains an arduous task for crop engineering. Terrestrial macroscopic cyanobacteria, Nostoc commune and Nostoc flagelliforme, which exhibit extreme resistance to desiccation stress, may serve as new prokaryotic bioresources for excavating critical genes. Recently, their marker gene wspA was heterologously expressed in Arabidopsis plant and the transgenics exhibited more flourishing root systems than wild-type plants under osmotic stress condition. In addition, some new genes associated with drought response and adaptation in N. flagelliforme are being uncovered by our ongoing RNA-seq analysis. Although the relevant work about the terrestrial macroscopic cyanobacteria is still underway, we believe that the prospect of excavating their critical genes for application in GE crops is quite optimistic.

  17. Distributions, ex situ conservation priorities, and genetic resource potential of crop wild relatives of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam., I. series Batatas

    PubMed Central

    Khoury, Colin K.; Heider, Bettina; Castañeda-Álvarez, Nora P.; Achicanoy, Harold A.; Sosa, Chrystian C.; Miller, Richard E.; Scotland, Robert W.; Wood, John R. I.; Rossel, Genoveva; Eserman, Lauren A.; Jarret, Robert L.; Yencho, G. C.; Bernau, Vivian; Juarez, Henry; Sotelo, Steven; de Haan, Stef; Struik, Paul C.

    2015-01-01

    Crop wild relatives of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam., I. series Batatas] have the potential to contribute to breeding objectives for this important root crop. Uncertainty in regard to species boundaries and their phylogenetic relationships, the limited availability of germplasm with which to perform crosses, and the difficulty of introgression of genes from wild species has constrained their utilization. Here, we compile geographic occurrence data on relevant sweetpotato wild relatives and produce potential distribution models for the species. We then assess the comprehensiveness of ex situ germplasm collections, contextualize these results with research and breeding priorities, and use ecogeographic information to identify species with the potential to contribute desirable agronomic traits. The fourteen species that are considered the closest wild relatives of sweetpotato generally occur from the central United States to Argentina, with richness concentrated in Mesoamerica and in the extreme Southeastern United States. Currently designated species differ among themselves and in comparison to the crop in their adaptations to temperature, precipitation, and edaphic characteristics and most species also show considerable intraspecific variation. With 79% of species identified as high priority for further collecting, we find that these crop genetic resources are highly under-represented in ex situ conservation systems and thus their availability to breeders and researchers is inadequate. We prioritize taxa and specific geographic locations for further collecting in order to improve the completeness of germplasm collections. In concert with enhanced conservation of sweetpotato wild relatives, further taxonomic research, characterization and evaluation of germplasm, and improving the techniques to overcome barriers to introgression with wild species are needed in order to mobilize these genetic resources for crop breeding. PMID:25954286

  18. Distributions, ex situ conservation priorities, and genetic resource potential of crop wild relatives of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam., I. series Batatas].

    PubMed

    Khoury, Colin K; Heider, Bettina; Castañeda-Álvarez, Nora P; Achicanoy, Harold A; Sosa, Chrystian C; Miller, Richard E; Scotland, Robert W; Wood, John R I; Rossel, Genoveva; Eserman, Lauren A; Jarret, Robert L; Yencho, G C; Bernau, Vivian; Juarez, Henry; Sotelo, Steven; de Haan, Stef; Struik, Paul C

    2015-01-01

    Crop wild relatives of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam., I. series Batatas] have the potential to contribute to breeding objectives for this important root crop. Uncertainty in regard to species boundaries and their phylogenetic relationships, the limited availability of germplasm with which to perform crosses, and the difficulty of introgression of genes from wild species has constrained their utilization. Here, we compile geographic occurrence data on relevant sweetpotato wild relatives and produce potential distribution models for the species. We then assess the comprehensiveness of ex situ germplasm collections, contextualize these results with research and breeding priorities, and use ecogeographic information to identify species with the potential to contribute desirable agronomic traits. The fourteen species that are considered the closest wild relatives of sweetpotato generally occur from the central United States to Argentina, with richness concentrated in Mesoamerica and in the extreme Southeastern United States. Currently designated species differ among themselves and in comparison to the crop in their adaptations to temperature, precipitation, and edaphic characteristics and most species also show considerable intraspecific variation. With 79% of species identified as high priority for further collecting, we find that these crop genetic resources are highly under-represented in ex situ conservation systems and thus their availability to breeders and researchers is inadequate. We prioritize taxa and specific geographic locations for further collecting in order to improve the completeness of germplasm collections. In concert with enhanced conservation of sweetpotato wild relatives, further taxonomic research, characterization and evaluation of germplasm, and improving the techniques to overcome barriers to introgression with wild species are needed in order to mobilize these genetic resources for crop breeding.

  19. Crop Genetics: The Seeds of Revolution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeYoung, H. Garrett

    1983-01-01

    Current research in plant genetics is described. Benefits of this research (which includes genetic engineering applications) will include reduction/elimination of crop diseases, assurance of genetic stability, and the creation of new crop varieties. (JN)

  20. Crop Genetics: The Seeds of Revolution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeYoung, H. Garrett

    1983-01-01

    Current research in plant genetics is described. Benefits of this research (which includes genetic engineering applications) will include reduction/elimination of crop diseases, assurance of genetic stability, and the creation of new crop varieties. (JN)

  1. Plant Genetic Resources: Not Just for Plant Breeding Anymore

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System maintains over 480,000 accessions of plant genetic resources from 2,000 genera and 12,400 species. These genetic resources consist of agronomic crops, horticultural crops, fruit and nut crops, medicinal plants, ornamental crops, and other species. Each year...

  2. Cryopreservation of eucalyptus genetic resources

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The long-term preservation of forest genetic resources is a vital part of preserving our forest crops for future generations. Unfortunately there are few genebanks dedicated to forest trees and very few methods aside from field plantings of germplasm collections of elite clonal individuals. The use ...

  3. Metabolomics of genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Simó, Carolina; Ibáñez, Clara; Valdés, Alberto; Cifuentes, Alejandro; García-Cañas, Virginia

    2014-10-20

    Metabolomic-based approaches are increasingly applied to analyse genetically modified organisms (GMOs) making it possible to obtain broader and deeper information on the composition of GMOs compared to that obtained from traditional analytical approaches. The combination in metabolomics of advanced analytical methods and bioinformatics tools provides wide chemical compositional data that contributes to corroborate (or not) the substantial equivalence and occurrence of unintended changes resulting from genetic transformation. This review provides insight into recent progress in metabolomics studies on transgenic crops focusing mainly in papers published in the last decade.

  4. Metabolomics of Genetically Modified Crops

    PubMed Central

    Simó, Carolina; Ibáñez, Clara; Valdés, Alberto; Cifuentes, Alejandro; García-Cañas, Virginia

    2014-01-01

    Metabolomic-based approaches are increasingly applied to analyse genetically modified organisms (GMOs) making it possible to obtain broader and deeper information on the composition of GMOs compared to that obtained from traditional analytical approaches. The combination in metabolomics of advanced analytical methods and bioinformatics tools provides wide chemical compositional data that contributes to corroborate (or not) the substantial equivalence and occurrence of unintended changes resulting from genetic transformation. This review provides insight into recent progress in metabolomics studies on transgenic crops focusing mainly in papers published in the last decade. PMID:25334064

  5. Genetically engineered crops: from idea to product.

    PubMed

    Prado, Jose Rafael; Segers, Gerrit; Voelker, Toni; Carson, Dave; Dobert, Raymond; Phillips, Jonathan; Cook, Kevin; Cornejo, Camilo; Monken, Josh; Grapes, Laura; Reynolds, Tracey; Martino-Catt, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Genetically engineered crops were first commercialized in 1994 and since then have been rapidly adopted, enabling growers to more effectively manage pests and increase crop productivity while ensuring food, feed, and environmental safety. The development of these crops is complex and based on rigorous science that must be well coordinated to create a plant with desired beneficial phenotypes. This article describes the general process by which a genetically engineered crop is developed from an initial concept to a commercialized product.

  6. 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.

  7. [China's crop residues resources evaluation].

    PubMed

    Xie, Guanghui; Wang, Xiaoyu; Ren, Lantian

    2010-07-01

    The availability of crop residues in China is reviewed in this article. The definition of crop residues is clarified as the total byproducts of field production and processing industry thereafter, and methodology for evaluating crop residues is discussed. Based on literature, the progress on the crop residue assessment is addressed. The annual field crops residues in China from 1991 to 1999 were estimated between 6.0-6.8 hundred million tons, while the data for the process residues were not available. From 2000 to 2007, the annual crop residues were estimated between 5.9-7.3 hundred million tons, while the processing residues at the range of 0.9-1.1 hundred million tons. The reasons for the significant variations are due to the disagreement on crop residue definition, different, even inaccurate residue to grain ratio data used in the estimations, and the lacking of clear understanding on the statistical analysis and grain outputs related to the crop residue evaluation. With the complete statistic analysis method, the author's group evaluated the residues in 2006 and 2007 to be 7.4 hundred million tones in total, including 6.5 hundred million tons for field crop residues and 0.9 hundred million tons for process residues. Moreover, the geographic distribution of the field crop residues was analyzed based on the harvest indices (HI) tested within the near five years.

  8. Genetic toxicology: web resources.

    PubMed

    Young, Robert R

    2002-04-25

    Genetic toxicology is the scientific discipline dealing with the effects of chemical, physical and biological agents on the heredity of living organisms. The Internet offers a wide range of online digital resources for the field of Genetic Toxicology. The history of genetic toxicology and electronic data collections are reviewed. Web-based resources at US National Library of Medicine (NLM), including MEDLINE, PUBMED, Gateway, Entrez, and TOXNET, are discussed. Search strategies and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) are reviewed in the context of genetic toxicology. The TOXNET group of databases are discussed with emphasis on those databases with genetic toxicology content including GENE-TOX, TOXLINE, Hazardous Substances Data Bank, Integrated Risk Information System, and Chemical Carcinogenesis Research Information System. Location of chemical information including chemical structure and linkage to health and regulatory information using CHEMIDPLUS at NLM and other databases is reviewed. Various government agencies have active genetic toxicology research programs or use genetic toxicology data to assist fulfilling the agency's mission. Online resources at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) are outlined. Much of the genetic toxicology for pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals and pesticides that is performed in the world is regulatory-driven. Regulatory web resources are presented for the laws mandating testing, guidelines on study design, Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) regulations, and requirements for electronic data collection and reporting. The Internet provides a range of other supporting resources to the field of genetic toxicology. The web links for key professional societies and journals in genetic toxicology are listed. Distance education, educational media resources, and job placement services are also

  9. Maize Genetic Resources

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This chapter describes the resources held at the Maize Genetics Cooperation • Stock Center in detail and also provides some information about the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station (NCRPIS) in Ames, IA, Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo (CIMMYT) in Mexico, and the N...

  10. Statistical genetics in traditionally cultivated crops.

    PubMed

    Artoisenet, Pierre; Minsart, Laure-Anne

    2014-11-07

    Traditional farming systems have attracted a lot of attention over the past decades as they have been recognized to supply an important component in the maintenance of the genetic diversity worldwide. A broad spectrum of traditionally managed crops has been studied to investigate how reproductive properties in combination with husbandry characteristics shape the genetic structure of the crops over time. However, traditional farms typically involve populations of small size whose genetic evolution is overwhelmed with statistic fluctuations inherent to the stochastic nature of the crossings. Hence there is generally no one-to-one mapping between crop properties and measured genotype data, and claims regarding crop properties on the basis of the observed genetic structure must be stated within a confidence level to be estimated by means of a dedicated statistical analysis. In this paper, we propose a comprehensive framework to carry out such statistical analyses. We illustrate the capabilities of our approach by applying it to crops of C. lanatus var. lanatus oleaginous type cultivated in Côte d׳Ivoire. While some properties such as the effective field size considerably evade the constraints from experimental data, others such as the mating system turn out to be characterized with a higher statistical significance. We discuss the importance of our approach for studies on traditionally cultivated crops in general. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Managing nut genetic resources under disease threat

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The USDA ARS, National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR) Corvallis, Oregon, is assigned to preserve genetic resources of hazelnuts (Corylus L.) and butternuts (Juglans cinerea L.). Both crops are threatened by fungal diseases. Hazelnuts are challenged by Eastern filbert blight (EFB) [caused by Anis...

  12. 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.

  13. Accessing genetic diversity for crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Glaszmann, J C; Kilian, B; Upadhyaya, H D; Varshney, R K

    2010-04-01

    Vast germplasm collections are accessible but their use for crop improvement is limited-efficiently accessing genetic diversity is still a challenge. Molecular markers have clarified the structure of genetic diversity in a broad range of crops. Recent developments have made whole-genome surveys and gene-targeted surveys possible, shedding light on population dynamics and on the impact of selection during domestication. Thanks to this new precision, germplasm description has gained analytical power for resolving the genetic basis of trait variation and adaptation in crops such as major cereals, chickpea, grapevine, cacao, or banana. The challenge now is to finely characterize all the facets of plant behavior in carefully chosen materials. We suggest broadening the use of 'core reference sets' so as to facilitate material sharing within the scientific community.

  14. Genetic transformation of major cereal crops.

    PubMed

    Ji, Qing; Xu, Xing; Wang, Kan

    2013-01-01

    Of the more than 50,000 edible plant species in the world, at least 10,000 species are cereal grains. Three major cereal crops, rice (Oryza sativa), maize (Zea mays), and wheat (Triticum sp.), provide two-thirds of the world's food energy intake. Although crop yields have improved tremendously thanks to technological advances in the past 50 years, population increases and climate changes continue to threaten the sustainability of current crop productions. Whereas conventional and marker-assisted breeding programs continue to play a major role in crop improvement, genetic engineering has drawn an intense worldwide interest from the scientific community. In the past decade, genetic transformation technologies have revolutionized agricultural practices and millions of hectares of biotech crops have been cultured. Because of its unique ability to insert well-characterized gene sequences into the plant genome, genetic engineering can also provide effective tools to address fundamental biological questions. This technology is expected to continue to be an indispensable approach for both basic and applied research. Here, we overview briefly the development of the genetic transformation in the top seven cereals, namely maize, rice, wheat, barley (Hordeum vulgare), sorghum (Sorghum sp.), oat (Avena sativa), and millets. The advantages and disadvantages of the two major transformation methods, Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated and biolistic methods, are also discussed.

  15. Transferability of Cucurbita SSR markers for genetic diversity assessment of Turkish bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) genetic resources

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The genetic diversity present in crop landraces represents a valuable genetic resource for breeding and genetic studies. Bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) landraces in Turkey are highly genetically diverse. However, the limited genomic resources available for this crop hinder the molecular characte...

  16. Biomass resource potential using energy crops

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, L.L.; Cushman, J.H.; Martin, S.A.

    1993-09-01

    Biomass energy crops can provide a significant and environmentally beneficial source of renewable energy feedstocks for the future. They can revitalize the agricultural sector of the US economy by providing profitable uses for marginal cropland. Energy crops include fast-growing trees, perennial grasses, and annual grasses, all capable of collecting solar energy and storing it as cellulosic compounds for several months to several years. Once solar energy is thus captured, it can be converted by means of currently available technologies to a wide variety of energy products such as electricity, heat, liquid transportation fuels, and gases. Experimental results from field trials have generated optimism that selected and improved energy crops, established on cropland with moderate limitations for crop production, have the potential for producing high yields. Both trees and grasses, under very good growing conditions, have produced average annual yields of 20 to 40 dry Mg ha{sup {minus}1} year{sup {minus}1}. Sorghum has shown especially high yields in the Midwest. Hybrids between sugar cane and its wild relatives, called energy cane, have yielded as much as 50 dry Mg ha{sup {minus}1} year{sup {minus}1} in Florida. These experimental results demonstrate that some species have the genetic potential for very rapid growth rates. New wood energy crop systems developed by the Department of Energy`s Biofuels Feedstock Development Program offer, at a minimum, a 100% increase in biomass production rates over the 2 to 4 Mg ha{sup {minus}1} year{sup {minus}1} of dry leafless woody biomass produced by most natural forest systems. Experimental data indicate that short rotation wood crops established on cropland with moderate limitations are capable of producing biomass yields of 8--20 dry Mg ha{sup {minus}1} year{sup {minus}1} with a present average about 11 dry Mg ha{sup {minus}1} year{sup {minus}1} on typical cropland sites.

  17. Managing water resources for crop production

    PubMed Central

    Wallace, J. S.; Batchelor, C. H.

    1997-01-01

    Increasing crop production to meet the food requirements of the world's growing population will put great pressure on global water resources. Given that the vast freshwater resources that are available in the world are far from fully exploited, globally there should be sufficient water for future agricultural requirements. However, there are large areas where low water supply and high human demand may lead to regional shortages of water for future food production. In these arid and semi-arid areas, where water is a major constraint on production, improving water resource management is crucial if Malthusian disasters are to be avoided. There is considerable scope for improvement, since in both dryland and irrigated agriculture only about one-third of the available water (as rainfall, surface, or groundwater) is used to grow useful plants. This paper illustrates a range of techniques that could lead to increased crop production by improving agricultural water use efficiency. This may be achieved by increasing the total amount of water available to plants or by increasing the efficiency with which that water is used to produce biomass. Although the crash from the Malthusian precipice may ultimately be inevitable if population growth is not addressed, the time taken to reach the edge of the precipice could be lengthened by more efficient use of existing water resources.

  18. Microbial enhancement of crop resource use efficiency.

    PubMed

    Dodd, Ian C; Ruiz-Lozano, Juan Manuel

    2012-04-01

    Naturally occurring soil microbes may be used as inoculants to maintain crop yields despite decreased resource (water and nutrient) inputs. Plant symbiotic relationships with mycorrhizal fungi alter root aquaporin gene expression and greatly increase the surface area over which plant root systems take up water and nutrients. Soil bacteria on the root surface alter root phytohormone status thereby increasing growth, and can make nutrients more available to the plant. Combining different classes of soil organism within one inoculant can potentially take advantage of multiple plant growth-promoting mechanisms, but biological interactions between inoculant constituents and the plant are difficult to predict. Whether the yield benefits of such inocula allow modified nutrient and water management continues to challenge crop biotechnologists.

  19. Citrus conservation at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The USDA-ARS National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation maintains the base collection of genetic resources for the National Plant Germplasm System, a network of federal plant collections focused on conserving crops key to American agriculture. NCGRP research scientists have found ways to con...

  20. Genetically Modified Crops and Food Security

    PubMed Central

    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

  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.

  2. Cross-fertilization between genetically modified and non-genetically modified maize crops in Uruguay.

    PubMed

    Galeano, Pablo; Debat, Claudio Martínez; Ruibal, Fabiana; Fraguas, Laura Franco; Galván, Guillermo A

    2010-01-01

    The cultivation of genetically modified (GM) Bt maize (Zea mays L.) events MON810 and Bt11 is permitted in Uruguay. Local regulations specify that 10% of the crop should be a non-GM cultivar as refuge area for biodiversity, and the distance from other non-GM maize crops should be more than 250 m in order to avoid cross-pollination. However, the degree of cross-fertilization between maize crops in Uruguay is unknown. The level of adventitious presence of GM material in non-GM crops is a relevant issue for organic farming, in situ conservation of genetic resources and seed production. In the research reported here, the occurrence and frequency of cross-fertilization between commercial GM and non-GM maize crops in Uruguay was assessed. The methodology comprised field sampling and detection using DAS-ELISA and PCR. Five field-pair cases where GM maize crops were grown near non-GM maize crops were identified. These cases had the potential to cross-fertilize considering the distance between crops and the similarity of the sowing dates. Adventitious presence of GM material in the offspring of non-GM crops was found in three of the five cases. Adventitious presence of event MON810 or Bt11 in non-GM maize, which were distinguished using specific primers, matched the events in the putative sources of transgenic pollen. Percentages of transgenic seedlings in the offspring of the non-GM crops were estimated as 0.56%, 0.83% and 0.13% for three sampling sites with distances of respectively 40, 100 and 330 m from the GM crops. This is a first indication that adventitious presence of transgenes in non-GM maize crops will occur in Uruguay if isolation by distance and/or time is not provided. These findings contribute to the evaluation of the applicability of the "regulated coexistence policy" in Uruguay.

  3. Distributions, ex situ conservation priorities, and genetic resources potential of crop wild relatives of sweeetpotato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam. I. series Batatas)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Crop wild relatives (CWR) of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam., I. series Batatas] have the potential to contribute to breeding objectives for this important root crop. Uncertainty in regard to species boundaries and their phylogenetic relationships, and the limited availability of germplasm wi...

  4. Cover Crop Chart: An Intuitive Educational Resource for Extension Professionals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liebig, Mark A.; Johnson, Holly; Archer, David; Hendrickson, John; Nichols, Kristine; Schmer, Marty; Tanaka, Don

    2013-01-01

    Interest in cover crops by agricultural producers has increased the need for information regarding the suitability of crops for addressing different production and natural resource goals. To help address this need, staff at the USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory developed a decision aid called the Cover Crop Chart (CCC). Visually…

  5. Cover Crop Chart: An Intuitive Educational Resource for Extension Professionals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liebig, Mark A.; Johnson, Holly; Archer, David; Hendrickson, John; Nichols, Kristine; Schmer, Marty; Tanaka, Don

    2013-01-01

    Interest in cover crops by agricultural producers has increased the need for information regarding the suitability of crops for addressing different production and natural resource goals. To help address this need, staff at the USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory developed a decision aid called the Cover Crop Chart (CCC). Visually…

  6. Next-generation education in crop genetics.

    PubMed

    Fridman, Eyal; Zamir, Dani

    2012-04-01

    Today, plant breeders are being met with new opportunities to develop superior varieties. Fruitful genetic research into populations with novel diversity using genotyping by sequencing combined with genotype-to-phenotype bioinformatics has generated much knowledge that is directly relevant to crop improvement. These advances can assist the breeders in associating genetic makeup with traits of commercial value. The greatest challenge now is to find ways to attract the best young people to work in plant breeding for its innovation, open field experience and ability to support food security. We discuss the need, opportunities and conflicts associated with revamping plant breeding teaching programs to bridge the art and science of this profession with a rapidly expanding job market.

  7. 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

    2014-07-07

    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.

  8. Freeing Crop Genetics through the Open Source Seed Initiative

    PubMed Central

    Luby, Claire H.; Goldman, Irwin L.

    2016-01-01

    For millennia, seeds have been freely available to use for farming and plant breeding without restriction. Within the past century, however, intellectual property rights (IPRs) have threatened this tradition. In response, a movement has emerged to counter the trend toward increasing consolidation of control and ownership of plant germplasm. One effort, the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI, www.osseeds.org), aims to ensure access to crop genetic resources by embracing an open source mechanism that fosters exchange and innovation among farmers, plant breeders, and seed companies. Plant breeders across many sectors have taken the OSSI Pledge to create a protected commons of plant germplasm for future generations. PMID:27093567

  9. The resource potential of Russian lands for crop farming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov, A. L.; Savin, I. Yu.; Stolbovoy, V. S.

    2017-03-01

    Geoinformational analysis shows that the fraction of lands that are optimal for farming of the main crops in Russia is about 10% of the available land at best (for summer wheat, buckwheat). For the majority of other crop cultures, this value is a few percent at most. The available resources are used very incompletely. The index of completeness of land resource potential use is no more than 10% for the majority of crops. Only in the case of soy are the available resources almost completely involved, whereas available land resources of winter wheat, grain maize, and sunflowers are used at 20-30%.

  10. Understanding crop genetic diversity under modern plant breeding.

    PubMed

    Fu, Yong-Bi

    2015-11-01

    Maximizing crop yield while at the same time minimizing crop failure for sustainable agriculture requires a better understanding of the impacts of plant breeding on crop genetic diversity. This review identifies knowledge gaps and shows the need for more research into genetic diversity changes under plant breeding. Modern plant breeding has made a profound impact on food production and will continue to play a vital role in world food security. For sustainable agriculture, a compromise should be sought between maximizing crop yield under changing climate and minimizing crop failure under unfavorable conditions. Such a compromise requires better understanding of the impacts of plant breeding on crop genetic diversity. Efforts have been made over the last three decades to assess crop genetic diversity using molecular marker technologies. However, these assessments have revealed some temporal diversity patterns that are largely inconsistent with our perception that modern plant breeding reduces crop genetic diversity. An attempt was made in this review to explain such discrepancies by examining empirical assessments of crop genetic diversity and theoretical investigations of genetic diversity changes over time under artificial selection. It was found that many crop genetic diversity assessments were not designed to assess diversity impacts from specific plant breeding programs, while others were experimentally inadequate and contained technical biases from the sampling of cultivars and genomes. Little attention has been paid to theoretical investigations on crop genetic diversity changes from plant breeding. A computer simulation of five simplified breeding schemes showed the substantial effects of plant breeding on the retention of heterozygosity over generations. It is clear that more efforts are needed to investigate crop genetic diversity in space and time under plant breeding to achieve sustainable crop production.

  11. Molecular Genetic Approaches for Environmental Stress Tolerant Crop Plants: Progress and Prospects.

    PubMed

    Kaur, Ranjeet; Kumar Bhunia, Rupam; Ghosh, Ananta Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Global food security is threatened by the severe environmental conditions that have reduced the worldwide crop yield. Plants possess inherent mechanisms to cope with the initial stress phase but to ensure their survival through harsh climate, the intervention of genetic engineering is desirable. We present a comprehensive review on the progress made in the field of developing environmental stress tolerant crops and the prospects that can be undertaken for achieving it. We review the effects of abiotic and biotic stresses on crop plants, and the use of different molecular genetic approaches to cope with these environmental stresses for establishment of sustainable agriculture. The various strategies employed in different crops have also been discussed. We also summarized the major patents in the field of plant stress tolerance that have been granted in the last five years. On the basis of these analyses, we propose that genetic engineering of crops is the preferred approach over the traditional methods for yielding healthier and viable agriculture in response to the different stressful environments. The wild progenitors of cultivated crop species can prove to be highly potential genetic resources in this regard and can be exploited to produce better crops that are relatively tolerant towards various environmental stresses. Thus, elucidation of genetic loci and deciphering the underlying mechanisms that confer tolerance to plants against stressful conditions followed by its successful introgression into elite, high-yielding crop varieties can be an effective way to engineer the crops for sustainable agriculture.

  12. Genomic exploitation of genetic variation for crop improvement

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Crop plants produce food, fiber, and fuel that are essential to human civilization and mainstays of economic prosperity. Our society continues to cultivate and improve the crop plants for better quality and productivity with sustainable environments. The process of crop genetic improvement has bee...

  13. Genetic Resources of Watermelon

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    As a result of many years of domestication and selection for desirable fruit quality, watermelon cultivars (Citrullus lanatus) share a narrow genetic base. Africa is the center of origin and diversity of watermelon and is considered to be the central continent for collecting and conserving useful ge...

  14. Whole genome sequences in pulse crops: a global community resource to expedite translational genomics and knowledge-based crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Bohra, Abhishek; Singh, Narendra P

    2015-08-01

    Unprecedented developments in legume genomics over the last decade have resulted in the acquisition of a wide range of modern genomic resources to underpin genetic improvement of grain legumes. The genome enabled insights direct investigators in various ways that primarily include unearthing novel structural variations, retrieving the lost genetic diversity, introducing novel/exotic alleles from wider gene pools, finely resolving the complex quantitative traits and so forth. To this end, ready availability of cost-efficient and high-density genotyping assays allows genome wide prediction to be increasingly recognized as the key selection criterion in crop breeding. Further, the high-dimensional measurements of agronomically significant phenotypes obtained by using new-generation screening techniques will empower reference based resequencing as well as allele mining and trait mapping methods to comprehensively associate genome diversity with the phenome scale variation. Besides stimulating the forward genetic systems, accessibility to precisely delineated genomic segments reveals novel candidates for reverse genetic techniques like targeted genome editing. The shifting paradigm in plant genomics in turn necessitates optimization of crop breeding strategies to enable the most efficient integration of advanced omics knowledge and tools. We anticipate that the crop improvement schemes will be bolstered remarkably with rational deployment of these genome-guided approaches, ultimately resulting in expanded plant breeding capacities and improved crop performance.

  15. Potential adverse health effects of genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Bakshi, Anita

    2003-01-01

    Genetically modified crops have the potential to eliminate hunger and starvation in millions of people, especially in developing countries because the genetic modification can produce large amounts of foods that are more nutritious. Large quantities are produced because genetically modified crops are more resistant to pests and drought. They also contain greater amounts of nutrients, such as proteins and vitamins. However, there are concerns about the safety of genetically modified crops. The concerns are that they may contain allergenic substances due to introduction of new genes into crops. Another concern is that genetic engineering often involves the use of antibiotic-resistance genes as "selectable markers" and this could lead to production of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains that are resistant to available antibiotics. This would create a serious public health problem. The genetically modified crops might contain other toxic substances (such as enhanced amounts of heavy metals) and the crops might not be "substantially equivalent" in genome, proteome, and metabolome compared with unmodified crops. Another concern is that genetically modified crops may be less nutritious; for example, they might contain lower amounts of phytoestrogens, which protect against heart disease and cancer. The review of available literature indicates that the genetically modified crops available in the market that are intended for human consumption are generally safe; their consumption is not associated with serious health problems. However, because of potential for exposure of a large segment of human population to genetically modified foods, more research is needed to ensure that the genetically modified foods are safe for human consumption.

  16. EURISCO: The European search catalogue for plant genetic resources

    PubMed Central

    Weise, Stephan; Oppermann, Markus; Maggioni, Lorenzo; van Hintum, Theo; Knüpffer, Helmut

    2017-01-01

    The European Search Catalogue for Plant Genetic Resources, EURISCO, provides information about 1.8 million crop plant accessions preserved by almost 400 institutes in Europe and beyond. EURISCO is being maintained on behalf of the European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources. It is based on a network of National Inventories of 43 member countries and represents an important effort for the preservation of world's agrobiological diversity by providing information about the large genetic diversity kept by the collaborating collections. Moreover, EURISCO also assists its member countries in fulfilling legal obligations and commitments, e.g. with respect to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources, the Second Global Plan of Action for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture of the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization, or the Convention on Biological Diversity. EURISCO is accessible at http://eurisco.ecpgr.org. PMID:27580718

  17. International efforts to protect the global cotton genetic resources

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The genetic resources of cotton are classified into five tetraploid species in the primary gene pool, 20 diploid species in the secondary gene pool, and 25 diploid species in the tertiary gene pool. Unlike several globally important grain crops, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural R...

  18. Developing resources for diploid potato breeding and genetics

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The cultivated potato (Solanum tuberosum Gp. tuberosum) is an asexually propagated cross-pollinated autotetraploid crop, for which breeding methodology has not changed in 100 years. Current methods for breeding potato cultivars are genetically inefficient due to polyploidy, resource intensive due to...

  19. Why preserve and evaluate genetic resources in peanut?

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Peanuts are produced in more than 100 countries with a total global total production in 2010 of 37,953,949 metric tons (FAO statistics, 2010). Because peanut is an important crop, it is imperative that its germplasm be preserved in order to conserve the genetic diversity and provide a resource to i...

  20. The state of genetically modified crop regulation in Canada

    PubMed Central

    Smyth, Stuart J

    2014-01-01

    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

  1. Genetics and consequences of crop domestication

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Phenotypic variation has been manipulated by humans during crop domestication, which occurred primarily between 3,000 and 10,000 years ago in the various centers of origin around the world. The process of domestication has profound consequences on crops, where the domesticate has moderately reduced ...

  2. Genomics and Bioinformatics Resources for Crop Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Mochida, Keiichi; Shinozaki, Kazuo

    2010-01-01

    Recent remarkable innovations in platforms for omics-based research and application development provide crucial resources to promote research in model and applied plant species. A combinatorial approach using multiple omics platforms and integration of their outcomes is now an effective strategy for clarifying molecular systems integral to improving plant productivity. Furthermore, promotion of comparative genomics among model and applied plants allows us to grasp the biological properties of each species and to accelerate gene discovery and functional analyses of genes. Bioinformatics platforms and their associated databases are also essential for the effective design of approaches making the best use of genomic resources, including resource integration. We review recent advances in research platforms and resources in plant omics together with related databases and advances in technology. PMID:20208064

  3. Perspectives on genetically modified crops and food detection.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chih-Hui; Pan, Tzu-Ming

    2016-01-01

    Genetically modified (GM) crops are a major product of the global food industry. From 1996 to 2014, 357 GM crops were approved and the global value of the GM crop market reached 35% of the global commercial seed market in 2014. However, the rapid growth of the GM crop-based industry has also created controversies in many regions, including the European Union, Egypt, and Taiwan. The effective detection and regulation of GM crops/foods are necessary to reduce the impact of these controversies. In this review, the status of GM crops and the technology for their detection are discussed. As the primary gap in GM crop regulation exists in the application of detection technology to field regulation, efforts should be made to develop an integrated, standardized, and high-throughput GM crop detection system. We propose the development of an integrated GM crop detection system, to be used in combination with a standardized international database, a decision support system, high-throughput DNA analysis, and automated sample processing. By integrating these technologies, we hope that the proposed GM crop detection system will provide a method to facilitate comprehensive GM crop regulation. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. [Unintended effects assessment of genetically modified crops using omics techniques].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yan; Li, Yan-Yan

    2013-12-01

    Safety assessment is the essential process for commercial application of genetically modified (GM) crops. Omics techniques can be used to evaluate the safety of GM crops unbiasedly at different biological levels, such as transcripts, proteins and metabolites. In the present review, the researches on unintended effects assessment of GM crops using transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic techniques in recent ten years have been summarized. The facts show that the environmental factors (growing area and season) and genotype difference play greater roles than gene insertion does for most unintended variations in GM crops.

  5. National Newborn Screening and Genetics Resource Center

    MedlinePlus

    ... GENERAL INFORMATION Conditions Screened by US Programs General Resources Genetics Birth Defects Hearing Screening FOR PROFESSIONALS ACT Sheets(ACMG) General Resources Newborn Screening Genetics Birth Defects FOR FAMILIES FAQs ...

  6. Genetic engineering and breeding of drought-resistant crops.

    PubMed

    Hu, Honghong; Xiong, Lizhong

    2014-01-01

    Drought is one of the most important environmental stresses affecting the productivity of most field crops. Elucidation of the complex mechanisms underlying drought resistance in crops will accelerate the development of new varieties with enhanced drought resistance. Here, we provide a brief review on the progress in genetic, genomic, and molecular studies of drought resistance in major crops. Drought resistance is regulated by numerous small-effect loci and hundreds of genes that control various morphological and physiological responses to drought. This review focuses on recent studies of genes that have been well characterized as affecting drought resistance and genes that have been successfully engineered in staple crops. We propose that one significant challenge will be to unravel the complex mechanisms of drought resistance in crops through more intensive and integrative studies in order to find key functional components or machineries that can be used as tools for engineering and breeding drought-resistant crops.

  7. MS-based analytical methodologies to characterize genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    García-Cañas, Virginia; Simó, Carolina; León, Carlos; Ibáñez, Elena; Cifuentes, Alejandro

    2011-01-01

    The development of genetically modified crops has had a great impact on the agriculture and food industries. However, the development of any genetically modified organism (GMO) requires the application of analytical procedures to confirm the equivalence of the GMO compared to its isogenic non-transgenic counterpart. Moreover, the use of GMOs in foods and agriculture faces numerous criticisms from consumers and ecological organizations that have led some countries to regulate their production, growth, and commercialization. These regulations have brought about the need of new and more powerful analytical methods to face the complexity of this topic. In this regard, MS-based technologies are increasingly used for GMOs analysis to provide very useful information on GMO composition (e.g., metabolites, proteins). This review focuses on the MS-based analytical methodologies used to characterize genetically modified crops (also called transgenic crops). First, an overview on genetically modified crops development is provided, together with the main difficulties of their analysis. Next, the different MS-based analytical approaches applied to characterize GM crops are critically discussed, and include "-omics" approaches and target-based approaches. These methodologies allow the study of intended and unintended effects that result from the genetic transformation. This information is considered to be essential to corroborate (or not) the equivalence of the GM crop with its isogenic non-transgenic counterpart. Copyright © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. [Assessment of allergenicity of genetically modified food crops].

    PubMed

    Schauzu, M; Pöting, A; Rubin, D; Lampen, A

    2012-03-01

    The placing on the European Union's market of genetically modified crops requires authorization by the European Commission which is based on the proof that the derived foods are as safe as their conventional counterparts. The assessment of potential allergenicity is part of the necessary investigations recommended in the updated Guidance Document of the Scientific Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which is based on internationally agreed recommendations. All genetically modified crops which so far have been authorized in the European Union were evaluated by the EFSA GMO Panel which considered it unlikely that their overall allergenicity has been altered.

  9. Land Resources for Crop Production. Agricultural Economic Report Number 572.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hexem, Roger; Krupa, Kenneth S.

    About 35 million acres not being cultivated have high potential for crop use and 117 million more have medium potential, according to the 1982 National Resources Inventory (NRI) conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA committees evaluated the economic potential for converting land based on physical characteristics of the soil; size…

  10. Pollen resources for pollinators in specialty oilseed crops

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Simplified agroecosystems have depleted habitats for beneficial insects throughout the Midwest and Northern Great Plains of the USA. Beneficial insects include pollinators and natural enemies of crop pests, and both rely heavily on floral resources and habitat diversity to maintain healthy populatio...

  11. Genetically modified (GM) crops: milestones and new advances in crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Kamthan, Ayushi; Chaudhuri, Abira; Kamthan, Mohan; Datta, Asis

    2016-09-01

    New advances in crop genetic engineering can significantly pace up the development of genetically improved varieties with enhanced yield, nutrition and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Genetically modified (GM) crops can act as powerful complement to the crops produced by laborious and time consuming conventional breeding methods to meet the worldwide demand for quality foods. GM crops can help fight malnutrition due to enhanced yield, nutritional quality and increased resistance to various biotic and abiotic stresses. However, several biosafety issues and public concerns are associated with cultivation of GM crops developed by transgenesis, i.e., introduction of genes from distantly related organism. To meet these concerns, researchers have developed alternative concepts of cisgenesis and intragenesis which involve transformation of plants with genetic material derived from the species itself or from closely related species capable of sexual hybridization, respectively. Recombinase technology aimed at site-specific integration of transgene can help to overcome limitations of traditional genetic engineering methods based on random integration of multiple copy of transgene into plant genome leading to gene silencing and unpredictable expression pattern. Besides, recently developed technology of genome editing using engineered nucleases, permit the modification or mutation of genes of interest without involving foreign DNA, and as a result, plants developed with this technology might be considered as non-transgenic genetically altered plants. This would open the doors for the development and commercialization of transgenic plants with superior phenotypes even in countries where GM crops are poorly accepted. This review is an attempt to summarize various past achievements of GM technology in crop improvement, recent progress and new advances in the field to develop improved varieties aimed for better consumer acceptance.

  12. 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.

  13. Molecular characterization of genetically-modified crops: Challenges and strategies.

    PubMed

    Li, Rong; Quan, Sheng; Yan, Xiaofang; Biswas, Sukumar; Zhang, Dabing; Shi, Jianxin

    Molecular characterization lays a foundation for safety assessment and subsequent monitoring of genetically modified (GM) crops. Due to the target-specific nature, conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods cannot comprehensively detect unintended gene insertions, let alone unknown GM events. As more and more new developed GM crops including new plant breeding technology (NPBT) generated crops are in the pipeline for commercialization, alternative -omics approaches, particularly next generation sequencing, have been developed for molecular characterization of authorized or unauthorized GM (UGM) crops. This review summarizes first those methods, addresses their challenges, and discusses possible strategies for molecular characterization of engineered crops generated by NPBT, highlighting needs for a global information-sharing database and cost-effective, accurate and comprehensive molecular characterization approaches.

  14. Current perspectives on genetically modified crops and detection methods.

    PubMed

    Kamle, Madhu; Kumar, Pradeep; Patra, Jayanta Kumar; Bajpai, Vivek K

    2017-07-01

    Genetically modified (GM) crops are the fastest adopted commodities in the agribiotech industry. This market penetration should provide a sustainable basis for ensuring food supply for growing global populations. The successful completion of two decades of commercial GM crop production (1996-2015) is underscored by the increasing rate of adoption of genetic engineering technology by farmers worldwide. With the advent of introduction of multiple traits stacked together in GM crops for combined herbicide tolerance, insect resistance, drought tolerance or disease resistance, the requirement of reliable and sensitive detection methods for tracing and labeling genetically modified organisms in the food/feed chain has become increasingly important. In addition, several countries have established threshold levels for GM content which trigger legally binding labeling schemes. The labeling of GM crops is mandatory in many countries (such as China, EU, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Chile, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand), whereas in Canada, Hong Kong, USA, South Africa, and Argentina voluntary labeling schemes operate. The rapid adoption of GM crops has increased controversies, and mitigating these issues pertaining to the implementation of effective regulatory measures for the detection of GM crops is essential. DNA-based detection methods have been successfully employed, while the whole genome sequencing using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies provides an advanced means for detecting genetically modified organisms and foods/feeds in GM crops. This review article describes the current status of GM crop commercialization and discusses the benefits and shortcomings of common and advanced detection systems for GMs in foods and animal feeds.

  15. Genetic diversity in Carthamus tinctorius (Asteraceae; safflower), an underutilized oilseed crop.

    PubMed

    Pearl, Stephanie A; Burke, John M

    2014-10-01

    • Underutilized crops are potentially valuable resources for meeting increasing food demands. Safflower, an oilseed crop, is an example of one such underutilized crop that thrives in moisture-limited areas. Characterization of the genetic diversity maintained within the gene pools of underutilized crops such as safflower is an important step in their further development.• A total of 190 safflower individuals, including 134 USDA accessions, 48 breeding lines from two private North American safflower breeding companies, and eight wild safflower individuals, were genotyped using 133 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. We then used the resulting data to assess the amount and distribution of genetic diversity within and among these collections of safflower.• Although just a modest reduction in gene diversity was observed in the commercial breeding lines (relative to the other safflower groupings), safflower domestication was accompanied by a significant decrease in allelic richness. Further, our results suggest that most safflower breeding lines originated from a single pool of diversity within the Old World safflower germplasm.• Taken together, our results suggest that both the safflower germplasm collection and related, wild species harbor previously undocumented genetic diversity that could help fuel future improvement efforts. Paired with analyses of functional diversity, the molecular resources described herein will be thus be useful in the continued development of safflower as an oilseed crop. © 2014 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  16. Genetic Linkage Maps: Strategies, Resources and Achievements

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This book chapter is for the sunflower volume in the Crop GGB (Genetics, Genomics and Breeding) Book Series. The book includes chapters covering basic information about the sunflower plant, germplasm diversity, classical genetics and traditional breeding, genome mapping, regulation of seed oil conte...

  17. The conservation of forest genetic resources: case histories from Canada, Mexico, and the United States

    Treesearch

    F. Thomas Ledig; J. Jesús Vargas-Hernández; Kurt H. Johnsen

    1998-01-01

    The genetic codes of living organisms are natural resources no less than soil, air, and water. Genetic resources-from nucleotide sequences in DNA to selected genotypes, populations, and species-are the raw material in forestry: for breeders, for the forest manager who produces an economic crop, for society that reaps the environmental benefits provided by forests, and...

  18. Improving crop productivity and resource use efficiency to ensure food security and environmental quality in China.

    PubMed

    Fan, Mingsheng; Shen, Jianbo; Yuan, Lixing; Jiang, Rongfeng; Chen, Xinping; Davies, William J; Zhang, Fusuo

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, agricultural growth in China has accelerated remarkably, but most of this growth has been driven by increased yield per unit area rather than by expansion of the cultivated area. Looking towards 2030, to meet the demand for grain and to feed a growing population on the available arable land, it is suggested that annual crop production should be increased to around 580 Mt and that yield should increase by at least 2% annually. Crop production will become more difficult with climate change, resource scarcity (e.g. land, water, energy, and nutrients) and environmental degradation (e.g. declining soil quality, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and surface water eutrophication). To pursue the fastest and most practical route to improved yield, the near-term strategy is application and extension of existing agricultural technologies. This would lead to substantial improvement in crop and soil management practices, which are currently suboptimal. Two pivotal components are required if we are to follow new trajectories. First, the disciplines of soil management and agronomy need to be given increased emphasis in research and teaching, as part of a grand food security challenge. Second, continued genetic improvement in crop varieties will be vital. However, our view is that the biggest gains from improved technology will come most immediately from combinations of improved crops and improved agronomical practices. The objectives of this paper are to summarize the historical trend of crop production in China and to examine the main constraints to the further increase of crop productivity. The paper provides a perspective on the challenge faced by science and technology in agriculture which must be met both in terms of increased crop productivity but also in increased resource use efficiency and the protection of environmental quality.

  19. Using genetically modified tomato crop plants with purple leaves for absolute weed/crop classification.

    PubMed

    Lati, Ran N; Filin, Sagi; Aly, Radi; Lande, Tal; Levin, Ilan; Eizenberg, Hanan

    2014-07-01

    Weed/crop classification is considered the main problem in developing precise weed-management methodologies, because both crops and weeds share similar hues. Great effort has been invested in the development of classification models, most based on expensive sensors and complicated algorithms. However, satisfactory results are not consistently obtained due to imaging conditions in the field. We report on an innovative approach that combines advances in genetic engineering and robust image-processing methods to detect weeds and distinguish them from crop plants by manipulating the crop's leaf color. We demonstrate this on genetically modified tomato (germplasm AN-113) which expresses a purple leaf color. An autonomous weed/crop classification is performed using an invariant-hue transformation that is applied to images acquired by a standard consumer camera (visible wavelength) and handles variations in illumination intensities. The integration of these methodologies is simple and effective, and classification results were accurate and stable under a wide range of imaging conditions. Using this approach, we simplify the most complicated stage in image-based weed/crop classification models. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.

  20. Regulation of leaf senescence and crop genetic improvement.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiao-Yuan; Kuai, Ben-Ke; Jia, Ji-Zeng; Jing, Hai-Chun

    2012-12-01

    Leaf senescence can impact crop production by either changing photosynthesis duration, or by modifying the nutrient remobilization efficiency and harvest index. The doubling of the grain yield in major cereals in the last 50 years was primarily achieved through the extension of photosynthesis duration and the increase in crop biomass partitioning, two things that are intrinsically coupled with leaf senescence. In this review, we consider the functionality of a leaf as a function of leaf age, and divide a leaf's life into three phases: the functionality increasing phase at the early growth stage, the full functionality phase, and the senescence and functionality decreasing phase. A genetic framework is proposed to describe gene actions at various checkpoints to regulate leaf development and senescence. Four categories of genes contribute to crop production: those which regulate (I) the speed and transition of early leaf growth, (II) photosynthesis rate, (III) the onset and (IV) the progression of leaf senescence. Current advances in isolating and characterizing senescence regulatory genes are discussed in the leaf aging and crop production context. We argue that the breeding of crops with leaf senescence ideotypes should be an essential part of further crop genetic improvement. © 2012 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  1. Enhancing (crop) plant photosynthesis by introducing novel genetic diversity.

    PubMed

    Dann, Marcel; Leister, Dario

    2017-09-26

    Although some elements of the photosynthetic light reactions might appear to be ideal, the overall efficiency of light conversion to biomass has not been optimized during evolution. Because crop plants are depleted of genetic diversity for photosynthesis, efforts to enhance its efficiency with respect to light conversion to yield must generate new variation. In principle, three sources of natural variation are available: (i) rare diversity within extant higher plant species, (ii) photosynthetic variants from algae, and (iii) reconstruction of no longer extant types of plant photosynthesis. Here, we argue for a novel approach that outsources crop photosynthesis to a cyanobacterium that is amenable to adaptive evolution. This system offers numerous advantages, including a short generation time, virtually unlimited population sizes and high mutation rates, together with a versatile toolbox for genetic manipulation. On such a synthetic bacterial platform, 10 000 years of (crop) plant evolution can be recapitulated within weeks. Limitations of this system arise from its unicellular nature, which cannot reproduce all aspects of crop photosynthesis. But successful establishment of such a bacterial host for crop photosynthesis promises not only to enhance the performance of eukaryotic photosynthesis but will also reveal novel facets of the molecular basis of photosynthetic flexibility.This article is part of the themed issue 'Enhancing photosynthesis in crop plants: targets for improvement'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  2. The Genetics of Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Crop Plants.

    PubMed

    Han, Mei; Okamoto, Mamoru; Beatty, Perrin H; Rothstein, Steven J; Good, Allen G

    2015-01-01

    In the past 50 years, the application of synthetic nitrogen (N) fertilizer to farmland resulted in a dramatic increase in crop yields but with considerable negative impacts on the environment. New solutions are therefore needed to simultaneously increase yields while maintaining, or preferably decreasing, applied N to maximize the nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of crops. In this review, we outline the definition of NUE, the selection and development of NUE crops, and the factors that interact with NUE. In particular, we emphasize the challenges of developing crop plants with enhanced NUE, using more classical genetic approaches based on utilizing existing allelic variation for NUE traits. The challenges of phenotyping, mapping quantitative trait loci (QTLs), and selecting candidate genes for NUE improvement are described. In addition, we highlight the importance of different factors that lead to changes in the NUE components of nitrogen uptake efficiency (NUpE) and nitrogen utilization efficiency (NUtE).

  3. Commercializing genetically modified crops under EU regulations: objectives and barriers.

    PubMed

    Raybould, Alan; Poppy, Guy M

    2012-01-01

    Agriculture faces serious problems in feeding 9 billion people by 2050: production must be increased and ecosystem services maintained under conditions for growing crops that are predicted to worsen in many parts of the world. A proposed solution is sustainable intensification of agriculture, whereby yields are increased on land that is currently cultivated, so sparing land to deliver other ecosystem services. Genetically modified (GM) crops are already contributing to sustainable intensification through higher yields and lower environmental impacts, and have potential to deliver further significant improvements. Despite their widespread successful use elsewhere, the European Union (EU) has been slow to introduce GM crops: decisions on applications to import GM commodities are lengthy, and decision-making on applications to cultivate GM crops has virtually ceased. Delayed import approvals result in economic losses, particularly in the EU itself as a result of higher commodity prices. Failure to grant cultivation approvals costs EU farmers opportunities to reduce inputs, and results in loss of agricultural research and development from the EU to countries such as the United States and China. Delayed decision-making in the EU ostensibly results from scientific uncertainty about the effects of using GM crops; however, scientific uncertainty may be a means to justify a political decision to restrict cultivation of GM crops in the EU. The problems associated with delayed decision-making will not improve until there is clarity about the EU's agricultural policy objectives, and whether the use of GM crops will be permitted to contribute to achieving those objectives.

  4. Non-GMO genetically edited crop plants.

    PubMed

    Kanchiswamy, Chidananda Nagamangala; Malnoy, Mickael; Velasco, Riccardo; Kim, Jin-Soo; Viola, Roberto

    2015-09-01

    Direct delivery of purified Cas9 protein with guide RNA into plant cells, as opposed to plasmid-mediated delivery, displays high efficiency and reduced off-target effects. Following regeneration from edited cells, the ensuing plant is also likely to bypass genetically modified organism (GMO) legislation as the genome editing complex is degraded in the recipient cells. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Status of market, regulation and research of genetically modified crops in Chile.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Miguel A; León, Gabriel

    2016-12-25

    Agricultural biotechnology and genetically modified (GM) crops are effective tools to substantially increase productivity, quality, and environmental sustainability in agricultural farming. Furthermore, they may contribute to improving the nutritional content of crops, addressing needs related to public health. Chile has become one of the most important global players for GM seed production for counter-season markets and research purposes. It has a comprehensive regulatory framework to carry out this activity, while at the same time there are numerous regulations from different agencies addressing several aspects related to GM crops. Despite imports of GM food/feed or ingredients for the food industry being allowed without restrictions, Chilean farmers are not using GM seeds for farming purposes because of a lack of clear guidelines. Chile is in a rather contradictory situation about GM crops. The country has invested considerable resources to fund research and development on GM crops, but the lack of clarity in the current regulatory situation precludes the use of such research to develop new products for Chilean farmers. Meanwhile, a larger scientific capacity regarding GM crop research continues to build up in the country. The present study maps and analyses the current regulatory environment for research and production of GM crops in Chile, providing an updated overview of the current status of GM seeds production, research and regulatory issues. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

  8. Gene flow, invasiveness, and ecological impact of genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Warwick, Suzanne I; Beckie, Hugh J; Hall, Linda M

    2009-06-01

    The main environmental concerns about genetically modified (GM) crops are the potential weediness or invasiveness in the crop itself or in its wild or weedy relatives as a result of transgene movement. Here we briefly review evidence for pollen- and seed-mediated gene flow from GM crops to non-GM or other GM crops and to wild relatives. The report focuses on the effect of abiotic and biotic stress-tolerance traits on plant fitness and their potential to increase weedy or invasive tendencies. An evaluation of weediness and invasive traits that contribute to the success of agricultural weeds and invasive plants was of limited value in predicting the effect of biotic and abiotic stress-tolerance GM traits, suggesting context-specific evaluation rather than generalizations. Fitness data on herbicide, insect, and disease resistance, as well as cold-, drought-, and salinity-tolerance traits, are reviewed. We describe useful ecological models predicting the effects of gene flow and altered fitness in GM crops and wild/weedy relatives, as well as suitable mitigation measures. A better understanding of factors controlling population size, dynamics, and range limits in weedy volunteer GM crop and related host or target weed populations is necessary before the effect of biotic and abiotic stress-tolerance GM traits can be fully assessed.

  9. 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.

  10. Barriers and paths to market for genetically engineered crops.

    PubMed

    Rommens, Caius M

    2010-02-01

    Each year, billions of dollars are invested in efforts to improve crops through genetic engineering (GE). These activities have resulted in a surge of publications and patents on technologies and genes: a momentum in basic research that, unfortunately, is not sustained throughout the subsequent phases of product development. After more than two decades of intensive research, the market for transgenic crops is still dominated by applications of just a handful of methods and genes. This discrepancy between research and development reflects difficulties in understanding and overcoming seven main barriers-to-entry: (1) trait efficacy in the field, (2) critical product concepts, (3) freedom-to-operate, (4) industry support, (5) identity preservation and stewardship, (6) regulatory approval and (7) retail and consumer acceptance. In this review, I describe the various roadblocks to market for transgenic crops and also discuss methods and approaches on how to overcome these, especially in the United States.

  11. The impact of genetically modified crops on soil microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Giovannetti, Manuela; Sbrana, Cristiana; Turrini, Alessandra

    2005-01-01

    Genetically modified (GM) plants represent a potential benefit for environmentally friendly agriculture and human health. Though, poor knowledge is available on potential hazards posed by unintended modifications occurring during genetic manipulation. The increasing amount of reports on ecological risks and benefits of GM plants stresses the need for experimental works aimed at evaluating the impact of GM crops on natural and agro-ecosystems. Major environmental risks associated with GM crops include their potential impact on non-target soil microorganisms playing a fundamental role in crop residues degradation and in biogeochemical cycles. Recent works assessed the effects of GM crops on soil microbial communities on the basis of case-by-case studies, using multimodal experimental approaches involving different target and non-target organisms. Experimental evidences discussed in this review confirm that a precautionary approach should be adopted, by taking into account the risks associated with the unpredictability of transformation events, of their pleiotropic effects and of the fate of transgenes in natural and agro-ecosystems, weighing benefits against costs.

  12. Lentil genetic and genomic resources

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Lentil (Lens culinaris spp. culinaris) has a long history associated with the early civilizations 11,000 BP in southwestern Asia. The progenitor taxon is Lens culinaris spp. orientalis. The primary source of germplasm for lentil crop improvement is from the International Center for Agricultural Rese...

  13. Back into the wild-Apply untapped genetic diversity of wild relatives for crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hengyou; Mittal, Neha; Leamy, Larry J; Barazani, Oz; Song, Bao-Hua

    2017-01-01

    Deleterious effects of climate change and human activities, as well as diverse environmental stresses, present critical challenges to food production and the maintenance of natural diversity. These challenges may be met by the development of novel crop varieties with increased biotic or abiotic resistance that enables them to thrive in marginal lands. However, considering the diverse interactions between crops and environmental factors, it is surprising that evolutionary principles have been underexploited in addressing these food and environmental challenges. Compared with domesticated cultivars, crop wild relatives (CWRs) have been challenged in natural environments for thousands of years and maintain a much higher level of genetic diversity. In this review, we highlight the significance of CWRs for crop improvement by providing examples of CWRs that have been used to increase biotic and abiotic stress resistance/tolerance and overall yield in various crop species. We also discuss the surge of advanced biotechnologies, such as next-generation sequencing technologies and omics, with particular emphasis on how they have facilitated gene discovery in CWRs. We end the review by discussing the available resources and conservation of CWRs, including the urgent need for CWR prioritization and collection to ensure continuous crop improvement for food sustainability.

  14. Erosion of Brassica incana Genetic Resources: Causes and Effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muscolo, A.; Settineri, G.; Mallamaci, C.; Papalia, T.; Sidari, M.

    2017-07-01

    Brassica incana Ten., possessing a number of useful agronomic traits, represents a precious genetic resource to be used in plant breeding programs to broaden the genetic base in most Brassica crop species. B. incana that grows on limestone cliffs is at risk of genetic erosion for environmental constraints and human activities. We studied the pedological conditions of a Calabrian site where the B. incana grows, and we correlated the soil properties to the physiological and biochemical aspects of B. incana to identify the causes and effects of the genetic erosion of this species. Our results evidenced that physical soil conditions did not affect B. incana growth and nutraceutical properties; conversely, biological soil properties modified its properties. We identified leaf pigments and secondary metabolites that can be used routinely as early warning indicators of plant threat, to evaluate in a short term the dynamic behavior of plants leading to species extinction.

