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Sample records for gm crop plants

  1. Public Acceptance of Plant Biotechnology and GM Crops.

    PubMed

    Lucht, Jan M

    2015-07-30

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

  2. Public Acceptance of Plant Biotechnology and GM Crops

    PubMed Central

    Lucht, Jan M.

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Risk Management of GM Crops

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  4. Economic impact of GM crops

    PubMed Central

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Cumulative impact of GM herbicide-tolerant cropping on arable plants assessed through species-based and functional taxonomies.

    PubMed

    Squire, Geoffrey R; Hawes, Cathy; Begg, Graham S; Young, Mark W

    2009-01-01

    In a gradualist approach to the introduction of crop biotechnology, the findings of experimentation at one scale are used to predict the outcome of moving to a higher scale of deployment. Movement through scales had occurred for certain genetically modified herbicide-tolerant (GMHT) crops in the UK as far as large-scale field trials. However, the land area occupied by these trials was still <1% of the area occupied by the respective non-GM crops. Some means is needed to predict the direction and size of the effect of increasing the area of GMHT cropping on ecological variables such as the diversity among species and trophic interactions. Species-accumulation curves are examined here as a method of indicating regional-scale impacts on botanical diversity from multiple field experiments. Data were used from experiments on the effect of (GMHT) crops and non-GM, or conventional, comparators in fields sown with four crop types (beet, maize, spring and winter oilseed rape) at a total of 250 sites in the UK between 2000 and 2003. Indices of biodiversity were measured in a split-field design comparing GMHT with the farmers' usual weed management. In the original analyses based on the means at site level, effects were detected on the mass of weeds in the three spring crops and the proportion of broadleaf and grass weeds in winter oilseed rape, but not on indices of plant species diversity. To explore the links between site means and total taxa, accumulation curves were constructed based on the number of plant species (a pool of around 250 species in total) and the number of plant functional types (24), inferred from the general life-history characteristics of a species. Species accumulation differed between GMHT and conventional treatments in direction and size, depending on the type of crop and its conventional management. Differences were mostly in the asymptote of the curve, indicative of the maximum number of species found in a treatment, rather than the steepness of

  6. Epistemological depth in a GM crops controversy.

    PubMed

    Hicks, Daniel J

    2015-04-01

    This paper examines the scientific controversy over the yields of genetically modified [GM] crops as a case study in epistemologically deep disagreements. Appeals to "the evidence" are inadequate to resolve such disagreements; not because the interlocutors have radically different metaphysical views (as in cases of incommensurability), but instead because they assume rival epistemological frameworks and so have incompatible views about what kinds of research methods and claims count as evidence. Specifically, I show that, in the yield debate, proponents and opponents of GM crops cite two different sets of claims as evidence, which correspond to two rival epistemological frameworks, classical experimental epistemology and Nancy Cartwright's evidence for use. I go on to argue that, even if both sides of the debate accepted Cartwright's view, they might still disagree over what counts as evidence, because evidence for use ties standards of evidence to what is sometimes called the "context of application." Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Impact of GM crops on biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Carpenter, Janet E

    2011-01-01

    The potential impact of GM crops on biodiversity has been a topic of interest both in general as well as specifically in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Agricultural biodiversity has been defined at levels from genes to ecosystems that are involved or impacted by agricultural production (www.cbd.int/agro/whatis.shtml). After fifteen years of commercial cultivation, a substantial body of literature now exists addressing the potential impacts of GM crops on the environment. This review takes a biodiversity lens to this literature, considering the impacts at three levels: the crop, farm and landscape scales. Within that framework, this review covers potential impacts of the introduction of genetically engineered crops on: crop diversity, biodiversity of wild relatives, non-target soil organisms, weeds, land use, non-target above-ground organisms, and area-wide pest suppression. The emphasis of the review is peer-reviewed literature that presents direct measures of impacts on biodiversity. In addition, possible impacts of changes in management practises such as tillage and pesticide use are also discussed to complement the literature on direct measures. The focus of the review is on technologies that have been commercialized somewhere in the world, while results may emanate from non-adopting countries and regions. Overall, the review finds that currently commercialized GM crops have reduced the impacts of agriculture on biodiversity, through enhanced adoption of conservation tillage practices, reduction of insecticide use and use of more environmentally benign herbicides and increasing yields to alleviate pressure to convert additional land into agricultural use.

  8. Will GM animals follow the GM plant fate?

    PubMed

    Vàzquez-Salat, Núria; Houdebine, Louis-Marie

    2013-02-01

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

  9. Genome edited animals: Learning from GM crops?

    PubMed

    Bruce, Ann

    2017-06-01

    Genome editing of livestock is poised to become commercial reality, yet questions remain as to appropriate regulation, potential impact on the industry sector and public acceptability of products. This paper looks at how genome editing of livestock has attempted to learn some of the lessons from commercialisation of GM crops, and takes a systemic approach to explore some of the complexity and ambiguity in incorporating genome edited animals in a food production system. Current applications of genome editing are considered, viewed from the perspective of past technological applications. The question of what is genome editing, and can it be considered natural is examined. The implications of regulation on development of different sectors of livestock production systems are studied, with a particular focus on the veterinary sector. From an EU perspective, regulation of genome edited animals, although not necessarily the same as for GM crops, is advocated from a number of different perspectives. This paper aims to open up new avenues of research on genome edited animals, extending from the current primary focus on science and regulation, to engage with a wider-range of food system actors.