  15. Genome resources for climate-resilient cowpea, an essential crop for food security.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Amatriaín, María; Mirebrahim, Hamid; Xu, Pei; Wanamaker, Steve I; Luo, MingCheng; Alhakami, Hind; Alpert, Matthew; Atokple, Ibrahim; Batieno, Benoit J; Boukar, Ousmane; Bozdag, Serdar; Cisse, Ndiaga; Drabo, Issa; Ehlers, Jeffrey D; Farmer, Andrew; Fatokun, Christian; Gu, Yong Q; Guo, Yi-Ning; Huynh, Bao-Lam; Jackson, Scott A; Kusi, Francis; Lawley, Cynthia T; Lucas, Mitchell R; Ma, Yaqin; Timko, Michael P; Wu, Jiajie; You, Frank; Barkley, Noelle A; Roberts, Philip A; Lonardi, Stefano; Close, Timothy J

    2017-03-01

    Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp.) is a legume crop that is resilient to hot and drought-prone climates, and a primary source of protein in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the developing world. However, genome resources for cowpea have lagged behind most other major crops. Here we describe foundational genome resources and their application to the analysis of germplasm currently in use in West African breeding programs. Resources developed from the African cultivar IT97K-499-35 include a whole-genome shotgun (WGS) assembly, a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) physical map, and assembled sequences from 4355 BACs. These resources and WGS sequences of an additional 36 diverse cowpea accessions supported the development of a genotyping assay for 51 128 SNPs, which was then applied to five bi-parental RIL populations to produce a consensus genetic map containing 37 372 SNPs. This genetic map enabled the anchoring of 100 Mb of WGS and 420 Mb of BAC sequences, an exploration of genetic diversity along each linkage group, and clarification of macrosynteny between cowpea and common bean. The SNP assay enabled a diversity analysis of materials from West African breeding programs. Two major subpopulations exist within those materials, one of which has significant parentage from South and East Africa and more diversity. There are genomic regions of high differentiation between subpopulations, one of which coincides with a cluster of nodulin genes. The new resources and knowledge help to define goals and accelerate the breeding of improved varieties to address food security issues related to limited-input small-holder farming and climate stress. © 2016 The Authors. The Plant Journal published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Experimental Biology.

  16. Polyphenol Oxidases in Crops: Biochemical, Physiological and Genetic Aspects

    PubMed Central

    Taranto, Francesca; Pasqualone, Antonella; Mangini, Giacomo; Tripodi, Pasquale; Miazzi, Monica Marilena; Pavan, Stefano; Montemurro, Cinzia

    2017-01-01

    Enzymatic browning is a colour reaction occurring in plants, including cereals, fruit and horticultural crops, due to oxidation during postharvest processing and storage. This has a negative impact on the colour, flavour, nutritional properties and shelf life of food products. Browning is usually caused by polyphenol oxidases (PPOs), following cell damage caused by senescence, wounding and the attack of pests and pathogens. Several studies indicated that PPOs play a role in plant immunity, and emerging evidence suggested that PPOs might also be involved in other physiological processes. Genomic investigations ultimately led to the isolation of PPO homologs in several crops, which will be possibly characterized at the functional level in the near future. Here, focusing on the botanic families of Poaceae and Solanaceae, we provide an overview on available scientific literature on PPOs, resulting in useful information on biochemical, physiological and genetic aspects. PMID:28208645

  17. 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.

  18. Molecular, Genetic and Agronomic Approaches to Utilizing Pulses as Cover Crops and Green Manure into Cropping Systems.

    PubMed

    Tani, Eleni; Abraham, Eleni; Chachalis, Demosthenis; Travlos, Ilias

    2017-06-05

    Cover crops constitute one of the most promising agronomic practices towards a more sustainable agriculture. Their beneficial effects on main crops, soil and environment are many and various, while risks and disadvantages may also appear. Several legumes show a high potential but further research is required in order to suggest the optimal legume cover crops for each case in terms of their productivity and ability to suppress weeds. The additional cost associated with cover crops should also be addressed and in this context the use of grain legumes such as cowpea, faba bean and pea could be of high interest. Some of the aspects of these grain legumes as far as their use as cover crops, their genetic diversity and their breeding using conventional and molecular approaches are discussed in the present review. The specific species seem to have a high potential for use as cover crops, especially if their noticeable genetic diversity is exploited and their breeding focuses on several desirable traits.

  19. Cryopreservation for preservation of potato genetic resources

    PubMed Central

    Niino, Takao; Arizaga, Miriam Valle

    2015-01-01

    Cryopreservation is becoming a very important tool for the long-term storage of plant genetic resources and efficient cryopreservation protocols have been developed for a large number of plant species. Practical procedures, developed using in vitro tissue culture, can be a simple and reliable preservation option of potato genetic resources rather than maintaining by vegetative propagation in genebanks due their allogamous nature. Cryopreserved materials insure a long-term backup of field collections against loss of plant germplasm. Occurrence of genetic variation, in tissue culture cells during prolonged subcultures, can be avoided with suitable cryopreservation protocols that provide high regrowth, leading and facilitating a systematic and strategic cryo-banking of plant genetic resources. Cryopreservation protocols for potato reviewed here, can efficiently complement field and in vitro conservation, providing for preservation of genotypes difficult to preserve by other methods, wild types and other species decided as priority collections. PMID:25931979

  20. SMART – Sunflower Mutant population And Reverse genetic Tool for crop improvement

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is an important oilseed crop grown widely in various areas of the world. Classical genetic studies have been extensively undertaken for the improvement of this particular oilseed crop. Pertaining to this endeavor, we developed a “chemically induced mutated genetic resource for detecting SNP by TILLING” in sunflower to create new traits. Results To optimize the EMS mutagenesis, we first conducted a “kill curve” analysis with a range of EMS dose from 0.5% to 3%. Based on the observed germination rate, a 50% survival rate i.e. LD50, treatment with 0.6% EMS for 8 hours was chosen to generate 5,000 M2 populations, out of which, 4,763 M3 plants with fertile seed set. Phenotypic characterization of the 5,000 M2 mutagenised lines were undertaken to assess the mutagenesis quality and to identify traits of interest. In the M2 population, about 1.1% of the plants showed phenotypic variations. The sunflower TILLING platform was setup using Endo-1-nuclease as mismatch detection system coupled with an eight fold DNA pooling strategy. As proof-of-concept, we screened the M2 population for induced mutations in two genes related to fatty acid biosynthesis, FatA an acyl-ACP thioesterase and SAD the stearoyl-ACP desaturase and identified a total of 26 mutations. Conclusion Based on the TILLING of FatA and SAD genes, we calculated the overall mutation rate to one mutation every 480 kb, similar to other report for this crop so far. As sunflower is a plant model for seed oil biosynthesis, we anticipate that the developed genetic resource will be a useful tool to identify novel traits for sunflower crop improvement. PMID:23496999

  1. Gene flow in genetically engineered perennial grasses: Lessons for modification of dedicated bioenergy crops

    EPA Science Inventory

    The potential ecological consequences of the commercialization of genetically engineered (GD) crops have been the subject of intense debate, particularly when the GE crops are perennial and capable of outcrossing to wild relatives. The essential ecological impact issues for engi...

  2. Gene flow in genetically engineered perennial grasses: Lessons for modification of dedicated bioenergy crops

    EPA Science Inventory

    The potential ecological consequences of the commercialization of genetically engineered (GD) crops have been the subject of intense debate, particularly when the GE crops are perennial and capable of outcrossing to wild relatives. The essential ecological impact issues for engi...

  3. Genetically modified crops: success, safety assessment, and public concern.

    PubMed

    Singh, Om V; Ghai, Shivani; Paul, Debarati; Jain, Rakesh K

    2006-08-01

    With the emergence of transgenic technologies, new ways to improve the agronomic performance of crops for food, feed, and processing applications have been devised. In addition, ability to express foreign genes using transgenic technologies has opened up options for producing large quantities of commercially important industrial or pharmaceutical products in plants. Despite this high adoption rate and future promises, there is a multitude of concerns about the impact of genetically modified (GM) crops on the environment. Potential contamination of the environment and food chains has prompted detailed consideration of how such crops and the molecules that they produce can be effectively isolated and contained. One of the reasonable steps after creating a transgenic plant is to evaluate its potential benefits and risks to the environment and these should be compared to those generated by traditional agricultural practices. The precautionary approach in risk management of GM plants may make it necessary to monitor significant wild and weed populations that might be affected by transgene escape. Effective risk assessment and monitoring mechanisms are the basic prerequisites of any legal framework to adequately address the risks and watch out for new risks. Several agencies in different countries monitor the release of GM organisms or frame guidelines for the appropriate application of recombinant organisms in agro-industries so as to assure the safe use of recombinant organisms and to achieve sound overall development. We feel that it is important to establish an internationally harmonized framework for the safe handling of recombinant DNA organisms within a few years.

  4. Endogenous allergens in the regulatory assessment of genetically engineered crops.

    PubMed

    Graf, Lynda; Hayder, Hikmat; Mueller, Utz

    2014-11-01

    A scientific approach to the assessment of foods derived from genetically engineered (GE) crops is critical to maintaining objectivity and public confidence in regulatory decisions. Principles developed at the international level support regulators and enable robust and transparent safety assessments. A comparison of key constituents in the GE crop with a suitable comparator is an important element of an assessment. In Europe, endogenous allergens would be included in the comparative analysis, however this approach has been hindered by technical limitations on the ability to accurately measure identified allergenic proteins. Over recent years, improved proteomic methods have enabled researchers to focus on major allergenic proteins in conventional food crops, as information on natural variability is largely lacking. Emerging data for soybean indicate that variability in levels of major allergens already in the food supply is broad. This raises questions about the biological interpretation of differences between a GE plant and its conventional counterpart, in particular, whether any conclusions about altered allergenicity could be inferred. This paper discusses the scientific justification for requiring proteomic analysis of endogenous allergens as part of the evaluation. Ongoing scientific review and corresponding international discussion are integral to ensuring that data requirements address legitimate risk assessment questions.

  5. Genetically modified crops for biomass increase. Genes and strategies.

    PubMed

    Rojas, Cristian Antonio; Hemerly, Adrianna Silva; Ferreira, Paulo Cavalcanti Gomes

    2010-01-01

    Genetically modified crops (GMCs) have been developed to accelerate the creation of new varieties with improved characteristics such as disease resistance, stress tolerance and higher quality composition. However, agriculture, without minimizing its role in food, feed and fiber source, has become important for the energy matrix of many countries. GMCs are also attractive systems that could fulfill the requirements for these new necessities. An increase of crop yields in an environmental friendly system is a new goal for plant biology research in the twenty-first century. In particular, biomass yield improvement is needed to render the use of biofuels economically feasible. In this context, research directed toward increasing biomass production has attracted much attention and a considerable effort is being made to reach new goals. Nonetheless, in some cases differentiated strategies are needed, as biomass improvement requires approaches other than those employed with traditional crops. This review summarizes the various approaches applied so far to modulate plant growth applying molecular biology-based strategies and increase biomass production, and it highlights several outstanding issues about the developmental constraints that must be addressed.

  6. Unintended effects in genetically modified crops: revealed by metabolomics?

    PubMed

    Rischer, Heiko; Oksman-Caldentey, Kirsi-Marja

    2006-03-01

    In Europe the commercialization of food derived from genetically modified plants has been slow because of the complex regulatory process and the concerns of consumers. Risk assessment is focused on potential adverse effects on humans and the environment, which could result from unintended effects of genetic modifications: unintended effects are connected to changes in metabolite levels in the plants. One of the major challenges is how to analyze the overall metabolite composition of GM plants in comparison to conventional cultivars, and one possible solution is offered by metabolomics. The ultimate aim of metabolomics is the identification and quantification of all small molecules in an organism; however, a single method enabling complete metabolome analysis does not exist. Given a comprehensive extraction method, a hierarchical strategy--starting with global fingerprinting and followed by complementary profiling attempts--is the most logical and economic approach to detect unintended effects in GM crops.

  7. Harnessing quantitative genetics and genomics for understanding and improving complex traits in crops

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Classical quantitative genetics aids crop improvement by providing the means to estimate heritability, genetic correlations, and predicted responses to various selection schemes. Genomics has the potential to aid quantitative genetics and applied crop improvement programs via large-scale, high-thro...

  8. Genetic diversity and population structure of collard landraces and their relationship to other Brassica oleracea crops

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Landraces have the potential to provide a reservoir of genetic diversity for crop improvement to combat the genetic erosion of the food supply. A landrace collection of the vitamin-rich specialty crop collard (Brassica oleracea var. viridis) was genetically characterized to assess its potential for ...

  9. Genetic resources offer efficient tools for rice functional genomics research.

    PubMed

    Lo, Shuen-Fang; Fan, Ming-Jen; Hsing, Yue-Ie; Chen, Liang-Jwu; Chen, Shu; Wen, Ien-Chie; Liu, Yi-Lun; Chen, Ku-Ting; Jiang, Mirng-Jier; Lin, Ming-Kuang; Rao, Meng-Yen; Yu, Lin-Chih; Ho, Tuan-Hua David; Yu, Su-May

    2016-05-01

    Rice is an important crop and major model plant for monocot functional genomics studies. With the establishment of various genetic resources for rice genomics, the next challenge is to systematically assign functions to predicted genes in the rice genome. Compared with the robustness of genome sequencing and bioinformatics techniques, progress in understanding the function of rice genes has lagged, hampering the utilization of rice genes for cereal crop improvement. The use of transfer DNA (T-DNA) insertional mutagenesis offers the advantage of uniform distribution throughout the rice genome, but preferentially in gene-rich regions, resulting in direct gene knockout or activation of genes within 20-30 kb up- and downstream of the T-DNA insertion site and high gene tagging efficiency. Here, we summarize the recent progress in functional genomics using the T-DNA-tagged rice mutant population. We also discuss important features of T-DNA activation- and knockout-tagging and promoter-trapping of the rice genome in relation to mutant and candidate gene characterizations and how to more efficiently utilize rice mutant populations and datasets for high-throughput functional genomics and phenomics studies by forward and reverse genetics approaches. These studies may facilitate the translation of rice functional genomics research to improvements of rice and other cereal crops. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Proposed definition of environmental damage illustrated by the cases of genetically modified crops and invasive species.

    PubMed

    Bartz, Robert; Heink, Ulrich; Kowarik, Ingo

    2010-06-01

    The introduction of non-native plant species and the release of genetically modified (GM) crops can induce environmental changes at gene to ecosystem levels. Regulatory frameworks such as the Convention on Biological Diversity or the EU Deliberate Release Directive aim to prevent environmental damage but do not define the term. Although ecologists and conservationists often refer to environmental effects of GM crops or invasive species as damage, most authors do not disclose their normative assumptions or explain why some environmental impacts are regarded as detrimental and others are not. Thus far, a concise definition of environmental damage is missing and is necessary for a transparent assessment of environmental effects or risks. Therefore, we suggest defining environmental damage as a significant adverse effect on a biotic or abiotic conservation resource (i.e., a biotic or abiotic natural resource that is protected by conservational or environmental legislation) that has an impact on the value of the conservation resource, the conservation resource as an ecosystem component, or the sustainable use of the conservation resource. This definition relies on three normative assumptions: only concrete effects on a conservation resource can be damages; only adverse effects that lead to a decrease in the value of the conservation resource can be damages; and only significant adverse effects constitute damage to a conservation resource. Applying this definition within the framework of environmental risk assessment requires further normative determinations, for example, selection of a threshold to distinguish between adverse and significant adverse effects and approaches for assessing the environmental value of conservation resources. Such determinations, however, are not part of the definition of environmental damage. Rather they are part of the definition's operationalization through assessment procedures, which must be grounded in a comprehensible definition of

  11. Management of Overwintering Cover Crops Influences Floral Resources and Visitation by Native Bees.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Katherine E; Barbercheck, Mary E

    2015-08-01

    The incorporation of cover crops into annual crop rotations is one practice that is used in the Mid-Atlantic United States to manage soil fertility, suppress weeds, and control erosion. Additionally, flowering cover crops have the potential to support beneficial insect communities, such as native bees. Because of the current declines in managed honey bee colonies, the conservation of native bee communities is critical to maintaining "free" pollination services. However, native bees are negatively affected by agricultural intensification and are also in decline across North America. We conducted two experiments to assess the potential of flowering cover crops to act as a conservation resource for native bees. We evaluated the effects of cover crop diversity and fall planting date on floral resource availability and visitation by native bees for overwintering flowering cover crop species commonly used in the Mid-Atlantic region. Cover crop species, crop rotation schedule, and plant diversity significantly influenced floral resource availability. Different cover crop species not only had different blooming phenologies and winter survival responses to planting date, but attracted unique bee communities. Flower density was the primary factor influencing frequency of bee visitation across cover crop diversity and fall planting date treatments. The results from these experiments will be useful for informing recommendations on the applied use of flowering cover crops for pollinator conservation purposes.

  12. Germplasm Conservation and Access to Genetic Resources: National Plant Germplasm System and the National Clonal Germplasm Repository

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The US National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) conserves more than 550,000 accessions of genetic resources of crop wild relatives and cultivated, economically important crops. These accessions represent more than 20,000 plant species and are stored at about 25 locations throughout the United States. ...

  13. Genetically modified crops: environmental and human health concerns.

    PubMed

    Azevedo, João Lúcio; Araujo, Welington Luiz

    2003-11-01

    About 10,000 years ago subsistence farmers started to domesticate plants and it was only much later, after the discovery of the fundaments of genetics, those organisms were submitted to rational genetic improvement mainly by selecting of traits of interest. Breeders used appropriate gene combinations to produce new animal races, plant varieties and hybrids, as well as improved microorganisms such as yeasts. After the introduction of recombinant DNA techniques, the transfer of DNA between species belonging to different genera, families or kingdoms became possible. The release of transgenic plants has aroused debates about several aspects of the environmental and human risks that could result from the introduction of genetically modified crops. Less effort has been dedicated to evaluate the impact of transgenic plants on their associated microorganisms, some of which (e.g. nitrogen-fixing bacteria, mycorrhizal fungi and endophytic microbiota) are extremely important for the survival of the plant. Investigations have been made regarding the horizontal transfer of genetic material between transgenic plants and microorganisms and on the disturbance of useful symbiotic associations between plants and endophytic, epiphytic and rhizosphere communities. In most cases the results do no show any adverse effect of transgenic plants on autochthonous plant-associated microorganisms. Results from our laboratory show small changes caused by genetically modified endophytic bacteria on the indigenous endophytic population of the sweet orange Citrus sinensis. In tests using appropriated fungal strains preliminary results using extracts from transgenic plants indicate that these plants do not affect haploidization, mitotic crossing-over, mutation rate or chromosomal alterations.

  14. BBGRE: brain and body genetic resource exchange.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Joo Wook; Dixit, Abhishek; Johnston, Caroline; Ogilvie, Caroline M; Collier, David A; Curran, Sarah; Dobson, Richard J B

    2013-01-01

    Studies of copy number variation (genomic imbalance) are providing insight into both complex and Mendelian genetic disorders. Array comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH), a tool for detecting copy number variants at a resolution previously unattainable in clinical diagnostics, is increasingly used as a first-line test at clinical genetics laboratories. Many copy number variants are of unknown significance; correlation and comparison with other patients will therefore be essential for interpretation. We present a resource for clinicians and researchers to identify specific copy number variants and associated phenotypes in patients from a single catchment area, tested using array CGH at the SE Thames Regional Genetics Centre, London. User-friendly searching is available, with links to external resources, providing a powerful tool for the elucidation of gene function. We hope to promote research by facilitating interactions between researchers and patients. The BBGRE (Brain and Body Genetic Resource Exchange) resource can be accessed at the following website: http://bbgre.org DATABASE URL: http://bbgre.org.

  15. Global resources of genetic diversity in peanut

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Collecting and preserving genetic resources is critical in order to improve agricultural production around the world. Ensuring enough food to provide adequate nutrition for the global population is going to be a hugh challenge for plant breeders going forward as the human populations increases. Fa...

  16. Grain legume genetic resources for allele mining

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Sequencing capacities for higher throughput at significantly lower costs have enabled larger scale genotyping of plant genetic resources. One challenge to sequencing the USDA grain legume collections of pea, chickpea and lentil core accessions is the amount of heterogeneity in the landrace accessio...

  17. Genetic Enhancement of Polyploid Crops Using Tools of Classical Cytogenetics and Modern Biotechnology

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Traditional plant breeding has been mainly instrumental in the genetic improvement of crop plants. Sustained improvement of crop species has been achieved through hybridization with landraces and allied species resulting in high-yielding, superior cultivars of staple food crops. Although plant bre...

  18. Breakthrough in chloroplast genetic engineering of agronomically important crops

    PubMed Central

    Daniell, Henry; Kumar, Shashi; Dufourmantel, Nathalie

    2012-01-01

    Chloroplast genetic engineering offers several unique advantages, including high-level transgene expression, multi-gene engineering in a single transformation event and transgene containment by maternal inheritance, as well as a lack of gene silencing, position and pleiotropic effects and undesirable foreign DNA. More than 40 transgenes have been stably integrated and expressed using the tobacco chloroplast genome to confer desired agronomic traits or express high levels of vaccine antigens and biopharmaceuticals. Despite such significant progress, this technology has not been extended to major crops. However, highly efficient soybean, carrot and cotton plastid transformation has recently been accomplished through somatic embryogenesis using species-specific chloroplast vectors. This review focuses on recent exciting developments in this field and offers directions for further research and development. PMID:15866001

  19. The importance and utilization of the genetic resources of cultivated species

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Plant genetic resources (PGR) have been utilized over the millennia to improve the human condition. Domestication of major crops such as corn, rice and soybean occurred between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago; more ancient domestication of potato occurred in the Andes and of tomato in Mesoamerica. Deve...

  20. Using the GRIN-Global System to Identify Useful Plant Genetic Resources & Information

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The GRIN-Global (GG) System has been developed to provide the world's crop genebanks and plant genetic resource (PGR) users with a powerful, flexible, easy-to-use PGR information management system. Developed jointly by the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bioversity International and the Global C...

  1. National Center for Genetic Resource Preservation: serving the safety back up needs of wild seed collections

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The USDA National Center for Genetic Resource Preservation (NCGRP) is a part of the National Plant GermplasmSystem (NPGS), a network of Federal and State sites that make up the U.S. gene bank for crop species. The NPGS houses over 560,000 accessions representing 14,000 species. An important role of ...

  2. Genetic modification of plant cell walls to enhance biomass yield and biofuel production in bioenergy crops.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yanting; Fan, Chunfen; Hu, Huizhen; Li, Ying; Sun, Dan; Wang, Youmei; Peng, Liangcai

    2016-01-01

    Plant cell walls represent an enormous biomass resource for the generation of biofuels and chemicals. As lignocellulose property principally determines biomass recalcitrance, the genetic modification of plant cell walls has been posed as a powerful solution. Here, we review recent progress in understanding the effects of distinct cell wall polymers (cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin, pectin, wall proteins) on the enzymatic digestibility of biomass under various physical and chemical pretreatments in herbaceous grasses, major agronomic crops and fast-growing trees. We also compare the main factors of wall polymer features, including cellulose crystallinity (CrI), hemicellulosic Xyl/Ara ratio, monolignol proportion and uronic acid level. Furthermore, the review presents the main gene candidates, such as CesA, GH9, GH10, GT61, GT43 etc., for potential genetic cell wall modification towards enhancing both biomass yield and enzymatic saccharification in genetic mutants and transgenic plants. Regarding cell wall modification, it proposes a novel groove-like cell wall model that highlights to increase amorphous regions (density and depth) of the native cellulose microfibrils, providing a general strategy for bioenergy crop breeding and biofuel processing technology.

  3. Energy crops for biofuel feedstocks: facts and recent patents on genetic manipulation to improve biofuel crops.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Suresh

    2013-12-01

    Burning fossil-fuels to meet the global energy requirements by human being has intensified the concerns of increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases. Therefore, serious efforts are required to develop nonfossil-based renewable energy sources. Plants are more efficient in utilizing solar energy to convert it into biomass which can be used as feedstocks for biofuel production. Hence with the increasing demands of energy and the needs of cost-effective, sustainable production of fuels, it has become necessary to switch over to plant biomass as a renewable source of energy. Biofuels derived from more sustainable biological materials such as lignocellulosic plant residues, considered as second generation biofuels, are more dependable. However, there are technical challenges such as pretreatment and hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass to convert it into fermentable sugars. Plant genetic engineering has already proven its potential in modifying cell wall composition of plants for enhancing the efficiency of biofuel production. Interest and potential in the area are very much evident from the growing number of patents in the recent years on the subject. In this review, recent trends in genetic engineering of energy crops for biofuel production have been introduced, and strategies for the future developments have been discussed.

  4. Genetic Modification in Dedicated Bioenergy Crops and Strategies for Gene Confinement

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Genetic modification of dedicated bioenergy crops is in its infancy; however, there are numerous advantages to the use of these tools to improve crops used for biofuels. Potential improved traits through genetic engineering (GE) include herbicide resistance, pest, drought, cold and salt tolerance, l...

  5. Occurrence of insecticide residues in selected crops and natural resources.

    PubMed

    Ratna Kumari, B; Ranga Rao, G V; Sahrawat, K L; Rajasekhar, P

    2012-07-01

    Pesticide residue monitoring was taken up at Kothapally and Enkepally villages of Ranga Reddy district, Andhra Pradesh in food crops (rice, maize, pigeonpea), vegetables (tomato and brinjal), cotton besides soil and water during 2008-2009 seasons. Of the 80 food crop and cotton samples, only two rice grain samples (3 %) showed beta endosulfan residues and two (3 %) out of 80 soil samples of food crops and cotton showed alpha and beta endosulfan residues. Out of 75 tomato samples, 26 (35 %) were contaminated and 4 % had residues above maximum residue limit (MRLs). Out of the 50 soil samples from tomato fields, 13 (26 %) contained residues. Among the 80 brinjal samples, 46 (56 %) contained residues and 4 % of samples had residues above MRLs. Only 13 % of the soil samples from brinjal fields were contaminated. Water samples found free from residues. In general the incidence of residues was below MRL in food crops.

  6. Genetic Distinctiveness of Rye In situ Accessions from Portugal Unveils a New Hotspot of Unexplored Genetic Resources

    PubMed Central

    Monteiro, Filipa; Vidigal, Patrícia; Barros, André B.; Monteiro, Ana; Oliveira, Hugo R.; Viegas, Wanda

    2016-01-01

    Rye (Secale cereale L.) is a cereal crop of major importance in many parts of Europe and rye breeders are presently very concerned with the restrict pool of rye genetic resources available. Such narrowing of rye genetic diversity results from the presence of “Petkus” pool in most modern rye varieties as well as “Petkus” × “Carsten” heterotic pool in hybrid rye breeding programs. Previous studies on rye's genetic diversity revealed moreover a common genetic background on landraces (ex situ) and cultivars, regardless of breeding level or geographical origin. Thus evaluation of in situ populations is of utmost importance to unveil “on farm” diversity, which is largely undervalued. Here, we perform the first comprehensive assessment of rye's genetic diversity and population structuring using cultivars, ex situ landraces along a comprehensive sampling of in situ accessions from Portugal, through a molecular-directed analysis using SSRs markers. Rye genetic diversity and population structure analysis does not present any geographical trend but disclosed marked differences between genetic backgrounds of in situ accessions and those of cultivars/ex situ collections. Such genetic distinctiveness of in situ accessions highlights their unexplored potential as new genetic resources, which can be used to boost rye breeding strategies and the production of new varieties. Overall, our study successfully demonstrates the high prospective impact of comparing genetic diversity and structure of cultivars, ex situ, and in situ samples in ascertaining the status of plant genetic resources (PGR). PMID:27630658

  7. Shifts and disruptions in resource-use trait syndromes during the evolution of herbaceous crops

    PubMed Central

    Milla, Rubén; Morente-López, Javier; Alonso-Rodrigo, J. Miguel; Martín-Robles, Nieves; Stuart Chapin, F.

    2014-01-01

    Trait-based ecology predicts that evolution in high-resource agricultural environments should select for suites of traits that enable fast resource acquisition and rapid canopy closure. However, crop breeding targets specific agronomic attributes rather than broad trait syndromes. Breeding for specific traits, together with evolution in high-resource environments, might lead to reduced phenotypic integration, according to predictions from the ecological literature. We provide the first comprehensive test of these hypotheses, based on a trait-screening programme of 30 herbaceous crops and their wild progenitors. During crop evolution plants became larger, which enabled them to compete more effectively for light, but they had poorly integrated phenotypes. In a subset of six herbaceous crop species investigated in greater depth, competitiveness for light increased during early plant domestication, whereas diminished phenotypic integration occurred later during crop improvement. Mass-specific leaf and root traits relevant to resource-use strategies (e.g. specific leaf area or tissue density of fine roots) changed during crop evolution, but in diverse and contrasting directions and magnitudes, depending on the crop species. Reductions in phenotypic integration and overinvestment in traits involved in competition for light may affect the chances of upgrading modern herbaceous crops to face current climatic and food security challenges. PMID:25185998

  8. Shifts and disruptions in resource-use trait syndromes during the evolution of herbaceous crops.

    PubMed

    Milla, Rubén; Morente-López, Javier; Alonso-Rodrigo, J Miguel; Martín-Robles, Nieves; Chapin, F Stuart

    2014-10-22

    Trait-based ecology predicts that evolution in high-resource agricultural environments should select for suites of traits that enable fast resource acquisition and rapid canopy closure. However, crop breeding targets specific agronomic attributes rather than broad trait syndromes. Breeding for specific traits, together with evolution in high-resource environments, might lead to reduced phenotypic integration, according to predictions from the ecological literature. We provide the first comprehensive test of these hypotheses, based on a trait-screening programme of 30 herbaceous crops and their wild progenitors. During crop evolution plants became larger, which enabled them to compete more effectively for light, but they had poorly integrated phenotypes. In a subset of six herbaceous crop species investigated in greater depth, competitiveness for light increased during early plant domestication, whereas diminished phenotypic integration occurred later during crop improvement. Mass-specific leaf and root traits relevant to resource-use strategies (e.g. specific leaf area or tissue density of fine roots) changed during crop evolution, but in diverse and contrasting directions and magnitudes, depending on the crop species. Reductions in phenotypic integration and overinvestment in traits involved in competition for light may affect the chances of upgrading modern herbaceous crops to face current climatic and food security challenges. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  9. Genome resources for climate-resilient cowpea, an essential crop for food security

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Cowpea is a legume crop that is resilient in hot and drought-prone climates, and a primary source of protein in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the developing world. However, genome resources for cowpea have lagged behind those of most other major crop plants. Here we describe foundational g...

  10. An integrated model for assessing both crop productivity and agricultural water resources at a large scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okada, M.; Sakurai, G.; Iizumi, T.; Yokozawa, M.

    2012-12-01

    Agricultural production utilizes regional resources (e.g. river water and ground water) as well as local resources (e.g. temperature, rainfall, solar energy). Future climate changes and increasing demand due to population increases and economic developments would intensively affect the availability of water resources for agricultural production. While many studies assessed the impacts of climate change on agriculture, there are few studies that dynamically account for changes in water resources and crop production. This study proposes an integrated model for assessing both crop productivity and agricultural water resources at a large scale. Also, the irrigation management to subseasonal variability in weather and crop response varies for each region and each crop. To deal with such variations, we used the Markov Chain Monte Carlo technique to quantify regional-specific parameters associated with crop growth and irrigation water estimations. We coupled a large-scale crop model (Sakurai et al. 2012), with a global water resources model, H08 (Hanasaki et al. 2008). The integrated model was consisting of five sub-models for the following processes: land surface, crop growth, river routing, reservoir operation, and anthropogenic water withdrawal. The land surface sub-model was based on a watershed hydrology model, SWAT (Neitsch et al. 2009). Surface and subsurface runoffs simulated by the land surface sub-model were input to the river routing sub-model of the H08 model. A part of regional water resources available for agriculture, simulated by the H08 model, was input as irrigation water to the land surface sub-model. The timing and amount of irrigation water was simulated at a daily step. The integrated model reproduced the observed streamflow in an individual watershed. Additionally, the model accurately reproduced the trends and interannual variations of crop yields. To demonstrate the usefulness of the integrated model, we compared two types of impact assessment of

  11. Molecular, Genetic and Agronomic Approaches to Utilizing Pulses as Cover Crops and Green Manure into Cropping Systems

    PubMed Central

    Tani, Eleni; Abraham, Eleni; Chachalis, Demosthenis; Travlos, Ilias

    2017-01-01

    Cover crops constitute one of the most promising agronomic practices towards a more sustainable agriculture. Their beneficial effects on main crops, soil and environment are many and various, while risks and disadvantages may also appear. Several legumes show a high potential but further research is required in order to suggest the optimal legume cover crops for each case in terms of their productivity and ability to suppress weeds. The additional cost associated with cover crops should also be addressed and in this context the use of grain legumes such as cowpea, faba bean and pea could be of high interest. Some of the aspects of these grain legumes as far as their use as cover crops, their genetic diversity and their breeding using conventional and molecular approaches are discussed in the present review. The specific species seem to have a high potential for use as cover crops, especially if their noticeable genetic diversity is exploited and their breeding focuses on several desirable traits. PMID:28587254

  12. Current issues connected with usage of genetically modified crops in production of feed and livestock feeding.

    PubMed

    Kwiatek, K; Mazur, M; Sieradzki, Z

    2008-01-01

    Progress, which is brought by new advances in modern molecular biology, allowed interference in the genome of live organisms and gene manipulation. Introducing new genes to the recipient organism enables to give them new features, absent before. Continuous increase in the area of the biotech crops triggers continuous discussion about safety of genetically modified (GM) crops, including food and feed derived from them. Important issue connected with cultivation of genetically modified crops is a horizontal gene transfer and a bacterial antibiotic resistance. Discussion about safety of GM crops concerns also food allergies caused by eating genetically modified food. The problem of genetic modifications of GM crops used for livestock feeding is widely discussed, taking into account Polish feed law.

  13. Effects of genetically modified herbicide-tolerant cropping systems on weed seedbanks in two years of following crops.

    PubMed

    Firbank, L G; Rothery, P; May, M J; Clark, S J; Scott, R J; Stuart, R C; Boffey, C W H; Brooks, D R; Champion, G T; Haughton, A J; Hawes, C; Heard, M S; Dewar, A M; Perry, J N; Squire, G R

    2006-03-22

    The Farm Scale Evaluations (FSEs) showed that genetically modified herbicide-tolerant (GMHT) cropping systems could influence farmland biodiversity because of their effects on weed biomass and seed production. Recently published results for winter oilseed rape showed that a switch to GMHT crops significantly affected weed seedbanks for at least 2 years after the crops were sown, potentially causing longer-term effects on other taxa. Here, we seek evidence for similar medium-term effects on weed seedbanks following spring-sown GMHT crops, using newly available data from the FSEs. Weed seedbanks following GMHT maize were significantly higher than following conventional varieties for both the first and second years, while by contrast, seedbanks following GMHT spring oilseed rape were significantly lower over this period. Seedbanks following GMHT beet were smaller than following conventional crops in the first year after the crops had been sown, but this difference was much reduced by the second year for reasons that are not clear. These new data provide important empirical evidence for longer-term effects of GMHT cropping on farmland biodiversity.

  14. Health Considerations Regarding Horizontal Transfer of Microbial Transgenes Present in Genetically Modified Crops

    PubMed Central

    Kleter, Gijs A.

    2005-01-01

    The potential effects of horizontal gene transfer on human health are an important item in the safety assessment of genetically modified organisms. Horizontal gene transfer from genetically modified crops to gut microflora most likely occurs with transgenes of microbial origin. The characteristics of microbial transgenes other than antibiotic-resistance genes in market-approved genetically modified crops are reviewed. These characteristics include the microbial source, natural function, function in genetically modified crops, natural prevalence, geographical distribution, similarity to other microbial genes, known horizontal transfer activity, selective conditions and environments for horizontally transferred genes, and potential contribution to pathogenicity and virulence in humans and animals. The assessment of this set of data for each of the microbial genes reviewed does not give rise to health concerns. We recommend including the above-mentioned items into the premarket safety assessment of genetically modified crops carrying transgenes other than those reviewed in the present study. PMID:16489267

  15. Genetic basis and detection of unintended effects in genetically modified crop plants.

    PubMed

    Ladics, Gregory S; Bartholomaeus, Andrew; Bregitzer, Phil; Doerrer, Nancy G; Gray, Alan; Holzhauser, Thomas; Jordan, Mark; Keese, Paul; Kok, Esther; Macdonald, Phil; Parrott, Wayne; Privalle, Laura; Raybould, Alan; Rhee, Seung Yon; Rice, Elena; Romeis, Jörg; Vaughn, Justin; Wal, Jean-Michel; Glenn, Kevin

    2015-08-01

    In January 2014, an international meeting sponsored by the International Life Sciences Institute/Health and Environmental Sciences Institute and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency titled "Genetic Basis of Unintended Effects in Modified Plants" was held in Ottawa, Canada, bringing together over 75 scientists from academia, government, and the agro-biotech industry. The objectives of the meeting were to explore current knowledge and identify areas requiring further study on unintended effects in plants and to discuss how this information can inform and improve genetically modified (GM) crop risk assessments. The meeting featured presentations on the molecular basis of plant genome variability in general, unintended changes at the molecular and phenotypic levels, and the development and use of hypothesis-driven evaluations of unintended effects in assessing conventional and GM crops. The development and role of emerging "omics" technologies in the assessment of unintended effects was also discussed. Several themes recurred in a number of talks; for example, a common observation was that no system for genetic modification, including conventional methods of plant breeding, is without unintended effects. Another common observation was that "unintended" does not necessarily mean "harmful". This paper summarizes key points from the information presented at the meeting to provide readers with current viewpoints on these topics.

  16. Preservation of plant genetic resources in the biotechnology era.

    PubMed

    Börner, Andreas

    2006-12-01

    Thousands of years ago humans began domesticating crops as a food source. Among the wild germplasm available, they selected those that were best adapted for cultivation and utilization. Although wild ancestors have continued to persist in regions where domestication took place, there is a permanent risk of loss of the genetic variability of cultivated plants and their wild relatives in response to changing environmental conditions and cultural practices. Recognizing this danger, plant ex situ genebank collections were created since the beginning of the last century. World-wide, more than 6 million accessions have been accumulated including the German ex situ genebank in Gatersleben, one of the four largest global collections, housing 150,000 accessions belonging to 890 genera and 3032 species. This review summarizes the ex situ plant genetic resources conservation behavior with a special emphasis on German activities. Strategies for maintenance and management of germplasm collections are reviewed, considering modern biotechnologies (in vitro and cryo preservation). General aspects on genetic diversity and integrity are discussed.

  17. Molecular markers: a potential resource for ginger genetic diversity studies.

    PubMed

    Ismail, Nor Asiah; Rafii, M Y; Mahmud, T M M; Hanafi, M M; Miah, Gous

    2016-12-01

    Ginger is an economically important and valuable plant around the world. Ginger is used as a food, spice, condiment, medicine and ornament. There is available information on biochemical aspects of ginger, but few studies have been reported on its molecular aspects. The main objective of this review is to accumulate the available molecular marker information and its application in diverse ginger studies. This review article was prepared by combing material from published articles and our own research. Molecular markers allow the identification and characterization of plant genotypes through direct access to hereditary material. In crop species, molecular markers are applied in different aspects and are useful in breeding programs. In ginger, molecular markers are commonly used to identify genetic variation and classify the relatedness among varieties, accessions, and species. Consequently, it provides important input in determining resourceful management strategies for ginger improvement programs. Alternatively, a molecular marker could function as a harmonizing tool for documenting species. This review highlights the application of molecular markers (isozyme, RAPD, AFLP, SSR, ISSR and others such as RFLP, SCAR, NBS and SNP) in genetic diversity studies of ginger species. Some insights on the advantages of the markers are discussed. The detection of genetic variation among promising cultivars of ginger has significance for ginger improvement programs. This update of recent literature will help researchers and students select the appropriate molecular markers for ginger-related research.

  18. Bringing policy relevance and scientific discipline to environmental risk assessment for genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Herman, Rod A; Garcia-Alonso, Monica; Layton, Raymond; Raybould, Alan

    2013-09-01

    Although public opinion is important in deciding what is valued by society, governments have determined that scientific expertise is required to evaluate potential environmental effects of genetically modified (GM) crops. We suggest how to evaluate rigorously the environmental effects of GM crops in the context of a scientific investigation. Following a disciplined scientific approach to environmental risk assessment (ERA) for GM crops should help resolve controversy in identifying and addressing risk.

  19. NCBI genetic resources supporting immunogenetic research.

    PubMed

    Feolo, M; Helmberg, W; Sherry, S; Maglott, D R

    2000-01-01

    The NCBI creates and maintains a set of integrated bibliographic, sequence, map, structure and other database resources to promote the efficient retrieval of information and the discovery of novel relationships. The connections made between elements of these resources permit researchers to start a search from a wide spectrum of entry points. These multiple dimensions of data can be roughly categorized by primary content as text or bibliographic (PubMed, PubMedCentral, OMIM, LocusLink), sequence (GenBank, Reference Sequence Project (RefSeq), dbSNP, MMDB), protein structure (MMDB) or map position (MapView). They can also becategorized by level of expert curation, which may range from validation of submissions from external groups (GenBank, PubMed, PubMedCentral,), to automatic computation (HomoloGene, UniGene), and to highly reviewed and corrected (LocusLink, MMDB, OMIM, RefSeq). Searches can be made by words (in an article title, key words, sequence annotation, database value, author) by sequence (BLAST or e-PCR against multiple sequence databases), or by map coordinates. By computing or curating bi-directional links between related objects, NCBI can represent content on the genetics, molecular biology, and clinical considerations of interest to immunogeneticists. There is also an emerging resource developed by the NCBI in collaboration with the IHWG devoted to the presentation of MHC data (dbMHC). How dbMHC will augment existing resources at the NCBI is described.

  20. Crop management and agronomic context of the Farm Scale Evaluations of genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops.

    PubMed Central

    Champion, G T; May, M J; Bennett, S; Brooks, D R; Clark, S J; Daniels, R E; Firbank, L G; Haughton, A J; Hawes, C; Heard, M S; Perry, J N; Randle, Z; Rossall, M J; Rothery, P; Skellern, M P; Scott, R J; Squire, G R; Thomas, M R

    2003-01-01

    The Farm Scale Evaluations of genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops (GMHT) were conducted in the UK from 2000 to 2002 on beet (sugar and fodder), spring oilseed rape and forage maize. The management of the crops studied is described and compared with current conventional commercial practice. The distribution of field sites adequately represented the areas currently growing these crops, and the sample contained sites operated at a range of management intensities, including low intensity. Herbicide inputs were audited, and the active ingredients used and the rates and the timings of applications compared well with current practice for both GMHT and conventional crops. Inputs on sugar beet were lower than, and inputs on spring oilseed rape and forage maize were consistent with, national averages. Regression analysis of herbicide-application strategies and weed emergence showed that inputs applied by farmers increased with weed densities in beet and forage maize. GMHT crops generally received only one herbicide active ingredient per crop, later and fewer herbicide sprays and less active ingredient (for beet and maize) than the conventional treatments. The audit of inputs found no evidence of bias. PMID:14561315

  1. Endophytic fungi: resource for gibberellins and crop abiotic stress resistance.

    PubMed

    Khan, Abdul Latif; Hussain, Javid; Al-Harrasi, Ahmed; Al-Rawahi, Ahmed; Lee, In-Jung

    2015-03-01

    The beneficial effects of endophytes on plant growth are important for agricultural ecosystems because they reduce the need for fertilizers and decrease soil and water pollution while compensating for environmental perturbations. Endophytic fungi are a novel source of bioactive secondary metabolites; moreover, recently they have been found to produce physiologically active gibberellins as well. The symbiosis of gibberellins producing endophytic fungi with crops can be a promising strategy to overcome the adverse effects of abiotic stresses. The association of such endophytes has not only increased plant biomass but also ameliorated plant-growth during extreme environmental conditions. Endophytic fungi represent a trove of unexplored biodiversity and a frequently overlooked component of crop ecology. The present review describes the role of gibberellins producing endophytic fungi, suggests putative mechanisms involved in plant endophyte stress interactions and discusses future prospects in this field.

  2. Searching for adaptive traits in genetic resources - phenology based approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bari, Abdallah

    2015-04-01

    Searching for adaptive traits in genetic resources - phenology based approach Abdallah Bari, Kenneth Street, Eddy De Pauw, Jalal Eddin Omari, and Chandra M. Biradar International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, Rabat Institutes, Rabat, Morocco Phenology is an important plant trait not only for assessing and forecasting food production but also for searching in genebanks for adaptive traits. Among the phenological parameters we have been considering to search for such adaptive and rare traits are the onset (sowing period) and the seasonality (growing period). Currently an application is being developed as part of the focused identification of germplasm strategy (FIGS) approach to use climatic data in order to identify crop growing seasons and characterize them in terms of onset and duration. These approximations of growing period characteristics can then be used to estimate flowering and maturity dates for dryland crops, such as wheat, barley, faba bean, lentils and chickpea, and assess, among others, phenology-related traits such as days to heading [dhe] and grain filling period [gfp]. The approach followed here is based on first calculating long term average daily temperatures by fitting a curve to the monthly data over days from beginning of the year. Prior to the identification of these phenological stages the onset is extracted first from onset integer raster GIS layers developed based on a model of the growing period that considers both moisture and temperature limitations. The paper presents some examples of real applications of the approach to search for rare and adaptive traits.

  3. Small RNA Based Genetic Engineering for Plant Viral Resistance: Application in Crop Protection

    PubMed Central

    Khalid, Annum; Zhang, Qingling; Yasir, Muhammad; Li, Feng

    2017-01-01

    Small RNAs regulate a large set of gene expression in all plants and constitute a natural immunity against viruses. Small RNA based genetic engineering (SRGE) technology had been explored for crop protection against viruses for nearly 30 years. Viral resistance has been developed in diverse crops with SRGE technology and a few viral resistant crops have been approved for commercial release. In this review we summarized the efforts generating viral resistance with SRGE in different crops, analyzed the evolution of the technology, its efficacy in different crops for different viruses and its application status in different crops. The challenge and potential solution for application of SRGE in crop protection are also discussed. PMID:28167936

  4. Legume crops phylogeny and genetic diversity for science and breeding

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Economically, legumes (Fabaceae) represent the second most important family of crop plants after the grass family, Poaceae. Grain legumes account for 27% of world crop production and provide 33% of the dietary protein consumed by humans, while pasture and forage legumes provide vital part of animal ...

  5. REMOTE SENSING TECHNIQUES FOR MONITORING GENETICALLY ENGINEERED CROP CULTIVATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Crops bioengineered to contain toxins derived from Bacillus thuringensis (Bt) are under regulatory scrutiny by USEPA under the FIFRA legislation. The agency has declared these crops to be "in the public good" based on the reduced use of pesticides required for management of these...

  6. Could Crop Height Impact the Wind Resource at Agriculturally Productive Wind Farm Sites?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderwende, B. J.; Lundquist, J. K.

    2013-12-01

    The agriculture-intensive United States Midwest and Great Plains regions feature some of the best wind resources in the nation. Collocation of cropland and wind turbines introduces complex meteorological interactions that could affect both agriculture and wind power production. Crop management practices may modify the wind resource through alterations of land-surface properties. In this study, we used the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to estimate the impact of crop height variations on the wind resource in the presence of a large turbine array. We parameterized a hypothetical array of 121 1.8 MW turbines at the site of the 2011 Crop/Wind-energy Experiment field campaign using the WRF wind farm parameterization. We estimated the impact of crop choices on power production by altering the aerodynamic roughness length in a region approximately 65 times larger than that occupied by the turbine array. Roughness lengths of 10 cm and 25 cm represent a mature soy crop and a mature corn crop respectively. Results suggest that the presence of the mature corn crop reduces hub-height wind speeds and increases rotor-layer wind shear, even in the presence of a large wind farm which itself modifies the flow. During the night, the influence of the surface was dependent on the boundary layer stability, with strong stability inhibiting the surface drag from modifying the wind resource aloft. Further investigation is required to determine the optimal size, shape, and crop height of the roughness modification to maximize the economic benefit and minimize the cost of such crop management practices.

  7. Gene Flow in Genetically Engineered Perennial Grasses: Lessons for Modification of Dedicated Bioenergy Crops

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Genetic modification of dedicated bioenergy crops, such as switchgrass, will play a major role in crop improvement for a wide range of beneficial traits specific to biofuels. One obstacle that arises regarding transgenic improvement of perennials used for biofuels is the propensity of these plants t...

  8. Notification: Evaluation of EPA's Management of Resistance Issues Related to Herbicide Tolerant Genetically Engineered Crops

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Project #OPE-FY16-0023, March 25, 2016. The EPA OIG plans to begin preliminary research to assess the EPA's management and oversight of resistance issues related to herbicide tolerant genetically engineered crops.

  9. Qualitative genetics - examples from soybean and other crops

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Qualitative genetics, also known as Mendelian genetics or transmission genetics, refers to those genetic traits that have a distinct appearance (phenotype) and are controlled by one or few genes. Examples of qualitative genetics include response to abiotic and biotic stresses, and anatomical, morpho...

  10. AquaCrop-OS: A tool for resilient management of land and water resources in agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, Timothy; Brozovic, Nicholas; Butler, Adrian P.; Neale, Christopher M. U.; Raes, Dirk; Steduto, Pasquale; Fereres, Elias; Hsiao, Theodore C.

    2017-04-01

    Water managers, researchers, and other decision makers worldwide are faced with the challenge of increasing food production under population growth, drought, and rising water scarcity. Crop simulation models are valuable tools in this effort, and, importantly, provide a means of quantifying rapidly crop yield response to water, climate, and field management practices. Here, we introduce a new open-source crop modelling tool called AquaCrop-OS (Foster et al., 2017), which extends the functionality of the globally used FAO AquaCrop model. Through case studies focused on groundwater-fed irrigation in the High Plains and Central Valley of California in the United States, we demonstrate how AquaCrop-OS can be used to understand the local biophysical, behavioural, and institutional drivers of water risks in agricultural production. Furthermore, we also illustrate how AquaCrop-OS can be combined effectively with hydrologic and economic models to support drought risk mitigation and decision-making around water resource management at a range of spatial and temporal scales, and highlight future plans for model development and training. T. Foster, et al. (2017) AquaCrop-OS: An open source version of FAO's crop water productivity model. Agricultural Water Management. 181: 18-22. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2016.11.015.

  11. The World's Crop Plant Germplasm--An Endangered Resource

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilkes, Garrison

    1977-01-01

    Discusses the fact that many food plants derive from domesticated rather than natural strains, and that natural germplasm or genetic strains used in the plant-improvement process must be carefully preserved. (MLH)

  12. Isozymes and the genetic resources of forest trees

    Treesearch

    A. H. D. Brown; G. F. Moran

    1981-01-01

    Genetic data are an essential prerequisite for analysing the genetic structure of tree populations. The isozyme technique is the best currently available method for obtaining such data. Despite several shortcomings, isozyme data directly evaluate the genetic resources of forest trees, and can thus be used to monitor and manipulate these resources. For example,...

  13. Could crop height affect the wind resource at agriculturally productive wind farm sites?

    SciTech Connect

    Vanderwende, Brian; Lundquist, Julie K.

    2015-11-07

    The collocation of cropland and wind turbines in the US Midwest region introduces complex meteorological interactions that could influence both agriculture and wind-power production. Crop management practices may affect the wind resource through alterations of land-surface properties. We use the weather research and forecasting (WRF) model to estimate the impact of crop height variations on the wind resource in the presence of a large turbine array. A hypothetical wind farm consisting of 121 1.8-MW turbines is represented using the WRF model wind-farm parametrization. We represent the impact of selecting soybeans rather than maize by altering the aerodynamic roughness length in a region approximately 65 times larger than that occupied by the turbine array. Roughness lengths of 0.1 and 0.25 m represent the mature soy crop and a mature maize crop, respectively. In all but the most stable atmospheric conditions, statistically significant hub-height wind-speed increases and rotor-layer wind-shear reductions result from switching from maize to soybeans. Based on simulations for the entire month of August 2013, wind-farm energy output increases by 14 %, which would yield a significant monetary gain. Further investigation is required to determine the optimal size, shape, and crop height of the roughness modification to maximize the economic benefit and minimize the cost of such crop-management practices. As a result, these considerations must be balanced by other influences on crop choice such as soil requirements and commodity prices.

  14. Could Crop Height Affect the Wind Resource at Agriculturally Productive Wind Farm Sites?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderwende, Brian; Lundquist, Julie K.

    2016-03-01

    The collocation of cropland and wind turbines in the US Midwest region introduces complex meteorological interactions that could influence both agriculture and wind-power production. Crop management practices may affect the wind resource through alterations of land-surface properties. We use the weather research and forecasting (WRF) model to estimate the impact of crop height variations on the wind resource in the presence of a large turbine array. A hypothetical wind farm consisting of 121 1.8-MW turbines is represented using the WRF model wind-farm parametrization. We represent the impact of selecting soybeans rather than maize by altering the aerodynamic roughness length in a region approximately 65 times larger than that occupied by the turbine array. Roughness lengths of 0.1 and 0.25 m represent the mature soy crop and a mature maize crop, respectively. In all but the most stable atmospheric conditions, statistically significant hub-height wind-speed increases and rotor-layer wind-shear reductions result from switching from maize to soybeans. Based on simulations for the entire month of August 2013, wind-farm energy output increases by 14 %, which would yield a significant monetary gain. Further investigation is required to determine the optimal size, shape, and crop height of the roughness modification to maximize the economic benefit and minimize the cost of such crop-management practices. These considerations must be balanced by other influences on crop choice such as soil requirements and commodity prices.

  15. Climate change in Europe and effects on thermal resources for crops.

    PubMed

    Mariani, L; Parisi, S G; Cola, G; Failla, O

    2012-11-01

    Atmospheric variables play a fundamental role in driving man-managed ecosystems and more specifically in agro-ecosystems, determining the quantity and quality of crop production. On the other hand, climate variability can be seen as the superimposition of gradual and abrupt changes. This paper is focused on European surface air temperature in the period 1951-2010. Analysis of this dataset identified breakpoints that define two homogeneous sub-periods: 1951-1987 and 1988-2010. Thermal resources for crops were analyzed adopting a "normal heat hours" approach. Computation highlighted a general increase in thermal resources in the European continent for crop groups II and III (C3 and C4 plants adapted to high or moderate temperatures), while a decline of thermal resources for crop group I (cold adapted C3) was highlighted in the Mediterranean area. The climate variability justifies a change in the potential latitudinal limits of different groups of crops, representing a fundamental step for crop adaptation to climate change.

  16. 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.

  17. The Interplay of Bioenergy Crop Production and Water Resource Availability in the US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Y.; Jain, A. K.; Landuyt, W.; Kheshgi, H. S.

    2014-12-01

    Large-scale growing of bioenergy crops, such as switchgrass (Panicum viragatum) and Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus), may introduce new challenges for water resource availability in the US. However, the strength of the interplay between bioenergy crop production and water resource availability is highly uncertain at the spatial scale and determined by (1) the spatial distribution of land cover types; (2) availability of soil water resources; (3) climate conditions and (4) biophysical characteristics of different bioenergy crops, such as water use efficiency (WUE), tolerances to extreme water and thermal conditions (dry, high temperature, low temperature etc.) and photoperiod adaptability, etc. To address potential water availability concerns the spatial distribution of bioenergy crops needs to be optimized by considering the maximum WUE and the minimum dependence and impact on water resource availability. To address this objective, we apply a coupled biophysical and biogeochemical model (ISAM), to investigate spatial variability in the interplay between water resources and bioenergy crop production in the US. The bioenergy crops considered in this study include Miscanthus, Cave-in-Rock and Alamo switchgrasses, and corn (grain and stover). The interplay between bioenergy crop and corn production with water resources is quantitatively evaluated by calculating WUE and average water stress for different bioenergy crops and change in plant available soil water between bioenergy crops and natural vegetation. Our results indicate that low soil water availability limits production of bioenergy grasses in central and eastern Great Plains. Growing energy grasses here strengthens water depletion and limits its potential production. Miscanthus has the highest WUE in the central Midwest, followed by corn stover and Cave-in-Rock. However, growing Miscanthus and Cave-in-Rock here strengthens soil water depletion and induces water stress on their production. Though production

  18. Molecular genetic approaches for environmental stress tolerant crop plants: Progress and prospects.

    PubMed

    Kaur, Ranjeet; Ghosh, Ananta Kumar; Bhunia, Rupam Kumar

    2016-08-05

    Global food security is threatened by the severe environmental conditions that have reduced the worldwide crop yield. Plants possess inherent mechanisms to cope with the initial stress phase but to ensure their survival through harsh climate, the intervention of genetic engineering is desirable. Elucidation of genetic loci and deciphering the underlying mechanisms that confer tolerance to plants against stressful conditions followed by its successful introgression into elite, high-yielding crop varieties can be an effective way to engineer the crops for increasing productivity. This review provides an overview about the effects of abiotic and biotic stresses on crop plants and the use of genetic engineering approach to cope with these environmental stresses for a sustainable agriculture. Major patents in the field of plant stress tolerance in the last five years have also been summarized.

  19. Genetic variation in wild populations of the tuber crop Amorphophallus konjac (Araceae) in central China as revealed by AFLP markers.

    PubMed

    Pan, C; Gichira, A W; Chen, J M

    2015-12-29

    Amorphophallus konjac is an economically important crop. In order to provide baseline information for sustainable development and conservation of the wild plant resources of A. konjac, we studied the genetic diversity and population structure of this species using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) molecular markers. We sampled 139 individuals from 10 wild populations of A. konjac in central China. Using five AFLP primer combinations, we scored a total of 270 DNA fragments, most of which were polymorphic (98.2%). Percentage of polymorphic loci, Nei's genetic diversity index, and Shannon's information index showed high levels of genetic variation within A. konjac populations. Analysis of molecular variance indicated that most of the variance (68%) resided within populations. The coefficient of genetic differentiation between populations was 0.348 and the estimated gene flow was 0.469, indicating that there was limited gene flow among the populations. Unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean cluster analysis and principal coordinates analysis indicated that geographically close populations were more likely to cluster together. The Mantel test revealed a significant correlation between geographic and genetic distances (R2 = 0.2521, P < 0.05). The special insect-pollination system of A. konjac and the complex geography of central China are likely to have contributed to the current pattern of genetic variation of this species. In the present study, we provide several suggestions on the future protection of the wild plant genetic resources of A. konjac.

  20. 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

  1. 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

    2015-09-18

    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.

  2. Genetically Modified Crops and Nuisance: Exploring the Role of Precaution in Private Law

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Craik, Neil; Culver, Keith; Siebrasse, Norman

    2007-01-01

    This article critically considers calls for the precautionary principle to inform judicial decision making in a private law context in light of the Hoffman litigation, where it is alleged that the potential for genetic contamination from genetically modified (GM) crops causes an unreasonable interference with the rights of organic farmers to use…

  3. Genetically Modified Crops and Nuisance: Exploring the Role of Precaution in Private Law

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Craik, Neil; Culver, Keith; Siebrasse, Norman

    2007-01-01

    This article critically considers calls for the precautionary principle to inform judicial decision making in a private law context in light of the Hoffman litigation, where it is alleged that the potential for genetic contamination from genetically modified (GM) crops causes an unreasonable interference with the rights of organic farmers to use…

  4. Dispersal of viable row-crop seeds of commercial agriculture by farmland birds: implication for genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Cummings, John L; Handley, Levis W; Macbryde, Bruce; Tupper, Shelagh K; Werner, Scott J; Byram, Zachary J

    2008-01-01

    To address some concerns about the expansion of genetically engineered pharmaceutical and industrial crops to outdoor plantings and potential impacts on the human food supply, we determined whether commercial agriculture seeds of maize or corn Zea mays L., barley Hordeum vulgare L., safflower Carthamus tinctorius L. and rice Oryza sativa L. are digested or pass viably through the digestive tract, or are transported externally, by captive mallard ducks Anas platyrhynchos L., ring-necked pheasants Phasianus colchicus L., red-winged blackbirds Agelaius phoeniceus (L.) and rock pigeons Columba livia Gmelin (with the exception of whole maize seeds which were too large to feed to the blackbirds). These crop seeds, whether free-fed or force-fed, did not pass through the digestive tract of these bird species. The birds nonetheless did retain viable seeds in the esophagus/crop and gizzard for several hours. For example, after foraging for 6 h, mallards had retained an average of 228 +/- 112 barley seeds and pheasants 192 +/- 78 in the esophagus/crop, and their germination rates were 93 and 50%, respectively. Birds externally transported seeds away from the feeding location, but in only four instances were seeds found attached to their muddy feet or legs and in no case to feathers. Risk of such crop seeds germinating, establishing and reproducing off site after transport by a bird (externally or internally) or movement of a carcass by a predator, will depend greatly on the crop and bird species, location, environmental conditions (including soil characteristics), timing, and seed condition.

  5. Benefits and detriments of deploying genetically engineered woody biomass crops. Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    1995-04-01

    In the decade ahead, genetic engineering techniques will supplement traditional selection and controlled breeding approaches. These techniques will be used to develop transgenic tree species that exhibit significantly improved productivity and commercially valuable characteristics. Utilities interested in economically viable biomass power systems and more efficient carbon sequestration can use this report to evaluate the opportunities and challenges associated with development and deployment of transgenic tree crops. The objective is to present the state of the technology in genetic engineering of woody biomass crops; to assess anticipated research priorities; and to consider the actual and perceived risks of deploying genetically engineered species.

  6. Genetic engineering of crops: a ray of hope for enhanced food security.

    PubMed

    Gill, Sarvajeet Singh; Gill, Ritu; Tuteja, Renu; Tuteja, Narendra

    2014-01-01

    Crop improvement has been a basic and essential chase since organized cultivation of crops began thousands of years ago. Abiotic stresses as a whole are regarded as the crucial factors restricting the plant species to reach their full genetic potential to deliver desired productivity. The changing global climatic conditions are making them worse and pointing toward food insecurity. Agriculture biotechnology or genetic engineering has allowed us to look into and understand the complex nature of abiotic stresses and measures to improve the crop productivity under adverse conditions. Various candidate genes have been identified and transformed in model plants as well as agriculturally important crop plants to develop abiotic stress-tolerant plants for crop improvement. The views presented here are an attempt toward realizing the potential of genetic engineering for improving crops to better tolerate abiotic stresses in the era of climate change, which is now essential for global food security. There is great urgency in speeding up crop improvement programs that can use modern biotechnological tools in addition to current breeding practices for providing enhanced food security.

  7. Ecological impacts of genetically modified crops: ten years of field research and commercial cultivation.

    PubMed

    Sanvido, Olivier; Romeis, Jörg; Bigler, Franz

    2007-01-01

    The worldwide commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops has raised concerns about potential adverse effects on the environment resulting from the use of these crops. Consequently, the risks of GM crops for the environment, and especially for biodiversity, have been extensively assessed before and during their commercial cultivation. Substantial scientific data on the environmental effects of the currently commercialized GM crops are available today. We have reviewed this scientific knowledge derived from the past 10 years of worldwide experimental field research and commercial cultivation. The review focuses on the currently commercially available GM crops that could be relevant for agriculture in Western and Central Europe (i.e., maize, oilseed rape, and soybean), and on the two main GM traits that are currently commercialized, herbicide tolerance (HT) and insect resistance (IR). The sources of information included peer-reviewed scientific journals, scientific books, reports from regions with extensive GM crop cultivation, as well as reports from international governmental organizations. The data available so far provide no scientific evidence that the cultivation of the presently commercialized GM crops has caused environmental harm. Nevertheless, a number of issues related to the interpretation of scientific data on effects of GM crops on the environment are debated controversially. The present review highlights these scientific debates and discusses the effects of GM crop cultivation on the environment considering the impacts caused by cultivation practices of modern agricultural systems.

  8. Genetic Modification for Improving Seed Vigor Is Transitioning from Model Plants to Crop Plants

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiaolin; Ning, Fen; Hu, Xiuli; Wang, Wei

    2017-01-01

    Although seed vigor is a complex physiological trait controlled by quantitative trait loci, technological advances in the laboratory are being translated into applications for enhancing seed vigor in crop plants. In this article, we summarize and discuss pioneering work in the genetic modification of seed vigor, especially through the over-expression of protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT, EC 2.1.1.77) in seeds. The impressive success in improving rice seed vigor through the over-expression of PIMT provides a valuable reference for engineering high-vigor seeds for crop production. In recent decades, numerous genes/proteins associated with seed vigor have been identified. It is hoped that such potential candidates may be used in the development of genetically edited crops for a high and stable yield potential in crop production. This possibility is very valuable in the context of a changing climate and increasing world population. PMID:28149305

  9. Genetic Modification for Improving Seed Vigor Is Transitioning from Model Plants to Crop Plants.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiaolin; Ning, Fen; Hu, Xiuli; Wang, Wei

    2017-01-01

    Although seed vigor is a complex physiological trait controlled by quantitative trait loci, technological advances in the laboratory are being translated into applications for enhancing seed vigor in crop plants. In this article, we summarize and discuss pioneering work in the genetic modification of seed vigor, especially through the over-expression of protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT, EC 2.1.1.77) in seeds. The impressive success in improving rice seed vigor through the over-expression of PIMT provides a valuable reference for engineering high-vigor seeds for crop production. In recent decades, numerous genes/proteins associated with seed vigor have been identified. It is hoped that such potential candidates may be used in the development of genetically edited crops for a high and stable yield potential in crop production. This possibility is very valuable in the context of a changing climate and increasing world population.

  10. Genetic Variation of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum from Multiple Crops in the North Central United States.

    PubMed

    Aldrich-Wolfe, Laura; Travers, Steven; Nelson, Berlin D

    2015-01-01

    Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is an important pathogen of numerous crops in the North Central region of the United States. The objective of this study was to examine the genetic diversity of 145 isolates of the pathogen from multiple hosts in the region. Mycelial compatibility groups (MCG) and microsatellite haplotypes were determined and analyzed for standard estimates of population genetic diversity and the importance of host and distance for genetic variation was examined. MCG tests indicated there were 49 different MCGs in the population and 52 unique microsatellite haplotypes were identified. There was an association between MCG and haplotype such that isolates belonging to the same MCG either shared identical haplotypes or differed at no more than 2 of the 12 polymorphic loci. For the majority of isolates, there was a one-to-one correspondence between MCG and haplotype. Eleven MCGs shared haplotypes. A single haplotype was found to be prevalent throughout the region. The majority of genetic variation in the isolate collection was found within rather than among host crops, suggesting little genetic divergence of S. sclerotiorum among hosts. There was only weak evidence of isolation by distance. Pairwise population comparisons among isolates from canola, dry bean, soybean and sunflower suggested that gene flow between host-populations is more common for some crops than others. Analysis of linkage disequilibrium in the isolates from the four major crops indicated primarily clonal reproduction, but also evidence of genetic recombination for isolates from canola and sunflower. Accordingly, genetic diversity was highest for populations from canola and sunflower. Distribution of microsatellite haplotypes across the study region strongly suggest that specific haplotypes of S. sclerotiorum are often found on multiple crops, movement of individual haplotypes among crops is common and host identity is not a barrier to gene flow for S. sclerotiorum in the north central United

  11. Genetic Variation of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum from Multiple Crops in the North Central United States

    PubMed Central

    Aldrich-Wolfe, Laura; Travers, Steven; Nelson, Berlin D.

    2015-01-01

    Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is an important pathogen of numerous crops in the North Central region of the United States. The objective of this study was to examine the genetic diversity of 145 isolates of the pathogen from multiple hosts in the region. Mycelial compatibility groups (MCG) and microsatellite haplotypes were determined and analyzed for standard estimates of population genetic diversity and the importance of host and distance for genetic variation was examined. MCG tests indicated there were 49 different MCGs in the population and 52 unique microsatellite haplotypes were identified. There was an association between MCG and haplotype such that isolates belonging to the same MCG either shared identical haplotypes or differed at no more than 2 of the 12 polymorphic loci. For the majority of isolates, there was a one-to-one correspondence between MCG and haplotype. Eleven MCGs shared haplotypes. A single haplotype was found to be prevalent throughout the region. The majority of genetic variation in the isolate collection was found within rather than among host crops, suggesting little genetic divergence of S. sclerotiorum among hosts. There was only weak evidence of isolation by distance. Pairwise population comparisons among isolates from canola, dry bean, soybean and sunflower suggested that gene flow between host-populations is more common for some crops than others. Analysis of linkage disequilibrium in the isolates from the four major crops indicated primarily clonal reproduction, but also evidence of genetic recombination for isolates from canola and sunflower. Accordingly, genetic diversity was highest for populations from canola and sunflower. Distribution of microsatellite haplotypes across the study region strongly suggest that specific haplotypes of S. sclerotiorum are often found on multiple crops, movement of individual haplotypes among crops is common and host identity is not a barrier to gene flow for S. sclerotiorum in the north central United

  12. 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.

  13. Sensitive dependencies and separation distances for genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops.

    PubMed Central

    Perry, Joe N

    2002-01-01

    The amount of land available for the coexistent growing of both organic and genetically modified herbicide-tolerant (GMHT) crops depends on the separation distance between the two types of crop. The form of the decline in the proportion of land available for growing one of these crop types due to increasing separation distance is linear on a suitable scale, but with a slope and intercept that are sensitively dependent on the proportion of the other crop already present. Spatially explicit simulations from realistic scenarios indicate that a major increase in separation distances, currently under review by the UK government, may have serious implications for the future coexistence of organic and GMHT crops in the UK. PMID:12061962

  14. Mapping Malus sieversii: A valuable genetic resource for apple breeding

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The USDA-ARS Plant Genetic Resources Unit has established a collection of Malus from around the world in order to preserve and develop genetic resources important to the apple industry. Among this collection is Malus sieversii, the main progenitor of the domestic apple, collected from Central Asia ...

  15. Nutrient resources for crop production in the tropics

    PubMed Central

    Vlek, P. L. G.; Kühne, R. F.; Denich, M.

    1997-01-01

    For the foreseeable future a majority of the population, and almost all the mal- and under-nourished, will continue to be found in the tropics and subtropics. Food security in these parts of the world will have to be met largely from local resources. The productivity of the land is to a large extent determined by the fertlity of the soil, which in turn is mostly determined by its organic matter content and stored nutrients. Soil organic matter is readily lost when organic matter inputs are reduced upon cultivation and more so upon intensification. The concomitant loss of topsoil and possible exposure of subsoil acidity may cause further soil degradation.
    Plant nutrients to replenish what is yearly taken from the soil to meet the demands for food and fibre amount to 230 million tonnes (Mt). Current fertilizer consumption stands at about 130 Mt of N, P2O5,and K2O, supplemented by an estimated 90 Mt of N from biological nitrogen fixation worldwide. Although 80 per cent of the population lives in the developing world, only half the world's fertilizer is consumed there. Yet, as much as 50% of the increase in agricultural productivity in the developing world is due to the adoption of fertilizers. World population growth will cause a doubling in these nutrients requirements for the developing world by 2020, which, in the likely case of inadequate production, will need to be met from soil reserves. Because expansion of the cultivable land area is reaching its limits, the reliance on nutrient inputs and their efficient use is bound to grow.
    With current urban expansion, nutrients in harvested products are increasingly lost from the rural environment as a whole. Estimates of soil nutrient depletion rates for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are alarmingly high. The situation may be more favourable in Latin America and Asia where fertilizer inputs are tenfold those of SSA. Closing the nutrient cycle at a community level in rural areas may be tedious; on an inter-regional level

  16. Biotechnological advancement in genetic improvement of broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica), an important vegetable crop.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Pankaj; Srivastava, Dinesh Kumar

    2016-07-01

    With the advent of molecular biotechnology, plant genetic engineering techniques have opened an avenue for the genetic improvement of important vegetable crops. Vegetable crop productivity and quality are seriously affected by various biotic and abiotic stresses which destabilize rural economies in many countries. Moreover, absence of proper post-harvest storage and processing facilities leads to qualitative and quantitative losses. In the past four decades, conventional breeding has significantly contributed to the improvement of vegetable yields, quality, post-harvest life, and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. However, there are many constraints in conventional breeding, which can only be overcome by advancements made in modern biology. Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) is an important vegetable crop, of the family Brassicaceae; however, various biotic and abiotic stresses cause enormous crop yield losses during the commercial cultivation of broccoli. Thus, genetic engineering can be used as a tool to add specific characteristics to existing cultivars. However, a pre-requisite for transferring genes into plants is the availability of efficient regeneration and transformation techniques. Recent advances in plant genetic engineering provide an opportunity to improve broccoli in many aspects. The goal of this review is to summarize genetic transformation studies on broccoli to draw the attention of researchers and scientists for its further genetic advancement.

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

    PubMed

    Herman, Rod A; Price, William D

    2013-12-04

    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.

  18. Could crop height affect the wind resource at agriculturally productive wind farm sites?

    DOE PAGES

    Vanderwende, Brian; Lundquist, Julie K.

    2015-11-07

    The collocation of cropland and wind turbines in the US Midwest region introduces complex meteorological interactions that could influence both agriculture and wind-power production. Crop management practices may affect the wind resource through alterations of land-surface properties. We use the weather research and forecasting (WRF) model to estimate the impact of crop height variations on the wind resource in the presence of a large turbine array. A hypothetical wind farm consisting of 121 1.8-MW turbines is represented using the WRF model wind-farm parametrization. We represent the impact of selecting soybeans rather than maize by altering the aerodynamic roughness length inmore » a region approximately 65 times larger than that occupied by the turbine array. Roughness lengths of 0.1 and 0.25 m represent the mature soy crop and a mature maize crop, respectively. In all but the most stable atmospheric conditions, statistically significant hub-height wind-speed increases and rotor-layer wind-shear reductions result from switching from maize to soybeans. Based on simulations for the entire month of August 2013, wind-farm energy output increases by 14 %, which would yield a significant monetary gain. Further investigation is required to determine the optimal size, shape, and crop height of the roughness modification to maximize the economic benefit and minimize the cost of such crop-management practices. As a result, these considerations must be balanced by other influences on crop choice such as soil requirements and commodity prices.« less

  19. An overview of genetically modified crop governance, issues and challenges in Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Andrew, Johnny; Ismail, Normaz Wana; Djama, Marcel

    2017-09-12

    The application of agricultural biotechnology attracts the interest of many stakeholders. Genetically modified (GM) crops, for example, have been rapidly increasing in production for the last 20 years. Despite their known benefits, GM crops also pose many concerns not only to human and animal health but also to the environment. Malaysia, in general, allows the use of GM technology applications but it has to come with precautionary and safety measures consistent with the international obligations and domestic legal frameworks. This paper provides an overview of GM crop technology from international and national context and explores the governance and issues surrounding this technology application in Malaysia. Basically, GM research activities in Malaysia are still at an early stage of research and development and most of the GM crops approved for release are limited for food, feed and processing purposes. Even though Malaysia has not planted any GM crops commercially, actions toward such a direction seem promising. Several issues concerning GM crops as discussed in this paper will become more complex as the number of GM crops and varieties commercialised globally increase and Malaysia starts to plant GM crops. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  20. 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.

  1. A Meta-Analysis of the Impacts of Genetically Modified Crops

    PubMed Central

    Klümper, Wilhelm; Qaim, Matin

    2014-01-01

    Background Despite the rapid adoption of genetically modified (GM) crops by farmers in many countries, controversies about this technology continue. Uncertainty about GM crop impacts is one reason for widespread public suspicion. Objective We carry out a meta-analysis of the agronomic and economic impacts of GM crops to consolidate the evidence. Data Sources Original studies for inclusion were identified through keyword searches in ISI Web of Knowledge, Google Scholar, EconLit, and AgEcon Search. Study Eligibility Criteria Studies were included when they build on primary data from farm surveys or field trials anywhere in the world, and when they report impacts of GM soybean, maize, or cotton on crop yields, pesticide use, and/or farmer profits. In total, 147 original studies were included. Synthesis Methods Analysis of mean impacts and meta-regressions to examine factors that influence outcomes. Results On average, GM technology adoption has reduced chemical pesticide use by 37%, increased crop yields by 22%, and increased farmer profits by 68%. Yield gains and pesticide reductions are larger for insect-resistant crops than for herbicide-tolerant crops. Yield and profit gains are higher in developing countries than in developed countries. Limitations Several of the original studies did not report sample sizes and measures of variance. Conclusion The meta-analysis reveals robust evidence of GM crop benefits for farmers in developed and developing countries. Such evidence may help to gradually increase public trust in this technology. PMID:25365303

  2. Genetically Modified Herbicide-Tolerant Crops, Weeds, and Herbicides: Overview and Impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonny, Sylvie

    2016-01-01

    Genetically modified (GM) crops have been and continue to be a subject of controversy despite their rapid adoption by farmers where approved. For the last two decades, an important matter of debate has been their impact on pesticide use, particularly for herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops. Some claim that these crops bring about a decrease in herbicide use, while others claim the opposite. In fact, since 1996, most cultivated GMOs have been GMHT crops, which involve the use of an associated herbicide, generally glyphosate. In their very first years of adoption, HT crops often led to some decrease in herbicide use. However, the repetition of glyphosate-tolerant crops and of glyphosate only applications in the same fields without sufficient alternation and herbicide diversity has contributed to the appearance of glyphosate-resistant weeds. These weeds have resulted in a rise in the use of glyphosate and other herbicides. This article explores this situation and the impacts of herbicide-resistant weeds, using an interdisciplinary approach and drawing on recent data. The paper analyzes the spread of GMHT crops worldwide and their consequences on herbicide use in the USA in particular. It then addresses the global development of glyphosate-resistant weeds and their impact, particularly focusing on the USA. Finally, the last section explores how industry, farmers, and weed scientists are coping with the spread of resistant weeds. The concluding comments deal more widely with trends in GM crops.

  3. Genetically Modified Herbicide-Tolerant Crops, Weeds, and Herbicides: Overview and Impact.

    PubMed

    Bonny, Sylvie

    2016-01-01

    Genetically modified (GM) crops have been and continue to be a subject of controversy despite their rapid adoption by farmers where approved. For the last two decades, an important matter of debate has been their impact on pesticide use, particularly for herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops. Some claim that these crops bring about a decrease in herbicide use, while others claim the opposite. In fact, since 1996, most cultivated GMOs have been GMHT crops, which involve the use of an associated herbicide, generally glyphosate. In their very first years of adoption, HT crops often led to some decrease in herbicide use. However, the repetition of glyphosate-tolerant crops and of glyphosate only applications in the same fields without sufficient alternation and herbicide diversity has contributed to the appearance of glyphosate-resistant weeds. These weeds have resulted in a rise in the use of glyphosate and other herbicides. This article explores this situation and the impacts of herbicide-resistant weeds, using an interdisciplinary approach and drawing on recent data. The paper analyzes the spread of GMHT crops worldwide and their consequences on herbicide use in the USA in particular. It then addresses the global development of glyphosate-resistant weeds and their impact, particularly focusing on the USA. Finally, the last section explores how industry, farmers, and weed scientists are coping with the spread of resistant weeds. The concluding comments deal more widely with trends in GM crops.

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

    PubMed Central

    Sinebo, Woldeyesus; Maredia, Karim

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT 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

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

    PubMed

    Sinebo, Woldeyesus; Maredia, Karim

    2016-01-02

    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

  6. Fuelling genetic and metabolic exploration of C3 bioenergy crops through the first reference transcriptome of Arundo donax L.

    PubMed Central

    Sablok, Gaurav; Fu, Yuan; Bobbio, Valentina; Laura, Marina; Rotino, Giuseppe L; Bagnaresi, Paolo; Allavena, Andrea; Velikova, Violeta; Viola, Roberto; Loreto, Francesco; Li, Mingai; Varotto, Claudio

    2014-01-01

    The development of inexpensive and highly productive biomass sources of biofuel is a priority in global climate change biology. Arundo donax, also known as the giant reed, is recognized as one of the most promising nonfood bioenergy crops in Europe. Despite its relevance, to date no genomic resources are available to support the characterization of the developmental, adaptive and metabolic traits underlying the high productivity of this nonmodel species. We hereby present the first report on the de novo assembly of bud, culm, leaf and root transcriptomes of A. donax, which can be accessed through a customized BLAST server (http://ecogenomics.fmach.it/arundo/) for mining and exploring the genetic potential of this species. Based on functional annotation and homology comparison to 19 prospective biofuel Poaceae species, we provide the first genomic view of this so far unexplored crop and indicate the model species with highest potential for comparative genomics approaches. The analysis of the transcriptome reveals strong differences in the enrichment of the Gene Ontology categories and the relative expression among different organs, which can guide future efforts for functional genomics or genetic improvement of A. donax. A set of homologs to key genes involved in lignin, cellulose, starch, lipid metabolism and in the domestication of other crops is discussed to provide a platform for possible enhancement of productivity and saccharification efficiency in A. donax.

  7. Registration of Dicamba for Use on Genetically Engineered Crops

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    EPA has registered a new dicamba formulation, Extendimax™ with VaporGrip™, specifically designed to have lower volatility, to control weeds in cotton and soybean plants that have been genetically engineered (GE) to resist dicamba.

  8. Genetic mechanisms of abiotic stress tolerance that translate to crop yield stability.

    PubMed

    Mickelbart, Michael V; Hasegawa, Paul M; Bailey-Serres, Julia

    2015-04-01

    Crop yield reduction as a consequence of increasingly severe climatic events threatens global food security. Genetic loci that ensure productivity in challenging environments exist within the germplasm of crops, their wild relatives and species that are adapted to extreme environments. Selective breeding for the combination of beneficial loci in germplasm has improved yields in diverse environments throughout the history of agriculture. An effective new paradigm is the targeted identification of specific genetic determinants of stress adaptation that have evolved in nature and their precise introgression into elite varieties. These loci are often associated with distinct regulation or function, duplication and/or neofunctionalization of genes that maintain plant homeostasis.

  9. Human Genetics: Educational Resources for the Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greendale, Karen; And Others

    1982-01-01

    Potential sources of information and assistance on human genetics are identified, including a brief description of the National Clearinghouse for Human Genetic Diseases, genetic service centers, voluntary groups, state programs, commercial procedures, workshops, speakers, curriculum development aids, and general references. (DC)

  10. Human Genetics: Educational Resources for the Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greendale, Karen; And Others

    1982-01-01

    Potential sources of information and assistance on human genetics are identified, including a brief description of the National Clearinghouse for Human Genetic Diseases, genetic service centers, voluntary groups, state programs, commercial procedures, workshops, speakers, curriculum development aids, and general references. (DC)

  11. ASSESSING POSSIBLE ECOLOGICAL RISKS OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS: GENE EXPRESSION ASSAYS AND GENETIC MONITORING OF NON-TARGET ORGANISMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Widespread planting of genetically modified crops with the Bt transgene pesticide has led to concern over non-target effects of Bt compounds in agroecosystems. While some research suggests that non-target organisms exposed to Bt toxin exhibit reduced fecundity and increased morta...

  12. ASSESSING POSSIBLE ECOLOGICAL RISKS OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS: GENE EXPRESSION ASSAYS AND GENETIC MONITORING OF NON-TARGET ORGANISMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Widespread planting of genetically modified crops with the Bt transgene pesticide has led to concern over non-target effects of Bt compounds in agroecosystems. While some research suggests that non-target organisms exposed to Bt toxin exhibit reduced fecundity and increased morta...

  13. 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.

  14. Exploring Broad Genetic Resources Available to Sugarcane

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) is used for sugar and energy. It has a high photosynthetic efficiency and is one of the most productive crops globally. Breeders of energycane and sugarcane have overlapping goals in creating cultivars that resist biotic and abiotic stresses. The World Collection of Sugarc...

  15. Cryopreservation of strawberry genetic resources in Germany

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The National German Strawberry Genebank includes 369 cultivars and the active field collection in Dresden-Pillnitz also contains 318 Fragaria wild species accessions. Conservation of clonal crops requires safety duplication. An earlier calculation of the effort required to establish and maintain a s...

  16. Is genetically modified crop the answer for the next green revolution?

    PubMed

    Basu, Saikat Kumar; Dutta, Madhuleema; Goyal, Aakash; Bhowmik, Pankaj Kumar; Kumar, Jitendra; Nandy, Sanjib; Scagliusi, Sandra Mansun; Prasad, Rajib

    2010-01-01

    Post-green revolution advances made in biotechnology paved the way of cultivating the high-yielding, stress and disease resistant genetically modified (GM) varieties of wheat, rice, maize cotton and several other crops. The recent rapid commercialization of the genetically modified crops in Asia, Americas and Australia indicates the potentiality of this new technology. GM crops give higher yields and are rich in nutritional values containing vitamins and minerals and can thus can help to alleviate hunger and malnutrition of the growing population in the under developed and developing countries. It could also be possible to develop more biotic and abiotic stress resistant genotypes in these crops where it was difficult to develop due to the unavailability of genes of resistance in the crossing germplasms. However, further research and investigations are needed to popularize the cultivation of these crops in different parts of the world. This review provides an insight of the impact of GM crops on contemporary agriculture across the past few decades, traces its' history across time, highlights new achievements and breakthroughs and discusses the future implication of this powerful technology in the coming few decades.

  17. Integration of georeferencing, habitat, sampling, and genetic data for documentation of wild plant genetic resources

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Plant genetic resource collections provide novel materials to the breeding and research communities. Availability of detailed documentation of passport, phenotypic, and genetic data increases the value of the genebank accessions. Inclusion of georeferenced sources, habitats, and sampling data in co...

  18. Exploitation of physiological and genetic variability to enhance crop productivity

    SciTech Connect

    Harper, J.E.; Schrader, L.E.; Howell, R.W.

    1985-01-01

    The American Society of Plant Physiologists recognizes the need to identify primary physiological limitations to crop productivity. This basic information is essential to facilitate and accelerate progress towards the goal of enhanced productivity on a global scale. Plant breeders currently select for desirable physiological traits intuitively by selecting for enhanced yield capability. Identification of specific physiological limitations by plant physiologists could potentially foster interdisciplinary research and accelerate progress in breeding for improved cultivars. The recent upsurge in research interest and funding in the area of biotechnology further exemplifies the importance of identification of specific physiological traits which may be amenable to manipulation at the molecular as well as the whole plant level. The theme of this symposium was to focus attention on current progress in identification of possible physiological limitations. The purpose of this publication is to document that progress and hopefully to extend the stimulating ideas to those who were unable to attend the symposium.

  19. Genetic improvement for root growth angle to enhance crop production

    PubMed Central

    Uga, Yusaku; Kitomi, Yuka; Ishikawa, Satoru; Yano, Masahiro

    2015-01-01

    The root system is an essential organ for taking up water and nutrients and anchoring shoots to the ground. On the other hand, the root system has rarely been regarded as breeding target, possibly because it is more laborious and time-consuming to evaluate roots (which require excavation) in a large number of plants than aboveground tissues. The root growth angle (RGA), which determines the direction of root elongation in the soil, affects the area in which roots capture water and nutrients. In this review, we describe the significance of RGA as a potential trait to improve crop production, and the physiological and molecular mechanisms that regulate RGA. We discuss the prospects for breeding to improve RGA based on current knowledge of quantitative trait loci for RGA in rice. PMID:26069440

  20. Whole-genome sequencing reveals untapped genetic potential in Africa’s indigenous cereal crop sorghum

    PubMed Central

    Mace, Emma S.; Tai, Shuaishuai; Gilding, Edward K.; Li, Yanhong; Prentis, Peter J.; Bian, Lianle; Campbell, Bradley C.; Hu, Wushu; Innes, David J.; Han, Xuelian; Cruickshank, Alan; Dai, Changming; Frère, Céline; Zhang, Haikuan; Hunt, Colleen H.; Wang, Xianyuan; Shatte, Tracey; Wang, Miao; Su, Zhe; Li, Jun; Lin, Xiaozhen; Godwin, Ian D.; Jordan, David R.; Wang, Jun

    2013-01-01

    Sorghum is a food and feed cereal crop adapted to heat and drought and a staple for 500 million of the world’s poorest people. Its small diploid genome and phenotypic diversity make it an ideal C4 grass model as a complement to C3 rice. Here we present high coverage (16–45 × ) resequenced genomes of 44 sorghum lines representing the primary gene pool and spanning dimensions of geographic origin, end-use and taxonomic group. We also report the first resequenced genome of S. propinquum, identifying 8 M high-quality SNPs, 1.9 M indels and specific gene loss and gain events in S. bicolor. We observe strong racial structure and a complex domestication history involving at least two distinct domestication events. These assembled genomes enable the leveraging of existing cereal functional genomics data against the novel diversity available in sorghum, providing an unmatched resource for the genetic improvement of sorghum and other grass species. PMID:23982223

  1. Gene flow in genetically altered crops helps progress transgenic turfgrass.

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Numerous useful traits are being imparted into transgenic and non-transgenic plants. Gene flow as indicated in a recent publication from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST 2007) is the successful transfer of genetic information between different individuals, populations, and g...

  2. Population genetics of genomics-based crop improvement methods

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Many researchers in genome-wide associations studies (GWAS) in humans are concluding that, even with very large sample sizes and high marker densities, most of the genetic basis of complex traits may remain unexplained. At the same time, recent research in plant GWAS is showing much greater success...

  3. Genetic engineering of energy crops: a strategy for biofuel production in China.

    PubMed

    Xie, Guosheng; Peng, Liangcai

    2011-02-01

    Biomass utilization is increasingly considered as a practical way for sustainable energy supply and long-term environment care around the world. In concerns with food security in China, starch or sugar-based bioethanol and edible-oil-derived biodiesel are harshly restricted for large scale production. However, conversion of lignocellulosic residues from food crops is a potential alternative. Because of its recalcitrance, current biomass process is unacceptably expensive, but genetic breeding of energy crops is a promising solution. To meet the need, energy crops are defined with a high yield for both food and biofuel purposes. In this review, main grasses (rice, wheat, maize, sorghum and miscanthus) are evaluated for high biomass production, the principles are discussed on modification of plant cell walls that lead to efficient biomass degradation and conversion, and the related biotechnologies are proposed in terms of energy crop selection. © 2011 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  4. Genetically modified crops for the bioeconomy: meeting public and regulatory expectations.

    PubMed

    Chapotin, Saharah Moon; Wolt, Jeffrey D

    2007-12-01

    As the United States moves toward a plant-based bioeconomy, a large research and development effort is focused on creating new feedstocks to meet biomass demand for biofuels, bioenergy, and specialized bioproducts, such as industrial compounds and biomaterial precursors. Most bioeconomy projections assume the widespread deployment of novel feedstocks developed through the use of modern molecular breeding techniques, but rarely consider the challenges involved with the use of genetically modified crops, which can include hurdles due to regulatory approvals, market adoption, and public acceptance. In this paper we consider the implications of various transgenic crops and traits under development for the bioeconomy that highlight these challenges. We believe that an awareness of the issues in crop and trait selection will allow developers to design crops with maximum stakeholder appeal and with the greatest potential for widespread adoption, while avoiding applications unlikely to meet regulatory approval or gain market and public acceptance.

  5. Real-time PCR array as a universal platform for the detection of genetically modified crops and its application in identifying unapproved genetically modified crops in Japan.

    PubMed

    Mano, Junichi; Shigemitsu, Natsuki; Futo, Satoshi; Akiyama, Hiroshi; Teshima, Reiko; Hino, Akihiro; Furui, Satoshi; Kitta, Kazumi

    2009-01-14

    We developed a novel type of real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) array with TaqMan chemistry as a platform for the comprehensive and semiquantitative detection of genetically modified (GM) crops. Thirty primer-probe sets for the specific detection of GM lines, recombinant DNA (r-DNA) segments, endogenous reference genes, and donor organisms were synthesized, and a 96-well PCR plate was prepared with a different primer-probe in each well as the real-time PCR array. The specificity and sensitivity of the array were evaluated. A comparative analysis with the data and publicly available information on GM crops approved in Japan allowed us to assume the possibility of unapproved GM crop contamination. Furthermore, we designed a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet application, Unapproved GMO Checker version 2.01, which helps process all the data of real-time PCR arrays for the easy assumption of unapproved GM crop contamination. The spreadsheet is available free of charge at http://cse.naro.affrc.go.jp/jmano/index.html .

  6. 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.

  7. Lab to Farm: Applying Research on Plant Genetics and Genomics to Crop Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Ronald, Pamela C.

    2014-01-01

    Over the last 300 years, plant science research has provided important knowledge and technologies for advancing the sustainability of agriculture. In this Essay, I describe how basic research advances have been translated into crop improvement, explore some lessons learned, and discuss the potential for current and future contribution of plant genetic improvement technologies to continue to enhance food security and agricultural sustainability. PMID:24915201

  8. Importance of genetic diversity assessment in crop plants and its recent advances: an overview of its analytical perspectives.

    PubMed

    Govindaraj, M; Vetriventhan, M; Srinivasan, M

    2015-01-01

    The importance of plant genetic diversity (PGD) is now being recognized as a specific area since exploding population with urbanization and decreasing cultivable lands are the critical factors contributing to food insecurity in developing world. Agricultural scientists realized that PGD can be captured and stored in the form of plant genetic resources (PGR) such as gene bank, DNA library, and so forth, in the biorepository which preserve genetic material for long period. However, conserved PGR must be utilized for crop improvement in order to meet future global challenges in relation to food and nutritional security. This paper comprehensively reviews four important areas; (i) the significance of plant genetic diversity (PGD) and PGR especially on agriculturally important crops (mostly field crops); (ii) risk associated with narrowing the genetic base of current commercial cultivars and climate change; (iii) analysis of existing PGD analytical methods in pregenomic and genomic era; and (iv) modern tools available for PGD analysis in postgenomic era. This discussion benefits the plant scientist community in order to use the new methods and technology for better and rapid assessment, for utilization of germplasm from gene banks to their applied breeding programs. With the advent of new biotechnological techniques, this process of genetic manipulation is now being accelerated and carried out with more precision (neglecting environmental effects) and fast-track manner than the classical breeding techniques. It is also to note that gene banks look into several issues in order to improve levels of germplasm distribution and its utilization, duplication of plant identity, and access to database, for prebreeding activities. Since plant breeding research and cultivar development are integral components of improving food production, therefore, availability of and access to diverse genetic sources will ensure that the global food production network becomes more sustainable

  9. Importance of Genetic Diversity Assessment in Crop Plants and Its Recent Advances: An Overview of Its Analytical Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Govindaraj, M.; Vetriventhan, M.; Srinivasan, M.

    2015-01-01

    The importance of plant genetic diversity (PGD) is now being recognized as a specific area since exploding population with urbanization and decreasing cultivable lands are the critical factors contributing to food insecurity in developing world. Agricultural scientists realized that PGD can be captured and stored in the form of plant genetic resources (PGR) such as gene bank, DNA library, and so forth, in the biorepository which preserve genetic material for long period. However, conserved PGR must be utilized for crop improvement in order to meet future global challenges in relation to food and nutritional security. This paper comprehensively reviews four important areas; (i) the significance of plant genetic diversity (PGD) and PGR especially on agriculturally important crops (mostly field crops); (ii) risk associated with narrowing the genetic base of current commercial cultivars and climate change; (iii) analysis of existing PGD analytical methods in pregenomic and genomic era; and (iv) modern tools available for PGD analysis in postgenomic era. This discussion benefits the plant scientist community in order to use the new methods and technology for better and rapid assessment, for utilization of germplasm from gene banks to their applied breeding programs. With the advent of new biotechnological techniques, this process of genetic manipulation is now being accelerated and carried out with more precision (neglecting environmental effects) and fast-track manner than the classical breeding techniques. It is also to note that gene banks look into several issues in order to improve levels of germplasm distribution and its utilization, duplication of plant identity, and access to database, for prebreeding activities. Since plant breeding research and cultivar development are integral components of improving food production, therefore, availability of and access to diverse genetic sources will ensure that the global food production network becomes more sustainable

  10. Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation of yam (Dioscorea rotundata): an important tool for functional study of genes and crop improvement

    PubMed Central

    Nyaboga, Evans; Tripathi, Jaindra N.; Manoharan, Rajesh; Tripathi, Leena

    2014-01-01

    Although genetic transformation of clonally propagated crops has been widely studied as a tool for crop improvement and as a vital part of the development of functional genomics resources, there has been no report of any existing Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of yam (Dioscorea spp.) with evidence of stable integration of T-DNA. Yam is an important crop in the tropics and subtropics providing food security and income to over 300 million people. However, yam production remains constrained by increasing levels of field and storage pests and diseases. A major constraint to the development of biotechnological approaches for yam improvement has been the lack of an efficient and robust transformation and regeneration system. In this study, we developed an Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of Dioscorea rotundata using axillary buds as explants. Two cultivars of D. rotundata were transformed using Agrobacterium tumefaciens harboring the binary vectors containing selectable marker and reporter genes. After selection with appropriate concentrations of antibiotic, shoots were developed on shoot induction and elongation medium. The elongated antibiotic-resistant shoots were subsequently rooted on medium supplemented with selection agent. Successful transformation was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction, Southern blot analysis, and reporter genes assay. Expression of gusA gene in transgenic plants was also verified by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis. Transformation efficiency varied from 9.4 to 18.2% depending on the cultivars, selectable marker genes, and the Agrobacterium strain used for transformation. It took 3–4 months from Agro-infection to regeneration of complete transgenic plant. Here we report an efficient, fast and reproducible protocol for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of D. rotundata using axillary buds as explants, which provides a useful platform for future genetic engineering studies in this economically important

  11. Supporting crop pollinators with floral resources: network-based phenological matching

    PubMed Central

    Russo, Laura; DeBarros, Nelson; Yang, Suann; Shea, Katriona; Mortensen, David

    2013-01-01

    The production of diverse and affordable agricultural crop species depends on pollination services provided by bees. Indeed, the proportion of pollinator-dependent crops is increasing globally. Agriculture relies heavily on the domesticated honeybee; the services provided by this single species are under threat and becoming increasingly costly. Importantly, the free pollination services provided by diverse wild bee communities have been shown to be sufficient for high agricultural yields in some systems. However, stable, functional wild bee communities require floral resources, such as pollen and nectar, throughout their active season, not just when crop species are in flower. To target floral provisioning efforts to conserve and support native and managed bee species, we apply network theoretical methods incorporating plant and pollinator phenologies. Using a two-year dataset comprising interactions between bees (superfamily Apoidea, Anthophila) and 25 native perennial plant species in floral provisioning habitat, we identify plant and bee species that provide a key and central role to the stability of the structure of this community. We also examine three specific case studies: how provisioning habitat can provide temporally continuous support for honeybees (Apis mellifera) and bumblebees (Bombus impatiens), and how resource supplementation strategies might be designed for a single genus of important orchard pollinators (Osmia). This framework could be used to provide native bee communities with additional, well-targeted floral resources to ensure that they not only survive, but also thrive. PMID:24101999

  12. AFLP analysis of genetic diversity in charcoal rot fungal populations impacted by crop rotations.

    PubMed

    Brooker, N; Lord, J R; Long, J; Jayawardhana, A

    2008-01-01

    The application of molecular markers enables scientists to clarify the genetic relationships among fungi who are difficult to classify or partition into sub-species using traditional morphological or physiological criteria. One such fungus is Macrophomina phaseolina, a plant pathogenic soil-borne fungus that is the causative agent of Charcoal Rot on soybeans and 500 other plant species world-wide. This plant pathogenic fungus is a very heterogeneous species and disease population dynamics and pathogen genetic diversity are poorly understood. Using a multi-variant Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) approach for the analysis of genomic data, valuable insight into cultural and environmental pressures that shape the fungal genome was possible. Fungal isolates from 12-year rotated field plots ranging from 1-3 years of crop rotations of the same plant type(s), rotation duration and plant maturity groups provided a unique opportunity to survey M. phaseolina isolates taken from the different crop rotation conditions. Using different data interval partitioning of amplified restriction fragments it was possible to see trends associated with the specific cropping history of the fungal isolates. AFLP neutral primers of intermediate and large amplified products using 20-bp intervals were the most efficient and reliable for demonstrating intra-population dynamics. Results indicate that the highest amount of M. phaseolina genetic diversity was conclusively found in fungal isolates taken from three-year rotation plots. Lesser amounts of genetic diversity were found in two-year rotated and non-rotated fungal isolates. Insight gained from this study may now be incorporated into a larger understanding of how crop rotation and the availability of hosts shape and influence the genetic variability within Macrophomina isolates and populations. This information can then be used to make better-informed decisions regarding crop protection strategies against this diverse and

  13. Genetic diversity and population structure of an important wild berry crop

    PubMed Central

    Zoratti, Laura; Palmieri, Luisa; Jaakola, Laura; Häggman, Hely

    2015-01-01

    The success of plant breeding in the coming years will be associated with access to new sources of variation, which will include landraces and wild relatives of crop species. In order to access the reservoir of favourable alleles within wild germplasm, knowledge about the genetic diversity and the population structure of wild species is needed. Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) is one of the most important wild crops growing in the forests of Northern European countries, noted for its nutritional properties and its beneficial effects on human health. Assessment of the genetic diversity of wild bilberry germplasm is needed for efforts such as in situ conservation, on-farm management and development of plant breeding programmes. However, to date, only a few local (small-scale) genetic studies of this species have been performed. We therefore conducted a study of genetic variability within 32 individual samples collected from different locations in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Germany, and analysed genetic diversity among geographic groups. Four selected inter-simple sequence repeat primers allowed the amplification of 127 polymorphic loci which, based on analysis of variance, made it possible to identify 85 % of the genetic diversity within studied bilberry populations, being in agreement with the mixed-mating system of bilberry. Significant correlations were obtained between geographic and genetic distances for the entire set of samples. The analyses also highlighted the presence of a north–south genetic gradient, which is in accordance with recent findings on phenotypic traits of bilberry. PMID:26483325

  14. Energy sorghum--a genetic model for the design of C4 grass bioenergy crops.

    PubMed

    Mullet, John; Morishige, Daryl; McCormick, Ryan; Truong, Sandra; Hilley, Josie; McKinley, Brian; Anderson, Robert; Olson, Sara N; Rooney, William

    2014-07-01

    Sorghum is emerging as an excellent genetic model for the design of C4 grass bioenergy crops. Annual energy Sorghum hybrids also serve as a source of biomass for bioenergy production. Elucidation of Sorghum's flowering time gene regulatory network, and identification of complementary alleles for photoperiod sensitivity, enabled large-scale generation of energy Sorghum hybrids for testing and commercial use. Energy Sorghum hybrids with long vegetative growth phases were found to accumulate more than twice as much biomass as grain Sorghum, owing to extended growing seasons, greater light interception, and higher radiation use efficiency. High biomass yield, efficient nitrogen recycling, and preferential accumulation of stem biomass with low nitrogen content contributed to energy Sorghum's elevated nitrogen use efficiency. Sorghum's integrated genetics-genomics-breeding platform, diverse germplasm, and the opportunity for annual testing of new genetic designs in controlled environments and in multiple field locations is aiding fundamental discovery, and accelerating the improvement of biomass yield and optimization of composition for biofuels production. Recent advances in wide hybridization between Sorghum and other C4 grasses could allow the deployment of improved genetic designs of annual energy Sorghums in the form of wide-hybrid perennial crops. The current trajectory of energy Sorghum genetic improvement indicates that it will be possible to sustainably produce biofuels from C4 grass bioenergy crops that are cost competitive with petroleum-based transportation fuels.

  15. Reproductive biotechnologies and management of animal genetic resources

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Global awareness has increased efforts to conserve animal genetic resources (AnGR). Ex-situ conservation and management of AnGR is exclusively dependent upon an array of reproductive and genetic biotechnologies. These technologies range from well established protocols, e.g., cryopreservation of sper...

  16. Increased production of nutriments by genetically engineered crops.

    PubMed

    Sévenier, Robert; van der Meer, Ingrid M; Bino, Raoul; Koops, Andries J

    2002-06-01

    Plants are the basis of human nutrition and have been selected and improved to assure this purpose. Nowadays, new technologies such as genetic engineering and genomics approaches allow further improvement of plants. We describe here three examples for which these techniques have been employed. We introduced the first enzyme involved in fructan synthesis, the sucrose sucrose fructosyltransferase (isolated from Jerusalem artichoke), into sugar beet. The transgenic sugar beet showed a dramatic change in the nature of the accumulated sugar, 90% of the sucrose being converted into fructan. The use of transgenic sugar beet for the production and isolation of fructans will result in a more efficient plant production system of fructans and should promote their use in human food. The second example shows how the over-expression of the key enzyme of flavonoid biosynthesis could increase anti-oxidant levels in tomato. Introduction of a highly expressed chalcone isomerase led to a seventyfold increase of the amount of quercetin glucoside, which is a strong anti-oxidant in tomato. We were also able to modify the essential amino acid content of potato in order to increase its nutritional value. The introduction of a feedback insensitive bacterial gene involved in biosynthesis of aspartate family amino acids led to a sixfold increase of the lysine content. Because the use of a bacterial gene could appear to be controversial, we also introduced a mutated form of the plant key enzyme of lysine biosynthesis (dihydrodipicolinate synthase) in potato. This modification led to a 15 times increase of the lysine content of potato. This increase of the essential amino acid lysine influences the nutritional value of potato, which normally has low levels of several essential amino acids. These three examples show how the metabolism of primary constituents of the plant cell such as sugar or amino acids, but also of secondary metabolites such as flavonoids, can be modified by genetic

  17. Transposable Elements and Genetic Instabilities in Crop Plants

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    Burr, B.; Burr, F.

    1981-04-10

    Transposable elements have long been associated with certain unstable loci in maize and have been intensively studied by McClintock and others. It is known that a transposable element can control the expression of the structural genes at the locus where it resides. These controlling elements in maize are now beginning to be studied at the molecular level. Using recombinant molecular probes we have been able to describe the changes induced by the controlling element Ds at the shrunken locus. Ds elements appear to be large and dissimilar insertions into the wild-type locus - two elements actually map within the transcribed region of the gene. Genetic instabilities have been described in other economically important plants but the bases for these phenomena have not been understood. We believe that it is likely that some of these instabilities are the result of transposable element activity much as in the case of maize.

  18. Transposable elements and genetic instabilities in crop plants

    SciTech Connect

    Burr, B.; Burr, F.

    1981-04-10

    Transposable elements have long been associated with certain unstable loci in maize and have been intensively studied by McClintock and others. It is known that a transposable element can control the expression of the structural genes at the locus where it resides. These controlling elements in maize are now beginning to be studied at the molecular level. Using recombinant molecular probes we have been able to describe the changes induced by the controlling element Ds at the shrunken locus. Ds elements appear to be large and dissimilar insertions into the wild-type locus - two elements actually map within the transcribed region of the gene. Genetic instabilities have been described in other economically important plants but the bases for these phenomena have not been understood. We believe that it is likely that some of these instabilities are the result of transposable element activity much as in the case of maize.

  19. Island-Model Genomic Selection for Long-Term Genetic Improvement of Autogamous Crops.

    PubMed

    Yabe, Shiori; Yamasaki, Masanori; Ebana, Kaworu; Hayashi, Takeshi; Iwata, Hiroyoshi

    2016-01-01

    Acceleration of genetic improvement of autogamous crops such as wheat and rice is necessary to increase cereal production in response to the global food crisis. Population and pedigree methods of breeding, which are based on inbred line selection, are used commonly in the genetic improvement of autogamous crops. These methods, however, produce a few novel combinations of genes in a breeding population. Recurrent selection promotes recombination among genes and produces novel combinations of genes in a breeding population, but it requires inaccurate single-plant evaluation for selection. Genomic selection (GS), which can predict genetic potential of individuals based on their marker genotype, might have high reliability of single-plant evaluation and might be effective in recurrent selection. To evaluate the efficiency of recurrent selection with GS, we conducted simulations using real marker genotype data of rice cultivars. Additionally, we introduced the concept of an "island model" inspired by evolutionary algorithms that might be useful to maintain genetic variation through the breeding process. We conducted GS simulations using real marker genotype data of rice cultivars to evaluate the efficiency of recurrent selection and the island model in an autogamous species. Results demonstrated the importance of producing novel combinations of genes through recurrent selection. An initial population derived from admixture of multiple bi-parental crosses showed larger genetic gains than a population derived from a single bi-parental cross in whole cycles, suggesting the importance of genetic variation in an initial population. The island-model GS better maintained genetic improvement in later generations than the other GS methods, suggesting that the island-model GS can utilize genetic variation in breeding and can retain alleles with small effects in the breeding population. The island-model GS will become a new breeding method that enhances the potential of genomic

  20. Island-Model Genomic Selection for Long-Term Genetic Improvement of Autogamous Crops

    PubMed Central

    Yabe, Shiori; Yamasaki, Masanori; Ebana, Kaworu; Hayashi, Takeshi; Iwata, Hiroyoshi

    2016-01-01

    Acceleration of genetic improvement of autogamous crops such as wheat and rice is necessary to increase cereal production in response to the global food crisis. Population and pedigree methods of breeding, which are based on inbred line selection, are used commonly in the genetic improvement of autogamous crops. These methods, however, produce a few novel combinations of genes in a breeding population. Recurrent selection promotes recombination among genes and produces novel combinations of genes in a breeding population, but it requires inaccurate single-plant evaluation for selection. Genomic selection (GS), which can predict genetic potential of individuals based on their marker genotype, might have high reliability of single-plant evaluation and might be effective in recurrent selection. To evaluate the efficiency of recurrent selection with GS, we conducted simulations using real marker genotype data of rice cultivars. Additionally, we introduced the concept of an “island model” inspired by evolutionary algorithms that might be useful to maintain genetic variation through the breeding process. We conducted GS simulations using real marker genotype data of rice cultivars to evaluate the efficiency of recurrent selection and the island model in an autogamous species. Results demonstrated the importance of producing novel combinations of genes through recurrent selection. An initial population derived from admixture of multiple bi-parental crosses showed larger genetic gains than a population derived from a single bi-parental cross in whole cycles, suggesting the importance of genetic variation in an initial population. The island-model GS better maintained genetic improvement in later generations than the other GS methods, suggesting that the island-model GS can utilize genetic variation in breeding and can retain alleles with small effects in the breeding population. The island-model GS will become a new breeding method that enhances the potential of

  1. Is genetic engineering ever going to take off in forage, turf and bioenergy crop breeding?

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zeng-Yu; Brummer, E. Charles

    2012-01-01

    Background Genetic engineering offers the opportunity to generate unique genetic variation that is either absent in the sexually compatible gene pool or has very low heritability. The generation of transgenic plants, coupled with breeding, has led to the production of widely used transgenic cultivars in several major cash crops, such as maize, soybean, cotton and canola. The process for regulatory approval of genetically engineered crops is slow and subject to extensive political interference. The situation in forage grasses and legumes is more complicated. Scope Most widely grown forage, turf and bioenergy species (e.g. tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, switchgrass, alfalfa, white clover) are highly self-incompatible and outcrossing. Compared with inbreeding species, they have a high potential to pass their genes to adjacent plants. A major biosafety concern in these species is pollen-mediated transgene flow. Because human consumption is indirect, risk assessment of transgenic forage, turf and bioenergy species has focused on their environmental or ecological impacts. Although significant progress has been made in genetic modification of these species, commercialization of transgenic cultivars is very limited because of the stringent and costly regulatory requirements. To date, the only transgenic forage crop deregulated in the US is ‘Roundup Ready’ (RR) alfalfa. The approval process for RR alfalfa was complicated, involving several rounds of regulation, deregulation and re-regulation. Nevertheless, commercialization of RR alfalfa is an important step forward in regulatory approval of a perennial outcrossing forage crop. As additional transgenic forage, turf and bioenergy crops are generated and tested, different strategies have been developed to meet regulatory requirements. Recent progress in risk assessment and deregulation of transgenic forage and turf species is summarized and discussed. PMID:22378838

  2. Is genetic engineering ever going to take off in forage, turf and bioenergy crop breeding?

    PubMed

    Wang, Zeng-Yu; Brummer, E Charles

    2012-11-01

    Genetic engineering offers the opportunity to generate unique genetic variation that is either absent in the sexually compatible gene pool or has very low heritability. The generation of transgenic plants, coupled with breeding, has led to the production of widely used transgenic cultivars in several major cash crops, such as maize, soybean, cotton and canola. The process for regulatory approval of genetically engineered crops is slow and subject to extensive political interference. The situation in forage grasses and legumes is more complicated. Most widely grown forage, turf and bioenergy species (e.g. tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, switchgrass, alfalfa, white clover) are highly self-incompatible and outcrossing. Compared with inbreeding species, they have a high potential to pass their genes to adjacent plants. A major biosafety concern in these species is pollen-mediated transgene flow. Because human consumption is indirect, risk assessment of transgenic forage, turf and bioenergy species has focused on their environmental or ecological impacts. Although significant progress has been made in genetic modification of these species, commercialization of transgenic cultivars is very limited because of the stringent and costly regulatory requirements. To date, the only transgenic forage crop deregulated in the US is 'Roundup Ready' (RR) alfalfa. The approval process for RR alfalfa was complicated, involving several rounds of regulation, deregulation and re-regulation. Nevertheless, commercialization of RR alfalfa is an important step forward in regulatory approval of a perennial outcrossing forage crop. As additional transgenic forage, turf and bioenergy crops are generated and tested, different strategies have been developed to meet regulatory requirements. Recent progress in risk assessment and deregulation of transgenic forage and turf species is summarized and discussed.

  3. The Implications of Growing Bioenergy Crops on Water Resources, Carbon and Nitrogen Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, A. K.; Song, Y.; Kheshgi, H. S.; Landuyt, W.

    2015-12-01

    The bioenergy crops, Corn, Miscanthus and switchgrass have a potential to meet future energy demands in the US and mitigate climate change by partially replacing fossil fuels. However, the large-scale cultivation of these bioenergy crops may also impact climate change through changes in albedo, evapotranspiration (ET), and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Whether these climate effects will mitigate or exacerbate climate change in the short and long terms is uncertain. The uncertainties come from our incomplete understanding of the effects of expanded bioenergy crop production on terrestrial water and energy balance, carbon and nitrogen dynamics, and their interactions. This study aims to understand the implications of growing large scale bioenergy crops on water resources, carbon and nitrogen dynamics in the United States using a data- modeling framework (ISAM) that we developed. Our study indicates that both Miscanthus and Cave-in-Rock switchgrass can attain high and stable yield over parts of the Midwest, however, this high production is attained at the cost of increased soil water loss as compared to current natural vegetation. Alamo switchgrass can attain high and stable yield in the southern US without significant influence on soil water quantity.