  10. 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.

  11. Plant sciences. Will GM rapeseed cut the mustard?

    PubMed

    Heritage, John

    2003-10-17

    Genetic modification can render crops resistant to herbicides, providing them with a growth advantage so that they can outcompete weeds. However, there are concerns about the possibility that transgenes could flow from GM crops into wild plant populations. In his Perspective, Heritage discusses these important issues in terms of a new report (Wilkinson et al.) that provides a nationwide assessment in the UK of the ability of the conventional crop, oilseed rape (Brassica napus), to form hybrids with its wild relatives.

  12. Risk, regulation and biotechnology: The case of GM crops

    PubMed Central

    Smyth, Stuart J; Phillips, Peter WB

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Smyth, Stuart J; Phillips, Peter W B

    2014-07-03

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

  14. 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. Copryright 2004 Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Are GM Crops for Yield and Resilience Possible?

    PubMed

    Paul, Matthew J; Nuccio, Michael L; Basu, Shib Sankar

    2018-01-01

    Crop yield improvements need to accelerate to avoid future food insecurity. Outside Europe, genetically modified (GM) crops for herbicide- and insect-resistance have been transformative in agriculture; other traits have also come to market. However, GM of yield potential and stress resilience has yet to impact on food security. Genes have been identified for yield such as grain number, size, leaf growth, resource allocation, and signaling for drought tolerance, but there is only one commercialized drought-tolerant GM variety. For GM and genome editing to impact on yield and resilience there is a need to understand yield-determining processes in a cell and developmental context combined with evaluation in the grower environment. We highlight a sugar signaling mechanism as a paradigm for this approach. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    The aim of this review is to examine the relationship between genetically modified (GM) crops and health, based on histopathological investigations of the digestive tract in rats. We reviewed published long-term feeding studies of crops containing one or more of three specific traits: herbicide tolerance via the EPSPS gene and insect resistance via cry1Ab or cry3Bb1 genes. These genes are commonly found in commercialised GM crops. Our search found 21 studies for nine (19%) out of the 47 crops approved for human and/or animal consumption. We could find no studies on the other 38 (81%) approved crops. Fourteen out of the 21 studies (67%) were general health assessments of the GM crop on rat health. Most of these studies (76%) were performed after the crop had been approved for human and/or animal consumption, with half of these being published at least nine years after approval. Our review also discovered an inconsistency in methodology and a lack of defined criteria for outcomes that would be considered toxicologically or pathologically significant. In addition, there was a lack of transparency in the methods and results, which made comparisons between the studies difficult. The evidence reviewed here demonstrates an incomplete picture regarding the toxicity (and safety) of GM products consumed by humans and animals. Therefore, each GM product should be assessed on merit, with appropriate studies performed to indicate the level of safety associated with them. Detailed guidelines should be developed which will allow for the generation of comparable and reproducible studies. This will establish a foundation for evidence-based guidelines, to better determine if GM food is safe for human and animal consumption. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  18. GM biofortified crops: potential effects on targeting the micronutrient intake gap in human populations.

    PubMed

    De Steur, Hans; Mehta, Saurabh; Gellynck, Xavier; Finkelstein, Julia L

    2017-04-01

    Genetic engineering has been successfully applied to increase micronutrient content in staple crops. Nutrition evidence is key to ensure scale-up and successful implementation. Unlike conventional plant breeding efforts, research on the efficacy or effectiveness of GM biofortified crops on nutritional status in human populations is lacking. This review reports on the potential role of GM biofortified crops in closing the micronutrient gap - increasing the dietary intake of micronutrients in human populations. To date, one clinical trial in the United States reported a high bio-conversion rate of β-carotene in Golden Rice, and potential effects of GM biofortified crop consumption on dietary intake and nutritional outcomes are promising. However, further research needs to confirm the ex ante assessments in target regions. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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