  4. The Implications of Growing Bioenergy Crops on Water Resources, Carbon and Nitrogen Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, A. K.; Song, Y.; Kheshgi, H. S.

    2016-12-01

    What is the potential for the crops Corn, Miscanthus and switchgrass to meet future energy demands in the U.S.A., and would they mitigate climate change by offsetting fossil fuel greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions? The large-scale cultivation of these bioenergy crops itself could also drive climate change through changes in albedo, evapotranspiration (ET), and GHG emissions. Whether these climate effects will mitigate or exacerbate climate change in the short- and long-term is uncertain. This uncertainty stems from our incomplete understanding of the effects of expanded bioenergy crop production on terrestrial water and energy balance, carbon and nitrogen dynamics, and their interactions. This study aims to understand the implications of growing large-scale bioenergy crops on water resources, carbon and nitrogen dynamics in the United States using a data-modeling framework (ISAM) that we developed. Our study indicates that both Miscanthus and Cave-in-Rock switchgrass can attain high and stable yield over parts of the Midwest, however, this high production is attained at the cost of increased soil water loss as compared to current natural vegetation. Alamo switchgrass can attain high and stable yield in the southern US without significant influence on soil water quantity.

  5. The Potential of Transcription Factor-Based Genetic Engineering in Improving Crop Tolerance to Drought

    PubMed Central

    Tripathi, Prateek

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Drought is one of the major constraints in crop production and has an effect on a global scale. In order to improve crop production, it is necessary to understand how plants respond to stress. A good understanding of regulatory mechanisms involved in plant responses during drought will enable researchers to explore and manipulate key regulatory points in order to enhance stress tolerance in crops. Transcription factors (TFs) have played an important role in crop improvement from the dawn of agriculture. TFs are therefore good candidates for genetic engineering to improve crop tolerance to drought because of their role as master regulators of clusters of genes. Many families of TFs, such as CCAAT, homeodomain, bHLH, NAC, AP2/ERF, bZIP, and WRKY have members that may have the potential to be tools for improving crop tolerance to drought. In this review, the roles of TFs as tools to improve drought tolerance in crops are discussed. The review also focuses on current strategies in the use of TFs, with emphasis on several major TF families in improving drought tolerance of major crops. Finally, many promising transgenic lines that may have improved drought responses have been poorly characterized and consequently their usefulness in the field is uncertain. New advances in high-throughput phenotyping, both greenhouse and field based, should facilitate improved phenomics of transgenic lines. Systems biology approaches should then define the underlying changes that result in higher yields under water stress conditions. These new technologies should help show whether manipulating TFs can have effects on yield under field conditions. PMID:25118806

  6. Genetic Architecture of Flowering Phenology in Cereals and Opportunities for Crop Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Camilla B.; Li, Chengdao

    2016-01-01

    Cereal crop species including bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), rice (Oryza sativa L.), and maize (Zea mays L.) provide the bulk of human nutrition and agricultural products for industrial use. These four cereals are central to meet future demands of food supply for an increasing world population under a changing climate. A prerequisite for cereal crop production is the transition from vegetative to reproductive and grain-filling phases starting with flower initiation, a key developmental switch tightly regulated in all flowering plants. Although studies in the dicotyledonous model plant Arabidopsis thaliana build the foundations of our current understanding of plant phenology genes and regulation, the availability of genome assemblies with high-confidence sequences for rice, maize, and more recently bread wheat and barley, now allow the identification of phenology-associated gene orthologs in monocots. Together with recent advances in next-generation sequencing technologies, QTL analysis, mutagenesis, complementation analysis, and RNA interference, many phenology genes have been functionally characterized in cereal crops and conserved as well as functionally divergent genes involved in flowering were found. Epigenetic and other molecular regulatory mechanisms that respond to environmental and endogenous triggers create an enormous plasticity in flowering behavior among cereal crops to ensure flowering is only induced under optimal conditions. In this review, we provide a summary of recent discoveries of flowering time regulators with an emphasis on four cereal crop species (bread wheat, barley, rice, and maize), in particular, crop-specific regulatory mechanisms and genes. In addition, pleiotropic effects on agronomically important traits such as grain yield, impact on adaptation to new growing environments and conditions, genetic sequence-based selection and targeted manipulation of phenology genes, as well as crop growth simulation

  7. Genetic Architecture of Flowering Phenology in Cereals and Opportunities for Crop Improvement.

    PubMed

    Hill, Camilla B; Li, Chengdao

    2016-01-01

    Cereal crop species including bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), rice (Oryza sativa L.), and maize (Zea mays L.) provide the bulk of human nutrition and agricultural products for industrial use. These four cereals are central to meet future demands of food supply for an increasing world population under a changing climate. A prerequisite for cereal crop production is the transition from vegetative to reproductive and grain-filling phases starting with flower initiation, a key developmental switch tightly regulated in all flowering plants. Although studies in the dicotyledonous model plant Arabidopsis thaliana build the foundations of our current understanding of plant phenology genes and regulation, the availability of genome assemblies with high-confidence sequences for rice, maize, and more recently bread wheat and barley, now allow the identification of phenology-associated gene orthologs in monocots. Together with recent advances in next-generation sequencing technologies, QTL analysis, mutagenesis, complementation analysis, and RNA interference, many phenology genes have been functionally characterized in cereal crops and conserved as well as functionally divergent genes involved in flowering were found. Epigenetic and other molecular regulatory mechanisms that respond to environmental and endogenous triggers create an enormous plasticity in flowering behavior among cereal crops to ensure flowering is only induced under optimal conditions. In this review, we provide a summary of recent discoveries of flowering time regulators with an emphasis on four cereal crop species (bread wheat, barley, rice, and maize), in particular, crop-specific regulatory mechanisms and genes. In addition, pleiotropic effects on agronomically important traits such as grain yield, impact on adaptation to new growing environments and conditions, genetic sequence-based selection and targeted manipulation of phenology genes, as well as crop growth simulation

  8. Swedish farmers attitudes, expectations and fears in relation to growing genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Lehrman, Anna; Johnson, Katy

    2008-01-01

    This study evaluates a survey about Swedish farmers' attitude towards genetically modified (GM) crops, and their perception concerning potential benefits and drawbacks that cropping of an insect resistant (IR) GM variety would involve. The questions were "tick a box" choices, included in a yearly omnibus survey sent to 1000 Swedish farmers (68% response rate). The results showed that a majority of the farmers were negative, although almost one third claimed to be neutral to GM crops. The farmers recognized several benefits both in terms of agricultural production and for the environment, but they were also highly concerned about the consumers' unwillingness to buy GM products. Farmers perceived an increase in yield, but nearly as many farmers thought that there would be no benefits with growing an IR GM crop. Several differences in hopes and concerns of the farmers surveyed were revealed when they were divided in positive, neutral and negative groups. Farmers negative to GM were more concerned than positive farmers about IR GM crops being dangerous for humans, livestock or other organisms to consume. GM-positive farmers seemed to be most concerned about potential problems with growing a marketable crop and expensive seeds, but saw a reduced health risk to the grower, due to less use of pesticides, as a possible benefit. The results among the GM-neutral farmers were in most cases closely related to the positive farmers' choices, implying that they believe that there are advantages with growing an IR GM crop, but also fear potential drawbacks. This general uncertainty about GM IR crops may prevent them from accepting the new technology.

  9. Responses of plants and invertebrate trophic groups to contrasting herbicide regimes in the Farm Scale Evaluations of genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops.

    PubMed Central

    Hawes, C; Haughton, A J; Osborne, J L; Roy, D B; Clark, S J; Perry, J N; Rothery, P; Bohan, D A; Brooks, D R; Champion, G T; Dewar, A M; Heard, M S; Woiwod, I P; Daniels, R E; Young, M W; Parish, A M; Scott, R J; Firbank, L G; Squire, G R

    2003-01-01

    Effects of genetically modified herbicide-tolerant (GMHT) and conventional crop management on invertebrate trophic groups (herbivores, detritivores, pollinators, predators and parasitoids) were compared in beet, maize and spring oilseed rape sites throughout the UK. These trophic groups were influenced by season, crop species and GMHT management. Many groups increased twofold to fivefold in abundance between early and late summer, and differed up to 10-fold between crop species. GMHT management superimposed relatively small (less than twofold), but consistent, shifts in plant and insect abundance, the extent and direction of these effects being dependent on the relative efficacies of comparable conventional herbicide regimes. In general, the biomass of weeds was reduced under GMHT management in beet and spring oilseed rape and increased in maize compared with conventional treatments. This change in resource availability had knock-on effects on higher trophic levels except in spring oilseed rape where herbivore resource was greatest. Herbivores, pollinators and natural enemies changed in abundance in the same directions as their resources, and detritivores increased in abundance under GMHT management across all crops. The result of the later herbicide application in GMHT treatments was a shift in resource from the herbivore food web to the detritivore food web. The Farm Scale Evaluations have demonstrated over 3 years and throughout the UK that herbivores, detritivores and many of their predators and parasitoids in arable systems are sensitive to the changes in weed communities that result from the introduction of new herbicide regimes. PMID:14561321

  10. Sunflower genetic, genomic, and ecological resources

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Long a major focus of genetic research and breeding, sunflowers (Helianthus) are emerging as an increasingly important experimental system for ecological and evolutionary studies. Here we review the various attributes of wild and domesticated sunflowers that make them valuable for ecological experim...

  11. Studies on Monitoring and Tracking Genetic Resources: An Executive Summary

    PubMed Central

    Garrity, George M.; Thompson, Lorraine M.; Ussery, David W.; Paskin, Norman; Baker, Dwight; Desmeth, Philippe; Schindel, D.E.; Ong, P.S.

    2009-01-01

    The principles underlying fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from the utilization of genetic resources are set out in Article 15 of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, which stipulate that access to genetic resources is subject to the prior informed consent of the country where such resources are located and to mutually agreed terms regarding the sharing of benefits that could be derived from such access. One issue of particular concern for provider countries is how to monitor and track genetic resources once they have left the provider country and enter into use in a variety of forms. This report was commissioned to provide a detailed review of advances in DNA sequencing technologies, as those methods apply to identification of genetic resources, and the use of globally unique persistent identifiers for persistently linking to data and other forms of digital documentation that is linked to individual genetic resources. While the report was written for an audience with a mixture of technical, legal, and policy backgrounds it is relevant to the genomics community as it is an example of downstream application of genomics information. PMID:21304641

  12. A novel approach to the use of genetically modified herbicide tolerant crops for environmental benefit.

    PubMed Central

    Dewar, Alan M; May, Mike J; Woiwod, Ian P; Haylock, Lisa A; Champion, Gillian T; Garner, Beulah H; Sands, Richard J N; Qi, Aiming; Pidgeon, John D

    2003-01-01

    The proposed introduction of genetically modified herbicide tolerant (GMHT) crops, with claims of improved weed control, has prompted fears about possible environmental impacts of their widespread adoption, particularly on arable weeds, insects and associated farmland birds. In response to this, we have developed a novel weed-management system for GMHT sugar beet, based on band spraying, which exploits the flexibility offered by the broad-spectrum partner herbicides. Here, we show the results from two series of field experiments which, taken together, demonstrate that, by using this system, crops can be managed for enhanced weed and insect biomass without compromising yield, thus potentially offering food and shelter to farmland birds and other wildlife. These results could be applicable widely to other row crops, and indicate that creative use of GMHT technology could be a powerful tool for developing more sustainable farming systems in the future. PMID:12639311

  13. Genetic approaches for improvement of the crop potassium acquisition and utilization efficiency.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yi; Wu, Wei-Hua

    2015-06-01

    Potassium (K) is one of the essential macronutrients for higher plants, not only important for plant growth and development, but also crucial for crop yield and quality. The deficiency in K in large areas of arable land worldwide has become a limitation for sustainable development of agriculture, and threatens the world food security. Along with the increased limitation of K fertilizer supply, the genetic improvement of K utilization efficiency (KUE) of crop plants may become a feasible way to solve the problem. K nutrition depends on an underlying relationship with metabolic regulation which together influence crop yield, quality and responses to environmental stress. Manipulation of root architecture together with K transport and distribution within the plant offer great potential to improve KUE.

  14. Partitioning of resources: the evolutionary genetics of sexual conflict over resource acquisition and allocation.

    PubMed

    Zajitschek, F; Connallon, T

    2017-04-01

    Fitness depends on both the resources that individuals acquire and the allocation of those resources to traits that influence survival and reproduction. Optimal resource allocation differs between females and males as a consequence of their fundamentally different reproductive strategies. However, because most traits have a common genetic basis between the sexes, conflicting selection between the sexes over resource allocation can constrain the evolution of optimal allocation within each sex, and generate trade-offs for fitness between them (i.e. 'sexual antagonism' or 'intralocus sexual conflict'). The theory of resource acquisition and allocation provides an influential framework for linking genetic variation in acquisition and allocation to empirical evidence of trade-offs between distinct life-history traits. However, these models have not considered the emergence of trade-offs within the context of sexual dimorphism, where they are expected to be particularly common. Here, we extend acquisition-allocation theory and develop a quantitative genetic framework for predicting genetically based trade-offs between life-history traits within sexes and between female and male fitness. Our models demonstrate that empirically measurable evidence of sexually antagonistic fitness variation should depend upon three interacting factors that may vary between populations: (1) the genetic variances and between-sex covariances for resource acquisition and allocation traits, (2) condition-dependent expression of resource allocation traits and (3) sex differences in selection on the allocation of resource to different fitness components.

  15. Saving Resources with Plagues in Genetic Algorithms

    SciTech Connect

    de Vega, F F; Cantu-Paz, E; Lopez, J I; Manzano, T

    2004-06-15

    The population size of genetic algorithms (GAs) affects the quality of the solutions and the time required to find them. While progress has been made in estimating the population sizes required to reach a desired solution quality for certain problems, in practice the sizing of populations is still usually performed by trial and error. These trials might lead to find a population that is large enough to reach a satisfactory solution, but there may still be opportunities to optimize the computational cost by reducing the size of the population. This paper presents a technique called plague that periodically removes a number of individuals from the population as the GA executes. Recently, the usefulness of the plague has been demonstrated for genetic programming. The objective of this paper is to extend the study of plagues to genetic algorithms. We experiment with deceptive trap functions, a tunable difficult problem for GAs, and the experiments show that plagues can save computational time while maintaining solution quality and reliability.

  16. Advancing human nutrition without degrading land resources through modeling cropping systems in the Ethiopian highlands.

    PubMed

    Amede, Tilahun; Stroud, Ann; Aune, Jens

    2004-12-01

    Food shortage in sub-Saharan Africa is generally considered a function of limited access to food, with little thought to nutritional quality. Analyzing household production of nutrients across farming systems could be valuable in guiding the improvement of those systems. An optimization model was employed to analyze the scenario of human nutrition and cropland allocation in enset (Enset ventricosum)/root crop-based and cereal-based systems of the Ethiopian Highlands. The type and amount of nutrients produced in each system were analyzed, and an optimization model was used to analyze which cropping strategies might improve the nutritional quality of the household using existing resources. Both production systems were in food deficit, in terms of quantity and quality of nutrients, except for iron. The energy supply of resource-poor households in the enset/root crop-based system was only 75% of the recommended daily dietary allowance (RDA) of the World Health Organization (WHO), whereas resource-rich farmers were able to meet their energy, protein, zinc, and thiamine demands. Extremely high deficiency was found in zinc, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, which provided only 26.5%, 34%, 1.78%, and 12%, of the RDA, respectively. The RDA could be satisfied if the land area occupied by enset, kale, and beans were expanded by about 20%, 10%, and 40%, respectively, at the expense of maize and sweet potato. The cereal-based system also had critical nutrient deficits in calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, which provided 30%, 2.5%, and 2% of the RDA, respectively. In the cereal system, the RDA could be fully satisfied by reducing cropland allocated to barley by about 50% and expanding the land area occupied by faba beans, kale, and enset. A shift from the cereal/root crop-dominated system to a perennial-enset dominated system would decrease soil erosion by improving the crop factor by about 45%. This shift would also have a very strong positive impact on soil fertility

  17. 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. © 2015 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. 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.

  19. Health effects of feeding genetically modified (GM) crops to livestock animals: A review.

    PubMed

    de Vos, Clazien J; Swanenburg, Manon

    2017-08-31

    A large share of genetically modified (GM) crops grown worldwide is processed into livestock feed. Feed safety of GM crops is primarily based on compositional equivalence with near-isogenic cultivars and experimental trials in rodents. However, feeding studies in target animals add to the evaluation of GM crops with respect to animal health. This review aimed to evaluate the possible health effects of feeding GM crops to livestock by reviewing scientific publications on experimental studies in ruminants, pigs, and poultry in which at least one of the following health parameters was investigated: body condition score, organ weight, haematology, serum biochemistry, histopathology, clinical examination, immune response, or gastrointestinal microbiota. In most experiments, either Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) maize, Roundup Ready (RR) soybean, or both were fed to livestock animals. Significant differences (P<0.05) in health parameters were most often observed when animals were fed Bt maize, although most effects measured were unlikely to be of biological significance and were within normal biological ranges. Health effects of RR soybean were only observed in one experimental study with broilers. Based on this literature review, we conclude that there is no clear evidence that feed composed of first generation GM crops has adverse effects on animal health. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Relevance of Bt toxin interaction studies for environmental risk assessment of genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    De Schrijver, Adinda; De Clercq, Patrick; de Maagd, Ruud A; van Frankenhuyzen, Kees

    2015-12-01

    In recent years, different Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin-encoding genes have been combined or 'stacked' in genetically modified (GM) crops. Synergism between Bt proteins may occur and thereby increase the impact of the stacked GM event on nontarget invertebrates compared to plants expressing a single Bt gene. On the basis of bioassay data available for Bt toxins alone or in combination, we argue that the current knowledge of Bt protein interactions is of limited relevance in environmental risk assessment (ERA).

  1. Fungal genetic resource centres and the genomic challenge.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Matthew J; Smith, David

    2004-12-01

    Fungal research and education has for many years been supported by public service genetic resource centres, whose roles have been to maintain, preserve and supply living cultures to the research community. In the genomic era, genetic resource centres are perhaps more important than ever before. The cultures held, many of which are described and validated by expert biosystematists, are valuable resources for the future. There is a need to supply genomic and proteomic research programmes with fully characterised organisms, as usage of organisms from unreliable sources can prove disastrous, not least in economical terms. However, mycologists often require more than just the organisms, for example, their associated information is vital for bioinformatic applications and some researchers may only require genomic DNA from the organism rather than the organism per se. Genetic resource centres are continually adapting to meet the needs of their users and the wider mycological research community, this associated with OECD international initiatives should ensure they exist to support research for many years to come. This review considers the impact of such initiatives, the current roles of fungal genetic resource centres, the mechanisms used to preserve organisms in a stable manner and the range of resources that are offered for genomic research.

  2. Britain's genetically modified crop controversies: the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission and the negotiation of 'uncertainty'.

    PubMed

    Grove-White, Robin

    2006-01-01

    The genetically modified crop controversies in Britain between 1997 and 2004 involved tensions surrounding the role of science in policy. The author of the paper was a member of the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission, a novel government advisory body created in 2000, which played a central role in negotiating new policy frameworks. The commission was also a key influence in the creation and execution of the three-pronged official 'GM dialogue' in 2002 and 2003. New understandings of 'uncertainty', both scientific and social, emerged as a result. The outcomes have relevance for the future political handling of other technological fields, including human genetics.

  3. Variables Affecting Secondary School Students' Willingness to Eat Genetically Modified Food Crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maes, Jasmien; Bourgonjon, Jeroen; Gheysen, Godelieve; Valcke, Martin

    2017-04-01

    A large-scale cross-sectional study (N = 4002) was set up to determine Flemish secondary school students' willingness to eat genetically modified food (WTE) and to link students' WTE to previously identified key variables from research on the acceptance of genetic modification (GM). These variables include subjective and objective knowledge about genetics and biotechnology, perceived risks and benefits of GM food crops, trust in information from different sources about GM, and food neophobia. Differences between WTE-related variables based on students' grade level, educational track, and gender were analyzed. The students displayed a rather indecisive position toward GM food and scored weakly on a genetics and biotechnology knowledge test. WTE correlated most strongly with perceived benefits and subjective and objective knowledge. The results have clear implications for education, as they reiterate the need to strengthen students' scientific knowledge base and to introduce a GM-related debate at a much earlier stage in their school career.

  4. Illinois biomass resources: annual crops and residues; canning and food-processing wastes. Preliminary assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Antonopoulos, A A

    1980-06-01

    Illinois, a major agricultural and food-processing state, produces vast amounts of renewable plant material having potential for energy production. This biomass, in the form of annual crops, crop residues, and food-processing wastes, can be converted to alternative fuels (such as ethanol) and industrial chemicals (such as furfural, ethylene, and xylene). The present study provides a preliminary assessment of these Illinois biomass resources, including (a) an appraisal of the effects of their use on both agriculture and industry; (b) an analysis of biomass conversion systems; and (c) an environmental and economic evaluation of products that could be generated from biomass. It is estimated that, of the 39 x 10/sup 6/ tons of residues generated in 1978 in Illinois from seven main crops, about 85% was collectible. The thermal energy equivalent of this material is 658 x 10/sup 6/ Btu, or 0.66 quad. And by fermenting 10% of the corn grain grown in Illinois, some 323 million gallons of ethanol could have been produced in 1978. Another 3 million gallons of ethanol could have been produced in the same year from wastes generated by the state's food-processing establishments. Clearly, Illinois can strengthen its economy substantially by the development of industries that produce biomass-derived fuels and chemicals. In addition, a thorough evaluation should be made of the potential for using the state's less-exploitable land for the growing of additional biomass.

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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 ...

  7. Intragenic crop improvement: combining the benefits of traditional breeding and genetic engineering.

    PubMed

    Rommens, Caius M

    2007-05-30

    New crop varieties are developed by applying traditional breeding methods that rely on random genome modifications. These varieties combine multiple traits that support farm efficiency and acceptable yields but also contain genes associated with the production of toxins, allergens, and/or antinutritional compounds that were not considered during the selection process. Furthermore, existing cultivars frequently lack the functional genes required for specific sensory traits and the formation of health-promoting antioxidants. One new method efficiently addresses some of these issues by either silencing undesirable genes or enhancing the expression of genes that are linked to dormant beneficial traits. Rather than incorporating foreign DNA into the plant's genome, these methods transform crops with plant-derived transfer (P-) DNAs that consist of only native genetic elements. The genetic modification can be characterized molecularly so that any inadvertent transfer of undesirable DNA, as may be the case with traditional methods, is excluded. A recently developed intragenic potato plant is silenced for the polyphenol oxidase, dikinase R1, and phosphorylase-L genes in a tuber-specific manner. French fries derived from these tubers lack discolorations, display an enhanced potato flavor, and produce greatly reduced amounts of the suspected carcinogen acrylamide. It is argued that intragenic modification is unlikely to trigger phenotypic, biochemical, or physiological variation that is new to the species. Similarly, the targeted traits are similar to those that breeders select for and often have a history of domestication and reduced fitness. For these reasons, an updated regulatory system is proposed whereby intragenic crops are considered as low risk and should be cleared for commercial release in a timely and cost-effective manner. By using modern techniques to modify the same genetic material that is used by breeders, intragenic approaches may be perceived as an

  8. Global wild annual Lens collection: a potential resource for lentil genetic base broadening and yield enhancement.

    PubMed

    Singh, Mohar; Bisht, Ishwari Singh; Kumar, Sandeep; Dutta, Manoranjan; Bansal, Kailash Chander; Karale, Moreshwar; Sarker, Ashutosh; Amri, Ahmad; Kumar, Shiv; Datta, Swapan Kumar

    2014-01-01

    Crop wild relatives (CWRs) are invaluable gene sources for various traits of interest, yet these potential resources are themselves increasingly threatened by the impact of climate change as well as other anthropogenic and socio-economic factors. The prime goal of our research was to cover all aspects of wild Lens genetic resource management like species characterization, agro-morphological evaluation, diversity assessment, and development of representative sets for its enhanced utilization in lentil base broadening and yield improvement initiatives. We characterized and evaluated extensively, the global wild annual Lens taxa, originating from twenty seven counties under two agro-climatic conditions of India consecutively for three cropping seasons. Results on various qualitative and quantitative characters including two foliar diseases showed wide variations for almost all yield attributing traits including multiple disease resistance in the wild species, L. nigricans and L. ervoides accessions. The core set developed from the entire Lens taxa had maximum representation from Turkey and Syria, indicating rich diversity in accessions originating from these regions. Diversity analysis also indicated wide geographical variations across genepool as was reflected in the core set. Potential use of core set, as an initial starting material, for genetic base broadening of cultivated lentil was also suggested.

  9. Global Wild Annual Lens Collection: A Potential Resource for Lentil Genetic Base Broadening and Yield Enhancement

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Mohar; Bisht, Ishwari Singh; Kumar, Sandeep; Dutta, Manoranjan; Bansal, Kailash Chander; Karale, Moreshwar; Sarker, Ashutosh; Amri, Ahmad; Kumar, Shiv; Datta, Swapan Kumar

    2014-01-01

    Crop wild relatives (CWRs) are invaluable gene sources for various traits of interest, yet these potential resources are themselves increasingly threatened by the impact of climate change as well as other anthropogenic and socio-economic factors. The prime goal of our research was to cover all aspects of wild Lens genetic resource management like species characterization, agro-morphological evaluation, diversity assessment, and development of representative sets for its enhanced utilization in lentil base broadening and yield improvement initiatives. We characterized and evaluated extensively, the global wild annual Lens taxa, originating from twenty seven counties under two agro-climatic conditions of India consecutively for three cropping seasons. Results on various qualitative and quantitative characters including two foliar diseases showed wide variations for almost all yield attributing traits including multiple disease resistance in the wild species, L. nigricans and L. ervoides accessions. The core set developed from the entire Lens taxa had maximum representation from Turkey and Syria, indicating rich diversity in accessions originating from these regions. Diversity analysis also indicated wide geographical variations across genepool as was reflected in the core set. Potential use of core set, as an initial starting material, for genetic base broadening of cultivated lentil was also suggested. PMID:25254552

  10. Invertebrates and vegetation of field margins adjacent to crops subject to contrasting herbicide regimes in the Farm Scale Evaluations of genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops.

    PubMed Central

    Roy, D B; Bohan, D A; Haughton, A J; Hill, M O; Osborne, J L; Clark, S J; Perry, J N; Rothery, P; Scott, R J; Brooks, D R; Champion, G T; Hawes, C; Heard, M S; Firbank, L G

    2003-01-01

    The effects of management of genetically modified herbicide-tolerant (GMHT) crops on adjacent field margins were assessed for 59 maize, 66 beet and 67 spring oilseed rape sites. Fields were split into halves, one being sown with a GMHT crop and the other with the equivalent conventional non-GMHT crop. Margin vegetation was recorded in three components of the field margins. Most differences were in the tilled area, with fewer smaller effects mirroring them in the verge and boundary. In spring oilseed rape fields, the cover, flowering and seeding of plants were 25%, 44% and 39% lower, respectively, in the GMHT uncropped tilled margins. Similarly, for beet, flowering and seeding were 34% and 39% lower, respectively, in the GMHT margins. For maize, the effect was reversed, with plant cover and flowering 28% and 67% greater, respectively, in the GMHT half. Effects on butterflies mirrored these vegetation effects, with 24% fewer butterflies in margins of GMHT spring oilseed rape. The likely cause is the lower nectar supply in GMHT tilled margins and crop edges. Few large treatment differences were found for bees, gastropods or other invertebrates. Scorching of vegetation by herbicide-spray drift was on average 1.6% on verges beside conventional crops and 3.7% beside GMHT crops, the difference being significant for all three crops. PMID:14561320

  11. Genetically Engineered Crops and Certified Organic Agriculture for Improving Nutrition Security in Africa and South Asia.

    PubMed

    Pray, Carl; Ledermann, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    In Africa and South Asia, where nutrition insecurity is severe, two of the most prominent production technologies are genetically modified (GM) crops and certified organic agriculture. We analyze the potential impact pathways from agricultural production to nutrition. Our review of data and the literature reveals increasing farm-level income from cash crop production as the main pathway by which organic agriculture and GM agriculture improve nutrition. Potential secondary pathways include reduced prices of important food crops like maize due to GM maize production and increased food production using organic technology. Potential tertiary pathways are improvements in health due to reduced insecticide use. Challenges to the technologies achieving their impact include the politics of GM agriculture and the certification costs of organic agriculture. Given the importance of agricultural production in addressing nutrition security, accentuated by the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, the chapter concludes by stressing the importance of private and public sector research in improving the productivity and adoption of both GM and organic crops. In addition, the chapter reminds readers that increased farm income and productivity require complementary investments in health, education, food access and women's empowerment to actually improve nutrition security. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  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.

  13. Exploration of Genetic and Genomic Resources for Abiotic and Biotic Stress Tolerance in Pearl Millet

    PubMed Central

    Shivhare, Radha; Lata, Charu

    2017-01-01

    genes and assist in crop improvement programs through molecular breeding approaches. This review thus summarizes the exploration of pearl millet genetic and genomic resources for improving abiotic and biotic stress resistance and development of cultivars superior in stress tolerance. PMID:28167949

  14. Exploration of Genetic and Genomic Resources for Abiotic and Biotic Stress Tolerance in Pearl Millet.

    PubMed

    Shivhare, Radha; Lata, Charu

    2016-01-01

    genes and assist in crop improvement programs through molecular breeding approaches. This review thus summarizes the exploration of pearl millet genetic and genomic resources for improving abiotic and biotic stress resistance and development of cultivars superior in stress tolerance.

  15. Bacterial Artificial Chromosome Libraries of Pulse Crops: Characteristics and Applications

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Kangfu

    2012-01-01

    Pulse crops are considered minor on a global scale despite their nutritional value for human consumption. Therefore, they are relatively less extensively studied in comparison with the major crops. The need to improve pulse crop production and quality will increase with the increasing global demand for food security and people's awareness of nutritious food. The improvement of pulse crops will require fully utilizing all their genetic resources. Bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries of pulse crops are essential genomic resources that have the potential to accelerate gene discovery and enhance molecular breeding in these crops. Here, we review the availability, characteristics, applications, and potential applications of the BAC libraries of pulse crops. PMID:21811383

  16. Malus sieversii, a valuable genetic resource for disease resistance in apple

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Domesticated crop cultivars inevitably represent a subset of the genetic variation found in their wild ancestors (progenitors) due to genetic bottlenecks that result during the process of crop domestication. Malus sieversii, a wild apple species native to Central Asia, is one of the ancestral proge...

  17. Characterization of a Genetic Resource Collection for Miscanthus (Saccharinae, Andropogoneae, Poaceae) using AFLP and ISSR PCR

    PubMed Central

    HODKINSON, TREVOR R.; CHASE, MARK W.; RENVOIZE, STEPHEN A.

    2002-01-01

    Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and inter‐simple sequence repeat markers were employed to characterize a genetic resource collection of Miscanthus, a grass under trial in Europe as a biomass crop. The 26 polymorphic markers produced by two ISSR fingerprinting primers were able to discriminate taxa and identify putative clones. AFLP fingerprints were fully reproducible and produced a larger number of markers for the three primer pairs tested, of which 998 were polymorphic (representing 79·3 % of all bands). AFLP markers distinguished species, infra‐specific taxa (varieties and cultivars) and putatively clonal material. They were also used to assess the inter‐relationships of the taxa, to investigate the origin of important hybrid plants and to estimate the overall level of genetic variation in the collection. They were useful for assessing the species status of certain taxa such as M. transmorrisonensis, an endemic from Taiwan that was clearly distinct from M. sinensis; whereas other taxa of disputed species status, such as M. condensatus and M. yakushimanum were not genetically distinct from M. sinensis. The AFLP markers detected a high degree of infra‐specific variation and allowed subdivisions of the genetic resource collection to be made, particularly within M. sinensis. PMID:12099538

  18. Resource Competition Shapes the Response of Genetic Circuits.

    PubMed

    Qian, Yili; Huang, Hsin-Ho; Jiménez, José I; Del Vecchio, Domitilla

    2017-04-03

    A common approach to design genetic circuits is to compose gene expression cassettes together. While appealing, this modular approach is challenged by the fact that expression of each gene depends on the availability of transcriptional/translational resources, which is in turn determined by the presence of other genes in the circuit. This raises the question of how competition for resources by different genes affects a circuit's behavior. Here, we create a library of genetic activation cascades in E. coli bacteria, where we explicitly tune the resource demand by each gene. We develop a general Hill-function-based model that incorporates resource competition effects through resource demand coefficients. These coefficients lead to nonregulatory interactions among genes that reshape the circuit's behavior. For the activation cascade, such interactions result in surprising biphasic or monotonically decreasing responses. Finally, we use resource demand coefficients to guide the choice of ribosome binding site and DNA copy number to restore the cascade's intended monotonically increasing response. Our results demonstrate how unintended circuit's behavior arises from resource competition and provide a model-guided methodology to minimize the resulting effects.

  19. A strategy to conserve worldwide apple genetic resources: Survey results

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Access to diverse apple (Malus) genetic resources is critical for future breeding efforts and improved production of this important tree fruit genus. Wild Malus species offer desirable sources of resistance to pathogens as well as tolerance to abiotic stress. Novel cultivars may have unique allelic ...

  20. Development of a strategy to conserve worldwide apple genetic resources

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Access to diverse apple (Malus) genetic resources is critical for future breeding efforts and improved production of this important tree fruit species. Wild Malus species offer desirable sources of resistance to pathogens as well as tolerance to abiotic stress. Novel cultivars may have unique alleli...

  1. Conservation of animal genetic resources – A new tact

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    For the past 20 years countries have initiated programs to sustainably conserve farm animal genetic resources. At the same time the growing need for increased animal productivity has emerged. Viewing gene banks and in vivo conservation in the context of food security, climate change, and product dem...

  2. Maize Genetic Resources Collections – Utilizing a Treasure Trove

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The maize genetic resource collection managed by the USDA-ARS's National Plant Germplasm System is heavily utilized by researchers and educators. A collection of landraces, inbred lines from public and private sector sources, synthetics and key populations, it serves both as a living snapshot of th...

  3. Cooperation in the Conservation of Citrus Genetic Resources: Riverside, California

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    A consortium of cooperating programs for the conservation and utilization of citrus genetic resources is centered at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). University units include the Citrus Clonal Protection Program (CCPP), Citrus Variety Collection (CVC), and Citrus Breeding Program (CBP...

  4. A quantitative immunopolymerase chain reaction method for detection of vegetative insecticidal protein in genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Rajesh

    2011-10-12

    Vegetative insecticidal protein (Vip) is being employed for transgenic expression in selected crops such as cotton, brinjal, and corn. For regulatory compliance, there is a need for a sensitive and reliable detection method, which can distinguish between approved and nonapproved genetically modified (GM) events and quantify GM contents as well. A quantitative immunopolymerase chain reaction (IPCR) method has been developed for the detection and quantification of Vip protein in GM crops. The developed assay displayed a detection limit of 1 ng/mL (1 ppb) and linear quantification range between 10 and 1000 ng/mL of Vip-S protein. The sensitivity of the assay was found to be 10 times higher than an analogous enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for Vip-S protein. The results suggest that IPCR has the potential to become a standard method to quantify GM proteins.

  5. Impacts of Past Land Use Changes on Water Resources: An Analog for Assessing Effects of Proposed Bioenergy Crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scanlon, B. R.; Schilling, K.; Young, M.; Duncan, I. J.; Gerbens-Leenes, P.

    2011-12-01

    Interest is increasing in renewable energy sources, including bioenergy. However, potential impacts of bioenergy crops on water resources need to be better understood before large scale expansion occurs. This study evaluates the potential for using past land use change impacts on water resources as an analog for assessing future bioenergy crop effects. Impacts were assessed for two cases and methods: (1) changes from perennial to annual crops in the Midwest U.S. using stream hydrograph separation; and (2) changes from perennial grasses and shrubs to annual crops in the Southwest U.S. using unsaturated zone and groundwater data. Results from the Midwest show that expanding the soybean production area by 80,000 km2 increased stream flow by 32%, based on data from Keokuk station in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. Using these relationships, further expansion of annual corn production for biofuels by 10 - 50% would increase streamflow by up to 40%, with related increases in nitrate, phosphate, and sediment pollutant transport to the Gulf of Mexico. The changes in water partitioning are attributed to reducing evapotranspiration, increasing recharge and baseflow discharge to streams. Similar results were found in the southwestern US, where changes from native perennial grasses and shrubs to annual crops increased recharge from ~0.0 to 24 mm/yr, raising water tables by up to 7 m in some regions and flushing accumulated salts into underlying aquifers in the southern High Plains. The changes in water partitioning are related to changes in rooting depth from deep rooted native vegetation to shallow rooted crops and growing season length. Further expansion of annual bioenergy crops, such as changes from Conservation Reserve Program to corn in the Midwest, will continue the trajectory of reducing ET, thereby increasing recharge and baseflow to streams and nutrient export. We hypothesize that changing bioenergy crops from annual crops to perennial grasses, such as switchgrass

  6. Roles of maternal effects and nuclear genetic composition change across the life cycle of crop-wild hybrids.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Helen M; Emry, D Jason; Pace, Brian A; Kost, Matthew A; Sparks, Kathryn A; Mercer, Kristin L

    2014-07-01

    • Premise of the study: The fitness of an offspring may depend on its nuclear genetic composition (via both parental genotypes) as well as on genetic maternal effects (via only the maternal parent). Understanding the relative importance of these two genetic factors is particularly important for research on crop-wild hybridization, since traits with important genetic maternal effects (e.g., seed size) often differ among crops and their relatives. We hypothesized that the effects of these genetic factors on fitness components would change across the life cycle of hybrids.• Methods: We followed seed, plant size, and reproductive traits in field experiments with wild and four crop-wild hybrids of sunflower (Helianthus annuus), which differed in nuclear genetic composition and maternal parent (wild or F1 hybrid).• Key results: We identified strong genetic maternal effects for early life cycle characteristics, with seeds produced on an F1 mother having premature germination, negligible seed dormancy, and greater seedling size. Increased percentages of crop alleles also increased premature germination and reduced dormancy in seeds produced on a wild mother. For mature plants, nuclear genetic composition dominated: greater percentages of crop alleles reduced height, branching, and fecundity.• Conclusions: Particular backcrosses between hybrids and wilds may differentially facilitate movement of crop alleles into wild populations due to their specific features. For example, backcross seeds produced on wild mothers can persist in the seed bank, illustrating the importance of genetic maternal effects, whereas backcross individuals with either wild or F1 mothers have high fecundity, resulting from their wild-like nuclear genetic composition.

  7. Foxtail millet: a model crop for genetic and genomic studies in bioenergy grasses.

    PubMed

    Lata, Charu; Gupta, Sarika; Prasad, Manoj

    2013-09-01

    Foxtail millet is one of the oldest domesticated diploid C4 Panicoid crops having a comparatively small genome size of approximately 515 Mb, short life cycle, and inbreeding nature. Its two species, Setaria italica (domesticated) and Setaria viridis (wild progenitor), have characteristics that classify them as excellent model systems to examine several aspects of architectural, evolutionary, and physiological importance in Panicoid grasses especially the biofuel crops such as switchgrass and napiergrass. Foxtail millet is a staple crop used extensively for food and fodder in parts of Asia and Africa. In its long history of cultivation, it has been adapted to arid and semi-arid areas of Asia, North Africa, South and North America. Foxtail millet has one of the largest collections of cultivated as well as wild-type germplasm rich with phenotypic variations and hence provides prospects for association mapping and allele-mining of elite and novel variants to be incorporated in crop improvement programs. Most of the foxtail millet accessions can be primarily abiotic stress tolerant particularly to drought and salinity, and therefore exploiting these agronomic traits can enhance its efficacy in marker-aided breeding as well as in genetic engineering for abiotic stress tolerance. In addition, the release of draft genome sequence of foxtail millet would be useful to the researchers worldwide in not only discerning the molecular basis of biomass production in biofuel crops and the methods to improve it, but also for the introgression of beneficial agronomically important characteristics in foxtail millet as well as in related Panicoid bioenergy grasses.

  8. Morphometric and genetics properties of pea crops grown in space greenhouse Lada"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levinskikh, M.; Sychev, V.; Podolsky, I.; Gostimsky, S.; Bingham, G.

    Results of the experiments with higher plants performed in greenhouse Svet aboard the MIR space station in 1996-1999 made it evident that the main biological characteristics of plants growth development reproduction and metabolism did not undergo modifications in consequence of microgravity It was shown that at least two ontogenetic cycles of plants could pass in the normal way in this environment However the initial experimental data was insufficient for fiducial conclusions on the delayed effects of cultivating a sequence of plant generations on the background of spaceflight factors Hence these investigations are given precedence in the space life sciences research programs In the period from March 2003 to April 2005 we fulfilled five experimental cultivations of genetically marked dwarf pea species in greenhouse Lada installed in the Russian segment of the International space station The purpose of this series of experiments was to make morphologic and genetic analysis of pea plants grown in successive generations According to our results pea growth and development over the full cycle of ontogenesis from seed to seed taking place in space greenhouse Lada were not different as compared with the ground control plants In addition four successive pea crops gathered in space flight did not loose their reproductive functions and formed viable seeds Genetic analysis of the plants grown from the space and ground seeds produced by the first to fourth successive crops was performed using the methods of

  9. Weed control changes and genetically modified herbicide tolerant crops in the USA 1996-2012.

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham

    2014-01-01

    Crops that have been genetically modified (GM) to be tolerant to herbicides have been widely grown in the USA since 1996. The rapid and widespread adoption of this technology reflects the important economic and environmental benefits that farmers have derived from its use (equal to $21.7 billion additional farm income and a 225 million kg reduction in herbicide active ingredient use 1996-2012). During this time, weed control practices in these crops relative to the 'conventional alternative' have evolved to reflect experience of using the technology, the challenges that have arisen and the increasing focus in recent years on developing sustainable production systems. This paper examines the evidence on the changing nature of herbicides used with these crops and in particular how farmers addressed the challenge of weed resistance. The evidence shows that use of the technology has resulted in a net reduction in both the amount of herbicide used and the associated environmental impact, as measured by the EIQ indicator when compared to what can reasonably be expected if the area planted to GM HT crops reverted to conventional production methods. It also facilitated many farmers being able to derive the economic and environmental benefits associated with switching from a plough-based to a no tillage or conservation tillage production system. In terms of herbicide use, the technology has also contributed to a change the profile of herbicides used. A broad range of, mostly selective herbicides has been replaced by one or 2 broad-spectrum herbicides (mostly glyphosate) used in conjunction with one or 2 other (complementary) herbicides. Since the mid-2000s, the average amount of herbicide applied and the associated environmental load, as measured by the EIQ indicator, have increased on both GM HT and conventional crops. A primary reason for these changes has been increasing incidence of weed species developing populations resistant to herbicides and increased awareness of

  10. Weed control changes and genetically modified herbicide tolerant crops in the USA 1996–2012

    PubMed Central

    Brookes, Graham

    2014-01-01

    Crops that have been genetically modified (GM) to be tolerant to herbicides have been widely grown in the USA since 1996. The rapid and widespread adoption of this technology reflects the important economic and environmental benefits that farmers have derived from its use (equal to $21.7 billion additional farm income and a 225 million kg reduction in herbicide active ingredient use 1996–2012). During this time, weed control practices in these crops relative to the ‘conventional alternative’ have evolved to reflect experience of using the technology, the challenges that have arisen and the increasing focus in recent years on developing sustainable production systems. This paper examines the evidence on the changing nature of herbicides used with these crops and in particular how farmers addressed the challenge of weed resistance. The evidence shows that use of the technology has resulted in a net reduction in both the amount of herbicide used and the associated environmental impact, as measured by the EIQ indicator when compared to what can reasonably be expected if the area planted to GM HT crops reverted to conventional production methods. It also facilitated many farmers being able to derive the economic and environmental benefits associated with switching from a plough-based to a no tillage or conservation tillage production system. In terms of herbicide use, the technology has also contributed to a change the profile of herbicides used. A broad range of, mostly selective herbicides has been replaced by one or 2 broad-spectrum herbicides (mostly glyphosate) used in conjunction with one or 2 other (complementary) herbicides. Since the mid-2000s, the average amount of herbicide applied and the associated environmental load, as measured by the EIQ indicator, have increased on both GM HT and conventional crops. A primary reason for these changes has been increasing incidence of weed species developing populations resistant to herbicides and increased

  11. Soil fungal resources in annual cropping systems and their potential for management.

    PubMed

    Ellouze, Walid; Esmaeili Taheri, Ahmad; Bainard, Luke D; Yang, Chao; Bazghaleh, Navid; Navarro-Borrell, Adriana; Hanson, Keith; Hamel, Chantal

    2014-01-01

    Soil fungi are a critical component of agroecosystems and provide ecological services that impact the production of food and bioproducts. Effective management of fungal resources is essential to optimize the productivity and sustainability of agricultural ecosystems. In this review, we (i) highlight the functional groups of fungi that play key roles in agricultural ecosystems, (ii) examine the influence of agronomic practices on these fungi, and (iii) propose ways to improve the management and contribution of soil fungi to annual cropping systems. Many of these key soil fungal organisms (i.e., arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and fungal root endophytes) interact directly with plants and are determinants of the efficiency of agroecosystems. In turn, plants largely control rhizosphere fungi through the production of carbon and energy rich compounds and of bioactive phytochemicals, making them a powerful tool for the management of soil fungal diversity in agriculture. The use of crop rotations and selection of optimal plant genotypes can be used to improve soil biodiversity and promote beneficial soil fungi. In addition, other agronomic practices (e.g., no-till, microbial inoculants, and biochemical amendments) can be used to enhance the effect of beneficial fungi and increase the health and productivity of cultivated soils.

  12. Soil Fungal Resources in Annual Cropping Systems and Their Potential for Management

    PubMed Central

    Esmaeili Taheri, Ahmad; Bainard, Luke D.; Yang, Chao; Navarro-Borrell, Adriana; Hamel, Chantal

    2014-01-01

    Soil fungi are a critical component of agroecosystems and provide ecological services that impact the production of food and bioproducts. Effective management of fungal resources is essential to optimize the productivity and sustainability of agricultural ecosystems. In this review, we (i) highlight the functional groups of fungi that play key roles in agricultural ecosystems, (ii) examine the influence of agronomic practices on these fungi, and (iii) propose ways to improve the management and contribution of soil fungi to annual cropping systems. Many of these key soil fungal organisms (i.e., arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and fungal root endophytes) interact directly with plants and are determinants of the efficiency of agroecosystems. In turn, plants largely control rhizosphere fungi through the production of carbon and energy rich compounds and of bioactive phytochemicals, making them a powerful tool for the management of soil fungal diversity in agriculture. The use of crop rotations and selection of optimal plant genotypes can be used to improve soil biodiversity and promote beneficial soil fungi. In addition, other agronomic practices (e.g., no-till, microbial inoculants, and biochemical amendments) can be used to enhance the effect of beneficial fungi and increase the health and productivity of cultivated soils. PMID:25247177

  13. [Perspective of genetic improvement of inflorescences structure in oil crops of Brassicaceae family].

    PubMed

    Khablak, S G; Checheneva, T N

    2009-01-01

    The theoretical substantiation and new scientific decision of ability to genetic construction of agriculturally valuable inflorescence structure in oil crops of Brassicaceae family are proposed on the examples of A. thaliana genes AP1, BP1 and TFL1. New types of plants are more suitable to machine seed harvesting as a result of decreasing non-simultaneous ripeness of seeds within inflorescences. It has been determined that A. thaliana forms inflorescences with new combinations of untypical for family Brassicaceae features by the effects of recessive alleles ap1-1, bp-1 and tfl1-2 expression.

  14. Recent patents on biosafety strategies of selectable marker genes in genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yiming; Hu, Xiaoning; Huang, Haiying

    2014-01-01

    Genetically modified crops (GMCs) have been planted world wide since 1990s, but the potential insecurity of selectable marker genes raises the questions about GMC safety. Therefore, several researches have been conducted on marker gene safety issues and recently several patents have been issued on this subject. There are two main approaches to achieve this goal: seeking the biosafety selectable marker and eliminating these insecure marker genes after transformation. Results show that these two systems are quite effective. Recent patents on the two ways are discussed in this review.

  15. Poultry genetic resource conservation using primordial germ cells

    PubMed Central

    NAKAMURA, Yoshiaki

    2016-01-01

    The majority of poultry genetic resources are maintained in situ in living populations. However, in situ conservation of poultry genetic resources always carries the risk of loss owing to pathogen outbreaks, genetic problems, breeding cessation, or natural disasters. Cryobanking of germplasm in birds has been limited to the use of semen, preventing conservation of the W chromosome and mitochondrial DNA. A further challenge is posed by the structure of avian eggs, which restricts the cryopreservation of ova and fertilized embryos, a technique widely used for mammalian species. By using a unique biological property and accessibility of avian primordial germ cells (PGCs), precursor cells for gametes, which temporally circulate in the vasculature during early development, an avian PGC transplantation technique has been established. To date, several techniques for PGC manipulation including purification, cryopreservation, depletion, and long-term culture have been developed in chickens. PGC transplantation combined with recent advanced PGC manipulation techniques have enabled ex situ conservation of poultry genetic resources in their complete form. Here, the updated technologies for avian PGC manipulation are introduced, and then the concept of a poultry PGC-bank is proposed by considering the biological properties of avian PGCs. PMID:27210834

  16. Genetic engineering of plants for improved crop production. (Latest citations from the Biobusiness data base). Published Search

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-05-01

    The bibliography contains citations concerning the use of genetic engineering to improve crop production. Genetic alterations of plants to provide insect protection, herbicide resistance, disease resistance, improved quality, and higher yield are discussed. Methods used to develop environmentally tolerant crops that are able to withstand extremes of temperature, reduced water consumption, and reduced fertilizer requirements are examined. Genetic engineering of microorganisms that are beneficial to plants is discussed in a separate bibliography. (Contains 250 citations and includes a subject term index and title list.)

  17. Why the conservation of forest genetic resources has not worked.

    PubMed

    Geburek, Thomas; Konrad, H

    2008-04-01

    Genetic diversity is indispensable for long-term forest sustainability and is therefore mentioned in numerous binding and nonbinding political covenants calling for action. Nevertheless, there are significant obstacles to the conservation of forest genetic resources. We discuss hindrances to genetic conservation, mainly in Europe. We identified impediments by reviewing the literature and on the basis of the experiences of the authors in this field and their participation in related political processes. The impediments include (1) difficulties in assessing and monitoring genetic erosion and human impacts (e.g., by the lack of markers showing adaptive variation and the lack of record keeping on the use and transfer of forest-tree germplasm), (2) complexities of European national structures that make the development of a common strategy toward forest genetic conservation problematic, (3) lack of effective forest governance in many parts of the world, (4) the general unattractiveness of genes as flagships in raising public awareness, (5) lack of integration of genetic aspects into biodiversity conservation, and (6) the fact that scientists and politicians are often at cross-purposes. To overcome these impediments, forest geneticists and their peers in species conservation have to participate more actively in decision making. In doing so, they must be prepared to face challenges on 2 fronts: participating in political processes and the provision of significant research findings to ensure that decisions with respect to forest genetic diversity are politically implementable and effectively address targets.

  18. The use of whole food animal studies in the safety assessment of genetically modified crops: Limitations and recommendations

    PubMed Central

    Bartholomaeus, Andrew; Parrott, Wayne; Bondy, Genevieve

    2013-01-01

    There is disagreement internationally across major regulatory jurisdictions on the relevance and utility of whole food (WF) toxicity studies on GM crops, with no harmonization of data or regulatory requirements. The scientific value, and therefore animal ethics, of WF studies on GM crops is a matter addressable from the wealth of data available on commercialized GM crops and WF studies on irradiated foods. We reviewed available GM crop WF studies and considered the extent to which they add to the information from agronomic and compositional analyses. No WF toxicity study was identified that convincingly demonstrated toxicological concern or that called into question the adequacy, sufficiency, and reliability of safety assessments based on crop molecular characterization, transgene source, agronomic characteristics, and/or compositional analysis of the GM crop and its near-isogenic line. Predictions of safety based on crop genetics and compositional analyses have provided complete concordance with the results of well-conducted animal testing. However, this concordance is primarily due to the improbability of de novo generation of toxic substances in crop plants using genetic engineering practices and due to the weakness of WF toxicity studies in general. Thus, based on the comparative robustness and reliability of compositional and agronomic considerations and on the absence of any scientific basis for a significant potential for de novo generation of toxicologically significant compositional alterations as a sole result of transgene insertion, the conclusion of this review is that WF animal toxicity studies are unnecessary and scientifically unjustifiable. PMID:24164514

  19. The use of whole food animal studies in the safety assessment of genetically modified crops: limitations and recommendations.

    PubMed

    Bartholomaeus, Andrew; Parrott, Wayne; Bondy, Genevieve; Walker, Kate

    2013-11-01

    There is disagreement internationally across major regulatory jurisdictions on the relevance and utility of whole food (WF) toxicity studies on GM crops, with no harmonization of data or regulatory requirements. The scientific value, and therefore animal ethics, of WF studies on GM crops is a matter addressable from the wealth of data available on commercialized GM crops and WF studies on irradiated foods. We reviewed available GM crop WF studies and considered the extent to which they add to the information from agronomic and compositional analyses. No WF toxicity study was identified that convincingly demonstrated toxicological concern or that called into question the adequacy, sufficiency, and reliability of safety assessments based on crop molecular characterization, transgene source, agronomic characteristics, and/or compositional analysis of the GM crop and its near-isogenic line. Predictions of safety based on crop genetics and compositional analyses have provided complete concordance with the results of well-conducted animal testing. However, this concordance is primarily due to the improbability of de novo generation of toxic substances in crop plants using genetic engineering practices and due to the weakness of WF toxicity studies in general. Thus, based on the comparative robustness and reliability of compositional and agronomic considerations and on the absence of any scientific basis for a significant potential for de novo generation of toxicologically significant compositional alterations as a sole result of transgene insertion, the conclusion of this review is that WF animal toxicity studies are unnecessary and scientifically unjustifiable.

  20. Development and application of SINE multilocus and quantitative genetic markers to study oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) crops.

    PubMed

    Allnutt, T R; Roper, K; Henry, C

    2008-01-23

    A genetic marker system based on the S1 Short Interspersed Elements (SINEs) in the important commercial crop, oilseed rape ( Brassica napus L.) has been developed. SINEs provided a successful multilocus, dominant marker system that was capable of clearly delineating winter- and spring-type crop varieties. Sixteen of 20 varieties tested showed unique profiles from the 17 polymorphic SINE markers generated. The 3' or 5' flank region of nine SINE markers were cloned, and DNA was sequenced. In addition, one putative pre-transposition SINE allele was cloned and sequenced. Two SINE flanking sequences were used to design real-time PCR assays. These quantitative SINE assays were applied to study the genetic structure of eight fields of oilseed rape crops. Studied fields were more genetically diverse than expected for the chosen loci (mean H T = 0.23). The spatial distribution of SINE marker frequencies was highly structured in some fields, suggesting locations of volunteer impurities within the crop. In one case, the assay identified a mislabeling of the crop variety. SINE markers were a useful tool for crop genetics, phylogenetics, variety identification, and purity analysis. The use and further application of quantitative, real-time PCR markers are discussed.

  1. Characteristics and safety assessment of intractable proteins in genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Bushey, Dean F; Bannon, Gary A; Delaney, Bryan F; Graser, Gerson; Hefford, Mary; Jiang, Xiaoxu; Lee, Thomas C; Madduri, Krishna M; Pariza, Michael; Privalle, Laura S; Ranjan, Rakesh; Saab-Rincon, Gloria; Schafer, Barry W; Thelen, Jay J; Zhang, John X Q; Harper, Marc S

    2014-07-01

    Genetically modified (GM) crops may contain newly expressed proteins that are described as "intractable". Safety assessment of these proteins may require some adaptations to the current assessment procedures. Intractable proteins are defined here as those proteins with properties that make it extremely difficult or impossible with current methods to express in heterologous systems; isolate, purify, or concentrate; quantify (due to low levels); demonstrate biological activity; or prove equivalency with plant proteins. Five classes of intractable proteins are discussed here: (1) membrane proteins, (2) signaling proteins, (3) transcription factors, (4) N-glycosylated proteins, and (5) resistance proteins (R-proteins, plant pathogen recognition proteins that activate innate immune responses). While the basic tiered weight-of-evidence approach for assessing the safety of GM crops proposed by the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) in 2008 is applicable to intractable proteins, new or modified methods may be required. For example, the first two steps in Tier I (hazard identification) analysis, gathering of applicable history of safe use (HOSU) information and bioinformatics analysis, do not require protein isolation. The extremely low level of expression of most intractable proteins should be taken into account while assessing safety of the intractable protein in GM crops. If Tier II (hazard characterization) analyses requiring animal feeding are judged to be necessary, alternatives to feeding high doses of pure protein may be needed. These alternatives are discussed here. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. The socioeconomics of genetically modified biofortified crops: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    De Steur, Hans; Wesana, Joshua; Blancquaert, Dieter; Van Der Straeten, Dominique; Gellynck, Xavier

    2017-02-01

    Building upon the growing interest and research on genetically modified (GM) biofortification, its socioeconomic potential has been increasingly examined. We conducted two systematic reviews and meta-analyses to provide comprehensive evidence of consumers' willingness to pay (11 economic valuation studies, 64 estimates) and cost-effectiveness/benefits (five economic evaluation studies, 30 estimates). Worldwide, consumers were willing to pay 23.9% more for GM biofortified food crops. Aside from crop and design-related differences, information provision was deemed crucial. Positive information (nutrition and GM benefits) is associated with the highest consumer willingness to pay, compared with negative, objective, and conflicting GM information, especially when negative information was mentioned last. This health intervention would reduce the aggregated micronutrient deficiency burden in Asia (15.6 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)) by 12.5-51.4%, at a low cost of USD 7.9-27.8 per DALY in a pessimistic and optimistic scenario, respectively. Given that GM biofortified crops could tackle hidden hunger in a cost-effective and well-accepted way, its implementation is worth pursuing. A case study on folate biofortification further elaborates on the importance of socioeconomic research and the determinants of their market potential. © 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.

  3. Fitness effects and genetic architecture of plant-herbivore interactions in sunflower crop-wild hybrids.

    PubMed

    Dechaine, Jennifer M; Burger, Jutta C; Chapman, Mark A; Seiler, Gerald J; Brunick, Robert; Knapp, Steve J; Burke, John M

    2009-12-01

    *Introgression of cultivar alleles into wild plant populations via crop-wild hybridization is primarily governed by their fitness effects as well as those of linked loci. The fitness of crop-wild hybrids is often dependent on environmental factors, but less is understood about how aspects of the environment affect individual cultivar alleles. *This study investigated the effects of naturally occurring herbivory on patterns of phenotypic selection and the genetic architecture of plant-herbivore interactions in an experimental sunflower crop-wild hybrid population in two locales. *Phenotypic selection analyses suggested that cultivar alleles conferring increased size were generally favored, but at one site cultivar-like flowering time was favored only if three types of herbivory were included in the selection model. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping identified three regions in which the cultivar allele conferred a selective advantage for a number of co-localized traits. Quantitative trait loci for several measures of insect herbivory were detected and, although the cultivar allele increased herbivory damage at the majority of these QTLs, they rarely colocalized with advantageous cultivar alleles for morphological traits. *These results suggest that a subset of cultivar traits/alleles are advantageous in natural environments but that herbivory may mitigate the selective advantage of some cultivar alleles.

  4. Procedure to select test organisms for environmental risk assessment of genetically modified crops in aquatic systems.

    PubMed

    Hilbeck, Angelika; Bundschuh, Rebecca; Bundschuh, Mirco; Hofmann, Frieder; Oehen, Bernadette; Otto, Mathias; Schulz, Ralf; Trtikova, Miluse

    2017-07-29

    For a long time, the environmental risk assessment (ERA) of genetically modified (GM) crops focused mainly on terrestrial ecosystems. This changed when it was scientifically established that aquatic ecosystems are exposed to GM crop residues that may negatively affect aquatic species. To assist the risk assessment process, we present a tool to identify ecologically relevant species usable in tiered testing prior to authorization or for biological monitoring in the field. The tool is derived from a selection procedure for terrestrial ecosystems with substantial but necessary changes to adequately consider the differences in the type of ecosystems. By using available information from the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC), the procedure can draw upon existing biological data on aquatic systems. The proposed procedure for aquatic ecosystems was tested for the first time during an expert workshop in 2013, using the cultivation of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize as the GM crop and 1 stream type as the receiving environment in the model system. During this workshop, species executing important ecological functions in aquatic environments were identified in a stepwise procedure according to predefined ecological criteria. By doing so, we demonstrated that the procedure is practicable with regard to its goal: From the initial long list of 141 potentially exposed aquatic species, 7 species and 1 genus were identified as the most suitable candidates for nontarget testing programs. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2017;00:000-000. © 2017 SETAC. © 2017 SETAC.

  5. MGIS: managing banana (Musa spp.) genetic resources information and high-throughput genotyping data

    PubMed Central

    Guignon, V.; Sempere, G.; Sardos, J.; Hueber, Y.; Duvergey, H.; Andrieu, A.; Chase, R.; Jenny, C.; Hazekamp, T.; Irish, B.; Jelali, K.; Adeka, J.; Ayala-Silva, T.; Chao, C.P.; Daniells, J.; Dowiya, B.; Effa effa, B.; Gueco, L.; Herradura, L.; Ibobondji, L.; Kempenaers, E.; Kilangi, J.; Muhangi, S.; Ngo Xuan, P.; Paofa, J.; Pavis, C.; Thiemele, D.; Tossou, C.; Sandoval, J.; Sutanto, A.; Vangu Paka, G.; Yi, G.; Van den houwe, I.; Roux, N.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Unraveling the genetic diversity held in genebanks on a large scale is underway, due to advances in Next-generation sequence (NGS) based technologies that produce high-density genetic markers for a large number of samples at low cost. Genebank users should be in a position to identify and select germplasm from the global genepool based on a combination of passport, genotypic and phenotypic data. To facilitate this, a new generation of information systems is being designed to efficiently handle data and link it with other external resources such as genome or breeding databases. The Musa Germplasm Information System (MGIS), the database for global ex situ-held banana genetic resources, has been developed to address those needs in a user-friendly way. In developing MGIS, we selected a generic database schema (Chado), the robust content management system Drupal for the user interface, and Tripal, a set of Drupal modules which links the Chado schema to Drupal. MGIS allows germplasm collection examination, accession browsing, advanced search functions, and germplasm orders. Additionally, we developed unique graphical interfaces to compare accessions and to explore them based on their taxonomic information. Accession-based data has been enriched with publications, genotyping studies and associated genotyping datasets reporting on germplasm use. Finally, an interoperability layer has been implemented to facilitate the link with complementary databases like the Banana Genome Hub and the MusaBase breeding database. Database URL: https://www.crop-diversity.org/mgis/

  6. Genetic basis and detection of unintended effects in genetically modified crop plants

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    In January 2014, an international meeting sponsored by the International Life Sciences Institute/Health and Environmental Sciences Institute and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency titled “Genetic Basis of Unintended Effects in Modified Plants” was held in Ottawa, Canada, bringing together over 75 s...

  7. Draft genome sequence of pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan), an orphan legume crop of resource-poor farmers.

    PubMed

    Varshney, Rajeev K; Chen, Wenbin; Li, Yupeng; Bharti, Arvind K; Saxena, Rachit K; Schlueter, Jessica A; Donoghue, Mark T A; Azam, Sarwar; Fan, Guangyi; Whaley, Adam M; Farmer, Andrew D; Sheridan, Jaime; Iwata, Aiko; Tuteja, Reetu; Penmetsa, R Varma; Wu, Wei; Upadhyaya, Hari D; Yang, Shiaw-Pyng; Shah, Trushar; Saxena, K B; Michael, Todd; McCombie, W Richard; Yang, Bicheng; Zhang, Gengyun; Yang, Huanming; Wang, Jun; Spillane, Charles; Cook, Douglas R; May, Gregory D; Xu, Xun; Jackson, Scott A

    2011-11-06

    Pigeonpea is an important legume food crop grown primarily by smallholder farmers in many semi-arid tropical regions of the world. We used the Illumina next-generation sequencing platform to generate 237.2 Gb of sequence, which along with Sanger-based bacterial artificial chromosome end sequences and a genetic map, we assembled into scaffolds representing 72.7% (605.78 Mb) of the 833.07 Mb pigeonpea genome. Genome analysis predicted 48,680 genes for pigeonpea and also showed the potential role that certain gene families, for example, drought tolerance-related genes, have played throughout the domestication of pigeonpea and the evolution of its ancestors. Although we found a few segmental duplication events, we did not observe the recent genome-wide duplication events observed in soybean. This reference genome sequence will facilitate the identification of the genetic basis of agronomically important traits, and accelerate the development of improved pigeonpea varieties that could improve food security in many developing countries.

  8. Modeling of genetic gain for single traits from marker-assisted seedling selection in clonally propagated crops

    PubMed Central

    Ru, Sushan; Hardner, Craig; Carter, Patrick A; Evans, Kate; Main, Dorrie; Peace, Cameron

    2016-01-01

    Seedling selection identifies superior seedlings as candidate cultivars based on predicted genetic potential for traits of interest. Traditionally, genetic potential is determined by phenotypic evaluation. With the availability of DNA tests for some agronomically important traits, breeders have the opportunity to include DNA information in their seedling selection operations—known as marker-assisted seedling selection. A major challenge in deploying marker-assisted seedling selection in clonally propagated crops is a lack of knowledge in genetic gain achievable from alternative strategies. Existing models based on additive effects considering seed-propagated crops are not directly relevant for seedling selection of clonally propagated crops, as clonal propagation captures all genetic effects, not just additive. This study modeled genetic gain from traditional and various marker-based seedling selection strategies on a single trait basis through analytical derivation and stochastic simulation, based on a generalized seedling selection scheme of clonally propagated crops. Various trait-test scenarios with a range of broad-sense heritability and proportion of genotypic variance explained by DNA markers were simulated for two populations with different segregation patterns. Both derived and simulated results indicated that marker-based strategies tended to achieve higher genetic gain than phenotypic seedling selection for a trait where the proportion of genotypic variance explained by marker information was greater than the broad-sense heritability. Results from this study provides guidance in optimizing genetic gain from seedling selection for single traits where DNA tests providing marker information are available. PMID:27148453

  9. Establishment of a system based on universal multiplex-PCR for screening genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Lu, I-Jen; Lin, Chih-Hui; Pan, Tzu-Ming

    2010-03-01

    The rapid development of many genetically modified (GM) crops in the past two decades makes it necessary to introduce an alternative strategy for routine screening and identification. In this study, we established a universal multiplex PCR detection system which will effectively reduce the number of reactions needed for sample identification. The PCR targets of this system include the six most frequently used transgenic elements: cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter, Agrobacterium tumefaciens nopaline synthase (nos) promoter, Agrobacterium tumefaciens nopaline synthase (nos) terminator, the neomycin phosphotransferase II (nptII) gene, the 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (CP4 epsps) gene of Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain CP4, and the phosphinothricin N-acetyltransferase (pat) gene. According to the AGBIOS database, the coverage of this detection system is 93% of commercial GM crops. This detection system could detect all certified reference materials (CRMs) at the 1.0% level. The correct combination of all the CRM amplicon patterns proved the specificity of this multiplex PCR system. Furthermore, the amplicon patterns of this multiplex PCR detection system could be used as an index of classification which will narrow the range of possible GM products. The simulation result of this multiplex PCR detection system on all commercialized 139 GM products in the AGBIOS database showed that the maximum number of PCR reactions needed to identify an unknown sample can be reduced to 13. In this study, we established a high-throughput multiplex PCR detection system with feasible sensitivity, specificity, and cost. By incorporating this detection system, the routine GM crop-detection process will meet the challenges resulting from a rapid increase in the number of GM crops in the future.

  10. Genetic diversity of Potato virus Y infecting tobacco crops in China.

    PubMed

    Tian, Y P; Liu, J L; Zhang, C L; Liu, Y Y; Wang, B; Li, X-D; Guo, Z K; Valkonen, J P T

    2011-03-01

    Genetic variability of Potato virus Y (PVY) isolates infecting potato has been characterized but little is known about genetic diversity of PVY isolates infecting tobacco crops. In this study, PVY isolates were collected from major tobacco-growing areas in China and single-lesion isolates were produced by serial inoculation on Chenopodium amaranticolor. Most isolates (88%) caused systemic veinal necrosis symptoms in tobacco. Of these, 16 isolates contained a PVY(O)-like coat protein (CP) and PVY(N)-like helper component proteinase (HC-pro) and, in this respect, were similar to the PVY(N-Wi), PVY(N:O), and PVY-HN2 isolates characterized from potato in Europe, the United States, and China, respectively; two isolates contained a PVY(O)-like HC-pro and a PVY(N)-like CP; another two isolates had recombination junctions in the CP-encoding region. Both the HC-pro and CP of PVY were under negative selection as a whole; however, seven amino acids in HC-pro and six amino acids in CP were under positive selection. Selection pressures differed between the subpopulations of PVY distinguished by phylogenetic analysis of HC-pro and CP sequences. When PVY isolates from potato were included, no host-specific clustering of the PVY isolates was observed in phylogenetic and nucleotide diversity analyses, suggesting frequent spread of PVY isolates between potato and tobacco crops in the field.

  11. Genetic consequences of radioactive contamination by the Chernobyl fallout to agricultural crops.

    PubMed

    Geraskin, S A; Dikarev, V G; Zyablitskaya, Ye Ya; Oudalova, A A; Spirin, Ye V; Alexakhin, R M

    2003-01-01

    The genetic consequences of radioactive contamination by the fallout to agricultural crops after the accident at the Chernobyl NPP in 1986 have been studied. In the first, acute, period of this accident, when the absorbed dose was primarily due to external beta- and gamma-irradiation, the radiation injury of agricultural crops, according to the basic cytogenetic tests, resembled the effect produced by acute gamma-irradiation at comparable doses. The yield of cytogenetic damage in leaf meristem of plants grown in the 10-km zone of the ChNPP in 1987-1989 (the period of chronic, lower level radiation exposure) was shown to be enhanced and dependent on the level of radioactive contamination. The rate of decline with time in cytogenetic damage induced by chronic exposure lagged considerably behind that of the radiation exposure. Analysis of genetic variability in three sequential generations of rye and wheat revealed increased cytogenetic damage in plants exposed to chronic irradiation during the 2nd and 3rd years.

  12. RoBuST: an integrated genomics resource for the root and bulb crop families Apiaceae and Alliaceae

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Root and bulb vegetables (RBV) include carrots, celeriac (root celery), parsnips (Apiaceae), onions, garlic, and leek (Alliaceae)—food crops grown globally and consumed worldwide. Few data analysis platforms are currently available where data collection, annotation and integration initiatives are focused on RBV plant groups. Scientists working on RBV include breeders, geneticists, taxonomists, plant pathologists, and plant physiologists who use genomic data for a wide range of activities including the development of molecular genetic maps, delineation of taxonomic relationships, and investigation of molecular aspects of gene expression in biochemical pathways and disease responses. With genomic data coming from such diverse areas of plant science, availability of a community resource focused on these RBV data types would be of great interest to this scientific community. Description The RoBuST database has been developed to initiate a platform for collecting and organizing genomic information useful for RBV researchers. The current release of RoBuST contains genomics data for 294 Alliaceae and 816 Apiaceae plant species and has the following features: (1) comprehensive sequence annotations of 3663 genes 5959 RNAs, 22,723 ESTs and 11,438 regulatory sequence elements from Apiaceae and Alliaceae plant families; (2) graphical tools for visualization and analysis of sequence data; (3) access to traits, biosynthetic pathways, genetic linkage maps and molecular taxonomy data associated with Alliaceae and Apiaceae plants; and (4) comprehensive plant splice signal repository of 659,369 splice signals collected from 6015 plant species for comparative analysis of plant splicing patterns. Conclusions RoBuST, available at http://robust.genome.com, provides an integrated platform for researchers to effortlessly explore and analyze genomic data associated with root and bulb vegetables. PMID:20691054

  13. Resource Effects on Solitary Bee Reproduction in a Managed Crop Pollination System.

    PubMed

    Pitts-Singer, Theresa L

    2015-08-01

    Population density may affect solitary bee maternal resource allocation. The number of Megachile rotundata (F.), alfalfa leafcutting bee, females released for seed production of Medicago sativa L., alfalfa, may limit flower availability for nest provisioning. In turn, pollinator abundance also may affect crop yield. The M. sativa pollination system presents an opportunity to test for effects of density dependence and maternal manipulation on M. rotundata reproduction. A multiyear study was performed on M. sativa fields upon which M. rotundata densities were altered to induce low, medium, and high density situations. Numbers of adult bees and open flowers were recorded weekly; bee reproduction variables were collected once. Fields varied in plant performance for each site and year, and the intended bee densities were not realized. Therefore, the variable density index (DI) was derived to describe the number of female bees per area of flowers over the study period. As DI increased, percentages of pollinated flowers, established females, and healthy brood significantly increased, and the number of pollinated flowers per female and of dead or diseased brood significantly decreased. Sex ratio was significantly more female biased as DI increased. Overwintered offspring weights were similar regardless of DI, but significantly differed by year for both sexes, and for males also by field and year × field interaction. Overall, resource limitation was not found in this field study. Other density-dependent factors may have induced a bee dispersal response soon after bees were released in the fields that circumvented the need for, or impact of, maternal manipulation.

  14. Molecular diversity analysis of eggplant (Solanum melongena) genetic resources.

    PubMed

    Ali, Z; Xu, Z L; Zhang, D Y; He, X L; Bahadur, S; Yi, J X

    2011-06-14

    Eggplant (Solanum melongena), a vegetable that is cultivated worldwide, is of considerable importance to agriculture in China. We analyzed the diversity of this plant using inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) and RAPD procedures to subdivide 143 Chinese-cultivated eggplants based on coefficient of parentage, genetic diversity index (GDI) and canonical discriminant analysis. ISSR markers were more effective than RAPD markers for detecting genetic diversity, which ranged from 0.10-0.51, slightly lower than what is known from other crops. Our ISSR/RAPD data provide molecular evidence that coincides with morphological-based classification into three varieties and further subdivision into eight groups, except for two groups. Intensive use of elite parents and extensive crossing within groups have resulted in increased coefficient of parentage and proportional contribution but decreased GDI during the past decades. The mean coefficient of parentage and proportional contribution increased from 0.05 to 0.10% and from 3.22 to 6.46% during 1980-1991 and 1992-2003, respectively. The GDI of landraces was 0.21, higher than the 0.09 and 0.08 calculated for the hybrid cultivars released during the two periods. The recent introduction of alien genotypes into eggplant breeding programs may broaden the genetic base.

  15. A look at product development with genetically modified crops: examples from maize.

    PubMed

    Mumm, Rita H

    2013-09-04

    Plant breeding for crop genetic improvement involves the cycle of creating genetic diversity and exploiting that diversity to derive an improved cultivar with outstanding performance for specific traits of interest. Genetic modification through transformation essentially expands the genepool to facilitate access to genes otherwise not available through crossing. Transgenic events are defined by the DNA sequence that has been incorporated into the target genome and the specific point(s) of insertion. In the development of a new transgenic trait, typically many events are generated and evaluated with the aim of identifying one exhibiting consistent trait expression at or above specified thresholds, stable inheritance, and the absence of any negative effects. With transgenic traits for maize, once commercial candidates have been identified, these events are introgressed into elite lines, often through the use of molecular markers that can accelerate the breeding process and aid in producing a quality conversion. Converted elite lines are yield-tested to ensure performance equivalency with their unconverted counterparts. Finally, before commercial sale of seed, quality control monitoring is conducted to ensure event identity and purity and the absence of any unintended events. This monitoring complements other quality control measures to confirm seed viability and line/hybrid purity and uniformity in seed treatments, all in an effort to ensure customer satisfaction and to comply with governmental regulations. Thus, genetically modified (GM) cultivars are subject to significant testing and auditing prior to seed sale and distribution to farmers, more testing and auditing than with non-GM cultivars.

  16. Challenges in the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources

    PubMed Central

    Pautasso, Marco

    2012-01-01

    The meeting on ‘Genetic Resources in the Face of New Environmental, Economic and Social Challenges’ held in Montpellier (France) from 20–22 September 2011 brought together about 200 participants active in research and management of the genetic diversity of plant, animal, fungal and microbial species. Attendees had the rare opportunity to hear about agronomy, botany, microbiology, mycology, the social sciences and zoology in the same conference. The research teams presented the results of about 50 projects funded by the French Foundation for Research on Biodiversity to preserve genetic diversity carried out in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. These projects aimed to better understand and manage genetic resources in a rapidly changing world (e.g. structural changes in the agricultural industry, the need for climate change mitigation and adaptation, the challenge of achieving food security despite the growing world population and changing dietary habits, the opportunities provided by the many new molecular biology tools, the problems caused by widespread scientific budget cuts). The meeting also hosted some roundtables open to all participants which provided a forum to establish a much needed dialogue between policy-makers, managers and researchers. PMID:22048892

  17. Challenges in the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources.

    PubMed

    Pautasso, Marco

    2012-06-23

    The meeting on 'Genetic Resources in the Face of New Environmental, Economic and Social Challenges' held in Montpellier (France) from 20-22 September 2011 brought together about 200 participants active in research and management of the genetic diversity of plant, animal, fungal and microbial species. Attendees had the rare opportunity to hear about agronomy, botany, microbiology, mycology, the social sciences and zoology in the same conference. The research teams presented the results of about 50 projects funded by the French Foundation for Research on Biodiversity to preserve genetic diversity carried out in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. These projects aimed to better understand and manage genetic resources in a rapidly changing world (e.g. structural changes in the agricultural industry, the need for climate change mitigation and adaptation, the challenge of achieving food security despite the growing world population and changing dietary habits, the opportunities provided by the many new molecular biology tools, the problems caused by widespread scientific budget cuts). The meeting also hosted some roundtables open to all participants which provided a forum to establish a much needed dialogue between policy-makers, managers and researchers.

  18. Genetic engineering in agriculture and corporate engineering in public debate: risk, public relations, and public debate over genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Patel, Rajeev; Torres, Robert J; Rosset, Peter

    2005-01-01

    Corporations have long influenced environmental and occupational health in agriculture, doing a great deal of damage, making substantial profits, and shaping public debate to make it appear that environmental misfortunes are accidents of an otherwise well-functioning system, rather than systemic. The debate over the genetically modified (GM) crops is an example. The largest producer of commercial GM seeds, Monsanto, exemplifies the industry's strategies: the invocation of poor people as beneficiaries, characterization of opposition as technophobic or anti-progress, and portrayal of their products as environmentally beneficial in the absence of or despite the evidence. This strategy is endemic to contemporary market capitalism, with its incentives to companies to externalize health and environmental costs to increase profits.

  19. Novel Genetic Resources in the Genus Vigna Unveiled from Gene Bank Accessions

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Yu; Somta, Prakit; Muto, Chiaki; Iseki, Kohtaro; Naito, Ken; Pandiyan, Muthaiyan; Natesan, Senthil; Tomooka, Norihiko

    2016-01-01

    The genus Vigna (Fabaceae) consists of five subgenera, and includes more than 100 wild species. In Vigna, 10 crops have been domesticated from three subgenera, Vigna, Plectrotropis, and Ceratotropis. The habitats of wild Vigna species are so diverse that their genomes could harbor various genes responsible for environmental stress adaptation, which could lead to innovations in agriculture. Since some of the gene bank Vigna accessions were unidentified and they seemed to be novel genetic resources, these accessions were identified based on morphological traits. The phylogenetic positions were estimated based on the DNA sequences of nuclear rDNA-ITS and chloroplast atpB-rbcL spacer regions. Based on the results, the potential usefulness of the recently described species V. indica and V. sahyadriana, and some wild Vigna species, i.e., V. aconitifolia, V. dalzelliana, V. khandalensis, V. marina var. oblonga, and V. vexillata, was discussed. PMID:26800459

  20. Chado use case: storing genomic, genetic and breeding data of Rosaceae and Gossypium crops in Chado

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Sook; Lee, Taein; Ficklin, Stephen; Yu, Jing; Cheng, Chun-Huai; Main, Dorrie

    2016-01-01

    The Genome Database for Rosaceae (GDR) and CottonGen are comprehensive online data repositories that provide access to integrated genomic, genetic and breeding data through search, visualization and analysis tools for Rosaceae crops and Gossypium (cotton). These online databases use Chado, an open-source, generic and ontology-driven database schema for biological data, as the primary data storage platform. Chado is highly normalized and uses ontologies to indicate the ‘types’ of data. Therefore, Chado is flexible such that it has been used to house genomic, genetic and breeding data for GDR and CottonGen. These data include whole genome sequence and annotation, transcripts, molecular markers, genetic maps, Quantitative Trait Loci, Mendelian Trait Loci, traits, germplasm, pedigrees, large scale phenotypic and genotypic data, ontologies and publications. We provide information about how to store these types of data in Chado using GDR and CottonGen as examples sites that were converted from an older legacy infrastructure. Database URL: GDR (www.rosaceae.org), CottonGen (www.cottongen.org) PMID:26989146

  1. Chado use case: storing genomic, genetic and breeding data of Rosaceae and Gossypium crops in Chado.

    PubMed

    Jung, Sook; Lee, Taein; Ficklin, Stephen; Yu, Jing; Cheng, Chun-Huai; Main, Dorrie

    2016-01-01

    The Genome Database for Rosaceae (GDR) and CottonGen are comprehensive online data repositories that provide access to integrated genomic, genetic and breeding data through search, visualization and analysis tools for Rosaceae crops and Gossypium (cotton). These online databases use Chado, an open-source, generic and ontology-driven database schema for biological data, as the primary data storage platform. Chado is highly normalized and uses ontologies to indicate the 'types' of data. Therefore, Chado is flexible such that it has been used to house genomic, genetic and breeding data for GDR and CottonGen. These data include whole genome sequence and annotation, transcripts, molecular markers, genetic maps, Quantitative Trait Loci, Mendelian Trait Loci, traits, germplasm, pedigrees, large scale phenotypic and genotypic data, ontologies and publications. We provide information about how to store these types of data in Chado using GDR and CottonGen as examples sites that were converted from an older legacy infrastructure. Database URL: GDR (www.rosaceae.org), CottonGen (www.cottongen.org).

  2. 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.

  3. Assessing genetically modified crops to minimize the risk of increased food allergy: a review.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Richard E; Hefle, Susan L; Taylor, Steven L; van Ree, Ronald

    2005-06-01

    The first genetically modified (GM) crops approved for food use (tomato and soybean) were evaluated for safety by the United States Food and Drug Administration prior to commercial production. Among other factors, those products and all additional GM crops that have been grown commercially have been evaluated for potential increases in allergenic properties using methods that are consistent with the current understanding of food allergens and knowledge regarding the prediction of allergenic activity. Although there have been refinements, the key aspects of the evaluation have not changed. The allergenic properties of the gene donor and the host (recipient) organisms are considered in determining the appropriate testing strategy. The amino acid sequence of the encoded protein is compared to all known allergens to determine whether the protein is a known allergen or is sufficiently similar to any known allergen to indicate an increased probability of allergic cross-reactivity. Stability of the protein in the presence of acid with the stomach protease pepsin is tested as a risk factor for food allergenicity. In vitro or in vivo human IgE binding are tested when appropriate, if the gene donor is an allergen or the sequence of the protein is similar to an allergen. Serum donors and skin test subjects are selected based on their proven allergic responses to the gene donor or to material containing the allergen that was matched in sequence. While some scientists and regulators have suggested using animal models, performing broadly targeted serum IgE testing or extensive pre- or post-market clinical tests, current evidence does not support these tests as being predictive or practical. Based on the evidence to date, the current assessment process has worked well to prevent the unintended introduction of allergens in commercial GM crops.

  4. 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

  5. From Crop Domestication to Super-domestication

    PubMed Central

    Vaughan, D. A.; Balázs, E.; Heslop-Harrison, J. S.

    2007-01-01

    Research related to crop domestication has been transformed by technologies and discoveries in the genome sciences as well as information-related sciences that are providing new tools for bioinformatics and systems' biology. Rapid progress in archaeobotany and ethnobotany are also contributing new knowledge to understanding crop domestication. This sense of rapid progress is encapsulated in this Special Issue, which contains 18 papers by scientists in botanical, crop sciences and related disciplines on the topic of crop domestication. One paper focuses on current themes in the genetics of crop domestication across crops, whereas other papers have a crop or geographic focus. One feature of progress in the sciences related to crop domestication is the availability of well-characterized germplasm resources in the global network of genetic resources centres (genebanks). Germplasm in genebanks is providing research materials for understanding domestication as well as for plant breeding. In this review, we highlight current genetic themes related to crop domestication. Impressive progress in this field in recent years is transforming plant breeding into crop engineering to meet the human need for increased crop yield with the minimum environmental impact – we consider this to be ‘super-domestication’. While the time scale of domestication of 10 000 years or less is a very short evolutionary time span, the details emerging of what has happened and what is happening provide a window to see where domestication might – and can – advance in the future. PMID:17940074

  6. The first crop plant genetically engineered to release an insect pheromone for defence

    PubMed Central

    Bruce, Toby J.A.; Aradottir, Gudbjorg I.; Smart, Lesley E.; Martin, Janet L.; Caulfield, John C.; Doherty, Angela; Sparks, Caroline A.; Woodcock, Christine M.; Birkett, Michael A.; Napier, Johnathan A.; Jones, Huw D.; Pickett, John A.

    2015-01-01

    Insect pheromones offer potential for managing pests of crop plants. Volatility and instability are problems for deployment in agriculture but could be solved by expressing genes for the biosynthesis of pheromones in the crop plants. This has now been achieved by genetically engineering a hexaploid variety of wheat to release (E)-β-farnesene (Eβf), the alarm pheromone for many pest aphids, using a synthetic gene based on a sequence from peppermint with a plastid targeting amino acid sequence, with or without a gene for biosynthesis of the precursor farnesyl diphosphate. Pure Eβf was produced in stably transformed wheat lines with no other detectable phenotype but requiring targeting of the gene produced to the plastid. In laboratory behavioural assays, three species of cereal aphids were repelled and foraging was increased for a parasitic natural enemy. Although these studies show considerable potential for aphid control, field trials employing the single and double constructs showed no reduction in aphids or increase in parasitism. Insect numbers were low and climatic conditions erratic suggesting the need for further trials or a closer imitation, in the plant, of alarm pheromone release. PMID:26108150

  7. Use of Carabids for the Post-Market Environmental Monitoring of Genetically Modified Crops.

    PubMed

    Skoková Habuštová, Oxana; Svobodová, Zdeňka; Cagáň, Ľudovít; Sehnal, František

    2017-03-29

    Post-market environmental monitoring (PMEM) of genetically modified (GM) crops is required by EU legislation and has been a subject of debate for many years; however, no consensus on the methodology to be used has been reached. We explored the suitability of carabid beetles as surrogates for the detection of unintended effects of GM crops in general PMEM surveillance. Our study combines data on carabid communities from five maize field trials in Central Europe. Altogether, 86 species and 58,304 individuals were collected. Modeling based on the gradual elimination of the least abundant species, or of the fewest categories of functional traits, showed that a trait-based analysis of the most common species may be suitable for PMEM. Species represented by fewer than 230 individuals (all localities combined) should be excluded and species with an abundance higher than 600 should be preserved for statistical analyses. Sixteen species, representing 15 categories of functional traits fulfill these criteria, are typical dominant inhabitants of agroecocoenoses in Central Europe, are easy to determine, and their functional classification is well known. The effect of sampling year is negligible when at least four samples are collected during maize development beginning from 1 April. The recommended methodology fulfills PMEM requirements, including applicability to large-scale use. However, suggested thresholds of carabid comparability should be verified before definitive conclusions are drawn.

  8. Rapid simulated gastric fluid digestion of in-seed/grain proteins expressed in genetically engineered crops.

    PubMed

    Schafer, Barry W; Embrey, Shawna K; Herman, Rod A

    2016-11-01

    The speed of simulated gastric digestion of proteins expressed in genetically engineered (GE) crops is commonly used to inform the allergenicity risk assessment. However, persistence of purified proteins in simulated gastric fluid (SGF) is poorly correlated with the allergenic status of proteins. It has been proposed that the plant or food matrix may affect the digestion of proteins and should be considered in interpreting digestion results. Here the SGF digestion of several GE proteins both as purified preparations and in soybean, corn, and cotton seed/grain extracts (in-matrix) are compared. Cry1F, Cry1Ac, phosphinothricin acetyltransferase (PAT), aryloxyalkanoate dioxygenase-1 (AAD-1), aryloxyalkanoate dioxygenase-12 (AAD-12), and double mutant 5-enol pyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (2mEPSPS) were all found to rapidly digest both as purified protein preparations and in seed/grain extracts from GE crops expressing these proteins. Based on these results, purified protein from microbial sources is a suitable surrogate for proteins in-matrix when conducting SGF digestion studies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. The first crop plant genetically engineered to release an insect pheromone for defence.

    PubMed

    Bruce, Toby J A; Aradottir, Gudbjorg I; Smart, Lesley E; Martin, Janet L; Caulfield, John C; Doherty, Angela; Sparks, Caroline A; Woodcock, Christine M; Birkett, Michael A; Napier, Johnathan A; Jones, Huw D; Pickett, John A

    2015-06-25

    Insect pheromones offer potential for managing pests of crop plants. Volatility and instability are problems for deployment in agriculture but could be solved by expressing genes for the biosynthesis of pheromones in the crop plants. This has now been achieved by genetically engineering a hexaploid variety of wheat to release (E)-β-farnesene (Eβf), the alarm pheromone for many pest aphids, using a synthetic gene based on a sequence from peppermint with a plastid targeting amino acid sequence, with or without a gene for biosynthesis of the precursor farnesyl diphosphate. Pure Eβf was produced in stably transformed wheat lines with no other detectable phenotype but requiring targeting of the gene produced to the plastid. In laboratory behavioural assays, three species of cereal aphids were repelled and foraging was increased for a parasitic natural enemy. Although these studies show considerable potential for aphid control, field trials employing the single and double constructs showed no reduction in aphids or increase in parasitism. Insect numbers were low and climatic conditions erratic suggesting the need for further trials or a closer imitation, in the plant, of alarm pheromone release.

  10. Challenges in testing genetically modified crops for potential increases in endogenous allergen expression for safety.

    PubMed

    Panda, R; Ariyarathna, H; Amnuaycheewa, P; Tetteh, A; Pramod, S N; Taylor, S L; Ballmer-Weber, B K; Goodman, R E

    2013-02-01

    Premarket, genetically modified (GM) plants are assessed for potential risks of food allergy. The major risk would be transfer of a gene encoding an allergen or protein nearly identical to an allergen into a different food source, which can be assessed by specific serum testing. The potential that a newly expressed protein might become an allergen is evaluated based on resistance to digestion in pepsin and abundance in food fractions. If the modified plant is a common allergenic source (e.g. soybean), regulatory guidelines suggest testing for increases in the expression of endogenous allergens. Some regulators request evaluating endogenous allergens for rarely allergenic plants (e.g. maize and rice). Since allergic individuals must avoid foods containing their allergen (e.g. peanut, soybean, maize, or rice), the relevance of the tests is unclear. Furthermore, no acceptance criteria are established and little is known about the natural variation in allergen concentrations in these crops. Our results demonstrate a 15-fold difference in the major maize allergen, lipid transfer protein between nine varieties, and complex variation in IgE binding to various soybean varieties. We question the value of evaluating endogenous allergens in GM plants unless the intent of the modification was production of a hypoallergenic crop.

  11. Development of agribiotechnology and biosafety regulations used to assess safety of genetically modified crops in Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Nasiruddin, Khondoker M; Nasim, Anwar

    2007-01-01

    Bangladesh is on the verge of adopting genetically modified (GM) crops for commercial cultivation and consumption as feed and food. Most of the laboratories are engaged in tissue culture and molecular characterization on plants, whereas some have started living modified organism research with shortages of trained manpower, infrastructure, and funding. Nutritionally improved Golden Rice, biotech brinjal, and late blight-resistant potato are in contained trials in a greenhouse, and potato ring spot virus-resistant papaya is in the process of approval for a field trial. The government has taken some initiative in support of GM organism research, which include the formation of a Biotechnology Department in all institutes and the formation of the apex body, the National Task Force Committee on Biotechnology of Bangladesh under the chairpersonship of the Prime Minister. Biosafety policy guidelines and related aspects of biotechnology issues have been approved, and the laws are in the process of being promulgated. Being a party to the Cartagena Protocol, proper biosafety measures are regulated by the appropriate authority as stated. Although there are no laws made yet directly for biosafety of GM crops/foods, the relevant laws on agriculture, medicine, food, import, trade, environment, etc. may suffice and explain the situation.

  12. Benefits of genetically modified crops for the poor: household income, nutrition, and health.

    PubMed

    Qaim, Matin

    2010-11-30

    The potential impacts of genetically modified (GM) crops on income, poverty and nutrition in developing countries continue to be the subject of public controversy. Here, a review of the evidence is given. As an example of a first-generation GM technology, the effects of insect-resistant Bt cotton are analysed. Bt cotton has already been adopted by millions of small-scale farmers, in India, China, and South Africa among others. On average, farmers benefit from insecticide savings, higher effective yields and sizeable income gains. Insights from India suggest that Bt cotton is employment generating and poverty reducing. As an example of a second-generation technology, the likely impacts of beta-carotene-rich Golden Rice are analysed from an ex ante perspective. Vitamin A deficiency is a serious nutritional problem, causing multiple adverse health outcomes. Simulations for India show that Golden Rice could reduce related health problems significantly, preventing up to 40,000 child deaths every year. These examples clearly demonstrate that GM crops can contribute to poverty reduction and food security in developing countries. To realise such social benefits on a larger scale requires more public support for research targeted to the poor, as well as more efficient regulatory and technology delivery systems. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Use of Carabids for the Post-Market Environmental Monitoring of Genetically Modified Crops

    PubMed Central

    Skoková Habuštová, Oxana; Svobodová, Zdeňka; Cagáň, Ľudovít; Sehnal, František

    2017-01-01

    Post-market environmental monitoring (PMEM) of genetically modified (GM) crops is required by EU legislation and has been a subject of debate for many years; however, no consensus on the methodology to be used has been reached. We explored the suitability of carabid beetles as surrogates for the detection of unintended effects of GM crops in general PMEM surveillance. Our study combines data on carabid communities from five maize field trials in Central Europe. Altogether, 86 species and 58,304 individuals were collected. Modeling based on the gradual elimination of the least abundant species, or of the fewest categories of functional traits, showed that a trait-based analysis of the most common species may be suitable for PMEM. Species represented by fewer than 230 individuals (all localities combined) should be excluded and species with an abundance higher than 600 should be preserved for statistical analyses. Sixteen species, representing 15 categories of functional traits fulfill these criteria, are typical dominant inhabitants of agroecocoenoses in Central Europe, are easy to determine, and their functional classification is well known. The effect of sampling year is negligible when at least four samples are collected during maize development beginning from 1 April. The recommended methodology fulfills PMEM requirements, including applicability to large-scale use. However, suggested thresholds of carabid comparability should be verified before definitive conclusions are drawn. PMID:28353663

  14. Conflicts of interest among committee members in the National Academies’ genetically engineered crop study

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) publishes numerous reports each year that are received with high esteem by the scientific community and public policy makers. The NASEM has internal standards for selecting committee members that author its reports, mostly from academia, and vetting conflicts of interest. This study examines whether there were any financial conflicts of interest (COIs) among the twenty invited committee members who wrote the 2016 report on genetically engineered (GE) crops. Our results showed that six panel members had one or more reportable financial COIs, none of which were disclosed in the report. We also report on institutional COIs held by the NASEM related to the report. The difference between our findings and the NASEM reporting standards are discussed. PMID:28245228

  15. Genetic engineering for increasing fungal and bacterial disease resistance in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Wally, Owen; Punja, Zamir K

    2010-01-01

    We review the current and future potential of genetic engineering strategies used to make fungal and bacterial pathogen-resistant GM crops, illustrating different examples of the technologies and the potential benefits and short-falls of the strategies. There are well- established procedures for the production of transgenic plants with resistance towards these pathogens and considerable progress has been made using a range of new methodologies. There are no current commercially available transgenic plant species with increased resistance towards fungal and bacterial pathogens; only plants with increased resistance towards viruses are available. With an improved understanding of plant signaling pathways in response to a range of other pathogens, such as fungi, additional candidate genes for achieving resistance are being investigated. The potential for engineering plants for resistance against individual devastating diseases or for plants with resistance towards multiple pathogens is discussed in detail.

  16. Conflicts of interest among committee members in the National Academies' genetically engineered crop study.

    PubMed

    Krimsky, Sheldon; Schwab, Tim

    2017-01-01

    The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) publishes numerous reports each year that are received with high esteem by the scientific community and public policy makers. The NASEM has internal standards for selecting committee members that author its reports, mostly from academia, and vetting conflicts of interest. This study examines whether there were any financial conflicts of interest (COIs) among the twenty invited committee members who wrote the 2016 report on genetically engineered (GE) crops. Our results showed that six panel members had one or more reportable financial COIs, none of which were disclosed in the report. We also report on institutional COIs held by the NASEM related to the report. The difference between our findings and the NASEM reporting standards are discussed.

  17. Evaluation of an Anaerobic Digestion System for Processing CELSS Crop Residues for Resource Recovery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strayer, R. F.; Finger, B. W.; Alazraki, M. P.

    1997-01-01

    Three bioreactors, connected in series, were used to process CELSS potato residues for recovery of resources. The first stage was an anaerobic digestor (8 L working volume; cow rumen contents inoculum; fed-batch; 8 day retention time; feed rate 25 gdw/day) that converted 33% of feed (dry weight loss) to CO2 and "volatile fatty acids" (vfa, 83:8:8 mmolar ratio acetic:propionic:butyric). High nitrate-N in the potato residue feed was absent in the anaerobic effluent, with a high portion converted to NH4(+)-N and the remainder unaccounted and probably lost to denitrification and NH4(+) volatilization. Liquid anaerobic effluent was fed to an aerobic, yeast biomass production vessel (2 L volume; Candida ingens inoculum; batch [pellicle] growth; 2 day retention time) where the VFAs and some NH4(+)-N were converted into yeast biomass. Yeast yields accounted for up to 8% of potato residue fed into the anaerobic bioreactor. The third bioreactor (0.5 L liquid working volume; commercial nitrifier inoculum; packed-bed biofilm; continuous yeast effluent feed; recirculating; constant volume; 2 day hydraulic retention time) was used to convert successfully the remaining NH4(+)-N into nitrate-N (preferred form of N for CELSS crop production) and to remove the remaining degradable soluble organic carbon. Effluents from the last two stages were used for partial replenishment of minerals for hydroponic potato production.

  18. Evaluation of an anaerobic digestion system for processing CELSS crop residues for resource recovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strayer, R. F.; Finger, B. W.; Alazraki, M. P.

    1997-01-01

    Three bioreactors, connected in series, were used to process CELSS potato residues for recovery of resources. The first stage was an anaerobic digestor (8 L working volume; cow rumen contents inoculum; fed-batch; 8 day retention time; feed rate 25 gdw day^-1) that converted 33% of feed (dry weight loss) to CO_2 and ``volatile fatty acids'' (vfa, 83:8:8 mmolar ratio acetic:propionic:butyric). High nitrate-N in the potato residue feed was absent in the anaerobic effluent, with a high portion converted to NH_4^+-N and the remainder unaccounted and probably lost to denitrification and NH_4^+ volatilization. Liquid anaerobic effluent was fed to an aerobic, yeast biomass production vessel (2 L volume; Candida ingens inoculum; batch [pellicle] growth; 2 day retention time) where the VFAs and some NH_4^+-N were converted into yeast biomass. Yeast yields accounted for up to 8% of potato residue fed into the anaerobic bioreactor. The third bioreactor (0.5 L liquid working volume; commercial nitrifier inoculum; packed-bed biofilm; continuous yeast effluent feed; recirculating; constant volume; 2 day hydraulic retention time) was used to convert successfully the remaining NH_4^+-N into nitrate-N (preferred form of N for CELSS crop production) and to remove the remaining degradable soluble organic carbon. Effluents from the last two stages were used for partial replenishment of minerals for hydroponic potato production.

  19. Fodder Resource Uses and Assessment of Nitrogen Flows on Livestock Farming with Crop Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shirahase, Kyoko; Kobayashi, Hisashi

    With understanding the livestock farming on cattle breeding practiced increasing of self-production of fodders by the farmland's operation as “Livestock Farming with crop production”, we investigated the utilizations of actual fodder resources and farmland for two selected different types of livestock farming systems: “Multiple Type” which practices cattle raising with fodder cultivation, and “Grazing Type” which practices grazing and fodder cultivation with similar feed self-sufficiency rates. We also prepared and compared material and nitrogen flow of both livestock farming systems. The amount of nitrogen flow is clearly different between the two types though feed self-sufficiency rates are at similar level. Moreover, we defined “Internal Nitrogen Rate (INR)” which indicates the rate of internal nitrogen use to total nitrogen use in cattle raising, “Internal Nitrogen Circulation Rate (NCR)” which indicates the ratio of nitrogen amount in internal circulation to the nitrogen amount introduced from outside, and Nitrogen Outflow Potential (Op), which is the balance of nitrogen amount between input to farmlands and uptake by plants, and analyzed the balance of the amounts of nitrogen flows in both livestock farming type. It is suggested that “Grazing type”, which had the values of relatively high NCR and absolutely low Op, was the livestock farming type with high rates of nitrogen procurement from the interregional farming and low risk of nitrogen outflow.

  20. Evaluation of an Anaerobic Digestion System for Processing CELSS Crop Residues for Resource Recovery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strayer, R. F.; Finger, B. W.; Alazraki, M. P.

    1997-01-01

    Three bioreactors, connected in series, were used to process CELSS potato residues for recovery of resources. The first stage was an anaerobic digestor (8 L working volume; cow rumen contents inoculum; fed-batch; 8 day retention time; feed rate 25 gdw/day) that converted 33% of feed (dry weight loss) to CO2 and "volatile fatty acids" (vfa, 83:8:8 mmolar ratio acetic:propionic:butyric). High nitrate-N in the potato residue feed was absent in the anaerobic effluent, with a high portion converted to NH4(+)-N and the remainder unaccounted and probably lost to denitrification and NH4(+) volatilization. Liquid anaerobic effluent was fed to an aerobic, yeast biomass production vessel (2 L volume; Candida ingens inoculum; batch [pellicle] growth; 2 day retention time) where the VFAs and some NH4(+)-N were converted into yeast biomass. Yeast yields accounted for up to 8% of potato residue fed into the anaerobic bioreactor. The third bioreactor (0.5 L liquid working volume; commercial nitrifier inoculum; packed-bed biofilm; continuous yeast effluent feed; recirculating; constant volume; 2 day hydraulic retention time) was used to convert successfully the remaining NH4(+)-N into nitrate-N (preferred form of N for CELSS crop production) and to remove the remaining degradable soluble organic carbon. Effluents from the last two stages were used for partial replenishment of minerals for hydroponic potato production.

  1. Allele Mining in Barley Genetic Resources Reveals Genes of Race-Non-Specific Powdery Mildew Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Spies, Annika; Korzun, Viktor; Bayles, Rosemary; Rajaraman, Jeyaraman; Himmelbach, Axel; Hedley, Pete E.; Schweizer, Patrick

    2012-01-01

    Race-non-specific, or quantitative, pathogen resistance is of high importance to plant breeders due to its expected durability. However, it is usually controlled by multiple quantitative trait loci (QTL) and therefore difficult to handle in practice. Knowing the genes that underlie race-non-specific resistance (NR) would allow its exploitation in a more targeted manner. Here, we performed an association-genetic study in a customized worldwide collection of spring barley accessions for candidate genes of race-NR to the powdery mildew fungus Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei (Bgh) and combined data with results from QTL mapping as well as functional-genomics approaches. This led to the identification of 11 associated genes with converging evidence for an important role in race-NR in the presence of the Mlo gene for basal susceptibility. Outstanding in this respect was the gene encoding the transcription factor WRKY2. The results suggest that unlocking plant genetic resources and integrating functional-genomic with genetic approaches can accelerate the discovery of genes underlying race-NR in barley and other crop plants. PMID:22629270

  2. Assessment of the nutritional values of genetically modified wheat, corn, and tomato crops.

    PubMed

    Venneria, Eugenia; Fanasca, Simone; Monastra, Giovanni; Finotti, Enrico; Ambra, Roberto; Azzini, Elena; Durazzo, Alessandra; Foddai, Maria Stella; Maiani, Giuseppe

    2008-10-08

    The genetic modification in fruit and vegetables could lead to changes in metabolic pathways and, therefore, to the variation of the molecular pattern, with particular attention to antioxidant compounds not well-described in the literature. The aim of the present study was to compare the quality composition of transgenic wheat ( Triticum durum L.), corn ( Zea mays L.), and tomato ( Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.) to the nontransgenic control with a similar genetic background. In the first experiment, Ofanto wheat cultivar containing the tobacco rab1 gene and nontransgenic Ofanto were used. The second experiment compared two transgenic lines of corn containing Bacillus thuringiensis "Cry toxin" gene (PR33P67 and Pegaso Bt) to their nontransgenic forms. The third experiment was conducted on transgenic tomato ( Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.) containing the Agrobacterium rhizogenes rolD gene and its nontransgenic control (cv. Tondino). Conventional and genetically modified crops were compared in terms of fatty acids content, unsaponifiable fraction of antioxidants, total phenols, polyphenols, carotenoids, vitamin C, total antioxidant activity, and mineral composition. No significant differences were observed for qualitative traits analyzed in wheat and corn samples. In tomato samples, the total antioxidant activity (TAA), measured by FRAP assay, and the naringenin content showed a lower value in genetically modified organism (GMO) samples (0.35 mmol of Fe (2+) 100 g (-1) and 2.82 mg 100 g (-1), respectively), in comparison to its nontransgenic control (0.41 mmol of Fe (2+) 100 g (-1) and 4.17 mg 100 g (-1), respectively). On the basis of the principle of substantial equivalence, as articulated by the World Health Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, these data support the conclusion that GM events are nutritionally similar to conventional varieties of wheat, corn, and tomato on

  3. Genetics- and genomics-based interventions for nutritional enhancement of grain legume crops: status and outlook.

    PubMed

    Bohra, Abhishek; Sahrawat, Kanwar L; Kumar, Shiv; Joshi, Rohit; Parihar, Ashok K; Singh, Ummed; Singh, Deepak; Singh, Narendra P

    2015-05-01

    Meeting the food demands and ensuring nutritional security of the ever increasing global population in the face of degrading natural resource base and impending climate change is the biggest challenge of the twenty first century. The consequences of mineral/micronutrient deficiencies or the hidden hunger in the developing world are indeed alarming and need urgent attention. In addressing the problems associated with mineral/micronutrient deficiency, grain legumes as an integral component of the farming systems in the developing world have to play a crucial role. For resource-poor populations, a strategy based on selecting and/or developing grain legume cultivars with grains denser in micronutrients, by biofortification, seems the most appropriate and attractive approach to address the problem. This is evident from the on-going global research efforts on biofortification to provide nutrient-dense grains for use by the poorest of the poor in the developing countries. Towards this end, rapidly growing genomics technologies hold promise to hasten the progress of breeding nutritious legume crops. In conjunction with the myriad of expansions in genomics, advances in other 'omics' technologies particularly plant ionomics or ionome profiling open up novel opportunities to comprehensively examine the elemental composition and mineral networks of an organism in a rapid and cost-effective manner. These emerging technologies would effectively guide the scientific community to enrich the edible parts of grain legumes with bio-available minerals and enhancers/promoters. We believe that the application of these new-generation tools in turn would provide crop-based solutions to hidden hunger worldwide for achieving global nutritional security.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. A new method for evaluating flowering synchrony to support the temporal isolation of genetically modified crops from their wild relatives.

    PubMed

    Ohigashi, Kentaro; Mizuguti, Aki; Yoshimura, Yasuyuki; Matsuo, Kazuhito; Miwa, Tetsuhisa

    2014-01-01

    Hybridization between crops and their wild relatives potentially threatens the genetic identity of the wild plants, particularly in the case of genetically modified crops. Only a few studies have examined the use of temporal isolation to prevent hybridization, and the indices used in those studies, (e.g., the days of flowering overlap), are not precise to evaluate the degree of synchrony in flowering. Here we propose a flowering similarity index that can compare the degree of flowering synchrony between two relevant species and measure the efficiency of temporal isolation. The results showed that the flowering similarity index predicts the likelihood of hybridization much better than the number of flowering-overlap days, regardless of different flowering patterns among cultivars. Thus, temporal isolation of flowering or flowering asynchrony is the most effective means in preventing hybridization between crops and their wild relatives.

  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. Sharing the benefits of genetic resources: from biodiversity to human genetics.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Doris; Lasén-Díaz, Carolina

    2006-12-01

    Benefit sharing aims to achieve an equitable exchange between the granting of access to a genetic resource and the provision of compensation. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), adopted at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, is the only international legal instrument setting out obligations for sharing the benefits derived from the use of biodiversity. The CBD excludes human genetic resources from its scope, however, this article considers whether it should be expanded to include those resources, so as to enable research subjects to claim a share of the benefits to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Our conclusion on this question is: 'No, the CBD should not be expanded to include human genetic resources.' There are essential differences between human and non-human genetic resources, and, in the context of research on humans, an essentially fair exchange model is already available between the health care industry and research subjects. Those who contribute to research should receive benefits in the form of accessible new health care products and services, suitable for local health needs and linked to economic prosperity (e.g. jobs). When this exchange model does not apply, as is often the case in developing countries, individually negotiated benefit sharing agreements between researchers and research subjects should not be used as 'window dressing'. Instead, national governments should focus their finances on the best economic investment they could make; the investment in population health and health research as outlined by the World Health Organization's Commission on Macroeconomics and Health; whilst international barriers to such spending need to be removed.

  9. Promoting Utilization of Saccharum spp. Genetic Resources through Genetic Diversity Analysis and Core Collection Construction

    PubMed Central

    Pathak, Bhuvan; Ayala-Silva, Tomas; Yang, Xiping; Todd, James; Glynn, Neil C.; Kuhn, David N.; Glaz, Barry; Gilbert, Robert A.; Comstock, Jack C.; Wang, Jianping

    2014-01-01

    Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) and other members of Saccharum spp. are attractive biofuel feedstocks. One of the two World Collections of Sugarcane and Related Grasses (WCSRG) is in Miami, FL. This WCSRG has 1002 accessions, presumably with valuable alleles for biomass, other important agronomic traits, and stress resistance. However, the WCSRG has not been fully exploited by breeders due to its lack of characterization and unmanageable population. In order to optimize the use of this genetic resource, we aim to 1) genotypically evaluate all the 1002 accessions to understand its genetic diversity and population structure and 2) form a core collection, which captures most of the genetic diversity in the WCSRG. We screened 36 microsatellite markers on 1002 genotypes and recorded 209 alleles. Genetic diversity of the WCSRG ranged from 0 to 0.5 with an average of 0.304. The population structure analysis and principal coordinate analysis revealed three clusters with all S. spontaneum in one cluster, S. officinarum and S. hybrids in the second cluster and mostly non-Saccharum spp. in the third cluster. A core collection of 300 accessions was identified which captured the maximum genetic diversity of the entire WCSRG which can be further exploited for sugarcane and energy cane breeding. Sugarcane and energy cane breeders can effectively utilize this core collection for cultivar improvement. Further, the core collection can provide resources for forming an association panel to evaluate the traits of agronomic and commercial importance. PMID:25333358

  10. Promoting utilization of Saccharum spp. genetic resources through genetic diversity analysis and core collection construction.

    PubMed

    Nayak, Spurthi N; Song, Jian; Villa, Andrea; Pathak, Bhuvan; Ayala-Silva, Tomas; Yang, Xiping; Todd, James; Glynn, Neil C; Kuhn, David N; Glaz, Barry; Gilbert, Robert A; Comstock, Jack C; Wang, Jianping

    2014-01-01

    Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) and other members of Saccharum spp. are attractive biofuel feedstocks. One of the two World Collections of Sugarcane and Related Grasses (WCSRG) is in Miami, FL. This WCSRG has 1002 accessions, presumably with valuable alleles for biomass, other important agronomic traits, and stress resistance. However, the WCSRG has not been fully exploited by breeders due to its lack of characterization and unmanageable population. In order to optimize the use of this genetic resource, we aim to 1) genotypically evaluate all the 1002 accessions to understand its genetic diversity and population structure and 2) form a core collection, which captures most of the genetic diversity in the WCSRG. We screened 36 microsatellite markers on 1002 genotypes and recorded 209 alleles. Genetic diversity of the WCSRG ranged from 0 to 0.5 with an average of 0.304. The population structure analysis and principal coordinate analysis revealed three clusters with all S. spontaneum in one cluster, S. officinarum and S. hybrids in the second cluster and mostly non-Saccharum spp. in the third cluster. A core collection of 300 accessions was identified which captured the maximum genetic diversity of the entire WCSRG which can be further exploited for sugarcane and energy cane breeding. Sugarcane and energy cane breeders can effectively utilize this core collection for cultivar improvement. Further, the core collection can provide resources for forming an association panel to evaluate the traits of agronomic and commercial importance.

  11. Impact of genetically modified crops on soil- and plant-associated microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Dunfield, Kari E; Germida, James J

    2004-01-01

    Transgenic or genetically modified plants possess novel genes that impart beneficial characteristics such as herbicide resistance. One of the least understood areas in the environmental risk assessment of genetically modified crops is their impact on soil- and plant-associated microbial communities. The potential for interaction between transgenic plants and plant residues and the soil microbial community is not well understood. The recognition that these interactions could change microbial biodiversity and affect ecosystem functioning has initiated a limited number of studies in the area. At this time, studies have shown the possibility that transgenes can be transferred to native soil microorganisms through horizontal gene transfer, although there is not evidence of this occurring in the soil. Furthermore, novel proteins have been shown to be released from transgenic plants into the soil ecosystem, and their presence can influence the biodiversity of the microbial community by selectively stimulating the growth of organisms that can use them. Microbial diversity can be altered when associated with transgenic plants; however, these effects are both variable and transient. Soil- and plant-associated microbial communities are influenced not only by plant species and transgene insertion but also by environmental factors such as field site and sampling date. Minor alterations in the diversity of the microbial community could affect soil health and ecosystem functioning, and therefore, the impact that plant variety may have on the dynamics of the rhizosphere microbial populations and in turn plant growth and health and ecosystem sustainability, requires further study.

  12. Camelina as a sustainable oilseed crop: contributions of plant breeding and genetic engineering.

    PubMed

    Vollmann, Johann; Eynck, Christina

    2015-04-01

    Camelina is an underutilized Brassicaceae oilseed plant with a considerable agronomic potential for biofuel and vegetable oil production in temperate regions. In contrast to most Brassicaceae, camelina is resistant to alternaria black spot and other diseases and pests. Sequencing of the camelina genome revealed an undifferentiated allohexaploid genome with a comparatively large number of genes and low percentage of repetitive DNA. As there is a close relationship between camelina and the genetic model plant Arabidopsis, this review aims at exploring the potential of translating basic Arabidopsis results into a camelina oilseed crop for food and non-food applications. Recently, Arabidopsis genes for drought resistance or increased photosynthesis and overall productivity have successfully been expressed in camelina. In addition, gene constructs affecting lipid metabolism pathways have been engineered into camelina for synthesizing either long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, hydroxy fatty acids or high-oleic oils in particular camelina strains, which is of great interest in human food, industrial or biofuel applications, respectively. These results confirm the potential of camelina to serve as a biotechnology platform in biorefinery applications thus justifying further investment in breeding and genetic research for combining agronomic potential, unique oil quality features and biosafety into an agricultural production system.

  13. Transgenic crops: the present state and new ways of genetic modification.

    PubMed

    Szabala, Bartosz M; Osipowski, Pawel; Malepszy, Stefan

    2014-08-01

    Transgenic crops were first commercialised almost 20 years ago, which makes it a good opportunity to reflect on this technology. In this review, we compare its status with the predictions included in Vasil's forecast published in 2002. Our analysis shows that science has provided a wide range of possibilities to modify different traits in plants, yet the economy benefits from that range to very different extents. We also point out the most important constituents of the technology development involving methodology improvement and novel traits expressed in varieties introduced into agriculture. Using native genes (or their elements) in transgenes, accumulating previously produced transgenes to cascade resistance and using herbicide resistance as a selectable marker have been considered typical of novel genetically modified (GM) plant varieties. A vast portion of the novelties in stacked varieties is doubtful in terms of EU regulations. Attention has also been directed to completely novel methodology solutions that hold out the prospect of a more comprehensive use of genetic modification in agriculture as a whole, and, particularly, make its use possible in the EU and even in sustainable agriculture.

  14. Biomass resource potential for selected crops in Hawaii. [Koa haole (giant leucaena); napier and guinea grass

    SciTech Connect

    Seki, A.

    1982-06-01

    The biomass crops selected for review were koa haole (giant leucaena), napier and guinea grass, and eucalyptus (saligna, grandis, and globulus). The islands examined were Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, and Molokai. The potential land acreage for growing these crops was estimated grossly. As anticipated, the island of Hawaii had the largest land potential with eucalyptus having the greatest potential land acreage.

  15. Less waste corn, more land in soybeans, and the switch to genetically modified crops: trends with important implications to wildlife management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krapu, G.L.; Brandt, D.A.; Cox, R.R.

    2004-01-01

    An abundance of waste corn, a key food of many wildlife species, has helped make possible the widespread success of wildlife management in the United States over the past half century. We found waste corn post harvest in Nebraska declined by 47% from 1978 to 1998 due primarily to improvements in combine headers resulting in a marked decline in ear loss. The reduction in waste coincided with major declines in fat storage by sandhill cranes and white-fronted geese during spring migration. Sandhill cranes, northern pintails, white-fronted geese, and lesser snow geese avoided soybeans while staging in spring in the Rainwater Basin Area and Central Platte River Valley. These findings and other literature suggest soybeans are a marginal food for wildlife particularly during periods of high energy requirements. Soybean acreage has increased by 600% in the United States since 1950 and now comprises nearly one-quarter of the nation>'s cropland. With over 80% of the soybean crop now in genetically modified varieties and treated with glyphosate, weed seed is becoming scarce in soybean fields leaving limited food for wildlife on 72 million acres of U.S. cropland. We suggest that the combined effect of increasing efficiency of crop harvesting techniques, expansion of soybeans and other crops poorly suited for wildlife nutrient needs, and more efficient weed control through the shift to genetically modified crops may severely limit seed-eating wildlife populations in the future unless ways are found to replace high energy food sources being lost. We encourage more research to gain greater insight into effects of declining food resources on wildlife populations and propose that the conservation title of the 2002 farm bill be used as a mechanism to replace part of the high-energy food being lost due to changes in production agriculture.

  16. Limited and time-delayed internal resource allocation generates oscillations and chaos in the dynamics of citrus crops

    SciTech Connect

    Ye, Xujun; Sakai, Kenshi

    2013-12-15

    Alternate bearing or masting is a yield variability phenomenon in perennial crops. The complex dynamics in this phenomenon have stimulated much ecological research. Motivated by data from an eight-year experiment with forty-eight individual trees, we explored the mechanism inherent to these dynamics in Satsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu Marc.). By integrating high-resolution imaging technology, we found that the canopy structure and reproduction output of individual citrus crops are mutually dependent on each other. Furthermore, it was revealed that the mature leaves in early season contribute their energy to the fruiting of the current growing season, whereas the younger leaves show a delayed contribution to the next growing season. We thus hypothesized that the annual yield variability might be caused by the limited and time-delayed resource allocation in individual plants. A novel lattice model based on this hypothesis demonstrates that this pattern of resource allocation will generate oscillations and chaos in citrus yield.

  17. Limited and time-delayed internal resource allocation generates oscillations and chaos in the dynamics of citrus crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, Xujun; Sakai, Kenshi

    2013-12-01

    Alternate bearing or masting is a yield variability phenomenon in perennial crops. The complex dynamics in this phenomenon have stimulated much ecological research. Motivated by data from an eight-year experiment with forty-eight individual trees, we explored the mechanism inherent to these dynamics in Satsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu Marc.). By integrating high-resolution imaging technology, we found that the canopy structure and reproduction output of individual citrus crops are mutually dependent on each other. Furthermore, it was revealed that the mature leaves in early season contribute their energy to the fruiting of the current growing season, whereas the younger leaves show a delayed contribution to the next growing season. We thus hypothesized that the annual yield variability might be caused by the limited and time-delayed resource allocation in individual plants. A novel lattice model based on this hypothesis demonstrates that this pattern of resource allocation will generate oscillations and chaos in citrus yield.

  18. [Relationship of genetically modified crops with the environment and health of the Costa Rican human population].

    PubMed

    Espinoza, Ana M; Arrieta-Espinoza, Griselda; Sittenfeld, Ana

    2004-09-01

    Genetic engineering and the food derived from genetically modified crops (GMCs) have been the center of debate worldwide, as has occurred historically with the advent of new technologies. Questions are derived from the potential impact of GMCs to the environment and the safety of the products to the consumers. In relation to the first inquiry, practice has been oriented to a case-by-case-study, according to the own characteristics of the GMC, in order to minimize its impact in the environment. Scientific studies in diverse latitudes of the world have demonstrated that GMCs in the market showed no adverse effects related to this issue. In relation to food derived from the GMCs, rigorous evaluation protocols have been developed and approved by FAO and WHO to guarantee the innocuousness of these products. Up to the moment, no contraindications for human health have been pointed out for the products that are available today in the market. In the particular case of Costa Rica, the country has established since the 90s a regulatory biosafety framework for the management of the GMCs, safeguarding the biodiversity of the country and the health of consumers. At the same time the country has made significant public and private investments in the field that allowed the country to obtain a leading position in biosafety in the region and genetic engineering research at national research centers. Any attempt to restrict or prohibit these activities in the country, will put in risk the previously described investment, will affect the generation of new knowledge for decision making and the leadership in the field, preventing the benefits derived from this promising technology.

  19. Molecular genetics research in ADHD: ethical considerations concerning patients' benefit and resource allocation.

    PubMed

    Rothenberger, Lillian Geza

    2012-12-01

    Immense resource allocations have led to great data output in genetic research. Concerning ADHD resources spent on genetic research are less than those spent on clinical research. But there are successful efforts made to increase support for molecular genetics research in ADHD. Concerning genetics no evidence based conclusive results have significant impact on prevention, diagnosis or treatment yet. With regard to ethical aspects like the patients' benefit and limited resources the question arises if it is indicated to think about a new balance of resource allocation between molecular genetics and non-genetics research in ADHD. An ethical reflection was performed focusing on recent genetic studies and reviews based on a selective literature search. There are plausible reasons why genetic research results in ADHD are somehow disappointing for clinical practice so far. Researchers try to overcome these gaps systematically, without knowing what the potential future benefits for the patients might be. Non-genetic diagnostic/therapeutic research may lead to clinically relevant findings within a shorter period of time. On the other hand, non-genetic research in ADHD may be nurtured by genetic approaches. But, with the latter there exist significant risks of harm like stigmatization and concerns regarding data protection. Isolated speeding up resources of genetic research in ADHD seems questionable from an ethical point of view. There is a need to find a new balance of resource allocation between genetic and non-genetic research in ADHD, probably by integrating genetics more systematically into clinical research. A transdisciplinary debate is recommended.

  20. What lies underneath: conserving the oceans' genetic resources.

    PubMed

    Arrieta, Jesús M; Arnaud-Haond, Sophie; Duarte, Carlos M

    2010-10-26

    The marine realm represents 70% of the surface of the biosphere and contains a rich variety of organisms, including more than 34 of the 36 living phyla, some of which are only found in the oceans. The number of marine species used by humans is growing at unprecedented rates, including the rapid domestication of marine species for aquaculture and the discovery of natural products and genes of medical and biotechnological interest in marine biota. The rapid growth in the human appropriation of marine genetic resources (MGRs), with over 18,000 natural products and 4,900 patents associated with genes of marine organisms, with the latter growing at 12% per year, demonstrates that the use of MGRs is no longer a vision but a growing source of biotechnological and business opportunities. The diversification of the use of marine living resources by humans calls for an urgent revision of the goals and policies of marine protected areas, to include the protection of MGRs and address emerging issues like biopiracy or benefit sharing. Specific challenges are the protection of these valuable resources in international waters, where no universally accepted legal framework exists to protect and regulate the exploitation of MGRs, and the unresolved issues on patenting components of marine life. Implementing steps toward the protection of MGRs is essential to ensure their sustainable use and to support the flow of future findings of medical and biotechnological interest.

  1. What lies underneath: Conserving the oceans’ genetic resources

    PubMed Central

    Arrieta, Jesús M.; Arnaud-Haond, Sophie; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2010-01-01

    The marine realm represents 70% of the surface of the biosphere and contains a rich variety of organisms, including more than 34 of the 36 living phyla, some of which are only found in the oceans. The number of marine species used by humans is growing at unprecedented rates, including the rapid domestication of marine species for aquaculture and the discovery of natural products and genes of medical and biotechnological interest in marine biota. The rapid growth in the human appropriation of marine genetic resources (MGRs), with over 18,000 natural products and 4,900 patents associated with genes of marine organisms, with the latter growing at 12% per year, demonstrates that the use of MGRs is no longer a vision but a growing source of biotechnological and business opportunities. The diversification of the use of marine living resources by humans calls for an urgent revision of the goals and policies of marine protected areas, to include the protection of MGRs and address emerging issues like biopiracy or benefit sharing. Specific challenges are the protection of these valuable resources in international waters, where no universally accepted legal framework exists to protect and regulate the exploitation of MGRs, and the unresolved issues on patenting components of marine life. Implementing steps toward the protection of MGRs is essential to ensure their sustainable use and to support the flow of future findings of medical and biotechnological interest. PMID:20837523

  2. Modelling adaptation to climate change of Ecuadorian agriculture and associated water resources: uncertainties in coastal and highland cropping systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz-Ramos, Margarita; Bastidas, Wellington; Cóndor, Amparo; Villacís, Marcos; Calderón, Marco; Herrera, Mario; Zambrano, José Luis; Lizaso, Jon; Hernández, Carlos; Rodríguez, Alfredo; Capa-Morocho, Mirian

    2016-04-01

    Climate change threatens sustainability of farms and associated water resources in Ecuador. Although the last IPCC report (AR5) provides a general framework for adaptation, , impact assessment and especially adaptation analysis should be site-specific, taking into account both biophysical and social aspects. The objective of this study is to analyse the climate change impacts and to sustainable adaptations to optimize the crop yield. Furthermore is also aimed to weave agronomical and hydrometeorological aspects, to improve the modelling of the coastal ("costa") and highland ("sierra") cropping systems in Ecuador, from the agricultural production and water resources points of view. The final aim is to support decision makers, at national and local institutions, for technological implementation of structural adaptation strategies, and to support farmers for their autonomous adaptation actions to cope with the climate change impacts and that allow equal access to resources and appropriate technologies. . A diagnosis of the current situation in terms of data availability and reliability was previously done, and the main sources of uncertainty for agricultural projections have been identified: weather data, especially precipitation projections, soil data below the upper 30 cm, and equivalent experimental protocol for ecophysiological crop field measurements. For reducing these uncertainties, several methodologies are being discussed. This study was funded by PROMETEO program from Ecuador through SENESCYT (M. Ruiz-Ramos contract), and by the project COOP-XV-25 funded by Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

  3. Accurate crop classification using hierarchical genetic fuzzy rule-based systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Topaloglou, Charalampos A.; Mylonas, Stelios K.; Stavrakoudis, Dimitris G.; Mastorocostas, Paris A.; Theocharis, John B.

    2014-10-01

    This paper investigates the effectiveness of an advanced classification system for accurate crop classification using very high resolution (VHR) satellite imagery. Specifically, a recently proposed genetic fuzzy rule-based classification system (GFRBCS) is employed, namely, the Hierarchical Rule-based Linguistic Classifier (HiRLiC). HiRLiC's model comprises a small set of simple IF-THEN fuzzy rules, easily interpretable by humans. One of its most important attributes is that its learning algorithm requires minimum user interaction, since the most important learning parameters affecting the classification accuracy are determined by the learning algorithm automatically. HiRLiC is applied in a challenging crop classification task, using a SPOT5 satellite image over an intensively cultivated area in a lake-wetland ecosystem in northern Greece. A rich set of higher-order spectral and textural features is derived from the initial bands of the (pan-sharpened) image, resulting in an input space comprising 119 features. The experimental analysis proves that HiRLiC compares favorably to other interpretable classifiers of the literature, both in terms of structural complexity and classification accuracy. Its testing accuracy was very close to that obtained by complex state-of-the-art classification systems, such as the support vector machines (SVM) and random forest (RF) classifiers. Nevertheless, visual inspection of the derived classification maps shows that HiRLiC is characterized by higher generalization properties, providing more homogeneous classifications that the competitors. Moreover, the runtime requirements for producing the thematic map was orders of magnitude lower than the respective for the competitors.

  4. Genetic structure of a phytophagous mite species affected by crop practices: the case of Tetranychus urticae in clementine mandarins.

    PubMed

    Pascual-Ruiz, S; Gómez-Martinez, M A; Ansaloni, T; Segarra-Moragues, J G; Sabater-Muñoz, B; Jacas, J A; Hurtado-Ruiz, M A

    2014-04-01

    Tetranychus urticae Koch is a cosmopolitan mite considered as the most polyphagous species among spider mites. This mite is a key pest of clementine mandarins in Eastern Spain, where Spanish clementine production concentrates. Crop management practices can affect the population dynamics of this mite and, consequently, its impact on the orchard. Microsatellite markers were used to study mite population genetics from two commercial orchards which had been managed differently following Integrated Pest Management (IPM) or Organic Pest Management (OPM) schemes during four consecutive years. A multiplex system including 20 microsatellite loci was designed specifically and allowed an efficient and inexpensive genotyping of individual mites. We found that the IPM population had a stronger fluctuation of population structure and higher genetic diversity compared to OPM population. Thus, our study concludes that crop management has an impact on the population genetics of T. urticae which may be related to the alternation of some acaricides under IPM.

  5. Expanding maize genetic resources with predomestication alleles: maize-teosinte introgression populations

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Teosinte (Zea mays ssp. parviglumis) has greater genetic diversity than maize inbreds and landraces (Z. mays ssp. mays). There are, however, limited genetic resources to efficiently evaluate and tap this diversity. To broaden resources for genetic diversity studies in maize, we developed and evaluat...

  6. Conserving and managing the trees of the future: genetic resources for Pacific Northwest forests.

    Treesearch

    Sally. Duncan

    2003-01-01

    Genetic resource management has historically called for altering the genetic structure of plant populations through selection for traits of interest such as rapid growth. Although this is still a principal component of tree breeding programs in the Pacific Northwest, managing genetic resources now also brings a clear focus on retaining a broad diversity within and...

  7. Genetic Simulation Resources: a website for the registration and discovery of genetic data simulators

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Bo; Chen, Huann-Sheng; Mechanic, Leah E.; Racine, Ben; Clarke, John; Clarke, Lauren; Gillanders, Elizabeth; Feuer, Eric J.

    2013-01-01

    Summary: Many simulation methods and programs have been developed to simulate genetic data of the human genome. These data have been widely used, for example, to predict properties of populations retrospectively or prospectively according to mathematically intractable genetic models, and to assist the validation, statistical inference and power analysis of a variety of statistical models. However, owing to the differences in type of genetic data of interest, simulation methods, evolutionary features, input and output formats, terminologies and assumptions for different applications, choosing the right tool for a particular study can be a resource-intensive process that usually involves searching, downloading and testing many different simulation programs. Genetic Simulation Resources (GSR) is a website provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that aims to help researchers compare and choose the appropriate simulation tools for their studies. This website allows authors of simulation software to register their applications and describe them with well-defined attributes, thus allowing site users to search and compare simulators according to specified features. Availability: http://popmodels.cancercontrol.cancer.gov/gsr. Contact: gsr@mail.nih.gov PMID:23435068

  8. Genetic engineering strategies for biotic and abiotic stress tolerance and quality enhancement in horticultural crops: a comprehensive review.

    PubMed

    Parmar, Nehanjali; Singh, Kunwar Harendra; Sharma, Deepika; Singh, Lal; Kumar, Pankaj; Nanjundan, J; Khan, Yasin Jeshima; Chauhan, Devendra Kumar; Thakur, Ajay Kumar

    2017-08-01

    Genetic engineering technique offers myriads of applications in improvement of horticultural crops for biotic and abiotic stress tolerance, and produce quality enhancement. During last two decades, a large number of transgenic horticultural crops has been developed and more are underway. A number of genes including natural and synthetic Cry genes, protease inhibitors, trypsin inhibitors and cystatin genes have been used to incorporate insect and nematode resistance. For providing protection against fungal and bacterial diseases, various genes like chitinase, glucanase, osmotin, defensin and pathogenesis-related genes are being transferred to many horticultural crops world over. RNAi technique has been found quite successful in inducing virus resistance in horticultural crops in addition to coat protein genes. Abiotic stresses such as drought, heat and salinity adversely affect production and productivity of horticultural crops and a number of genes encoding for biosynthesis of stress protecting compounds including mannitol, glycine betaine and heat shock proteins have been employed for abiotic stress tolerance besides various transcription factors like DREB1, MAPK, WRKY, etc. Antisense gene and RNAi technologies have revolutionized the pace of improvement of horticultural crops, particularly ornamentals for color modification, increasing shelf-life and reducing post-harvest losses. Precise genome editing tools, particularly CRISPR/Cas9, have been efficiently applied in tomato, petunia, citrus, grape, potato and apple for gene mutation, repression, activation and epigenome editing. This review provides comprehensive overview to draw the attention of researchers for better understanding of genetic engineering advancements in imparting biotic and abiotic stress tolerance as well as on improving various traits related to quality, texture, plant architecture modification, increasing shelf-life, etc. in different horticultural crops.

  9. COTIP: Cotton TILLING Platform, a Resource for Plant Improvement and Reverse Genetic Studies

    PubMed Central

    Aslam, Usman; Cheema, Hafiza M. N.; Ahmad, Sheraz; Khan, Iqrar A.; Malik, Waqas; Khan, Asif A.

    2016-01-01

    Cotton is cultivated worldwide for its white fiber, of which around 90% is tetraploid upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) carrying both A and D genome. Since centuries, yield increasing efforts for the cotton crop by conventional breeding approaches have caused an extensive erosion of natural genetic variability. Mutation based improvement strategies provide an effective way of creating new allelic variations. Targeting Induced Local Lesions IN Genomes (TILLING) provides a mutation based reverse genetic strategy to create and evaluate induced genetic variability at DNA level. Here, we report development and testing of TILLING populations of allotetraploid cotton (G. hirsutum) for functional genomic studies and mutation based enrichment of cotton genetic resources. Seed of two cotton cultivars “PB-899 and PB-900” were mutagenized with 0.3 and 0.2% (v/v) ethyl methanesulfonate, respectively. The phenotyping of M1 and M2 populations presented numerous mutants regarding the branching pattern, leaf morphology, disease resistance, photosynthetic lesions and flower sterility. Molecular screening for point mutations was performed by TILLING PCR aided CEL1 mismatch cleavage. To estimate the mutation frequency in the mutant genomes, five gene classes were TILLed in 8000 M2 plants of each var. “PB-899” and “PB-900.” These include actin (GhACT), Pectin Methyl Esterase (GhPME), sucrose synthase (GhSUS), resistance gene analog, and defense response gene (DRGs). The var. PB-899 was harboring 47% higher mutation induction rate than PB-900. The highest rate of mutation frequency was identified for NAC-TF5 (EU706348) of DRGs class, ranging from 1/58 kb in PB-899 to 1/105 kb in PB-900. The mutation screening assay revealed the presence of significant proportion of induced mutations in cotton TILLING populations such as 1/153 kb and 1/326 kb in var. “PB-899” and “PB-900,” respectively. The establishment of a cotton TILLING platform (COTIP) and data obtained from

  10. [The public perception of information about the potential risks of genetically modified crops in the food chain].

    PubMed

    Furnival, Ariadne Chloë; Pinheiro, Sônia Maria

    2008-01-01

    At a time when genetically modified (GM) crops are entering the Brazilian food chain, we present the findings of a study that makes use of a qualitative technique involving focal groups to look into the public's interpretation of the information available about this biotechnological innovation. This methodology produced results that revealed the interconnections drawn by the research subjects between this form of biotechnology, changes to the environment, and food production in general. The mistrust expressed about GM crops was particularly attributed by the participants to the non-availability of comprehensible information in the mass media or on product labels.

  11. Citizens' preferences for the conservation of agricultural genetic resources.

    PubMed

    Pouta, Eija; Tienhaara, Annika; Ahtiainen, Heini

    2014-01-01

    Evaluation of conservation policies for agricultural genetic resources (AgGR) requires information on the use and non-use values of plant varieties and animal breeds, as well as on the preferences for in situ and ex situ conservation. We conducted a choice experiment to estimate citizens' willingness to pay (WTP) for AgGR conservation programmes in Finland, and used a latent class model to identify heterogeneity in preferences among respondent groups. The findings indicate that citizens have a high interest in the conservation of native breeds and varieties, but also reveal the presence of preference heterogeneity. Five respondent groups could be identified based on latent class modeling: one implying lexicographic preferences, two with reasoned choices, one indicating uncertain support and one with a preference for the current status of conservation. The results emphasize the importance of in situ conservation of native cattle breeds and plant varieties in developing conservation policies.

  12. Bridging the phenotypic and genetic data useful for integrated breeding through a data annotation using the Crop Ontology developed by the crop communities of practice.

    PubMed

    Shrestha, Rosemary; Matteis, Luca; Skofic, Milko; Portugal, Arllet; McLaren, Graham; Hyman, Glenn; Arnaud, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    The Crop Ontology (CO) of the Generation Challenge Program (GCP) (http://cropontology.org/) is developed for the Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP) (http://www.integratedbreeding.net/) by several centers of The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR): bioversity, CIMMYT, CIP, ICRISAT, IITA, and IRRI. Integrated breeding necessitates that breeders access genotypic and phenotypic data related to a given trait. The CO provides validated trait names used by the crop communities of practice (CoP) for harmonizing the annotation of phenotypic and genotypic data and thus supporting data accessibility and discovery through web queries. The trait information is completed by the description of the measurement methods and scales, and images. The trait dictionaries used to produce the Integrated Breeding (IB) fieldbooks are synchronized with the CO terms for an automatic annotation of the phenotypic data measured in the field. The IB fieldbook provides breeders with direct access to the CO to get additional descriptive information on the traits. Ontologies and trait dictionaries are online for cassava, chickpea, common bean, groundnut, maize, Musa, potato, rice, sorghum, and wheat. Online curation and annotation tools facilitate (http://cropontology.org) direct maintenance of the trait information and production of trait dictionaries by the crop communities. An important feature is the cross referencing of CO terms with the Crop database trait ID and with their synonyms in Plant Ontology (PO) and Trait Ontology (TO). Web links between cross referenced terms in CO provide online access to data annotated with similar ontological terms, particularly the genetic data in Gramene (University of Cornell) or the evaluation and climatic data in the Global Repository of evaluation trials of the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security programme (CCAFS). Cross-referencing and annotation will be further applied in the IBP.

  13. Bridging the phenotypic and genetic data useful for integrated breeding through a data annotation using the Crop Ontology developed by the crop communities of practice

    PubMed Central

    Shrestha, Rosemary; Matteis, Luca; Skofic, Milko; Portugal, Arllet; McLaren, Graham; Hyman, Glenn; Arnaud, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    The Crop Ontology (CO) of the Generation Challenge Program (GCP) (http://cropontology.org/) is developed for the Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP) (http://www.integratedbreeding.net/) by several centers of The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR): bioversity, CIMMYT, CIP, ICRISAT, IITA, and IRRI. Integrated breeding necessitates that breeders access genotypic and phenotypic data related to a given trait. The CO provides validated trait names used by the crop communities of practice (CoP) for harmonizing the annotation of phenotypic and genotypic data and thus supporting data accessibility and discovery through web queries. The trait information is completed by the description of the measurement methods and scales, and images. The trait dictionaries used to produce the Integrated Breeding (IB) fieldbooks are synchronized with the CO terms for an automatic annotation of the phenotypic data measured in the field. The IB fieldbook provides breeders with direct access to the CO to get additional descriptive information on the traits. Ontologies and trait dictionaries are online for cassava, chickpea, common bean, groundnut, maize, Musa, potato, rice, sorghum, and wheat. Online curation and annotation tools facilitate (http://cropontology.org) direct maintenance of the trait information and production of trait dictionaries by the crop communities. An important feature is the cross referencing of CO terms with the Crop database trait ID and with their synonyms in Plant Ontology (PO) and Trait Ontology (TO). Web links between cross referenced terms in CO provide online access to data annotated with similar ontological terms, particularly the genetic data in Gramene (University of Cornell) or the evaluation and climatic data in the Global Repository of evaluation trials of the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security programme (CCAFS). Cross-referencing and annotation will be further applied in the IBP. PMID:22934074

  14. Use of a risk communication model to evaluate dietetics professionals' viewpoints on genetically engineered foods and crops.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Kathy S; Struble, Marie Boyle; McCullum-Gomez, Christine; Wilkins, Jennifer L

    2006-05-01

    The complex issues surrounding the application of genetic engineering to food and agriculture have generated a contentious debate among diverse interest groups. One pervasive dimension in the resultant discourse is the varying perceptions of the risks and benefits of genetically engineered foods and crops. In the risk communication model, technical information is evaluated within the context of an individual's values and perceptions. The purpose of this study was to explore how dietetics professionals respond to a complex set of interrelated issues associated with genetically engineered foods and crops and to identify what varying viewpoints may exist. Participants were asked to sort a total of 48 statements distributed across eight issue areas according to level of agreement and disagreement. Using Q methodology, a total of 256 sortings were analyzed using the centroid method and varimax rotation in factor analysis. Three distinct viewpoints emerged: Precautionary (R(2)=43%), Discerning Supporter (R(2)=11%), and Promoting (R(2)=5%). Across all viewpoints, respondents agreed that dietetics professionals should employ critical thinking skills to communicate the social, economic, environmental, ethical, and technical aspects of genetically engineered foods and crops. The findings have implications for how dietetics professionals can foster an open interchange of information among diverse groups.

  15. Detection of genetically modified crops and their derivatives: critical steps in sample preparation and extraction.

    PubMed

    Terry, Catherine F; Harris, Neil; Parkes, Helen C

    2002-01-01

    The detection of genetically modified crops in foodstuff relies on detection of transgenic DNA or protein material in the sample matrix. Purified DNA or proteins are used as analytical material for polymerase chain reaction technologies and immunodiagnostics. Successful sample preparation is critical to the validity of subsequent analysis. For routine analysis, a good sample preparation technique should be simple, safe, and inexpensive while reproducibly generating DNA/protein of sufficient quality and yield. The suitability of isolated DNA or protein as an analyte for a detection or characterization technique depends on amount or concentration, purity, and integrity, each of which may be influenced by sample matrix and the extraction technique, and, in turn, may impact the validity of analytical techniques. The key sample preparation steps of homogenization, pretreatment, extraction, and purification are discussed as well as typical analytical methods. Consideration is given to application of these steps for particular sample matrixes to maximize yield, reduce inhibition effects, and minimize contamination. The choice of the most appropriate and valid methods for sample preparation from particular foods is discussed with respect to DNA analysis. Attention is also given to ease of use, cost, and generic applicability of the procedures.

  16. Genetically engineered crops and pesticide use in U.S. maize and soybeans.

    PubMed

    Perry, Edward D; Ciliberto, Federico; Hennessy, David A; Moschini, GianCarlo

    2016-08-01

    The widespread adoption of genetically engineered (GE) crops has clearly led to changes in pesticide use, but the nature and extent of these impacts remain open questions. We study this issue with a unique, large, and representative sample of plot-level choices made by U.S. maize and soybean farmers from 1998 to 2011. On average, adopters of GE glyphosate-tolerant (GT) soybeans used 28% (0.30 kg/ha) more herbicide than nonadopters, adopters of GT maize used 1.2% (0.03 kg/ha) less herbicide than nonadopters, and adopters of GE insect-resistant (IR) maize used 11.2% (0.013 kg/ha) less insecticide than nonadopters. When pesticides are weighted by the environmental impact quotient, however, we find that (relative to nonadopters) GE adopters used about the same amount of soybean herbicides, 9.8% less of maize herbicides, and 10.4% less of maize insecticides. In addition, the results indicate that the difference in pesticide use between GE and non-GE adopters has changed significantly over time. For both soybean and maize, GT adopters used increasingly more herbicides relative to nonadopters, whereas adopters of IR maize used increasingly less insecticides. The estimated pattern of change in herbicide use over time is consistent with the emergence of glyphosate weed resistance.

  17. Genetically engineered crops and pesticide use in U.S. maize and soybeans

    PubMed Central

    Perry, Edward D.; Ciliberto, Federico; Hennessy, David A.; Moschini, GianCarlo

    2016-01-01

    The widespread adoption of genetically engineered (GE) crops has clearly led to changes in pesticide use, but the nature and extent of these impacts remain open questions. We study this issue with a unique, large, and representative sample of plot-level choices made by U.S. maize and soybean farmers from 1998 to 2011. On average, adopters of GE glyphosate-tolerant (GT) soybeans used 28% (0.30 kg/ha) more herbicide than nonadopters, adopters of GT maize used 1.2% (0.03 kg/ha) less herbicide than nonadopters, and adopters of GE insect-resistant (IR) maize used 11.2% (0.013 kg/ha) less insecticide than nonadopters. When pesticides are weighted by the environmental impact quotient, however, we find that (relative to nonadopters) GE adopters used about the same amount of soybean herbicides, 9.8% less of maize herbicides, and 10.4% less of maize insecticides. In addition, the results indicate that the difference in pesticide use between GE and non-GE adopters has changed significantly over time. For both soybean and maize, GT adopters used increasingly more herbicides relative to nonadopters, whereas adopters of IR maize used increasingly less insecticides. The estimated pattern of change in herbicide use over time is consistent with the emergence of glyphosate weed resistance. PMID:27652335

  18. Computational allergenicity prediction of transgenic proteins expressed in genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Verma, Alok Kumar; Misra, Amita; Subash, Swarna; Das, Mukul; Dwivedi, Premendra D

    2011-09-01

    Development of genetically modified (GM) crops is on increase to improve food quality, increase harvest yields, and reduce the dependency on chemical pesticides. Before their release in marketplace, they should be scrutinized for their safety. Several guidelines of different regulatory agencies like ILSI, WHO Codex, OECD, and so on for allergenicity evaluation of transgenics are available and sequence homology analysis is the first test to determine the allergenic potential of inserted proteins. Therefore, to test and validate, 312 allergenic, 100 non-allergenic, and 48 inserted proteins were assessed for sequence similarity using 8-mer, 80-mer, and full FASTA search. On performing sequence homology studies, ~94% the allergenic proteins gave exact matches for 8-mer and 80-mer homology. However, 20 allergenic proteins showed non-allergenic behavior. Out of 100 non-allergenic proteins, seven qualified as allergens. None of the inserted proteins demonstrated allergenic behavior. In order to improve the predictability, proteins showing anomalous behavior were tested by Algpred and ADFS separately. Use of Algpred and ADFS softwares reduced the tendency of false prediction to a great extent (74-78%). In conclusion, routine sequence homology needs to be coupled with some other bioinformatic method like ADFS/Algpred to reduce false allergenicity prediction of novel proteins.

  19. An image segmentation based on a genetic algorithm for determining soil coverage by crop residues.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Angela; Ranz, Juan; Burgos-Artizzu, Xavier P; Pajares, Gonzalo; del Arco, Maria J Sanchez; Navarrete, Luis

    2011-01-01

    Determination of the soil coverage by crop residues after ploughing is a fundamental element of Conservation Agriculture. This paper presents the application of genetic algorithms employed during the fine tuning of the segmentation process of a digital image with the aim of automatically quantifying the residue coverage. In other words, the objective is to achieve a segmentation that would permit the discrimination of the texture of the residue so that the output of the segmentation process is a binary image in which residue zones are isolated from the rest. The RGB images used come from a sample of images in which sections of terrain were photographed with a conventional camera positioned in zenith orientation atop a tripod. The images were taken outdoors under uncontrolled lighting conditions. Up to 92% similarity was achieved between the images obtained by the segmentation process proposed in this paper and the templates made by an elaborate manual tracing process. In addition to the proposed segmentation procedure and the fine tuning procedure that was developed, a global quantification of the soil coverage by residues for the sampled area was achieved that differed by only 0.85% from the quantification obtained using template images. Moreover, the proposed method does not depend on the type of residue present in the image. The study was conducted at the experimental farm "El Encín" in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid, Spain).

  20. Dynamic conservation of forest genetic resources in 33 European countries.

    PubMed

    Lefèvre, François; Koskela, Jarkko; Hubert, Jason; Kraigher, Hojka; Longauer, Roman; Olrik, Ditte C; Schüler, Silvio; Bozzano, Michele; Alizoti, Paraskevi; Bakys, Remigijus; Baldwin, Cathleen; Ballian, Dalibor; Black-Samuelsson, Sanna; Bednarova, Dagmar; Bordács, Sándor; Collin, Eric; de Cuyper, Bart; de Vries, Sven M G; Eysteinsson, Thröstur; Frýdl, Josef; Haverkamp, Michaela; Ivankovic, Mladen; Konrad, Heino; Koziol, Czesław; Maaten, Tiit; Notivol Paino, Eduardo; Oztürk, Hikmet; Pandeva, Ivanova Denitsa; Parnuta, Gheorghe; Pilipovič, Andrej; Postolache, Dragos; Ryan, Cathal; Steffenrem, Arne; Varela, Maria Carolina; Vessella, Federico; Volosyanchuk, Roman T; Westergren, Marjana; Wolter, Frank; Yrjänä, Leena; Zariŋa, Inga

    2013-04-01

    Dynamic conservation of forest genetic resources (FGR) means maintaining the genetic diversity of trees within an evolutionary process and allowing generation turnover in the forest. We assessed the network of forests areas managed for the dynamic conservation of FGR (conservation units) across Europe (33 countries). On the basis of information available in the European Information System on FGR (EUFGIS Portal), species distribution maps, and environmental stratification of the continent, we developed ecogeographic indicators, a marginality index, and demographic indicators to assess and monitor forest conservation efforts. The pan-European network has 1967 conservation units, 2737 populations of target trees, and 86 species of target trees. We detected a poor coincidence between FGR conservation and other biodiversity conservation objectives within this network. We identified 2 complementary strategies: a species-oriented strategy in which national conservation networks are specifically designed for key target species and a site-oriented strategy in which multiple-target units include so-called secondary species conserved within a few sites. The network is highly unbalanced in terms of species representation, and 7 key target species are conserved in 60% of the conservation units. We performed specific gap analyses for 11 tree species, including assessment of ecogeographic, demographic, and genetic criteria. For each species, we identified gaps, particularly in the marginal parts of their distribution range, and found multiple redundant conservation units in other areas. The Mediterranean forests and to a lesser extent the boreal forests are underrepresented. Monitoring the conservation efficiency of each unit remains challenging; however, <2% of the conserved populations seem to be at risk of extinction. On the basis of our results, we recommend combining species-oriented and site-oriented strategies.

  1. Genetically modified crops and aquatic ecosystems: considerations for environmental risk assessment and non-target organism testing.

    PubMed

    Carstens, Keri; Anderson, Jennifer; Bachman, Pamela; De Schrijver, Adinda; Dively, Galen; Federici, Brian; Hamer, Mick; Gielkens, Marco; Jensen, Peter; Lamp, William; Rauschen, Stefan; Ridley, Geoff; Romeis, Jörg; Waggoner, Annabel

    2012-08-01

    Environmental risk assessments (ERA) support regulatory decisions for the commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops. The ERA for terrestrial agroecosystems is well-developed, whereas guidance for ERA of GM crops in aquatic ecosystems is not as well-defined. The purpose of this document is to demonstrate how comprehensive problem formulation can be used to develop a conceptual model and to identify potential exposure pathways, using Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize as a case study. Within problem formulation, the insecticidal trait, the crop, the receiving environment, and protection goals were characterized, and a conceptual model was developed to identify routes through which aquatic organisms may be exposed to insecticidal proteins in maize tissue. Following a tiered approach for exposure assessment, worst-case exposures were estimated using standardized models, and factors mitigating exposure were described. Based on exposure estimates, shredders were identified as the functional group most likely to be exposed to insecticidal proteins. However, even using worst-case assumptions, the exposure of shredders to Bt maize was low and studies supporting the current risk assessments were deemed adequate. Determining if early tier toxicity studies are necessary to inform the risk assessment for a specific GM crop should be done on a case by case basis, and should be guided by thorough problem formulation and exposure assessment. The processes used to develop the Bt maize case study are intended to serve as a model for performing risk assessments on future traits and crops.

  2. Multiplex PCR-based simultaneous amplification of selectable marker and reporter genes for the screening of genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Randhawa, Gurinder Jit; Chhabra, Rashmi; Singh, Monika

    2009-06-24

    The development and commercialization of genetically modified (GM) crops with enhanced insect and herbicide resistance, abiotic stress tolerance, and improved nutritional quality has expanded dramatically. Notwithstanding the huge potential benefits of GM crops, the perceived environmental risks associated with these crops need to be addressed in proper perspective. One critical concern is the adventitious presence or unintentional mixing of GM seed in non-GM seed lots, which can seriously affect the global seed market. It would therefore be necessary though a challenging task to develop reliable, efficient, and economical assays for GM detection, identification, and quantification in non-GM seed lots. This can be systematically undertaken by preliminary screening for control elements and selectable or scorable (reporter) marker genes. In this study, simplex and multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays individually as well as simultaneously amplifying the commonly used selectable marker genes, i.e., aadA, bar, hpt, nptII, pat encoding, respectively, for aminoglycoside-3'-adenyltransferase, Streptococcus viridochromogenes phosphinothricin-N-acetyltransferase, hygromycin phosphotransferase, neomycin phosphotransferase, Streptococcus hygroscopicus phosphinothricin-N-acetyltransferase, and a reporter gene uidA encoding beta-d-glucuronidase, were developed as a reliable tool for qualitative screening of GM crops. The efficiency of the assays was also standardized in the test samples prepared by artificial mixing of transgenic seed samples in different proportions. The developed multiplex PCR assays will be useful in verifying the GM status of a sample irrespective of the crop and GM trait.

  3. Genetic engineering of crop plants for fungal resistance: role of antifungal genes.

    PubMed

    Ceasar, S Antony; Ignacimuthu, S

    2012-06-01

    Fungal diseases damage crop plants and affect agricultural production. Transgenic plants have been produced by inserting antifungal genes to confer resistance against fungal pathogens. Genes of fungal cell wall-degrading enzymes, such as chitinase and glucanase, are frequently used to produce fungal-resistant transgenic crop plants. In this review, we summarize the details of various transformation studies to develop fungal resistance in crop plants.

  4. Could Crop Roughness Impact the Wind Resource at Agriculturally Productive Wind Farm Sites?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderwende, B. J.; Lundquist, J. K.

    2014-12-01

    The high concentration of both large-scale agriculture and wind power production in the United States Midwest region raises new questions concerning the interaction of the two activities. For instance, it is known from internal boundary layer theory that changes in the roughness of the land-surface resulting from crop choices could modify the momentum field aloft. Upward propagation of such an effect might impact the properties of the winds encountered by modern turbines, which typically span a layer from about 40 to 120 meters above the surface. As direct observation of such interaction would require impractical interference in the planting schedules of farmers, we use numerical modeling to quantify the magnitude of crop-roughness effects. To simulate a collocated farm and turbine array, we use version 3.4.1 of the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF). The hypothetical farm is inserted near the real location of the 2013 Crop Wind Energy Experiment (CWEX). Reanalyses provide representative initial and boundary conditions. A month-long period spanning August 2013 is used to evaluate the differences in flows above corn (maize) and soybean crops at the mature, reproductive stage. Simulations are performed comparing the flow above each surface regime, both in the absence and presence of a wind farm, which consists of a parameterized 11x11 array of 1.8 MW Vestas V90 turbines. Appreciable differences in rotor-layer wind speeds emerge. The use of soybeans results in an increase in wind speeds and a corresponding reduction in rotor-layer shear when compared to corn. Despite the turbulent nature of flow within a wind farm, high stability reduces the impact of crop roughness on the flow aloft, particularly in the upper portion of the rotor disk. We use these results to estimate the economic impact of crop selection on wind power producers.

  5. Relating United States crop land use to natural resources and climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Flores-Mendoza, F.J.; Hubbard, K.G.

    1995-02-01

    Crop production depends not only on the yield but also on the area harvested. The yield response to climate change has been widely examined, but the sensitivity of crop land use to hypothetical climate change has not been examined directly. Crop land-use regression models for estimating crop area indices (CAIs)-the percent of land used for corn, soybean, wheat, and sorghum production-are presented. Inputs to the models include available water-holding capacity of the soil, percent of land available for rain-fed agricultural production, annual precipitation, and annual temperature. The total variance of CAI explained by the models ranged from 78% from wheat to 87% for sorghum, and the root-mean-square errors ranged from 1.74% for sorghum to 4.24% for corn. The introduction of additional climatic variables to the models did not significantly improve their performance. The crop land-use models were used to predict the CAI for every crop reporting district in the United States for the current climatic condition and for possible future climate change scenarios (various combinations of temperature and precipitation changes over a range of -3{degrees} to +6{degrees}C and -20% to +20% respectively). The magnitude of climatic warming suggested by GCMs (GISS and GFDL) is from 3.5{degrees} to 5.9{degrees}C for regions of the United States. For this magnitude of warming, the model suggests corn and soybean production areas may decline while wheat and sorghum production areas may expand. If the warming is accompanied by a decrease in annual precipitation from 1% to 10%, then the areas used for corn and soybean production could decrease by as much as 20% and 40%, respectively. The area for sorghum and wheat under these conditions would increase by as much as 80% and 70%, respectively; the exact amount depending strongly on the change in precipitation. 15 refs., 6 figs.

  6. Improving soil microbiology under rice-wheat crop rotation in Indo-Gangetic Plains by optimized resource management.

    PubMed

    Sharma, P; Singh, G; Sarkar, Sushil K; Singh, Rana P

    2015-03-01

    The resource-intensive agriculture involving use of chemical fertilizers, irrigation, and tillage practices is a major cause of soil, water, and air pollution. This study was conducted to determine whether integrated use of nutrient, water, and tillage (reduced) can be manipulated to improve the population of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (Azotobacter, Bacillus, and Pseudomonas) to enhance soil fertility and yield. The study was conducted in the Indo-Gangetic plain (IGP) region of India, where resource-intensive agriculture is practiced. Various combinations of chemical (urea) and organic fertilizers (farmyard manure (FYM), biofertilizer, and green manure) were used on replicated field plots for all the experiments. The effect of integrated resource management (IRM) on activities of Azotobacter, Bacillus, and Pseudomonas and its relation to the yields of rice and wheat crops in subtropical soils of IGP region were also observed. The increased population of all the three microbes, namely, Azotobacter (5.01-7.74 %), Bacillus (3.37-6.79 %), and Pseudomonas (5.21-7.09 %), was observed due to improved structure and increased organic matter in the soil. Similarly, kernel number and 1000 kernel weight were found increased with sole organic N source, three irrigations, and conservation tillage. Thus, it was found that the IRM practices affect the environment positively by increasing the population of beneficial soil microbes and crop yield as compared to high-input agriculture (conventional practices).

  7. Safety assessment, detection and traceability, and societal aspects of genetically modified foods. European Network on Safety Assessment of Genetically Modified Food Crops (ENTRANSFOOD). Concluding remarks.

    PubMed

    Kuiper, H A; König, A; Kleter, G A; Hammes, W P; Knudsen, I

    2004-07-01

    The most important results from the EU-sponsored ENTRANSFOOD Thematic Network project are reviewed, including the design of a detailed step-wise procedure for the risk assessment of foods derived from genetically modified crops based on the latest scientific developments, evaluation of topical risk assessment issues, and the formulation of proposals for improved risk management and public involvement in the risk analysis process.

  8. Applied reproductive technologies and genetic resource banking for amphibian conservation.

    PubMed

    Kouba, Andrew J; Vance, Carrie K

    2009-01-01

    As amphibian populations continue to decline, both government and non-government organisations are establishing captive assurance colonies to secure populations deemed at risk of extinction if left in the wild. For the most part, little is known about the nutritional ecology, reproductive biology or husbandry needs of the animals placed into captive breeding programs. Because of this lack of knowledge, conservation biologists are currently facing the difficult task of maintaining and reproducing these species. Academic and zoo scientists are beginning to examine different technologies for maintaining the genetic diversity of founder populations brought out of the wild before the animals become extinct from rapidly spreading epizootic diseases. One such technology is genetic resource banking and applied reproductive technologies for species that are difficult to reproduce reliably in captivity. Significant advances have been made in the last decade for amphibian assisted reproduction including the use of exogenous hormones for induction of spermiation and ovulation, in vitro fertilisation, short-term cold storage of gametes and long-term cryopreservation of spermatozoa. These scientific breakthroughs for a select few species will no doubt serve as models for future assisted breeding protocols and the increasing number of amphibians requiring conservation intervention. However, the development of specialised assisted breeding protocols that can be applied to many different families of amphibians will likely require species-specific modifications considering their wide range of reproductive modes. The purpose of this review is to summarise the current state of knowledge in the area of assisted reproduction technologies and gene banking for the conservation of amphibians.

  9. Genetic and environmental limitations on crop responses to elevated [CO2

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    While the future crop growing environment is likely to be warmer and with more variable water availability, the stimulation of C3 photosynthesis by elevated CO2 concentration provides a potential benefit of global climate change. However, experimental field studies suggest that C3 crops fall short o...

  10. Targeting metabolic pathways for genetic engineering abiotic stress-tolerance in crops.

    PubMed

    Reguera, Maria; Peleg, Zvi; Blumwald, Eduardo

    2012-02-01

    Abiotic stress conditions are the major limitations in modern agriculture. Although many genes associated with plant response(s) to abiotic stresses have been indentified and used to generate stress tolerant plants, the success in producing stress-tolerant crops is limited. New technologies are providing opportunities to generate stress tolerant crops. Biotechnological approaches that emphasize the development of transgenic crops under conditions that mimic the field situation and focus on the plant reproductive stage will significantly improve the opportunities of producing stress tolerant crops. Here, we highlight recent advances and discuss the limitations that hinder the fast integration of transgenic crops into agriculture and suggest possible research directions. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Plant gene regulation in response to abiotic stress.

  11. Developing educational resources for population genetics in R: An open and collaborative approach

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The R computing and statistical language community has developed a myriad of resources for conducting populations genetic analyses. However, resources for learning how to carry out population genetic analyses in R are scattered and often incomplete, which can make acquiring this skill unnecessarily ...

  12. Proceedings of the third ISHS international symposium of plant genetic resources volume 1

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The Third International ISHS Symposium on plant genetic resources occurred as Symposium 12 of the International Horticulture Congress in Lisbon, in August 2010. This symposium lasted4 days and emphasized new tools in plant genetic resource management. Six speakers gave invited presentations, and 30 ...

  13. Proceedings of the third ISHS international symposium on plant genetic resources volume 2

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The Third International ISHS Symposium on plant genetic resources occurred as Symposium 12 of the International Horticulture Congress in Lisbon, in August 2010. This symposium lasted4 days and emphasized new tools in plant genetic resource management. Six speakers gave invited presentations, and 30 ...

  14. Walnut (Juglans regia L.): genetic resources, chemistry, by-products.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Marcela L; Labuckas, Diana O; Lamarque, Alicia L; Maestri, Damián M

    2010-09-01

    Walnut (Juglans regia L.) is the most widespread tree nut in the world. There is a great diversity of genotypes differing in forestry, productivity, physical and chemical nut traits. Some of them have been evaluated as promising and may serve as germplasm sources for breeding. The nutritional importance of the nut is related to the seed (kernel). It is a nutrient-dense food mainly owing to its oil content (up to 740 g kg(-1) in some commercial varieties), which can be extracted easily by screw pressing and consumed without refining. Walnut oil composition is dominated largely by unsaturated fatty acids (mainly linoleic together with lesser amounts of oleic and linolenic acids). Minor components of walnut oil include tocopherols, phospholipids, sphingolipids, sterols, hydrocarbons and volatile compounds. Phenolic compounds, present at high levels in the seed coat but poorly extracted with the oil, have been extensively characterised and found to possess strong antioxidant properties. The oil extraction residue is rich in proteins (unusually high in arginine, glutamic and aspartic acids) and has been employed in the formulation of various functional food products. This review describes current scientific knowledge concerning walnut genetic resources and composition as well as by-product obtainment and characteristics.

  15. Assessment of the genetic and phenotypic diversity among rhizogenic Agrobacterium biovar 1 strains infecting solanaceous and cucurbit crops.

    PubMed

    Bosmans, Lien; Álvarez-Pérez, Sergio; Moerkens, Rob; Wittemans, Lieve; Van Calenberge, Bart; Kerckhove, Stefan Van; Paeleman, Anneleen; De Mot, René; Rediers, Hans; Lievens, Bart

    2015-08-01

    Rhizogenic Agrobacterium biovar 1 strains have been found to cause extensive root proliferation on hydroponically grown Cucurbitaceae and Solanaceae crops, resulting in substantial economic losses. As these agrobacteria live under similar ecological conditions, infecting a limited number of crops, it may be hypothesized that genetic and phenotypic variation among such strains is relatively low. In this study we assessed the phenotypic diversity as well as the phylogenetic and evolutionary relationships of several rhizogenic Agrobacterium biovar 1 strains from cucurbit and solanaceous crops. A collection of 41 isolates was subjected to a number of phenotypic assays and characterized by MLSA targeting four housekeeping genes (16S rRNA gene, recA, rpoB and trpE) and two loci from the root-inducing Ri-plasmid (part of rolB and virD2). Besides phenotypic variation, remarkable genotypic diversity was observed, especially for some chromosomal loci such as trpE. In contrast, genetic diversity was lower for the plasmid-borne loci, indicating that the studied chromosomal housekeeping genes and Ri-plasmid-borne loci might not exhibit the same evolutionary history. Furthermore, phylogenetic and network analyses and several recombination tests suggested that recombination could be contributing in some extent to the evolutionary dynamics of rhizogenic Agrobacterium populations. Finally, a genomospecies-level identification analysis revealed that at least four genomospecies may occur on cucurbit and tomato crops (G1, G3, G8 and G9). Together, this study gives a first glimpse at the genetic and phenotypic diversity within this economically important plant pathogenic bacterium.

  16. Potential International Approaches to Ownership/Control of Human Genetic Resources.

    PubMed

    Rhodes, Catherine

    2016-09-01

    In its governance activities for genetic resources, the international community has adopted various approaches to their ownership, including: free access; common heritage of mankind; intellectual property rights; and state sovereign rights. They have also created systems which combine elements of these approaches. While governance of plant and animal genetic resources is well-established internationally, there has not yet been a clear approach selected for human genetic resources. Based on assessment of the goals which international governance of human genetic resources ought to serve, and the implications for how they will be accessed and utilised, it is argued that common heritage of mankind will be the most appropriate approach to adopt to their ownership/control. It does this with the aim of stimulating discussion in this area and providing a starting point for deeper consideration of how a common heritage of mankind, or similar, regime for human genetic resources would function and be implemented.

  17. Simple sequence repeat marker diversity in cassava landraces: genetic diversity and differentiation in an asexually propagated crop.

    PubMed

    Fregene, M A; Suarez, M; Mkumbira, J; Kulembeka, H; Ndedya, E; Kulaya, A; Mitchel, S; Gullberg, U; Rosling, H; Dixon, A G O; Dean, R; Kresovich, S

    2003-10-01

    Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is an allogamous, vegetatively propagated, Neotropical crop that is also widely grown in tropical Africa and Southeast Asia. To elucidate genetic diversity and differentiation in the crop's primary and secondary centers of diversity, and the forces shaping them, SSR marker variation was assessed at 67 loci in 283 accessions of cassava landraces from Africa (Tanzania and Nigeria) and the Neotropics (Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Guatemala, Mexico and Argentina). Average gene diversity (i.e., genetic diversity) was high in all countries, with an average heterozygosity of 0.5358 +/- 0.1184. Although the highest was found in Brazilian and Colombian accessions, genetic diversity in Neotropical and African materials is comparable. Despite the low level of differentiation [F(st)(theta) = 0.091 +/- 0.005] found among country samples, sufficient genetic distance (1-proportion of shared alleles) existed between individual genotypes to separate African from Neotropical accessions and to reveal a more pronounced substructure in the African landraces. Forces shaping differences in allele frequency at SSR loci and possibly counterbalancing successive founder effects involve probably spontaneous recombination, as assessed by parent-offspring relationships, and farmer-selection for adaptation.

  18. Prioritising in situ conservation of crop resources: a case study of African cowpea (Vigna unguiculata).

    PubMed

    Moray, C; Game, E T; Maxted, N

    2014-06-17

    Conserving crop wild relatives (CWR) is critical for maintaining food security. However, CWR-focused conservation plans are lacking, and are often based on the entire genus, even though only a few taxa are useful for crop improvement. We used taxonomic and geographic prioritisation to identify the best locations for in situ conservation of the most important (priority) CWR, using African cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) as a case study. Cowpea is an important crop for subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, yet its CWR are under-collected, under-conserved and under-utilised in breeding. We identified the most efficient sites to focus in situ cowpea CWR conservation and assessed whether priority CWR would be adequately represented in a genus-based conservation plan. We also investigated whether priority cowpea CWR are likely to be found in existing conservation areas and in areas important for mammal conservation. The genus-based method captured most priority CWR, and the distributions of many priority CWR overlapped with established conservation reserves and targets. These results suggest that priority cowpea CWR can be conserved by building on conservation initiatives established for other species.

  19. Prioritising in situ conservation of crop resources: A case study of African cowpea (Vigna unguiculata)

    PubMed Central

    Moray, C.; Game, E. T.; Maxted, N.

    2014-01-01

    Conserving crop wild relatives (CWR) is critical for maintaining food security. However, CWR-focused conservation plans are lacking, and are often based on the entire genus, even though only a few taxa are useful for crop improvement. We used taxonomic and geographic prioritisation to identify the best locations for in situ conservation of the most important (priority) CWR, using African cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) as a case study. Cowpea is an important crop for subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, yet its CWR are under-collected, under-conserved and under-utilised in breeding. We identified the most efficient sites to focus in situ cowpea CWR conservation and assessed whether priority CWR would be adequately represented in a genus-based conservation plan. We also investigated whether priority cowpea CWR are likely to be found in existing conservation areas and in areas important for mammal conservation. The genus-based method captured most priority CWR, and the distributions of many priority CWR overlapped with established conservation reserves and targets. These results suggest that priority cowpea CWR can be conserved by building on conservation initiatives established for other species. PMID:24936740

  20. Risk assessment of genetically engineered crops: fitness effects of virus-resistance transgenes in wild Cucurbita pepo.

    PubMed

    Laughlin, Karen D; Power, Alison G; Snow, Allison A; Spencer, Lawrence J

    2009-07-01

    The development of crops genetically engineered for pathogen resistance has raised concerns that crop-to-wild gene flow could release wild or weedy relatives from regulation by the pathogens targeted by the transgenes that confer resistance. Investigation of these risks has also raised questions about the impact of gene flow from conventional crops into wild plant populations. Viruses in natural plant populations can play important roles in plant fecundity and competitive interactions. Here, we show that virus-resistance transgenes and conventional crop genes can increase fecundity of wild plants under virus pressure. We asked how gene flow from a cultivated squash (Cucurbita pepo) engineered for virus resistance would affect the fecundity of wild squash (C. pepo) in the presence and absence of virus pressure. A transgenic squash cultivar was crossed and backcrossed with wild C. pepo from Arkansas. Wild C. pepo, transgenic backcross plants, and non-transgenic backcross plants were compared in field plots in Ithaca, New York, USA. The second and third generations of backcrosses (BC2 and BC3) were used in 2002 and 2003, respectively. One-half of the plants were inoculated with zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV), and one-half of the plants were maintained as healthy controls. Virus pressure dramatically decreased the fecundity of wild C. pepo plants and non-transgenic backcross plants relative to transgenic backcross plants, which showed continued functioning of the virus-resistance transgene. In 2002, non-transgenic backcross fecundity was slightly higher than wild C. pepo fecundity under virus pressure, indicating a possible benefit of conventional crop alleles, but they did not differ in 2003 when fecundity was lower in both groups. We detected no fitness costs of the transgene in the absence of the virus. If viruses play a role in the population dynamics of wild C. pepo, we predict that gene flow from transgenic, virus-resistant squash and, to a much lesser

  1. Integration of population genetic structure and plant response to climate change: sustaining genetic resources through evaluation of projected threats

    Treesearch

    Bryce A. Richardson; Marcus V. Warwell; Mee-Sook Kim; Ned B. Klopfenstein; Geral I. McDonald

    2010-01-01

    To assess threats or predict responses to disturbances, or both, it is essential to recognize and characterize the population structures of forest species in relation to changing environments. Appropriate management of these genetic resources in the future will require (1) understanding the existing genetic diversity/variation and population structure of forest trees...

  2. Variability in almond oil chemical traits from traditional cultivars and native genetic resources from Argentina.

    PubMed

    Maestri, Damián; Martínez, Marcela; Bodoira, Romina; Rossi, Yanina; Oviedo, Alejandro; Pierantozzi, Pierluigi; Torres, Mariela

    2015-03-01

    Almond (Prunus dulcis (Miller) D.A. Webb) genetic resources (Marcona, Guara, Non Pareil, IXL, AI, Martinelli C, Emilito INTA, Cáceres Clara Chica, Javier INTA) were studied during two consecutive crop years in order to evaluate variations in kernel oil yield and composition, and oil oxidative parameters. Total oil, oleic acid, α-tocopherol and squalene contents were found to range between 48.0% and 57.5%, 65% and 77.5%, 370 and 675 μg/g oil, and 37.9 and 114.2 μg/g oil, respectively. The genotype was the main variability source for all these chemical traits. The α-tocopherol content seems to be the most important contributor to both the radical scavenging capacity and the oxidative stability of almond oils analysed. Results obtained from the local genotypes namely Martinelli C, Emilito INTA and Javier INTA may be of interest for almond breeding focused to improve kernel oil yield and composition. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. GeneEd—A Genetics Educational Resource | NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine

    MedlinePlus

    ... of this page please turn Javascript on. Feature: Genetics 101 GeneEd — A Genetics Educational Resource Past Issues / Summer 2013 Table of ... GeneEd website as part of her lessons on genetics. A recently developed educational website about genetics— GeneEd. ...

  4. Strategies for conserving forest genetic resources in the face of climate change

    Treesearch

    John Bradley St. Clair; Glenn Thomas. Howe

    2011-01-01

    Conservation of genetic diversity is important for continued evolution of populations to new environments, as well as continued availability of traits of interest in genetic improvement programs. Rapidly changing climates present new threats to the conservation of forest genetic resources. We can no longer assume that in situ reserves will continue to preserve existing...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Key global environmental impacts of genetically modified (GM) crop use 1996–2012

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. An inventory of crop wild relatives of the United States

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The use of crop wild relatives (CWR) in breeding is likely to continue to intensify as utilization techniques improve and crop adaptation to climate change becomes more pressing. Significant gaps remain in the conservation of these genetic resources, constraining availability for research. As a fi...

  9. Emerging crops in the USDA arid lands germplasm collection

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The USDA National Plant Germplasm System maintains collections of several emerging crops for arid lands at the National Arid Land Plant Genetic Resources Unit in Parlier, CA (NALPGRU). The guayule, jojoba, and prickly pear collections are most active in terms of current research and crop development...

  10. Genetically modified and organic crops in developing countries: a review of options for food security.

    PubMed

    Azadi, Hossein; Ho, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Since two decades ago, when the first GM crops were introduced, there have increasingly been hot debates on the applications of gene manipulation. Currently, the development of GM crop varieties has raised a wide range of new legal, ethical and economic questions in agriculture. There is a growing body of literature reflecting the socio-economic and environmental impacts of GM crops which aims to criticize their value for farming systems. While organic crops are promoted as environmentally-friendly products in developed countries, they have provoked great controversy in developing countries facing food security and a low agricultural productivity. Discussion has been especially vigorous when organic farming was introduced as an alternative method. There are in fact, a few tradeoffs in developing countries. On the one hand, farmers are encouraged to accept and implement GM crops because of their higher productivity, while on the other hand, organic farming is encouraged because of socio-economic and environmental considerations. A crucial question facing such countries is therefore, whether GM crops can co-exist with organic farming. This paper aims to review the main considerations and tradeoffs.

  11. Tracing back seed and pollen flow within the crop-wild Beta vulgaris complex: genetic distinctiveness vs. hot spots of hybridization over a regional scale.

    PubMed

    Viard, Frédérique; Arnaud, Jean-François; Delescluse, Maxime; Cuguen, Joël

    2004-06-01

    Hybrids between transgenic crops and wild relatives have been documented successfully in a wide range of cultivated species, having implications on conservation and biosafety management. Nonetheless, the magnitude and frequency of hybridization in the wild is still an open question, in particular when considering several populations at the landscape level. The Beta vulgaris complex provides an excellent biological model to tackle this issue. Weed beets contaminating sugar beet fields are expected to act as a relay between wild populations and crops and from crops-to-crops. In one major European sugar beet production area, nine wild populations and 12 weed populations were genetically characterized using cytoplasmic markers specific to the cultivated lines and nuclear microsatellite loci. A tremendous overall genetic differentiation between neighbouring wild and weed populations was depicted. However, genetic admixture analyses at the individual level revealed clear evidence for gene flow between wild and weed populations. In particular, one wild population displayed a high magnitude of nuclear genetic admixture, reinforced by direct seed flow as evidenced by cytoplasmic markers. Altogether, weed beets were shown to act as relay for gene flow between crops to wild populations and crops to crops by pollen and seeds at a landscape level.

  12. Carbohydrate crops as a renewable resource for fuels production. Volume III. Juice preservation

    SciTech Connect

    Fink, D.J.; Allen, B.R.; Litchfield, J.H.; Lipinsky, E.S.

    1980-01-29

    The objective of this study was to evaluate a process to preserve sugar crop juices. The process is energy conserving in that concentrated sugar solutions are produced with little evaporation of water. A preliminary investigation was conducted of polysaccharide hydrolysis as a means for preserving mixed sugar solutions obtained from crops such as sweet sorghum. Four subtasks have been addressed during this report period: I. Concentration of Pure Sugar Solutions by Hydrolysis of Purified Starch; II. Concentration of Genuine Sugar Crop Juice by Hydrolysis of Purified Starch; III. Concentration of Pure Sugar Solutions by Hydrolysis of Genuine Biomass Starch; and IV. Concentration of Pure Sugar Solutions by Hydrolysis of Cellulosic Materials. The results obtained from the experiments conducted in Subtasks I and II included the following: (1) Concentrated sucrose-glucose-fructose solutions (greater than 50 percent) can be prepared from simulated or actual sweet sorghum juice using enzymatic thinning and saccharification of pure starch-sugar solution mixtures. (2) Enzymatic saccharification of corn meal and cracked wheat in simulated sorghum juice was also demonstrated. (3) Concentration of sugar solutions also can be accomplished by saccharification of cellulosic materials. In our experiments, inhibition of the cellobiase component of the cellulase preparation was observed. The hydrolysis studies were directed to the demonstration of the feasibility of one approach to the preparation of concentrated, microbiologically stable sugar syrups starting with sweet sorghum juice. Future work on Subtask V of this program will continue the investigations already underway and will consider other approaches to the stabilization of juices. Subtask VI of this program will consider the process economics of the Subtask I to IV approaches, or combinations of two or more methods, that are considered to be most feasible for juice preservation.

  13. Trends in American agriculture. Their implications for biological warfare against crop and animal resources.

    PubMed

    Deen, W A

    1999-01-01

    Current trends in American agriculture have changed the vulnerability to use of biological weapons against plant and animal resources. The major effect has been a requirement to look again at the model of the U.S. BW program of widespread dissemination of agent and look to attack models requiring much lower levels of resources. The U.S. biological warfare program models must take the effects of these major trends into account when considering the possible widespread dissemination of a biological agent. The models must also acknowledge the lowered levels or resources required to make such attacks given the modern trends in American agriculture.

  14. Development of a global conservation strategy for citrus genetic resources

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Citrus is an economically important world tree fruit crop with production in more than 146 countries. The center of origin for citrus is considered to be Southeastern Asia including southern China, northeastern India, and Malaysia, with secondary centers in surrounding areas. Novel and commercially ...

  15. The vulnerability of US apple (Malus) genetic resources

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Apple is one of the top three U.S. fruit crops in production and value. Apple production has high costs for land, labor and inputs, and orchards are a long-term commitment. Production is dominated by only a few apple scion cultivars and rootstocks, which increases susceptibility to dynamic external ...

  16. Conservation Strategy of Strawberry Genetic Resources in Germany

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The National German Strawberry Genebank includes 369 cultivars and the active field collection in Dresden-Pillnitz also contains 318 Fragaria wild species accessions. Conservation of clonal crops requires safety duplication. An earlier calculation of the effort required to establish and maintain a s...

  17. Connecting Biochemical Photosynthesis Models with Crop Models to Support Crop Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Alex; Song, Youhong; van Oosterom, Erik J.; Hammer, Graeme L.

    2016-01-01

    The next advance in field crop productivity will likely need to come from improving crop use efficiency of resources (e.g., light, water, and nitrogen), aspects of which are closely linked with overall crop photosynthetic efficiency. Progress in genetic manipulation of photosynthesis is confounded by uncertainties of consequences at crop level because of difficulties connecting across scales. Crop growth and development simulation models that integrate across biological levels of organization and use a gene-to-phenotype modeling approach may present a way forward. There has been a long history of development of crop models capable of simulating dynamics of crop physiological attributes. Many crop models incorporate canopy photosynthesis (source) as a key driver for crop growth, while others derive crop growth from the balance between source- and sink-limitations. Modeling leaf photosynthesis has progressed from empirical modeling via light response curves to a more mechanistic basis, having clearer links to the underlying biochemical processes of photosynthesis. Cross-scale modeling that connects models at the biochemical and crop levels and utilizes developments in upscaling leaf-level models to canopy models has the potential to bridge the gap between photosynthetic manipulation at the biochemical level and its consequences on crop productivity. Here we review approaches to this emerging cross-scale modeling framework and reinforce the need for connections across levels of modeling. Further, we propose strategies for connecting biochemical models of photosynthesis into the cross-scale modeling framework to support crop improvement through photosynthetic manipulation. PMID:27790232

  18. Connecting Biochemical Photosynthesis Models with Crop Models to Support Crop Improvement.

    PubMed

    Wu, Alex; Song, Youhong; van Oosterom, Erik J; Hammer, Graeme L

    2016-01-01

    The next advance in field crop productivity will likely need to come from improving crop use efficiency of resources (e.g., light, water, and nitrogen), aspects of which are closely linked with overall crop photosynthetic efficiency. Progress in genetic manipulation of photosynthesis is confounded by uncertainties of consequences at crop level because of difficulties connecting across scales. Crop growth and development simulation models that integrate across biological levels of organization and use a gene-to-phenotype modeling approach may present a way forward. There has been a long history of development of crop models capable of simulating dynamics of crop physiological attributes. Many crop models incorporate canopy photosynthesis (source) as a key driver for crop growth, while others derive crop growth from the balance between source- and sink-limitations. Modeling leaf photosynthesis has progressed from empirical modeling via light response curves to a more mechanistic basis, having clearer links to the underlying biochemical processes of photosynthesis. Cross-scale modeling that connects models at the biochemical and crop levels and utilizes developments in upscaling leaf-level models to canopy models has the potential to bridge the gap between photosynthetic manipulation at the biochemical level and its consequences on crop productivity. Here we review approaches to this emerging cross-scale modeling framework and reinforce the need for connections across levels of modeling. Further, we propose strategies for connecting biochemical models of photosynthesis into the cross-scale modeling framework to support crop improvement through photosynthetic manipulation.

  19. Transportability of confined field trial data from cultivation to import countries for environmental risk assessment of genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Nakai, Shuichi; Hoshikawa, Kana; Shimono, Ayako; Ohsawa, Ryo

    2015-12-01

    Requirement of in-country confined field trials for genetically modified (GM) crops prior to unrestricted release is well-established among countries with domestic regulations for the cultivation approval of GM crops. However, the requirement of in-country confined field trials is not common in countries where the scope of the application does not include cultivation. Nonetheless, Japan and China request in-country confined field trials for GM crops which are intended only for use as food, feed and processing. This paper considers the transportability of confined field trial data from cultivation countries (e.g. United States, Canada, and South American countries) to import countries like Japan for the environmental risk assessment of GM crops by reviewing: (1) the purpose of confined field trial assessment, (2) weediness potential, defined as "an ability to establish and persist in an unmanaged area that is frequently disturbed by human activity", of host crops, and (3) reliability of the confined field trial data obtained from cultivation countries. To review the reliability of the confined field data obtained in the US, this paper describes actual examples of three confined field trials of approved GM corn events conducted both in the US and Japan. Based on the above considerations, this paper concludes that confined field data of GM corn and cotton is transportable from cultivation countries to importing countries (e.g. from the US to Japan), regardless of the characteristics of the inserted gene(s). In addition, this paper advocates harmonization of protocols for confined field trials to facilitate more efficient data transportability across different geographies.

  20. Resource effects on solitary bee reproduction in a managed crop pollination system

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The number of solitary bees (Megachile rotundata) released for pollination in a managed system (Medicago sativa seed production) and the number of flowers available for brood provisioning may affect reproduction through maternal resource allocation and investment. Overwhelming, limited, or adequate...

  1. Is current irrigation sustainable in the United States? An integrated assessment of climate change impact on water resources and irrigated crop yields

    PubMed Central

    Caron, Justin; Fant, Charles; Monier, Erwan

    2017-01-01

    Abstract While climate change impacts on crop yields has been extensively studied, estimating the impact of water shortages on irrigated crop yields is challenging because the water resources management system is complex. To investigate this issue, we integrate a crop yield reduction module and a water resources model into the MIT Integrated Global System Modeling framework, an integrated assessment model linking a global economic model to an Earth system model. We assess the effects of climate and socioeconomic changes on water availability for irrigation in the U.S. as well as subsequent impacts on crop yields by 2050, while accounting for climate change projection uncertainty. We find that climate and socioeconomic changes will increase water shortages and strongly reduce irrigated yields for specific crops (i.e., cotton and forage), or in specific regions (i.e., the Southwest) where irrigation is not sustainable. Crop modeling studies that do not represent changes in irrigation availability can thus be misleading. Yet, since the most water‐stressed basins represent a relatively small share of U.S. irrigated areas, the overall reduction in U.S. crop yields is small. The response of crop yields to climate change and water stress also suggests that some level of adaptation will be feasible, like relocating croplands to regions with sustainable irrigation or switching to less irrigation intensive crops. Finally, additional simulations show that greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation can alleviate the effect of water stress on irrigated crop yields, enough to offset the reduced CO2 fertilization effect compared to an unconstrained GHG emission scenario.

  2. Is current irrigation sustainable in the United States? An integrated assessment of climate change impact on water resources and irrigated crop yields.

    PubMed

    Blanc, Elodie; Caron, Justin; Fant, Charles; Monier, Erwan

    2017-08-01

    While climate change impacts on crop yields has been extensively studied, estimating the impact of water shortages on irrigated crop yields is challenging because the water resources management system is complex. To investigate this issue, we integrate a crop yield reduction module and a water resources model into the MIT Integrated Global System Modeling framework, an integrated assessment model linking a global economic model to an Earth system model. We assess the effects of climate and socioeconomic changes on water availability for irrigation in the U.S. as well as subsequent impacts on crop yields by 2050, while accounting for climate change projection uncertainty. We find that climate and socioeconomic changes will increase water shortages and strongly reduce irrigated yields for specific crops (i.e., cotton and forage), or in specific regions (i.e., the Southwest) where irrigation is not sustainable. Crop modeling studies that do not represent changes in irrigation availability can thus be misleading. Yet, since the most water-stressed basins represent a relatively small share of U.S. irrigated areas, the overall reduction in U.S. crop yields is small. The response of crop yields to climate change and water stress also suggests that some level of adaptation will be feasible, like relocating croplands to regions with sustainable irrigation or switching to less irrigation intensive crops. Finally, additional simulations show that greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation can alleviate the effect of water stress on irrigated crop yields, enough to offset the reduced CO2 fertilization effect compared to an unconstrained GHG emission scenario.

  3. Selective breeding in fish and conservation of genetic resources for aquaculture.

    PubMed

    Lind, C E; Ponzoni, R W; Nguyen, N H; Khaw, H L

    2012-08-01

    To satisfy increasing demands for fish as food, progress must occur towards greater aquaculture productivity whilst retaining the wild and farmed genetic resources that underpin global fish production. We review the main selection methods that have been developed for genetic improvement in aquaculture, and discuss their virtues and shortcomings. Examples of the application of mass, cohort, within family, and combined between-family and within-family selection are given. In addition, we review the manner in which fish genetic resources can be lost at the intra-specific, species and ecosystem levels and discuss options to best prevent this. We illustrate that fundamental principles of genetic management are common in the implementation of both selective breeding and conservation programmes, and should be emphasized in capacity development efforts. We highlight the value of applied genetics approaches for increasing aquaculture productivity and the conservation of fish genetic resources.

  4. Molecular Breeding to Create Optimized Crops: From Genetic Manipulation to Potential Applications in Plant Factories

    PubMed Central

    Hiwasa-Tanase, Kyoko; Ezura, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Crop cultivation in controlled environment plant factories offers great potential to stabilize the yield and quality of agricultural products. However, many crops are currently unsuited to these environments, particularly closed cultivation systems, due to space limitations, low light intensity, high implementation costs, and high energy requirements. A major barrier to closed system cultivation is the high running cost, which necessitates the use of high-margin crops for economic viability. High-value crops include those with enhanced nutritional value or containing additional functional components for pharmaceutical production or with the aim of providing health benefits. In addition, it is important to develop cultivars equipped with growth parameters that are suitable for closed cultivation. Small plant size is of particular importance due to the limited cultivation space. Other advantageous traits are short production cycle, the ability to grow under low light, and high nutriculture availability. Cost-effectiveness is improved from the use of cultivars that are specifically optimized for closed system cultivation. This review describes the features of closed cultivation systems and the potential application of molecular breeding to create crops that are optimized for cost-effectiveness and productivity in closed cultivation systems. PMID:27200016

  5. Molecular Breeding to Create Optimized Crops: From Genetic Manipulation to Potential Applications in Plant Factories.

    PubMed

    Hiwasa-Tanase, Kyoko; Ezura, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Crop cultivation in controlled environment plant factories offers great potential to stabilize the yield and quality of agricultural products. However, many crops are currently unsuited to these environments, particularly closed cultivation systems, due to space limitations, low light intensity, high implementation costs, and high energy requirements. A major barrier to closed system cultivation is the high running cost, which necessitates the use of high-margin crops for economic viability. High-value crops include those with enhanced nutritional value or containing additional functional components for pharmaceutical production or with the aim of providing health benefits. In addition, it is important to develop cultivars equipped with growth parameters that are suitable for closed cultivation. Small plant size is of particular importance due to the limited cultivation space. Other advantageous traits are short production cycle, the ability to grow under low light, and high nutriculture availability. Cost-effectiveness is improved from the use of cultivars that are specifically optimized for closed system cultivation. This review describes the features of closed cultivation systems and the potential application of molecular breeding to create crops that are optimized for cost-effectiveness and productivity in closed cultivation systems.

  6. Sugarcane for water-limited environments. Variation in stomatal conductance and its genetic correlation with crop productivity.

    PubMed

    Basnayake, J; Jackson, P A; Inman-Bamber, N G; Lakshmanan, P

    2015-07-01

    Stomatal conductance (g(s)) and canopy temperature have been used to estimate plant water status in many crops. The behaviour of g(s) in sugarcane indicates that the internal leaf water status is controlled by regular opening and closing of stomata. A large number of g(s) measurements obtained across varying moisture regimes, locations, and crop cycles with a diverse sugarcane germplasm composed of introgression, and commercial clones indicated that there is a high genetic variation for g(s) that can be exploited in a breeding programme. Regardless of the environmental influences on the expression of this trait, moderate heritability was observed across 51 sets of individual measurements made on replicated trials over 3 years. The clone×water status interaction (G×E) variation was smaller than the clone (G) variation on many occasions. A wide range of genetic correlations (r(g)= -0.29 to 0.94) between g(s) and yield were observed across test environments in all three different production regions used. Canopy conductance (g(c)) based on g(s) and leaf area index (LAI) showed a stronger genetic correlation than the g(s) with cane yield (tonnes of cane per hectare; TCH) at 12 months (mature crop). The regression analysis of input weather data for the duration of measurements showed that the predicted values of r(g) correlated with the maximum temperature (r=0.47) during the measurements and less with other environmental variables. These results confirm that the g(c) could have potential as a criterion for early-stage selection of clones in sugarcane breeding programmes.

  7. Development of agricultural biotechnology and biosafety regulations used to assess the safety of genetically modified crops in Iran.

    PubMed

    Mousavi, Amir; Malboobi, Mohammad A; Esmailzadeh, Nasrin S

    2007-01-01

    Rapid progress in the application of biotechnological methodologies and development of genetically modified crops in Iran necessitated intensive efforts to establish proper organizations and prepare required rules and regulations at the national level to ensure safe application of biotechnology in all pertinent aspects. Practically, preparation of a national biotechnology strategic plan in the country coincided with development of a national biosafety framework that was the basis for the drafted biosafety law. Although biosafety measures were observed by researchers voluntarily, the establishment of national biosafety organizations since the year 2000 built a great capacity to deal with biosafety issues in the present and future time, particularly with respect to food and agricultural biotechnology.

  8. Quantifying multivariate plasticity: genetic variation in resource acquisition drives plasticity in resource allocation to components of life history.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Matthew R; Beckerman, Andrew P

    2013-03-01

    Acquisition and allocation of resources are central to life-history theory. However, empirical work typically focuses only on allocation despite the fact that relationships between fitness components may be governed by differences in the ability of individuals to acquire resources across environments. Here, we outline a statistical framework to partition the genetic basis of multivariate plasticity into independent axes of genetic variation, and quantify for the first time, the extent to which specific traits drive multitrait genotype-environment interactions. Our framework generalises to analyses of plasticity, growth and ageing. We apply this approach to a unique, large-scale, multivariate study of acquisition, allocation and plasticity in the life history of the cricket, Gryllus firmus. We demonstrate that resource acquisition and allocation are genetically correlated, and that plasticity in trade-offs between allocation to components of fitness is 90% dependent on genetic variance for total resource acquisition. These results suggest that genotype-environment effects for resource acquisition can maintain variation in life-history components that are typically observed in the wild.

  9. Maize phytoene desaturase and zeta-carotene desaturase catalyse a poly-Z desaturation pathway: implications for genetic engineering of carotenoid content among cereal crops.

    PubMed

    Matthews, Paul D; Luo, RuiBai; Wurtzel, Eleanore T

    2003-10-01

    Carotene desaturation, an essential step in the biosynthesis of coloured carotenoids, has received much attention (1) as a target of bleaching herbicide action, (2) as a determinant of geometric isomer states of carotenoids and their metabolites, and (3) as a key modulator of accumulation and structural variability of carotenoids. Having previously isolated and functionally characterized the cDNA encoding the first enzyme in maize carotene desaturation, phytoene desaturase (PDS), the isolation and functional characterization of the second desaturase, a maize endosperm cDNA (2265 bp) encoding zetacarotene (zeta-carotene) desaturase (ZDS) is reported here. Functional analysis of the concerted actions of maize PDS and ZDS ex situ showed these enzymes to mediate a poly-Z desaturation pathway to the predominate geometric isomer 7,9,7',9'-tetra-Z-lycopene (poly-Z-lycopene or prolycopene), and not the all-trans substrate required of the downstream lycopene cyclase enzymes. This finding suggests a rate-controlling isomerase associated with the carotene desaturases as a corollary of a default poly-Z carotenoid biosynthetic pathway active in planta for maize. Comparative gene analysis between maize and rice revealed that genes encoding PDS and ZDS are single copy; the Zds cDNA characterized here was mapped to maize chromosome 7S and vp9 is suggested as a candidate locus for the structural gene while y9 is ruled out. Classical genetic resources were used to dissect the desaturation steps further and hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase was linked to the vp2 locus, narrowing candidate loci for an obligate isomerase in maize to only a few. Since the first functional analysis of the paired carotene desaturases for a cereal crop is reported here, the implications for the genetic modification of the pro-vitamin A content in cereal crops such as rice and maize, are discussed.

  10. Prioritizing stream types according to their potential risk to receive crop plant material--A GIS-based procedure to assist in the risk assessment of genetically modified crops and systemic insecticide residues.

    PubMed

    Bundschuh, Rebecca; Kuhn, Ulrike; Bundschuh, Mirco; Naegele, Caroline; Elsaesser, David; Schlechtriemen, Ulrich; Oehen, Bernadette; Hilbeck, Angelika; Otto, Mathias; Schulz, Ralf; Hofmann, Frieder

    2016-03-15

    Crop plant residues may enter aquatic ecosystems via wind deposition or surface runoff. In the case of genetically modified crops or crops treated with systemic pesticides, these materials may contain insecticidal Bt toxins or pesticides that potentially affect aquatic life. However, the particular exposure pattern of aquatic ecosystems (i.e., via plant material) is not properly reflected in current risk assessment schemes, which primarily focus on waterborne toxicity and not on plant material as the route of uptake. To assist in risk assessment, the present study proposes a prioritization procedure of stream types based on the freshwater network and crop-specific cultivation data using maize in Germany as a model system. To identify stream types with a high probability of receiving crop materials, we developed a formalized, criteria-based and thus transparent procedure that considers the exposure-related parameters, ecological status--an estimate of the diversity and potential vulnerability of local communities towards anthropogenic stress--and availability of uncontaminated reference sections. By applying the procedure to maize, ten stream types out of 38 are expected to be the most relevant if the ecological effects from plant-incorporated pesticides need to be evaluated. This information is an important first step to identifying habitats within these stream types with a high probability of receiving crop plant material at a more local scale, including accumulation areas. Moreover, the prioritization procedure developed in the present study may support the selection of aquatic species for ecotoxicological testing based on their probability of occurrence in stream types having a higher chance of exposure. Finally, this procedure can be adapted to any geographical region or crop of interest and is, therefore, a valuable tool for a site-specific risk assessment of crop plants carrying systemic pesticides or novel proteins, such as insecticidal Bt toxins, expressed

  11. Environmental and genetic effects on yield and secondary metabolite production in Brassica rapa crops.

    PubMed

    Francisco, Marta; Cartea, María Elena; Butrón, Ana María; Sotelo, Tamara; Velasco, Pablo

    2012-06-06

    Twelve Brassica rapa varieties grown, such as turnip green and turnip top, were evaluated in seven environments to determine the environmental and genotypic variables that have an influence on crop production and on the content of glucosinolates and phenolic compounds. Factorial regression analysis showed that, in general, crop production was favored by high temperatures all along the crop cycle. However, the lack of a period of intense cold could be a limiting factor. The metabolite content seems to be regulated by extreme temperatures (daily maximum and minimum temperatures) rather than by average daily temperatures. With regard to genotypic covariables, turnip top production was significantly affected by traits related to the vegetative development and time to flowering. Meanwhile, turnip green production was largely affected by a sinapoyl derivative compound, which is a precursor of cell wall components. Cross-talk between glucosinolate biosynthesis and phenylpropanoid signaling pathways is suggested.

  12. Sphenostylis stenocarpa (ex. A. Rich.) Harms., a Fading Genetic Resource in a Changing Climate: Prerequisite for Conservation and Sustainability.

    PubMed

    Nnamani, Catherine Veronica; Ajayi, Sunday Adesola; Oselebe, Happiness Ogba; Atkinson, Christopher John; Igboabuchi, Anastasia Ngozi; Ezigbo, Eucharia Chizoba

    2017-07-12

    The southeastern part of Nigeria is one of the major hotspots of useful plant genetic resources. These endemic species are associated with a rich indigenous knowledge and cultural diversity in relation to their use and conservation. Sphenostylis stenocarpa (ex. A. Rich.) Harms., (African Yam Bean (AYB)), is one such crop within the family of Fabaceae. Its nutritional and eco-friendly characteristics have value in ameliorating malnutrition, hidden hunger and environmental degradation inherent in resource-poor rural and semi-rural communities throughout Africa. However, lack of information from the custodians of this crop is limiting its sustainable development. Therefore, ethnobotanical surveys on the diversity, uses, and constraints limiting the cultivation and use of the crop in southeastern Nigeria were carried out. Five-hundred respondents were randomly selected and data collected through oral interviews and focused group discussion (FGD). Semi-structured questionnaires (SSQ) were also used to elicit information from a spectrum of AYB users comprising community leaders, farmers, market women and consumers in five States. Results showed that the majority of the respondents lacked formal education and were of the age group of 40-50 years, while the female gender dominated with limited access to land and extension officers. Seed coat colour largely determined utilization. Long cooking time, requirement for staking materials, aging of farmers and low market demand were among the major constraints limiting further cultivation and utilization of AYB. In-situ conservation was by hanging dried fruits by the fireside, beside the house, storing in earthenware, calabash gourds, cans and bottles. It is concluded that there is urgent need to scale up conservation through robust linkages between contemporary scientific domains and indigenous peoples in order to harness and incorporate the rich indigenous knowledge in local communities for enhanced scientific knowledge

  13. The Technology Roadmap for Plant/Crop-Based Renewable Resources 2020

    SciTech Connect

    1999-02-01

    The long-term well-being of the nation and maintenance of a sustainable leadership position in agriculture, forestry, and manufacturing, clearly depend on current and near-term support of multidisciplinary research for the development of a reliable renewable resource base. This document sets a roadmap and priorities for that research. America needs leadership that will continue to recognize, support, and move rapidly to meet the need to expand the use of sustainable renewable resources. This roadmap has highlighted potential ways for progress and has identified goals in specific components of the system. Achieving success with these goals will provide the opportunity to hit the vision target of a fivefold increase in renewable resource use by 2020.

  14. 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.

  15. A data mining approach to simulating farmers' crop choices for integrated water resources management.

    PubMed

    Ekasingh, B; Ngamsomsuke, K; Letcher, R A; Spate, J

    2005-12-01

    Water and land resources in Thailand are increasingly under pressure from development. In particular, there are many resource conflicts associated with agricultural production in northern Thailand. Communities in these areas are significantly constrained in the land and water management decisions they are able to make. This paper describes the application of a data mining approach to describing and simulating farmers' decision rules in a catchment in northern Thailand. This approach is being applied to simulate social, economic and biophysical constraints on farmers' decisions in these areas as part of an integrated water management model.

  16. Conservation of forest genetic resources in the United States.

    Treesearch

    B. St. Clair; S. Lipow; K. Vance-Borland; R. Johnson

    2007-01-01

    Conservation of genetic diversity is recognized as an important requirement of sustainable forest management. Gene conservation activities include in situ conservation of native stands in reserves and ex situ conservation in seed banks, genetic tests, seed and breeding orchards, and other plantations of known identity. We present an example from Oregon and Washington...

  17. Putting the Pieces Together: Clinically Relevant Genetic and Genomic Resources for Hospitalists and Neonatologists.

    PubMed

    Miller, Rebecca; Khromykh, Alina; Babcock, Holly; Jenevein, Callie; Solomon, Benjamin D

    2017-02-01

    Genetic conditions are individually rare but are common in aggregate, and they often present in the neonatal and early pediatric periods. These conditions are often severe, can be difficult to diagnose and manage, and may heavily affect patients, families, health care systems, and society. Because of recent technological advances, the availability and uptake of genetic and genomic testing are increasing rapidly. However, there is a dearth of trained geneticists and genetic counselors to help guide and explain these conditions and relevant tests. To help hospitalists, neonatologists, and related practitioners navigate this complex and evolving field, we have compiled a list of free (mostly Web-based) resources relevant to the diagnosis and management of genetic conditions and related disorders. These resources, which we describe individually, can be useful for nongeneticist clinicians, and some also include material that can be used to explain concepts and conditions to patients or families. The resources presented are divided into the following categories (which overlap): general information, databases of genetic conditions, resources that can help generate differential diagnoses, databases of genetic testing laboratories (to help with logistics of ordering tests), information on newborn screening, and other resources. We also include a separate list of helpful textbooks and manuals. We conclude with 2 examples describing how some of these resources would be used by a pediatric hospitalist or neonatologist during the inpatient management of a child with a suspected genetic condition. Copyright © 2017 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  18. Impacts of varying agricultural intensification on crop yield and groundwater resources: comparison of the North China Plain and US High Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pei, Hongwei; Scanlon, Bridget R.; Shen, Yanjun; Reedy, Robert C.; Long, Di; Liu, Changming

    2015-04-01

    Agricultural intensification is often considered the primary approach to meet rising food demand. Here we compare impacts of intensive cultivation on crop yield in the North China Plain (NCP) with less intensive cultivation in the US High Plains (USHP) and associated effects on water resources using spatial datasets. Average crop yield during the past decade from intensive double cropping of wheat and corn in the NCP was only 15% higher than the yield from less intensive single cropping of corn in the USHP, although nitrogen fertilizer application and percent of cropland that was irrigated were both ˜2 times greater in the NCP than in the USHP. Irrigation and fertilization in both regions have depleted groundwater storage and resulted in widespread groundwater nitrate contamination. The limited response to intensive management in the NCP is attributed in part to the two month shorter growing season for corn to accommodate winter wheat than that for corn in the USHP. Previous field and modeling studies of crop yield in the NCP highlight over application of N and water resulting in low nitrogen and water use efficiencies and indicate that cultivars, plant densities, soil fertility and other factors had a much greater impact on crop yields over the past few decades. The NCP-USHP comparison along with previous field and modeling studies underscores the need to weigh the yield returns from intensive management relative to the negative impacts on water resources. Future crop management should consider the many factors that contribute to yield along with optimal fertilization and irrigation to further increase crop yields while reducing adverse impacts on water resources.

  19. Kids, Crops, & Critters in the Classroom: An Agricultural Literacy Resource Guide for Grades 4-6.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Illinois Farm Bureau, Bloomington.

    This resource guide provides teachers of grades 4-6 with ideas and materials to integrate agricultural concepts into classroom activities. The guide is organized into six categories: math, science, language arts, social studies, fine arts, and health/nutrition/safety. Each category contains 10 lessons organized in the following topic order:…

  20. Kids, Crops, & Critters in the Classroom: An Agricultural Literacy Resource Guide for Grades K-3.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Illinois Farm Bureau, Bloomington.

    This resource guide provides teachers of grades K-3 with ideas and materials to integrate agricultural concepts into classroom activities. The guide is organized into six categories: math, science, language arts, social studies, fine arts, and health/nutrition/safety. Each of the categories contains 10 lessons organized in the following topic…

  1. Local genetic structure and worldwide phylogenetic position of symbiotic Rhizobium leguminosarum strains associated with a traditional cultivated crop, Vicia ervilia, from Northern Morocco.

    PubMed

    Sbabou, Laila; Regragui, Assmaa; Filali-Maltouf, Abdelkarim; Ater, Mohammed; Béna, Gilles

    2016-09-01

    A total of 212 symbiotic bacteria were isolated from nodules of Vicia ervilia, a traditional crop cultivated in Northern Morocco. The isolates were recovered from 10 different sites, trapped each time with the local cultivar grown in the same field. Four loci were sequenced in order to characterize the isolates, including two housekeeping genes (recA and glnII), one plasmidic symbiotic gene (nodC) and one locus from another plasmid (prL11). In several isolates, two different copies of glnII were detected and sequenced, suggesting a unique duplication event, which has never been reported previously. There was no correlation between the genetic differentiation among cultivars and among bacteria, showing that the evolution of the bacterial population was independent, at least partially, from the host plant. By placing the haplotypes in a wide-ranging phylogenetic reconstruction, it was shown that the diversity detected in Morocco was spread throughout the different clades detected worldwide. The differentiation between areas relied on frequency variations of haplotypes rather than a presence/absence pattern. This finding raises new questions concerning bacterial genetic resource preservation, and confirms the old tenet "everything is everywhere but the environment selects".

  2. Genetically modified phytase crops role in sustainable plant and animal nutrition and ecological development: a review.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Chinreddy Subramanyam; Kim, Seong-Cheol; Kaul, Tanushri

    2017-07-01

    Globally, plant-derivatives especially cereals and legumes are the major staple food sources for animals. The seeds of these crops comprise of phytic acid, the major repository form of the phosphorus, which is not digestible by simple-stomached animals. However, it is the most important factor responsible for impeding the absorption of minerals by plants that eventually results in less use of fertilizers that ultimately cause eutrophication in water bodies. Although abundant phosphorus (P) exists in the soils, plants cannot absorb most of the P due to its conversion to unavailable forms. Hence, additional P supplementation is indispensable to the soil to promote crop yields which not only leads to soil infertility but also rapid depletion of non-renewable P reservoirs. Phytase/phosphatase enzyme is essential to liberate P from soils by plants and from seeds by monogastric animals. Phytases are kind of phosphatases which can hydrolyse the indigestible phytate into inorganic Phosphate (Pi) and lower myo-inositol. There are several approaches to mitigate the problems associated with phytate indigestibility. One of the best possible solutions is engineering crops to produce heterologous phytase to improve P utilization by monogastric animals, plant nutrition and sustainable ecological developments. Previously published reviews were focused on either soil phytate or seed-phytate, related issues, but this review will address both the problems as well as phytate related ecological problems. This review summarizes the overall view of engineered phytase crops and their role in sustainable agriculture, animal nutrition and ecological development.

  3. Fitness Effects and Genetic Architecture of Plant-Herbivore Interactions in Sunflower Crop-Wild Hybrids

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Crop-to-wild gene flow is of concern if cultivar alleles persist in wild populations and lead to range expansion or enhanced weediness in wild species. The pervasiveness of cultivar alleles is primarily determined by their selective advantage and the selective advantage of linked loci. The fitness o...

  4. Host plant associated genetic divergence of two Diatraea spp. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) stemborers on novel crop plants

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Diatraea lineolata and Diatraea saccharalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) are moths with stemboring larvae that feed and develop on economically important grasses. This study investigated whether these moths have diverged from a native host plant, corn, onto introduced crop plants including sorghum, suga...

  5. Advances in Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated genetic transformation of graminaceous crops.

    PubMed

    Singh, Roshan Kumar; Prasad, Manoj

    2016-05-01

    Steady increase in global population poses several challenges to plant science research, including demand for increased crop productivity, grain yield, nutritional quality and improved tolerance to different environmental factors. Transgene-based approaches are promising to address these challenges by transferring potential candidate genes to host organisms through different strategies. Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer is one such strategy which is well known for enabling efficient gene transfer in both monocot and dicots. Due to its versatility, this technique underwent several advancements including development of improved in vitro plant regeneration system, co-cultivation and selection methods, and use of hyper-virulent strains of Agrobacterium tumefaciens harbouring super-binary vectors. The efficiency of this method has also been enhanced by the use of acetosyringone to induce the activity of vir genes, silver nitrate to reduce the Agrobacterium-induced necrosis and cysteine to avoid callus browning during co-cultivation. In the last two decades, extensive efforts have been invested towards achieving efficient Agrobacterium-mediated transformation in cereals. Though high-efficiency transformation systems have been developed for rice and maize, comparatively lesser progress has been reported in other graminaceous crops. In this context, the present review discusses the progress made in Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system in rice, maize, wheat, barley, sorghum, sugarcane, Brachypodium, millets, bioenergy and forage and turf grasses. In addition, it also provides an overview of the genes that have been recently transferred to these graminaceous crops using Agrobacterium, bottlenecks in this technique and future possibilities for crop improvement.

  6. [Comparison of potential yield and resource utilization efficiency of main food crops in three provinces of Northeast China under climate change].

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-yu; Yang, Xiao-guang; Sun, Shuang; Xie, Wen-juan

    2015-10-01

    Based on the daily data of 65 meteorological stations from 1961 to 2010 and the crop phenology data in the potential cultivation zones of thermophilic and chimonophilous crops in Northeast China, the crop potential yields were calculated through step-by-step correction method. The spatio-temporal distribution of the crop potential yields at different levels was analyzed. And then we quantified the limitations of temperature and precipitation on the crop potential yields and compared the differences in the climatic resource utilization efficiency. The results showed that the thermal potential yields of six crops (including maize, rice, spring wheat, sorghum, millet and soybean) during the period 1961-2010 deceased from west to east. The climatic potential yields of the five crops (spring wheat not included) were higher in the south than in the north. The potential yield loss rate due to temperature limitations of the six crops presented a spatial distribution pattern and was higher in the east than in the west. Among the six main crops, the yield potential loss rate due to temperature limitation of the soybean was the highest (51%), and those of the other crops fluctuated within the range of 33%-41%. The potential yield loss rate due to water limitation had an obvious regional difference, and was high in Songnen Plain and Changbai Mountains. The potential yield loss rate of spring wheat was the highest (50%), and those of the other four rainfed crops fluctuated within the range of 8%-10%. The solar energy utilization efficiency of the six main crops ranged from 0.9% to 2.7%, in the order of maize> sorghum>rice>millet>spring wheat>soybean. The precipitation utilization efficiency of the maize, sorghum, spring wheat, millet and soybean under rainfed conditions ranged from 8 to 35 kg . hm-2 . mm-1, in the order of maize>sorghum>spring wheat>millet>soybean. In those areas with lower efficiency of solar energy utilization and precipitation utilization, such as Changbai

  7. MOLECULAR GENETIC TOOLS FOR ASSESSING THE STATUS AND VULNERABILITY OF AQUATIC RESOURCES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Development of ecological indicators that efficiently capture the present condition and project future vulnerabilities of biological resources is critical to sound environmental management. For this reason, the ORD's Ecological Research Program is developing genetic methodologies...

  8. MOLECULAR GENETIC TOOLS FOR ASSESSING THE STATUS AND VULNERABILITY OF AQUATIC RESOURCES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Development of ecological indicators that efficiently capture the present condition and project future vulnerabilities of biological resources is critical to sound environmental management. For this reason, the ORD's Ecological Research Program is developing genetic methodologies...

  9. An ultrasensitive label-free electrochemiluminescent immunosensor for measuring Cry1Ab level and genetically modified crops content.

    PubMed

    Gao, Hongfei; Wen, Luke; Wu, Yuhua; Fu, Zhifeng; Wu, Gang

    2017-11-15

    The development of genetically modified (GM) insect-resistant crops has aroused great public concern about the risks on the eco-environment resulting from a release of toxic Cry proteins (such as Cry1Ab) to the soil. Therefore, it is of crucial importance to measure the Cry proteins level and the GM crops content. Here, we have tested for the first time a method that uses novel carbon nanospheres (CNPs) label-free electrochemiluminescent (ECL) immunosensor for the ultrasensitive quantification of Cry1Ab and GM crops. In this work, novel CNPs were prepared from printer toner with a very facile approach, and linked with anti-Cry1Ab antibodies to modify a golden working electrode. The immunoreaction between Cry1Ab and its antibody formed an immunocomplex on the bioreceptor region of the sensor, which inhibited electron transfer between the electrode surface and the ECL substance, leading to a decrease of ECL response. Under the optimal conditions, the fabricated label-free ECL immunosensor determined Cry1Ab down to 3.0pgmL(-1) within a linear range of 0.010-1.0ngmL(-1), showing significant improvement of sensitivity than that of most previous reports. Meanwhile, the proposed method was successfully applied for GM rice BT63 and GM maize MON810 detections down to 0.010% and 0.020%, respectively. Due to its outstanding advantages such as high sensitivity, ideal selectivity, simple fabrication, rapid detection, and low cost, the developed method can be considered as a powerful and pioneering tool for GM crops detection. Its use can also be extended to other toxin protein sensing in foods. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. On the rationale and interpretation of the Farm Scale Evaluations of genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops.

    PubMed Central

    Squire, G R; Brooks, D R; Bohan, D A; Champion, G T; Daniels, R E; Haughton, A J; Hawes, C; Heard, M S; Hill, M O; May, M J; Osborne, J L; Perry, J N; Roy, D B; Woiwod, I P; Firbank, L G

    2003-01-01

    Farmland biodiversity and food webs were compared in conventional and genetically modified herbicide-tolerant (GMHT) crops of beet (Beta vulgaris L.), maize (Zea mays L.) and both spring and winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.). GMHT and conventional varieties were sown in a split-field experimental design, at 60-70 sites for each crop, spread over three starting years beginning in 2000. This paper provides a background to the study and the rationale for its design and interpretation. It shows how data on environment, field management and the biota are used to assess the current state of the ecosystem, to define the typical arable field and to devise criteria for selecting, sampling and auditing experimental sites in the Farm Scale Evaluations. The main functional and taxonomic groups in the habitat are ranked according to their likely sensitivity to GMHT cropping, and the most responsive target organisms are defined. The value of the seedbank as a baseline and as an indicator of historical trends is proposed. Evidence from experiments during the twentieth century is analysed to show that large changes in field management have affected sensitive groups in the biota by ca. 50% during a year or short run of years--a figure against which to assess any positive or negative effects of GMHT cropping. The analysis leads to a summary of factors that were, and were not, examined in the first 3 years of the study and points to where modelling can be used to extrapolate the effects to the landscape and the agricultural region. PMID:14561314

  11. Weeds in fields with contrasting conventional and genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops. I. Effects on abundance and diversity.

    PubMed Central

    Heard, M S; Hawes, C; Champion, G T; Clark, S J; Firbank, L G; Haughton, A J; Parish, A M; Perry, J N; Rothery, P; Scott, R J; Skellern, M P; Squire, G R; Hill, M O

    2003-01-01

    We compared the seedbanks, seed rains, plant densities and biomasses of weeds under two contrasting systems of management in beet, maize and spring oilseed rape. Weed seedbank and plant density were measured at the same locations in two subsequent seasons. About 60 fields were sown with each crop. Each field was split, one half being sown with a conventional variety managed according to the farmer's normal practice, the other half being sown with a genetically modified herbicide-tolerant (GMHT) variety, with weeds controlled by a broad-spectrum herbicide. In beet and rape, plant densities shortly after sowing were higher in the GMHT treatment. Following weed control in conventional beet, plant densities were approximately one-fifth of those in GMHT beet. In both beet and rape, this effect was reversed after the first application of broad-spectrum herbicide, so that late-season plant densities were lower in the GMHT treatments. Biomass and seed rain in GMHT crops were between one-third and one-sixth of those in conventional treatments. The effects of differing weed-seed returns in these two crops persisted in the seedbank: densities following the GMHT treatment were about 20% lower than those following the conventional treatment. The effect of growing maize was quite different. Weed density was higher throughout the season in the GMHT treatment. Late-season biomass was 82% higher and seed rain was 87% higher than in the conventional treatment. The difference was not subsequently detectable in the seedbank because the total seed return was low after both treatments. In all three crops, weed diversity was little affected by the treatment, except for transient effects immediately following herbicide application. PMID:14561316

  12. Host-plant associated genetic divergence of two Diatraea spp. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) stemborers on novel crop plants.

    PubMed

    Joyce, Andrea L; Sermeno Chicas, Miguel; Serrano Cervantes, Leopoldo; Paniagua, Miguel; Scheffer, Sonja J; Solis, M Alma

    2016-12-01

    Diatraea lineolata and Diatraea saccharalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) are moths with stemboring larvae that feed and develop on economically important grasses. This study investigated whether these moths have diverged from a native host plant, corn, onto introduced crop plants including sorghum, sugarcane, and rice. Diatraea larvae were collected from these four host plants throughout the year in El Salvador and were reared on artificial diet until moths or parasitoids emerged. Adult moths were subsequently identified to species. Amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) and mitochondrial DNA cytochrome oxidase I (COI) were used to examine whether or not there was genetic divergence of D. lineolata or D. saccharalis populations on the four host plants. Percent parasitism was also determined for each moth on its host plants. D. lineolata was collected from corn in the rainy season and sorghum in the dry season. D. saccharalis was most abundant on sugarcane in the rainy season and sorghum in the dry season. The AFLP analysis found two genetically divergent populations of both D. lineolata and D. saccharalis. Both moths had high levels of parasitism on their dominant host plant in the rainy season, yet had low levels of parasitism on sorghum in the dry season. The presence of two genotypes of both Diatraea spp. on sorghum suggest that host-associated differentiation is occurring on this novel introduced crop plant.

  13. Genetic materials at the gene engineering division, RIKEN BioResource Center.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, Kazunari K; Murata, Takehide; Pan, Jianzhi; Nakade, Koji; Kishikawa, Shotaro; Ugai, Hideyo; Kimura, Makoto; Kujime, Yukari; Hirose, Megumi; Masuzaki, Satoko; Yamasaki, Takahito; Kurihara, Chitose; Okubo, Masato; Nakano, Yuri; Kusa, Yuka; Yoshikawa, Akiko; Inabe, Kumiko; Ueno, Kazuko; Obata, Yuichi

    2010-01-01

    Genetic materials are one of the most important and fundamental research resources for studying biological phenomena. Scientific need for genetic materials has been increasing and will never cease. Ever since it was established as RIKEN DNA Bank in 1987, the Gene Engineering Division of RIKEN BioResource Center (BRC) has been engaged in the collection, maintenance, storage, propagation, quality control, and distribution of genetic resources developed mainly by the Japanese research community. When RIKEN BRC was inaugurated in 2001, RIKEN DNA Bank was incorporated as one of its six Divisions, the Gene Engineering Division. The Gene Engineering Division was selected as a core facility for the genetic resources of mammalian and microbe origin by the National BioResource Project (NBRP) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan in 2002. With support from the scientific community, the Division now holds over 3 million clones of genetic materials for distribution. The genetic resources include cloned DNAs, gene libraries (e.g., cDNA and genomic DNA cloned into phage, cosmid, BAC, phosmid, and YAC), vectors, hosts, recombinant viruses, and ordered library sets derived from animal cells, including human and mouse cells, microorganisms, and viruses. Recently genetic materials produced by a few MEXT national research projects were transferred to the Gene Engineering Division for further dissemination. The Gene Engineering Division performs rigorous quality control of reproducibility, restriction enzyme mapping and nucleotide sequences of clones to ensure the reproducibility of in vivo and in vitro experiments. Users can easily access our genetic materials through the internet and obtain the DNA resources for a minimal fee. Not only the materials, but also information of features and technology related to the materials are provided via the web site of RIKEN BRC. Training courses are also given to transfer the technology for handling

  14. Ecological patterns and genetic analysis of post-dispersal seed predation in sunflower (Helianthus annuus) crop-wild hybrids.

    PubMed

    Dechaine, Jennifer M; Burger, Jutta C; Burke, John M

    2010-08-01

    Crop-wild hybridization has been documented in many cultivated species, but the ecological and genetic factors that influence the likelihood or rate that cultivar alleles will introgress into wild populations are poorly understood. Seed predation is one factor that could mitigate the spread of otherwise advantageous cultivar alleles into the wild by reducing seedling recruitment of crop-like individuals in hybrid populations. Seed predation has previously been linked to several seed characters that differ between cultivated and wild sunflower, such as seed size and oil content. In this study, seed morphological and nutritional characters were measured in a segregating population of sunflower crop-wild hybrids and wild and cultivated lines. Seed predation rates among lines were then assessed in the field. The relationship between seed predation and seed characters was investigated and quantitative trait loci (QTL) were mapped for all traits. There was no effect of seed type (hybrid vs. parents) on seed predation, although a trend toward more early predation of wild seeds was observed. Within the hybrids, seed predators preferred seeds that contained more oil and energy but were lower in fibre. The relationship between seed predation and oil content was supported by co-localized QTL for these traits on one linkage group. These results suggest that oil content may be a more important determinant of seed predation than seed size and provide molecular genetic evidence for this relationship. The cultivar allele was also found to increase predation at all QTL, indicating that post-dispersal seed predation may mitigate the spread of cultivar alleles into wild populations.

  15. Resources to increase genetics and genomics capacity of oncology nurses.

    PubMed

    Aiello, Lisa B

    2015-03-01

    Since the completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP) in 2003, the understanding of genetics and its influence on disease, particularly cancer, has increased dramatically. The initial focus after the completion of HGP was on identifying single-gene disorders, such as many hereditary cancer syndromes (e.g., BRCA1, BRCA2, HNPCC). As research continues, the major impact that genetics and genomics have across the healthcare continuum is only beginning to become clear.

  16. Model-based tolerance intervals derived from cumulative historical composition data: application for substantial equivalence assessment of a genetically modified crop.

    PubMed

    Hong, Bonnie; Fisher, Tracey L; Sult, Theresa S; Maxwell, Carl A; Mickelson, James A; Kishino, Hirohisa; Locke, Mary E H

    2014-10-08

    Compositional analysis is a requisite component of the substantial equivalence framework utilized to assess genetically modified (GM) crop safety. Statistical differences in composition data between GM and non-GM crops require a context in which to determine biological relevance. This context is provided by surveying the natural variation of key nutrient and antinutrient levels within the crop population with a history of safe use. Data accumulated from various genotypes with a history of safe use cultivated in relevant commercial crop-growing environments over multiple seasons are discussed as the appropriate data representative of this natural variation. A model-based parametric tolerance interval approach, which accounts for the correlated and unbalanced data structure of cumulative historical data collected from multisite field studies conducted over multiple seasons, is presented. This paper promotes the application of this tolerance interval approach to generate reference ranges for evaluation of the biological relevance of statistical differences identified during substantial equivalence assessment of a GM crop.

  17. The 1001 Arabidopsis DNA Methylomes: An Important Resource for Studying Natural Genetic, Epigenetic, and Phenotypic Variation.

    PubMed

    Lang, Zhaobo; Xie, Shaojun; Zhu, Jian-Kang

    2016-11-01

    Intraspecific phenotypic diversity is controlled by natural genetic and epigenetic variation. Kawakatsu et al. recently sequenced the DNA methylomes of a global collection of over 1000 Arabidopsis accessions, and have thereby provided a comprehensive resource for studying natural genetic and epigenetic variation as well as the association of such variation with phenotypic diversity.

  18. Comparison of mineral resources calculation methods for different genetic types of gravel and sand deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patashova, T.

    2009-04-01

    Calculation of mineral resources and their proper assessment is relevant, since the stock of resources determines the economic independence of the state. I would like present the work wherein discusses gravel and sand deposits of different genetic type (kames, eskers, marginal glaciofluvial ridges, sandurs, glaciofluvial deltas and redrifted glaciofluvial aeolian formations). Their geological structure and formation conditions have been assessed; quality characteristics of mineral resources have been analysed; calculation of resources has been performed by applying most popular resources calculating methods used in Lithuania up to now, such as those of geological blocks, profiles and isolines, as well as the up-to-date GRID method created on the basis of triangle method in GIS environment. Comparison of resources assessed by different methods has revealed their advantages and disadvantages, their availability subject to deposits‘genetic types.

  19. Evaluation of Crop-Water Consumption Simulation to Support Agricultural Water Resource Management using Satellite-based Water Cycle Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, M.; Bolten, J. D.; Lakshmi, V.

    2016-12-01

    Water scarcity is one of the main factors limiting agricultural development. Numerical models integrated with remote sensing datasets are increasingly being used operationally as inputs for crop water balance models and agricultural forecasting due to increasing availability of high temporal and spatial resolution datasets. However, the model accuracy in simulating soil water content is affected by the accuracy of the soil hydraulic parameters used in the model, which are used in the governing equations. However, soil databases are known to have a high uncertainty across scales. Also, for agricultural sites, the in-situ measurements of soil moisture are currently limited to discrete measurements at specific locations, and such point-based measurements do not represent the spatial distribution at a larger scale accurately, as soil moisture is highly variable both spatially and temporally. The present study utilizes effective soil hydraulic parameters obtained using a 1-km downscaled microwave remote sensing soil moisture product based on the NASA Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) using the genetic algorithm inverse method within the Catchment Land Surface Model (CLSM). Secondly, to provide realistic irrigation estimates for agricultural sites, an irrigation scheme within the land surface model is triggered when the root-zone soil moisture deficit reaches the threshold, 50% with respect to the maximum available water capacity obtained from the effective soil hydraulic parameters. An additional important criterion utilized is the estimation of crop water consumption based on dynamic root growth and uptake in root zone layer. Model performance is evaluated using MODIS land surface temperature (LST) product. The soil moisture estimates for the root zone are also validated with the in situ field data, for three sites (2- irrigated and 1- rainfed) located at the University of Nebraska Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead, NE and monitored

  20. Genomics of Tropical Fruit Tree Crops

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The genetic improvement of tropical fruit trees is limited when compared to progress achieved in temperate fruit trees and annual crops. Tropical fruit tree breeding programs require significant resources to develop new cultivars that are adapted to modern shipping and storage requirements. The use...

  1. Using the ENCODE Resource for Functional Annotation of Genetic Variants.

    PubMed

    Pazin, Michael J

    2015-03-11

    This article illustrates the use of the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) resource to generate or refine hypotheses from genomic data on disease and other phenotypic traits. First, the goals and history of ENCODE and related epigenomics projects are reviewed. Second, the rationale for ENCODE and the major data types used by ENCODE are briefly described, as are some standard heuristics for their interpretation. Third, the use of the ENCODE resource is examined. Standard use cases for ENCODE, accessing the ENCODE resource, and accessing data from related projects are discussed. Although the focus of this article is the use of ENCODE data, some of the same approaches can be used with data from other projects.

  2. NIASGBdb: NIAS Genebank databases for genetic resources and plant disease information.

    PubMed

    Takeya, Masaru; Yamasaki, Fukuhiro; Uzuhashi, Shihomi; Aoki, Takayuki; Sawada, Hiroyuki; Nagai, Toshirou; Tomioka, Keisuke; Tomooka, Norihiko; Sato, Toyozo; Kawase, Makoto

    2011-01-01

    The National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences (NIAS) is implementing the NIAS Genebank Project for conservation and promotion of agrobiological genetic resources to contribute to the development and utilization of agriculture and agricultural products. The project's databases (NIASGBdb; http://www.gene.affrc.go.jp/databases_en.php) consist of a genetic resource database and a plant diseases database, linked by a web retrieval database. The genetic resources database has plant and microorganism search systems to provide information on research materials, including passport and evaluation data for genetic resources with the desired properties. To facilitate genetic diversity research, several NIAS Core Collections have been developed. The NIAS Rice (Oryza sativa) Core Collection of Japanese Landraces contains information on simple sequence repeat (SSR) polymorphisms. SSR marker information for azuki bean (Vigna angularis) and black gram (V. mungo) and DNA sequence data from some selected Japanese strains of the genus Fusarium are also available. A database of plant diseases in Japan has been developed based on the listing of common names of plant diseases compiled by the Phytopathological Society of Japan. Relevant plant and microorganism genetic resources are associated with the plant disease names by the web retrieval database and can be obtained from the NIAS Genebank for research or educational purposes.

  3. NIASGBdb: NIAS Genebank databases for genetic resources and plant disease information

    PubMed Central

    Takeya, Masaru; Yamasaki, Fukuhiro; Uzuhashi, Shihomi; Aoki, Takayuki; Sawada, Hiroyuki; Nagai, Toshirou; Tomioka, Keisuke; Tomooka, Norihiko; Sato, Toyozo; Kawase, Makoto

    2011-01-01

    The National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences (NIAS) is implementing the NIAS Genebank Project for conservation and promotion of agrobiological genetic resources to contribute to the development and utilization of agriculture and agricultural products. The project’s databases (NIASGBdb; http://www.gene.affrc.go.jp/databases_en.php) consist of a genetic resource database and a plant diseases database, linked by a web retrieval database. The genetic resources database has plant and microorganism search systems to provide information on research materials, including passport and evaluation data for genetic resources with the desired properties. To facilitate genetic diversity research, several NIAS Core Collections have been developed. The NIAS Rice (Oryza sativa) Core Collection of Japanese Landraces contains information on simple sequence repeat (SSR) polymorphisms. SSR marker information for azuki bean (Vigna angularis) and black gram (V. mungo) and DNA sequence data from some selected Japanese strains of the genus Fusarium are also available. A database of plant diseases in Japan has been developed based on the listing of common names of plant diseases compiled by the Phytopathological Society of Japan. Relevant plant and microorganism genetic resources are associated with the plant disease names by the web retrieval database and can be obtained from the NIAS Genebank for research or educational purposes. PMID:20952407

  4. GESDB: a platform of simulation resources for genetic epidemiology studies.

    PubMed

    Yao, Po-Ju; Chung, Ren-Hua

    2016-01-01

    Computer simulations are routinely conducted to evaluate new statistical methods, to compare the properties among different methods, and to mimic the observed data in genetic epidemiology studies. Conducting simulation studies can become a complicated task as several challenges can occur, such as the selection of an appropriate simulation tool and the specification of parameters in the simulation model. Although abundant simulated data have been generated for human genetic research, currently there is no public database designed specifically as a repository for these simulated data. With the lack of such a database, for similar studies, similar simulations may have been repeated, which resulted in redundant work. Thus, we created an online platform, the Genetic Epidemiology Simulation Database (GESDB), for simulation data sharing and discussion of simulation techniques for genetic epidemiology studies. GESDB consists of a database for storing simulation scripts, simulated data and documentation from published articles as well as a discussion forum, which provides a platform for discussion of the simulated data and exchanging simulation ideas. Moreover, summary statistics such as the simulation tools that are most commonly used and datasets that are most frequently downloaded are provided. The statistics will be informative for researchers to choose an appropriate simulation tool or select a common dataset for method comparisons. GESDB can be accessed at http://gesdb.nhri.org.twDatabase URL: http://gesdb.nhri.org.tw. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

  5. Community standards for genomic resources, genetic conservation, and data integration

    Treesearch

    Jill Wegrzyn; Meg Staton; Emily Grau; Richard Cronn; C. Dana. Nelson

    2017-01-01

    Genetics and genomics are increasingly important in forestry management and conservation. Next generation sequencing can increase analytical power, but still relies on building on the structure of previously acquired data. Data standards and data sharing allow the community to maximize the analytical power of high throughput genomics data. The landscape of incomplete...

  6. Genetic and developing genomic resources in black raspberry

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Breeding progress in black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis L.) has been limited by a lack of genetic diversity in elite germplasm. Black raspberry cultivars have been noted for showing very few phenotypic differences and seedlings from crosses between cultivars for a lack of segregation for important ...

  7. Improving Rice Zinc Biofortification Success Rates Through Genetic and Crop Management Approaches in a Changing Environment

    PubMed Central

    Nakandalage, Niluka; Nicolas, Marc; Norton, Robert M.; Hirotsu, Naoki; Milham, Paul J.; Seneweera, Saman

    2016-01-01

    Though rice is the predominant source of energy and micronutrients for more than half of the world population, it does not provide enough zinc (Zn) to match human nutritional requirements. Moreover, climate change, particularly rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, reduces the grain Zn concentration. Therefore, rice biofortification has been recognized as a key target to increase the grain Zn concentration to address global Zn malnutrition. Major bottlenecks for Zn biofortification in rice are identified as low Zn uptake, transport and loading into the grain; however, environmental and genetic contributions to grain Zn accumulation in rice have not been fully explored. In this review, we critically analyze the key genetic, physiological and environmental factors that determine Zn uptake, transport and utilization in rice. We also explore the genetic diversity of rice germplasm to develop new genetic tools for Zn biofortification. Lastly, we discuss the strategic use of Zn fertilizer for developing biofortified rice. PMID:27375636

  8. Improving Rice Zinc Biofortification Success Rates Through Genetic and Crop Management Approaches in a Changing Environment.

    PubMed

    Nakandalage, Niluka; Nicolas, Marc; Norton, Robert M; Hirotsu, Naoki; Milham, Paul J; Seneweera, Saman

    2016-01-01

    Though rice is the predominant source of energy and micronutrients for more than half of the world population, it does not provide enough zinc (Zn) to match human nutritional requirements. Moreover, climate change, particularly rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, reduces the grain Zn concentration. Therefore, rice biofortification has been recognized as a key target to increase the grain Zn concentration to address global Zn malnutrition. Major bottlenecks for Zn biofortification in rice are identified as low Zn uptake, transport and loading into the grain; however, environmental and genetic contributions to grain Zn accumulation in rice have not been fully explored. In this review, we critically analyze the key genetic, physiological and environmental factors that determine Zn uptake, transport and utilization in rice. We also explore the genetic diversity of rice germplasm to develop new genetic tools for Zn biofortification. Lastly, we discuss the strategic use of Zn fertilizer for developing biofortified rice.

  9. Recent Advances on the Molecular Basis of Crop Aluminum Resistance

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The considerable genetic variability for aluminum (Al) resistance within many crop plant species has been utilized by plant breeders for a number of years to enhance Al resistance. But beyond this, genetic variability in Al resistance has been an excellent experimental resource that is being mined b...

  10. Developing educational resources for population genetics in R: an open and collaborative approach.

    PubMed

    Kamvar, Zhian N; López-Uribe, Margarita M; Coughlan, Simone; Grünwald, Niklaus J; Lapp, Hilmar; Manel, Stéphanie

    2017-01-01

    The r computing and statistical language community has developed a myriad of resources for conducting population genetic analyses. However, resources for learning how to carry out population genetic analyses in r are scattered and often incomplete, which can make acquiring this skill unnecessarily difficult and time consuming. To address this gap, we developed an online community resource with guidance and working demonstrations for conducting population genetic analyses in r. The resource is freely available at http://popgen.nescent.org and includes material for both novices and advanced users of r for population genetics. To facilitate continued maintenance and growth of this resource, we developed a toolchain, process and conventions designed to (i) minimize financial and labour costs of upkeep; (ii) to provide a low barrier to contribution; and (iii) to ensure strong quality assurance. The toolchain includes automatic integration testing of every change and rebuilding of the website when new vignettes or edits are accepted. The process and conventions largely follow a common, distributed version control-based contribution workflow, which is used to provide and manage open peer review by designated website editors. The online resources include detailed documentation of this process, including video tutorials. We invite the community of population geneticists working in r to contribute to this resource, whether for a new use case of their own, or as one of the vignettes from the 'wish list' we maintain, or by improving existing vignettes. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Germplasm Preservation of Vegetatively-propagated Crops at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Out of 476,049 germpaslm accessions maintained by the USDA, ARS, National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS), ca. 30,000 are vegetaively-propagated and as such require preservation as non seed propagules. Numerous research reports demonstrated the advantages of long term storage of plant tissues in liqui...

  12. Germplasm Preservation of Vegetatively-propagated Crops at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Out of 476,049 germplasm accessions maintained by the USDA, ARS, National Plant Germplasm System (NPS), ca. 30,000 are vegetatively-propagated and as such require preservation as non seed propagules. Numerous research reports have demonstrated the advantages of long-term storage of plant tissues in ...

  13. Genetic resources in the USDA, ARS, PGRCU legume crop germplasm collections with phyto-pharmaceutical uses

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Seventeen health functional legumes including butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea L.), Indigofera cassioides Rottler ex DC., I. linnaei Ali, I. suffruticosa Mill., hyacinth bean [Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet], velvetbean [Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC], jicama [Pachyrhizus erosus (L.) Urb.], winged bean [Psop...

  14. A weed-crop complex in sorghum: The dynamics of genetic diversity in a traditional farming system.

    PubMed

    Barnaud, Adeline; Deu, Monique; Garine, Eric; Chantereau, Jacques; Bolteu, Justin; Koïda, Esaei Ouin; McKey, Doyle; Joly, Hélène I

    2009-10-01

    Despite the major ecological and economic impacts of gene flow between domesticated plants and their wild relatives, many aspects of the process, particularly the relative roles of natural and human selection in facilitating or constraining gene flow, are still poorly understood. We developed a multidisciplinary approach, involving both biologists and social scientists, to investigate the dynamics of genetic diversity of a sorghum weed-crop complex in a village of Duupa farmers in northern Cameroon. Farmers distinguish a gradient from weedy morphotypes (naa baa see, haariya, and genkiya) to domesticated morphotypes; haariya and genkiya have intermediate morphological traits. We investigated the pattern of diversity in this complex using both morphological and genetic data. Our biological results are interpreted in the light of data on farmers' taxonomy and practices such as spatial pattern of planting and plant selection. Both morphological and genetic data are congruent with farmers' taxonomy and confirm the introgressed status of intermediate weedy morphotypes. Farmers actively select against weedy morphotypes, but several practices unconsciously favor gene flow. Furthermore, haariya and genkiya may facilitate introgression between naa baa see and domesticated morphotypes by virtue of their intermediate flowering period and their mode of management by farmers.

  15. Resources

    MedlinePlus

    ... Gastrointestinal disorders - resources Hearing impairment - resources Hearing or speech impairment - resources Heart disease - resources Hemophilia - resources Herpes - resources Incest - resources Incontinence - ...

  16. A sustainable genetic algorithm for satellite resource allocation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abbott, R. J.; Campbell, M. L.; Krenz, W. C.

    1995-01-01

    A hybrid genetic algorithm is used to schedule tasks for 8 satellites, which can be modelled as a robot whose task is to retrieve objects from a two dimensional field. The objective is to find a schedule that maximizes the value of objects retrieved. Typical of the real-world tasks to which this corresponds is the scheduling of ground contacts for a communications satellite. An important feature of our application is that the amount of time available for running the scheduler is not necessarily known in advance. This requires that the scheduler produce reasonably good results after a short period but that it also continue to improve its results if allowed to run for a longer period. We satisfy this requirement by developing what we call a sustainable genetic algorithm.

  17. A Belated Green Revolution for Cannabis: Virtual Genetic Resources to Fast-Track Cultivar Development

    PubMed Central

    Welling, Matthew T.; Shapter, Tim; Rose, Terry J.; Liu, Lei; Stanger, Rhia; King, Graham J.

    2016-01-01

    Cannabis is a predominantly diecious phenotypically diverse domesticated genus with few if any extant natural populations. International narcotics conventions and associated legislation have constrained the establishment, characterization, and use of Cannabis genetic resource collections. This has resulted in the underutilization of genepool variability in cultivar development and has limited the inclusion of secondary genepools associated with genetic improvement strategies of the Green Revolution. The structured screening of ex situ germplasm and the exploitation of locally-adapted intraspecific traits is expected to facilitate the genetic improvement of Cannabis. However, limited attempts have been made to establish the full extent of genetic resources available for pre-breeding. We present a thorough critical review of Cannabis ex situ genetic resources, and discuss recommendations for conservation, pre-breeding characterization, and genetic analysis that will underpin future cultivar development. We consider East Asian germplasm to be a priority for conservation based on the prolonged historical cultivation of Cannabis in this region over a range of latitudes, along with the apparent high levels of genetic diversity and relatively low representation in published genetic resource collections. Seed cryopreservation could improve conservation by reducing hybridization and genetic drift that may occur during Cannabis germplasm regeneration. Given the unique legal status of Cannabis, we propose the establishment of a global virtual core collection based on the collation of consistent and comprehensive provenance meta-data and the adoption of high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies. This would enable representative core collections to be used for systematic phenotyping, and so underpin breeding strategies for the genetic improvement of Cannabis. PMID:27524992

  18. A Belated Green Revolution for Cannabis: Virtual Genetic Resources to Fast-Track Cultivar Development.

    PubMed

    Welling, Matthew T; Shapter, Tim; Rose, Terry J; Liu, Lei; Stanger, Rhia; King, Graham J

    2016-01-01

    Cannabis is a predominantly diecious phenotypically diverse domesticated genus with few if any extant natural populations. International narcotics conventions and associated legislation have constrained the establishment, characterization, and use of Cannabis genetic resource collections. This has resulted in the underutilization of genepool variability in cultivar development and has limited the inclusion of secondary genepools associated with genetic improvement strategies of the Green Revolution. The structured screening of ex situ germplasm and the exploitation of locally-adapted intraspecific traits is expected to facilitate the genetic improvement of Cannabis. However, limited attempts have been made to establish the full extent of genetic resources available for pre-breeding. We present a thorough critical review of Cannabis ex situ genetic resources, and discuss recommendations for conservation, pre-breeding characterization, and genetic analysis that will underpin future cultivar development. We consider East Asian germplasm to be a priority for conservation based on the prolonged historical cultivation of Cannabis in this region over a range of latitudes, along with the apparent high levels of genetic diversity and relatively low representation in published genetic resource collections. Seed cryopreservation could improve conservation by reducing hybridization and genetic drift that may occur during Cannabis germplasm regeneration. Given the unique legal status of Cannabis, we propose the establishment of a global virtual core collection based on the collation of consistent and comprehensive provenance meta-data and the adoption of high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies. This would enable representative core collections to be used for systematic phenotyping, and so underpin breeding strategies for the genetic improvement of Cannabis.

  19. Potential Uses of Wild Germplasms of Grain Legumes for Crop Improvement.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Nacira; Liu, Ailin; Kan, Leo; Li, Man-Wah; Lam, Hon-Ming

    2017-02-04

    Challenged by population increase, climatic change, and soil deterioration, crop improvement is always a priority in securing food supplies. Although the production of grain legumes is in general lower than that of cereals, the nutritional value of grain legumes make them important components of food security. Nevertheless, limited by severe genetic bottlenecks during domestication and human selection, grain legumes, like other crops, have suffered from a loss of genetic diversity which is essential for providing genetic materials for crop improvement programs. Illustrated by whole-genome-sequencing, wild relatives of crops adapted to various environments were shown to maintain high genetic diversity. In this review, we focused on nine important grain legumes (soybean, peanut, pea, chickpea, common bean, lentil, cowpea, lupin, and pigeonpea) to discuss the potential uses of their wild relatives as genetic resources for crop breeding and improvement, and summarized the various genetic/genomic approaches adopted for these purposes.

  20. Potential Uses of Wild Germplasms of Grain Legumes for Crop Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz, Nacira; Liu, Ailin; Kan, Leo; Li, Man-Wah; Lam, Hon-Ming

    2017-01-01

    Challenged by population increase, climatic change, and soil deterioration, crop improvement is always a priority in securing food supplies. Although the production of grain legumes is in general lower than that of cereals, the nutritional value of grain legumes make them important components of food security. Nevertheless, limited by severe genetic bottlenecks during domestication and human selection, grain legumes, like other crops, have suffered from a loss of genetic diversity which is essential for providing genetic materials for crop improvement programs. Illustrated by whole-genome-sequencing, wild relatives of crops adapted to various environments were shown to maintain high genetic diversity. In this review, we focused on nine important grain legumes (soybean, peanut, pea, chickpea, common bean, lentil, cowpea, lupin, and pigeonpea) to discuss the potential uses of their wild relatives as genetic resources for crop breeding and improvement, and summarized the various genetic/genomic approaches adopted for these purposes. PMID:28165413

  1. Energy efficiency and energy homeostasis as genetic and epigenetic components of plant performance and crop productivity.

    PubMed

    De Block, Marc; Van Lijsebettens, Mieke

    2011-06-01

    The importance of energy metabolism in plant performance and plant productivity is conceptually well recognized. In the eighties, several independent studies in Lolium perenne (ryegrass), Zea mays (maize), and Festuca arundinacea (tall fescue) correlated low respiration rates with high yields. Similar reports in the nineties largely confirmed this correlation in Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) and Cucumis sativus (cucumber). However, selection for reduced respiration does not always result in high-yielding cultivars. Indeed, the ratio between energy content and respiration, defined here as energy efficiency, rather than respiration on its own, has a major impact on the yield potential of a crop. Besides energy efficiency, energy homeostasis, representing the balance between energy production and consumption in a changing environment, also contributes to an enhanced plant performance and this happens mainly through an increased stress tolerance. Although a few single gene approaches look promising, probably whole interacting networks have to be modulated, as is done by classical breeding, to improve the energy status of plants. Recent developments show that both energy efficiency and energy homeostasis have an epigenetic component that can be directed and stabilized by artificial selection (i.e. selective breeding). This novel approach offers new opportunities to improve yield potential and stress tolerance in a wide variety of crops.

  2. Past evolutionary tradeoffs represent opportunities for crop genetic improvement and increased human lifespan

    PubMed Central

    Denison, R Ford

    2011-01-01

    The repeated evolution of complex adaptations – crop mimicry by weeds, for example, or CO2-concentrating C4 photosynthesis – shows the power of natural selection to solve difficult problems that limited fitness in past environments. The sophistication of natural selection's innovations contrasts with the relatively simple changes (e.g., increasing the expression of existing genes) readily achievable by today's biotechnology. Mutants with greater expression of these genes arose repeatedly over the course of evolution, so their present rarity indicates rejection by natural selection. Similarly, medical interventions that simply up- or down-regulate existing physiological mechanisms presumably recreate phenotypes also rejected by past natural selection. Some tradeoffs that constrained past natural selection still apply, such as those resulting from conservation of matter. But tradeoffs between present human goals and individual fitness in past environments may represent fairly easy opportunities to achieve our goals by reversing some effects of past selection. This point is illustrated with three examples, based on tradeoffs between (i) individual-plant fitness versus whole-crop performance, (ii) the fitness of symbionts (rhizobia) versus that of their legume hosts, and (iii) human fertility versus longevity in the context of environmental cues, such as consumption of ‘famine foods’, that predict trends in population size. PMID:25567969

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-04

    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.

  4. A community resource for exploring and utilizing genetic diversity in the USDA pea single plant plus collection

    PubMed Central

    Holdsworth, William L.; Gazave, Elodie; Cheng, Peng; Myers, James R.; Gore, Michael A.; Coyne, Clarice J.; McGee, Rebecca J.; Mazourek, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Globally, pea (Pisum sativum L.) is an important temperate legume crop for food, feed and fodder, and many breeding programs develop cultivars adapted to these end-uses. In order to assist pea development efforts, we assembled the USDA Pea Single Plant Plus Collection (PSPPC), which contains 431 P. sativum accessions with morphological, geographic and taxonomic diversity. The collection was characterized genetically in order to maximize its value for trait mapping and genomics-assisted breeding. To that end, we used genotyping-by-sequencing—a cost-effective method for de novo single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) marker discovery—to generate 66 591 high-quality SNPs. These data facilitated the identification of accessions divergent from mainstream breeding germplasm that could serve as sources of novel, favorable alleles. In particular, a group of accessions from Central Asia appear nearly as diverse as a sister species, P. fulvum, and subspecies, P. sativum subsp. elatius. PSPPC genotypes can be paired with new and existing phenotype data for trait mapping; as proof-of-concept, we localized Mendel’s A gene controlling flower color to its known position. We also used SNP data to define a smaller core collection of 108 accessions with similar levels of genetic diversity as the entire PSPPC, resulting in a smaller germplasm set for research screening and evaluation under limited resources. Taken together, the results presented in this study along with the release of a publicly available SNP data set comprise a valuable resource for supporting worldwide pea genetic improvement efforts. PMID:28503311

  5. Messages promoting genetic modification of crops in the context of climate change: Evidence for psychological reactance.

    PubMed

    Lu, Hang; McComas, Katherine A; Besley, John C

    2017-01-01

    Genetic modification (GM) of crops and climate change are arguably two of today's most challenging science communication issues. Increasingly, these two issues are connected in messages proposing GM as a viable option for ensuring global food security threatened by climate change. This study examines the effects of messages promoting the benefits of GM in the context of climate change. Further, it examines whether explicit reference to "climate change," or "global warming" in a GM message results in different effects than each other, or an implicit climate reference. An online sample of U.S. participants (N = 1050) were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: "climate change" cue, "global warming" cue, implicit cue, or control (no message). Generally speaking, framing GM crops as a way to help ensure global food security proved to be an effective messaging strategy in increasing positive attitudes toward GM. In addition, the implicit cue condition led to liberals having more positive attitudes and behavioral intentions toward GM than the "climate change" cue condition, an effect mediated by message evaluations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Simulation of collaborative studies for real-time PCR-based quantitation methods for genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Satoshi; Sawada, Hiroshi; Naito, Shigehiro; Akiyama, Hiroshi; Teshima, Reiko; Furui, Satoshi; Kitta, Kazumi; Hino, Akihiro

    2013-01-01

    To study impacts of various random effects and parameters of collaborative studies on the precision of quantitation methods of genetically modified (GM) crops, we developed a set of random effects models for cycle time values of a standard curve-based relative real-time PCR that makes use of an endogenous gene sequence as the internal standard. The models and data from a published collaborative study for six GM lines at four concentration levels were used to simulate collaborative studies under various conditions. Results suggested that by reducing the numbers of well replications from three to two, and standard levels of endogenous sequence from five to three, the number of unknown samples analyzable on a 96-well PCR plate in routine analyses could be almost doubled, and still the acceptable repeatability RSD (RSDr < or = 25%) and the reproducibility RSD (RSDR < 35%) of the collaborative study could be met. Further, RSDr and RSD(R) were found most sensitive to random effects attributable to inhomogeneity among blind replicates, but they were little influenced by those attributable to DNA extractions. The proposed models are expected to be useful for optimizing standard curve-based relative quantitation methods for GM crops by real-time PCR and their collaborative studies.

  7. A coupled hydrologic and process-based crop dynamics model for studying climate change impacts on water resources and agricultural production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chinnayakanahalli, K.; Adam, J. C.; Stöckle, C. O.; Nelson, R. L.; Barber, M. E.

    2010-12-01

    The hydrology of the Pacific Northwest (PNW), a prominent agricultural region in the U.S., is expected to be affected by climate change. Previous climate change studies in the PNW region suggest a likelihood of increasing temperatures and a shift in precipitation patterns, with precipitation higher in the winter and lower in the summer. The climate change-induced stress on the availability of water resources during the growing season may constrain irrigation and agricultural practices which will in turn affect crop production. In order to assess the climate change impacts on PNW agriculture, it is essential that we understand the relationships between crop dynamics and the hydrological cycle. The Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrologic model, which solves the coupled water and energy balances of the hydrological cycle at the macro scale, has been previously used and calibrated for the PNW region. In order to improve the VIC model’s simulation of agricultural water dynamics, a crop growth sub-model based on the CropSyst cropping system model was developed and integrated into VIC. The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cropland data layer was used to identify agricultural land use patterns. For land uses identified as agricultural regions, the VIC model applies the crop sub-model to simulate biomass growth, crop yield, transpiration, and irrigation water demand. This coupled model presents opportunities for studying the impacts of climate change on irrigation water demand and agricultural production of the region. The historical period 1970 - 2000 was simulated to establish a baseline for surface water availability, irrigation demand, and biomass production in the Columbia River basin. The model will then be applied under a future (2030s) climate change scenario derived from statistically-downscaled Global Circulation Models output, in order to assess these climate change impacts. The results from this modeling approach are expected to help stakeholders

  8. Peach genetic resources: diversity, population structure and linkage disequilibrium

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Peach (Prunus persica (L.) Batsch) is one of the most important model fruits in the Rosaceae family. Native to the west of China, where peach has been domesticated for more than 4,000 years, its cultivation spread from China to Persia, Mediterranean countries and to America. Chinese peach has had a major impact on international peach breeding programs due to its high genetic diversity. In this research, we used 48 highly polymorphic SSRs, distributed over the peach genome, to investigate the difference in genetic diversity, and linkage disequilibrium (LD) among Chinese cultivars, and North American and European cultivars, and the evolution of current peach cultivars. Results In total, 588 alleles were obtained with 48 SSRs on 653 peach accessions, giving an average of 12.25 alleles per locus. In general, the average value of observed heterozygosity (0.47) was lower than the expected heterozygosity (0.60). The separate analysis of groups of accessions according to their origin or reproductive strategies showed greater variability in Oriental cultivars, mainly due to the high level of heterozygosity in Chinese landraces. Genetic distance analysis clustered the cultivars into two main groups: one included four wild related Prunus, and the other included most of the Oriental and Occidental landraces and breeding cultivars. STRUCTURE analysis assigned 469 accessions to three subpopulations: Oriental (234), Occidental (174), and Landraces (61). Nested STRUCTURE analysis divided the Oriental subpopulation into two different subpopulations: ‘Yu Lu’ and ‘Hakuho’. The Occidental breeding subpopulation was also subdivided into nectarine and peach subpopulations. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) analysis in each of these subpopulations showed that the percentage of linked (r2 > 0.1) intra-chromosome comparisons ranged between 14% and 47%. LD decayed faster in Oriental (1,196 Kbp) than in Occidental (2,687 Kbp) samples. In the ‘Yu Lu’ subpopulation there

  9. Current methods for assessing safety of genetically modified crops as exemplified by data on Roundup Ready soybeans.

    PubMed

    Nair, Rashmi S; Fuchs, Roy L; Schuette, Sheila A

    2002-01-01

    Several laboratories have used recombinant DNA technology in plant breeding to improve compositional, processing, and agronomic characteristics of plants. These transformed plants have been extensively tested in field trials, have gained full regulatory approvals and are currently being marketed in a number of countries around the world. This paper briefly summarizes the approach used to assure the safety of foods and feeds derived from these genetically modified crops, as exemplified by data on Roundup Ready soybeans that has been developed by Monsanto Company using biotechnology in order to confer tolerance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide, by the production of the CP4 enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase protein. The results of the studies demonstrate that Roundup Ready soybeans are as safe as traditional soybeans with respect to food and feed safety.

  10. Environmental fate of insecticidal plant-incorporated protectants from genetically modified crops: Knowledge gaps and research opportunities.

    PubMed

    Parker, Kimberly M; Sander, Michael

    2017-10-02

    Plant-incorporated protectants (PIPs) are biopesticides expressed in genetically modified crops and are typically macromolecular in nature. First-generation insecticidal PIPs were Cry proteins; next-generation double-stranded ribonucleic acid (dsRNA) PIPs have been recently approved. Like conventional synthetic pesticides, the use of either Cry protein or dsRNA PIPs results in their release to receiving environments. However, as opposed to conventional low molecular weight pesticides, the environmental fate of macromolecular PIPs remains less studied and is poorly understood. This feature highlights the knowledge gaps and challenges that have emerged while investigating the environmental fate of Cry protein PIPs and suggests new avenues to advance the state of the research necessary for the ongoing environmental fate assessment of dsRNA PIPs.

  11. 76 FR 28209 - Notice of Intent To Reestablish the National Genetic Resources Advisory Council, and Request for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-16

    ... to genetic resources conservation. DATES: Written nominations must be received on or before June 30... to genetic resources conservation. The Executive Director of the Research, Education, and Economics... suggestions and ideas on how USDA can tailor its programs to help maintain purity of non-GE genetics, from...

  12. Lathyrus diversity: available resources with relevance to crop improvement – L. sativus and L. cicera as case studies

    PubMed Central

    Vaz Patto, M. C.; Rubiales, D.

    2014-01-01

    Background The Lathyrus genus includes 160 species, some of which have economic importance as food, fodder and ornamental crops (mainly L. sativus, L. cicera and L. odoratus, respectively) and are cultivated in >1·5 Mha worldwide. However, in spite of their well-recognized robustness and potential as a source of calories and protein for populations in drought-prone and marginal areas, cultivation is in decline and there is a high risk of genetic erosion. Scope In this review, current and past taxonomic treatments of the Lathyrus genus are assessed and its current status is examined together with future prospects for germplasm conservation, characterization and utilization. A particular emphasis is placed on the importance of diversity analysis for breeding of L. sativus and L. cicera. Conclusions Efforts for improvement of L. sativus and L. cicera should concentrate on the development of publicly available joint core collections, and on high-resolution genotyping. This will be critical for permitting decentralized phenotyping. Such a co-ordinated international effort should result in more efficient and faster breeding approaches, which are particularly needed for these neglected, underutilized Lathyrus species. PMID:24623333

  13. Salicornia as a crop plant in temperate regions: selection of genetically characterized ecotypes and optimization of their cultivation conditions.

    PubMed

    Singh, Devesh; Buhmann, Anne K; Flowers, Tim J; Seal, Charlotte E; Papenbrock, Jutta

    2014-11-10

    Rising sea levels and salinization of groundwater due to global climate change result in fast-dwindling sources of freshwater. Therefore, it is important to find alternatives to grow food crops and vegetables. Halophytes are naturally evolved salt-tolerant plants that are adapted to grow in environments that inhibit the growth of most glycophytic crop plants substantially. Members of the Salicornioideae are promising candidates for saline agriculture due to their high tolerance to salinity. Our aim was to develop genetically characterized lines of Salicornia and Sarcocornia for further breeding and to determine optimal cultivation conditions. To obtain a large and diverse genetic pool, seeds were collected from different countries and ecological conditions. The external transcribed spacer (ETS) sequence of 62 Salicornia and Sarcocornia accessions was analysed: ETS sequence data showed a clear distinction between the two genera and between different Salicornia taxa. However, in some cases the ETS was not sufficiently variable to resolve morphologically distinct species. For the determination of optimal cultivation conditions, experiments on germination, seedling establishment and growth to a harvestable size were performed using different accessions of Salicornia spp. Experiments revealed that the percentage germination was greatest at lower salinities and with temperatures of 20/10 °C (day/night). Salicornia spp. produced more harvestable biomass in hydroponic culture than in sand culture, but the nutrient concentration requires optimization as hydroponically grown plants showed symptoms of stress. Salicornia ramosissima produced more harvestable biomass than Salicornia dolichostachya in artificial sea water containing 257 mM NaCl. Based on preliminary tests on ease of cultivation, gain in biomass, morphology and taste, S. dolichostachya was investigated in more detail, and the optimal salinity for seedling establishment was found to be 100 mM. Harvesting of S

  14. Salicornia as a crop plant in temperate regions: selection of genetically characterized ecotypes and optimization of their cultivation conditions

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Devesh; Buhmann, Anne K.; Flowers, Tim J.; Seal, Charlotte E.; Papenbrock, Jutta

    2014-01-01

    Rising sea levels and salinization of groundwater due to global climate change result in fast-dwindling sources of freshwater. Therefore, it is important to find alternatives to grow food crops and vegetables. Halophytes are naturally evolved salt-tolerant plants that are adapted to grow in environments that inhibit the growth of most glycophytic crop plants substantially. Members of the Salicornioideae are promising candidates for saline agriculture due to their high tolerance to salinity. Our aim was to develop genetically characterized lines of Salicornia and Sarcocornia for further breeding and to determine optimal cultivation conditions. To obtain a large and diverse genetic pool, seeds were collected from different countries and ecological conditions. The external transcribed spacer (ETS) sequence of 62 Salicornia and Sarcocornia accessions was analysed: ETS sequence data showed a clear distinction between the two genera and between different Salicornia taxa. However, in some cases the ETS was not sufficiently variable to resolve morphologically distinct species. For the determination of optimal cultivation conditions, experiments on germination, seedling establishment and growth to a harvestable size were performed using different accessions of Salicornia spp. Experiments revealed that the percentage germination was greatest at lower salinities and with temperatures of 20/10 °C (day/night). Salicornia spp. produced more harvestable biomass in hydroponic culture than in sand culture, but the nutrient concentration requires optimization as hydroponically grown plants showed symptoms of stress. Salicornia ramosissima produced more harvestable biomass than Salicornia dolichostachya in artificial sea water containing 257 mM NaCl. Based on preliminary tests on ease of cultivation, gain in biomass, morphology and taste, S. dolichostachya was investigated in more detail, and the optimal salinity for seedling establishment was found to be 100 mM. Harvesting of S

  15. Orthology Guided Assembly in highly heterozygous crops: creating a reference transcriptome to uncover genetic diversity in Lolium perenne.

    PubMed

    Ruttink, Tom; Sterck, Lieven; Rohde, Antje; Bendixen, Christian; Rouzé, Pierre; Asp, Torben; Van de Peer, Yves; Roldan-Ruiz, Isabel

    2013-06-01

    Despite current advances in next-generation sequencing data analysis procedures, de novo assembly of a reference sequence required for SNP discovery and expression analysis is still a major challenge in genetically uncharacterized, highly heterozygous species. High levels of polymorphism inherent to outbreeding crop species hamper De Bruijn Graph-based de novo assembly algorithms, causing transcript fragmentation and the redundant assembly of allelic contigs. If multiple genotypes are sequenced to study genetic diversity, primary de novo assembly is best performed per genotype to limit the level of polymorphism and avoid transcript fragmentation. Here, we propose an Orthology Guided Assembly procedure that first uses sequence similarity (tBLASTn) to proteins of a model species to select allelic and fragmented contigs from all genotypes and then performs CAP3 clustering on a gene-by-gene basis. Thus, we simultaneously annotate putative orthologues for each protein of the model species, resolve allelic redundancy and fragmentation and create a de novo transcript sequence representing the consensus of all alleles present in the sequenced genotypes. We demonstrate the procedure using RNA-seq data from 14 genotypes of Lolium perenne to generate a reference transcriptome for gene discovery and translational research, to reveal the transcriptome-wide distribution and density of SNPs in an outbreeding crop and to illustrate the effect of polymorphisms on the assembly procedure. The results presented here illustrate that constructing a non-redundant reference sequence is essential for comparative genomics, orthology-based annotation and candidate gene selection but also for read mapping and subsequent polymorphism discovery and/or read count-based gene expression analysis. © 2013 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Advances in the genetic dissection of plant cell walls: tools and resources available in Miscanthus

    PubMed Central

    Slavov, Gancho; Allison, Gordon; Bosch, Maurice

    2013-01-01

    Tropical C4 grasses from the genus Miscanthus are believed to have great potential as biomass crops. However, Miscanthus species are essentially undomesticated, and genetic, molecular and bioinformatics tools are in very early stages of development. Furthermore, similar to other crops targeted as lignocellulosic feedstocks, the efficient utilization of biomass is hampered by our limited knowledge of the structural organization of the plant cell wall and the underlying genetic components that control this organization. The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) has assembled an extensive collection of germplasm for several species of Miscanthus. In addition, an integrated, multidisciplinary research programme at IBERS aims to inform accelerated breeding for biomass productivity and composition, while also generating fundamental knowledge. Here we review recent advances with respect to the genetic characterization of the cell wall in Miscanthus. First, we present a summary of recent and on-going biochemical studies, including prospects and limitations for the development of powerful phenotyping approaches. Second, we review current knowledge about genetic variation for cell wall characteristics of Miscanthus and illustrate how phenotypic data, combined with high-density arrays of single-nucleotide polymorphisms, are being used in genome-wide association studies to generate testable hypotheses and guide biological discovery. Finally, we provide an overview of the current knowledge about the molecular biology of cell wall biosynthesis in Miscanthus and closely related grasses, discuss the key conceptual and technological bottlenecks, and outline the short-term prospects for progress in this field. PMID:23847628

  17. Improving Crop Classification Techniques Using Optical Remote Sensing Imagery, High-Resolution Agriculture Resource Inventory Shapefiles and Decision Trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melnychuk, A. L.; Berg, A. A.; Sweeney, S.

    2010-12-01

    Recognition of anthropogenic effects of land use management practices on bodies of water is important for remediating and preventing eutrophication. In the case of Lake Simcoe, Ontario the main surrounding landuse is agriculture. To better manage the nutrient flow into the lake, knowledge of the management of the agricultural land is important. For this basin, a comprehensive agricultural resource inventory is required for assessment of policy and for input into water quality management and assessment tools. Supervised decision tree classification schemes, used in many previous applications, have yielded reliable classifications in agricultural land-use systems. However, when using these classification techniques the user is confronted with numerous data sources. In this study we use a large inventory of optical satellite image products (Landsat, AWiFS, SPOT and MODIS) and ancillary data sources (temporal MODIS-NDVI product signatures, digital elevation models and soil maps) at various spatial and temporal resolutions in a decision tree classification scheme. The sensitivity of the classification accuracy to various products is assessed to identify optimal data sources for classifying crop systems.

  18. Jatropha curcas, a biofuel crop: functional genomics for understanding metabolic pathways and genetic improvement.

    PubMed

    Maghuly, Fatemeh; Laimer, Margit

    2013-10-01

    Jatropha curcas is currently attracting much attention as an oilseed crop for biofuel, as Jatropha can grow under climate and soil conditions that are unsuitable for food production. However, little is known about Jatropha, and there are a number of challenges to be overcome. In fact, Jatropha has not really been domesticated; most of the Jatropha accessions are toxic, which renders the seedcake unsuitable for use as animal feed. The seeds of Jatropha contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which negatively impact the biofuel quality. Fruiting of Jatropha is fairly continuous, thus increasing costs of harvesting. Therefore, before starting any improvement program using conventional or molecular breeding techniques, understanding gene function and the genome scale of Jatropha are prerequisites. This review presents currently available and relevant information on the latest technologies (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) to decipher important metabolic pathways within Jatropha, such as oil and toxin synthesis. Further, it discusses future directions for biotechnological approaches in Jatropha breeding and improvement.

  19. [Genetically modified crops: promises and good intentions are not enough (refutation to Espinoza et aL 2004, Rev. Biol. Trop. 52 (3): 727-732)].

    PubMed

    García, Jaime E G

    2007-06-01

    The arguments presented by Espinoza et al. in their paper "Relationship of genetically modified crops with the environment and health of the Costa Rican human population" published in this journal (Rev. Biol. Trop. 52: 727-732, 2004) are questioned and refuted. The arguments are confronted with evidence offered by scientists and national and international independent organizations around the world (e.g. World Health Organization, Consumers International, Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Application of Science and Technology, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, the Council of the University of Costa Rica, and the Independent Science Panel) showing the current uncertainty and limitations of science in this area, as well as those of proposed and applied biosafety approaches. Environment, biodiversity and food security are so important and basic matters, that there is need of serious testing, particularly when promises seem to be based on environmentally dangerous ideas promoted half a century ago by the so called "green revolution". Debate should continue, based on a holistic analysis of facts and with ethical reasoning, avoiding emotional positions that can confuse virtual reality with reality.

  20. Accelerating adoption of genetically modified crops in Africa through a trade liability regime.

    PubMed

    Smyth, Stuart J; Kerr, William A; Phillips, Peter W B

    2013-06-01

    Given the apparently unbridgeable divide that has developed between the 25 odd countries that grow and trade GM crops and the evolving EU regulatory hurdles, it may be time to consider alternative strategies for realizing a global market for agricultural products. Africa is one area of the world where the battle over GM agriculture is being played out, yet it is the continent where GM could have the greatest positive impact. Numerous African nations, given their long-standing trade connections to European nations, fear that allowing the commercialization of GM crops could lead to comingling of GM and conventional products and, hence, the loss of export opportunities to the EU. These are legitimate concerns. One potential solution that warrants serious consideration would be to establish a pool of funds that could be accessed by African agricultural commodity exporters in instances where exports to Europe are rejected. A production levy could be imposed in leading industrial adopting nations (i.e., Australia, Canada and the United States). The revenue raised would provide an endowment fund that could be used to offset the costs arising from import refusals. African-sourced shipments rejected by the EU will most certainly have alternate markets, but could receive a reduced price or incur higher costs associated with serving alternate markets. The intent of the fund would be to compensate for the real difference between the net returns contracted with European importers and the final market price received. This article examines the feasibility of establishing such a fund and discusses the funding options.

  1. Draft genome sequence, and a sequence-defined genetic linkage map of the legume crop species Lupinus angustifolius L.

    PubMed

    Yang, Huaan; Tao, Ye; Zheng, Zequn; Zhang, Qisen; Zhou, Gaofeng; Sweetingham, Mark W; Howieson, John G; Li, Chengdao

    2013-01-01

    Lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.) is the most recently domesticated crop in major agricultural cultivation. Its seeds are high in protein and dietary fibre, but low in oil and starch. Medical and dietetic studies have shown that consuming lupin-enriched food has significant health benefits. We report the draft assembly from a whole genome shotgun sequencing dataset for this legume species with 26.9x coverage of the genome, which is predicted to contain 57,807 genes. Analysis of the annotated genes with metabolic pathways provided a partial understanding of some key features of lupin, such as the amino acid profile of storage proteins in seeds. Furthermore, we applied the NGS-based RAD-sequencing technology to obtain 8,244 sequence-defined markers for anchoring the genomic sequences. A total of 4,214 scaffolds from the genome sequence assembly were aligned into the genetic map. The combination of the draft assembly and a sequence-defined genetic map made it possible to locate and study functional genes of agronomic interest. The identification of co-segregating SNP markers, scaffold sequences and gene annotation facilitated the identification of a candidate R gene associated with resistance to the major lupin disease anthracnose. We demonstrated that the combination of medium-depth genome sequencing and a high-density genetic linkage map by application of NGS technology is a cost-effective approach to generating genome sequence data and a large number of molecular markers to study the genomics, genetics and functional genes of lupin, and to apply them to molecular plant breeding. This strategy does not require prior genome knowledge, which potentiates its application to a wide range of non-model species.

  2. Draft Genome Sequence, and a Sequence-Defined Genetic Linkage Map of the Legume Crop Species Lupinus angustifolius L

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Zequn; Zhang, Qisen; Zhou, Gaofeng; Sweetingham, Mark W.; Howieson, John G.; Li, Chengdao

    2013-01-01

    Lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.) is the most recently domesticated crop in major agricultural cultivation. Its seeds are high in protein and dietary fibre, but low in oil and starch. Medical and dietetic studies have shown that consuming lupin-enriched food has significant health benefits. We report the draft assembly from a whole genome shotgun sequencing dataset for this legume species with 26.9x coverage of the genome, which is predicted to contain 57,807 genes. Analysis of the annotated genes with metabolic pathways provided a partial understanding of some key features of lupin, such as the amino acid profile of storage proteins in seeds. Furthermore, we applied the NGS-based RAD-sequencing technology to obtain 8,244 sequence-defined markers for anchoring the genomic sequences. A total of 4,214 scaffolds from the genome sequence assembly were aligned into the genetic map. The combination of the draft assembly and a sequence-defined genetic map made it possible to locate and study functional genes of agronomic interest. The identification of co-segregating SNP markers, scaffold sequences and gene annotation facilitated the identification of a candidate R gene associated with resistance to the major lupin disease anthracnose. We demonstrated that the combination of medium-depth genome sequencing and a high-density genetic linkage map by application of NGS technology is a cost-effective approach to generating genome sequence data and a large number of molecular markers to study the genomics, genetics and functional genes of lupin, and to apply them to molecular plant breeding. This strategy does not require prior genome knowledge, which potentiates its application to a wide range of non-model species. PMID:23734219

  3. Permanent Genetic Resources added to Molecular Ecology Resources Database 1 December 2009–31 January 2010

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This article documents the addition of 220 microsatellite marker loci to the Molecular Ecology Resources Database. Loci were developed for the following species: Allanblackia floribunda, Amblyraja radiata, Bactrocera cucurbitae, Brachycaudus helichrysi, Calopogonium mucunoides, Dissodactylus primiti...

  4. Genetic control of chromosome behaviour: Implications in evolution, crop improvement, and human biology

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Chromosomes and chromosome pairing are pivotal to all biological sciences. The study of chromosomes helps unravel several aspects of an organism. Although the foundation of genetics occurred with the formulation of the laws of heredity in 1865, long before the discovery of chromosomes, their subsequ...

  5. 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.

  6. Tapping the genetic diversity of landraces in allogamous crops with doubled haploid lines: a case study from European flint maize.

    PubMed

    Böhm, Juliane; Schipprack, Wolfgang; Utz, H Friedrich; Melchinger, Albrecht E

    2017-05-01

    Using landraces for broadening the genetic base of elite maize germplasm is hampered by heterogeneity and high genetic load. Production of DH line libraries can help to overcome these problems. Landraces of maize (Zea mays L.) represent a huge reservoir of genetic diversity largely untapped by breeders. Genetic heterogeneity and a high genetic load hamper their use in hybrid breeding. Production of doubled haploid line libraries (DHL) by the in vivo haploid induction method promises to overcome these problems. To test this hypothesis, we compared the line per se performance of 389 doubled haploid (DH) lines across six DHL produced from European flint landraces with that of four flint founder lines (FFL) and 53 elite flint lines (EFL) for 16 agronomic traits evaluated in four locations. The genotypic variance ([Formula: see text]) within DHL was generally much larger than that among DHL and exceeded also [Formula: see text] of the EFL. For most traits, the means and [Formula: see text] differed considerably among the DHL, resulting in different expected selection gains. Mean grain yield of the EFL was 25 and 62% higher than for the FFL and DHL, respectively, indicating considerable breeding progress in the EFL and a remnant genetic load in the DHL. Usefulness of the best 20% lines was for individual DHL comparable to the EFL and grain yield (GY) in the top lines from both groups was similar. Our results corroborate the tremendous potential of landraces for broadening the narrow genetic base of elite germplasm. To make best use of these "gold reserves", we propose a multi-stage selection approach with optimal allocation of resources to (1) choose the most promising landraces for DHL production and (2) identify the top DH lines for further breeding.

  7. Genetic endowments, parental resources and adult health: Evidence from the Young Finns Study.

    PubMed

    Pehkonen, Jaakko; Viinikainen, Jutta; Böckerman, Petri; Lehtimäki, Terho; Pitkänen, Niina; Raitakari, Olli

    2017-09-01

    This paper uses longitudinal survey data linked to administrative registers to examine socioeconomic gradients in health, particularly whether the effects of genetic endowments interact with the socioeconomic resources of the parental household. We find that genetic risk scores contribute to adult health measured by biomarkers. This result is consistent with the findings from genome-wide association studies. Socioeconomic gradients in health differ based on biomarker and resource measures. Family education is negatively related to obesity and the waist-hip ratio, and family income is negatively related to low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Parental resources do not modify the effects of genetic endowment on adult health. However, there is evidence for gene-family income interactions for triglyceride levels, particularly among women. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Genetic diversity of water use efficiency in Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.) germplasm

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Genetic diversity in crop germplasm is an important resource for crop improvement, but information on genetic diversity is rare for Jerusalem artichoke, especially for traits related to water use efficiency. The objectives of this study were to investigate genetic variations for water use and water...

  9. Origins of food crops connect countries worldwide

    PubMed Central

    Achicanoy, Harold A.; Bjorkman, Anne D.; Navarro-Racines, Carlos; Guarino, Luigi; Flores-Palacios, Ximena; Engels, Johannes M. M.; Wiersema, John H.; Dempewolf, Hannes; Sotelo, Steven; Ramírez-Villegas, Julian; Castañeda-Álvarez, Nora P.; Fowler, Cary; Jarvis, Andy; Rieseberg, Loren H.; Struik, Paul C.

    2016-01-01

    Research into the origins of food plants has led to the recognition that specific geographical regions around the world have been of particular importance to the development of agricultural crops. Yet the relative contributions of these different regions in the context of current food systems have not been quantified. Here we determine the origins (‘primary regions of diversity’) of the crops comprising the food supplies and agricultural production of countries worldwide. We estimate the degree to which countries use crops from regions of diversity other than their own (‘foreign crops’), and quantify changes in this usage over the past 50 years. Countries are highly interconnected with regard to primary regions of diversity of the crops they cultivate and/or consume. Foreign crops are extensively used in food supplies (68.7% of national food supplies as a global mean are derived from foreign crops) and production systems (69.3% of crops grown are foreign). Foreign crop usage has increased significantly over the past 50 years, including in countries with high indigenous crop diversity. The results provide a novel perspective on the ongoing globalization of food systems worldwide, and bolster evidence for the importance of international collaboration on genetic resource conservation and exchange.

  10. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification: rapid visual and real-time methods for detection of genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Randhawa, Gurinder Jit; Singh, Monika; Morisset, Dany; Sood, Payal; Zel, Jana

    2013-11-27

    A rapid, reliable, and sensitive loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) system was developed for screening of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The optimized LAMP assays using designed primers target commonly employed promoters, i.e., Cauliflower Mosaic Virus 35S (P-35S) and Figwort Mosaic Virus promoter (P-FMV), and marker genes, i.e., aminoglycoside 3'-adenyltransferase (aadA), neomycin phosphotransferase II (nptII), and β-glucuronidase (uidA). The specificity and performance of the end-point and real-time LAMP assays were confirmed using eight genetically modified (GM) cotton events on four detection systems, employing two chemistries. LAMP assays on the isothermal real-time system were found to be most sensitive, detecting up to four target copies, within 35 min. The LAMP assays herein presented using alternate detection systems can be effectively utilized for rapid and cost-effective screening of the GM status of a sample, irrespective of the crop species or GM trait. These assays coupled with a fast and simple DNA extraction method may further facilitate on-site GMO screening.

  11. GeneTests: an online genetic information resource for health care providers*

    PubMed Central

    Pagon, Roberta A.

    2006-01-01

    Objective: This paper describes the GeneTests genetic testing information resource with a focus on the GeneReviews component. Methods and Findings: The need for authoritative genetic testing information and issues in the development and maintenance of GeneReviews are discussed: Hampered by lack of currency and content deficits, traditional medical information resources such as textbooks and the published literature are generally inadequate sources of genetic testing information. Problems encountered in developing GeneReviews include the evolution of new authorship models and academic and genetics professionals' skepticism about the quality of Web-based publications. Conclusions: GeneTests is an authoritative, highly used, and well-regarded resource in the international medical community that is intended for health care providers. Future development issues to address include ways to (1) manage the increasing editing and updating load as content grows and (2) address technical and content issues that need to be considered in displaying GeneReviews as a “just in time” resource in the electronic medical record to achieve the project goal of integrating appropriate use of genetic testing into patient care. PMID:16888670

  12. Market organization and animal genetic resource management: a revealed preference analysis of sheep pricing.

    PubMed

    Tindano, K; Moula, N; Leroy, P; Traoré, A; Antoine-Moussiaux, N

    2017-03-15

    Farm animal genetic resources are threatened worldwide. Participation in markets, while representing a crucial way out of poverty for many smallholders, affects genetic management choices with associated sustainability concerns. This paper proposes a contextualized study of the interactions between markets and animal genetic resources management, in the case of sheep markets in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. It focusses on the organization of marketing chains and the valuation of genetic characteristics by value chain actors. Marketing chain characterization was tackled through semi-structured interviews with 25 exporters and 15 butchers, both specialized in sheep. Moreover, revealed preference methods were applied to analyse the impact of animals' attributes on market pricing. Data were collected from 338 transactions during three different periods: Eid al-Adha, Christmas and New Year period, and a neutral period. The neutral period is understood as a period not close to any event likely to influence the demand for sheep. The results show that physical characteristics such as live weight, height at withers and coat colour have a strong influence on the animals' prices. Live weight has also had an increasing marginal impact on price. The different markets (local butcher, feasts, export market, sacrifices) represent distinct demands for genetic characteristics, entailing interesting consequences for animal genetic resource management. Any breeding programme should therefore take this diversity into account to allow this sector to contribute better to a sustainable development of the country.

  13. Complex genetic effects on early vegetative development shape resource allocation differences between Arabidopsis lyrata populations.

    PubMed

    Remington, David L; Leinonen, Päivi H; Leppälä, Johanna; Savolainen, Outi

    2013-11-01

    Costs of reproduction due to resource allocation trade-offs have long been recognized as key forces in life history evolution, but little is known about their functional or genetic basis. Arabidopsis lyrata, a perennial relative of the annual model plant A. thaliana with a wide climatic distribution, has populations that are strongly diverged in resource allocation. In this study, we evaluated the genetic and functional basis for variation in resource allocation in a reciprocal transplant experiment, using four A. lyrata populations and F2 progeny from a cross between North Carolina (NC) and Norway parents, which had the most divergent resource allocation patterns. Local alleles at quantitative trait loci (QTL) at a North Carolina field site increased reproductive output while reducing vegetative growth. These QTL had little overlap with flowering date QTL. Structural equation models incorporating QTL genotypes and traits indicated that resource allocation differences result primarily from QTL effects on early vegetative growth patterns, with cascading effects on later vegetative and reproductive development. At a Norway field site, North Carolina alleles at some of the same QTL regions reduced survival and reproductive output components, but these effects were not associated with resource allocation trade-offs in the Norway environment. Our results indicate that resource allocation in perennial plants may involve important adaptive mechanisms largely independent of flowering time. Moreover, the contributions of resource allocation QTL to local adaptation appear to result from their effects on developmental timing and its interaction with environmental constraints, and not from simple models of reproductive costs.

  14. Complex Genetic Effects on Early Vegetative Development Shape Resource Allocation Differences Between Arabidopsis lyrata Populations

    PubMed Central

    Remington, David L.; Leinonen, Päivi H.; Leppälä, Johanna; Savolainen, Outi

    2013-01-01

    Costs of reproduction due to resource allocation trade-offs have long been recognized as key forces in life history evolution, but little is known about their functional or genetic basis. Arabidopsis lyrata, a perennial relative of the annual model plant A. thaliana with a wide climatic distribution, has populations that are strongly diverged in resource allocation. In this study, we evaluated the genetic and functional basis for variation in resource allocation in a reciprocal transplant experiment, using four A. lyrata populations and F2 progeny from a cross between North Carolina (NC) and Norway parents, which had the most divergent resource allocation patterns. Local alleles at quantitative trait loci (QTL) at a North Carolina field site increased reproductive output while reducing vegetative growth. These QTL had little overlap with flowering date QTL. Structural equation models incorporating QTL genotypes and traits indicated that resource allocation differences result primarily from QTL effects on early vegetative growth patterns, with cascading effects on later vegetative and reproductive development. At a Norway field site, North Carolina alleles at some of the same QTL regions reduced survival and reproductive output components, but these effects were not associated with resource allocation trade-offs in the Norway environment. Our results indicate that resource allocation in perennial plants may involve important adaptive mechanisms largely independent of flowering time. Moreover, the contributions of resource allocation QTL to local adaptation appear to result from their effects on developmental timing and its interaction with environmental constraints, and not from simple models of reproductive costs. PMID:23979581

  15. Jatropha curcas, a biofuel crop: Functional genomics for understanding metabolic pathways and genetic improvement

    PubMed Central

    Maghuly, Fatemeh; Laimer, Margit

    2013-01-01

    Jatropha curcas is currently attracting much attention as an oilseed crop for biofuel, as Jatropha can grow under climate and soil conditions that are unsuitable for food production. However, little is known about Jatropha, and there are a number of challenges to be overcome. In fact, Jatropha has not really been domesticated; most of the Jatropha accessions are toxic, which renders the seedcake unsuitable for use as animal feed. The seeds of Jatropha contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which negatively impact the biofuel quality. Fruiting of Jatropha is fairly continuous, thus increasing costs of harvesting. Therefore, before starting any improvement program using conventional or molecular breeding techniques, understanding gene functio