    PubMed

    Weale, Albert

    2010-11-30

    The Nuffield Council on Bioethics (NCOB) has published two reports (1999 and 2004) on the social and ethical issues involved in the use of genetically modified crops. This presentation summarises their core ethical arguments. Five sets of ethical concerns have been raised about GM crops: potential harm to human health; potential damage to the environment; negative impact on traditional farming practice; excessive corporate dominance; and the 'unnaturalness' of the technology. The NCOB examined these claims in the light of the principle of general human welfare, the maintenance of human rights and the principle of justice. It concluded in relation to the issue of 'unnaturalness' that GM modification did not differ to such an extent from conventional breeding that it is in itself morally objectionable. In making an assessment of possible costs, benefits and risks, it was necessary to proceed on a case-by-case basis. However, the potential to bring about significant benefits in developing countries (improved nutrition, enhanced pest resistance, increased yields and new products) meant that there was an ethical obligation to explore these potential benefits responsibly, to contribute to the reduction of poverty, and improve food security and profitable agriculture in developing countries. NCOB held that these conclusions were consistent with any practical precautionary approach. In particular, in applying a precautionary approach the risks associated with the status quo need to be considered, as well as any risks inherent in the technology. These ethical requirements have implications for the governance of the technology, in particular mechanisms for enabling small-scale farmers to express their preferences for traits selected by plant breeders and mechanisms for the diffusion of risk-based evaluations. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Bruce, Toby J A

    2012-01-01

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

  1. The impact of Genetically Modified (GM) crops in modern agriculture: A review.

    PubMed

    Raman, Ruchir

    2017-10-02

    Genetic modification in plants was first recorded 10,000 years ago in Southwest Asia where humans first bred plants through artificial selection and selective breeding. Since then, advancements in agriculture science and technology have brought about the current GM crop revolution. GM crops are promising to mitigate current and future problems in commercial agriculture, with proven case studies in Indian cotton and Australian canola. However, controversial studies such as the Monarch Butterfly study (1999) and the Séralini affair (2012) along with current problems linked to insect resistance and potential health risks have jeopardised its standing with the public and policymakers, even leading to full and partial bans in certain countries. Nevertheless, the current growth rate of the GM seed market at 9.83-10% CAGR along with promising research avenues in biofortification, precise DNA integration and stress tolerance have forecast it to bring productivity and prosperity to commercial agriculture.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. A global overview of biotech (GM) crops: adoption, impact and future prospects.

    PubMed

    James, Clive

    2010-01-01

    In the early 1990s, some were skeptical that genetically modified (GM) crops, now referred to as biotech crops, could deliver improved products and make an impact at the farm level. There was even more skepticism that developing countries would adopt biotech crops. The adoption of and commercialization of biotech crops in 2008 is reviewed. The impact of biotech crops are summarized including their contribution to: global food, feed and fiber security; a safer environment; a more sustainable agriculture; and the alleviation of poverty, and hunger in the developing countries of the world. Future prospects are discussed. Notably, Egypt planted Bt maize for the first time in 2008 thereby becoming the first country in the Arab world to commercialize biotech crops.

  5. Soybean GmMYB73 promotes lipid accumulation in transgenic plants

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    PubMed

    Raven, Peter H

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gaugitsch, Helmut

    2002-02-28

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

  9. Health effect of agricultural pesticide use in China: implications for the development of GM crops

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Chao; Hu, Ruifa; Huang, Jikun; Huang, Xusheng; Shi, Guanming; Li, Yifan; Yin, Yanhong; Chen, Zhaohui

    2016-01-01

    It is notable that the adoption of GM glyphosate-tolerant crops increases glyphosate use but reduces non-glyphosate herbicide use; and adoption of GM insect-resistant crops significantly reduces insecticide use. While the health hazard of pesticide use has been well documented, little literature evaluates the health effects of different pesticides related to GM crops in an integrated framework. This study aims to associate the uses of different pesticides related to GM crops with the blood chemistry panel and peripheral nerve conduction of Chinese farmers. Pesticides used by farmers were recorded and classified as glyphosate, non-glyphosate herbicides, chemical lepidopteran insecticides, biological lepidopteran insecticides, non-lepidopteran insecticides and fungicides. The multivariate regression results show that none of the examined 35 health indicators was associated with glyphosate use, while the use of non-glyphosate herbicides was likely to induce renal dysfunction and decrease of serum folic acid. The use of chemical lepidopteran insecticides might be associated with hepatic dysfunction, serum glucose elevation, inflammation and even severe nerve damage. In this context, if GM crops are adopted, the alterations in pesticide use may benefit farmer health in China and globe, which has positive implications for the development of GM crops. PMID:27721390

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

    PubMed

    Adenle, Ademola A

    2011-10-08

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  12. The economic and environmental cost of delayed GM crop adoption: The case of Australia's GM canola moratorium.

    PubMed

    Biden, Scott; Smyth, Stuart J; Hudson, David

    2018-01-02

    Incorporating socio-economic considerations (SECs) into national biosafety regulations regarding genetically modified (GM) crops have opportunity costs. Australia approved the cultivation of GM canola through a science-based risk assessment in 2003, but allowed state moratoria to be instituted based on potential trade impacts over the period 2004 to 2008 and 2010 in the main canola growing states. This analysis constructs a counterfactual assessment using Canadian GM canola adoption data to create an S-Curve of adoption in Australia to measure the environmental and economic opportunity costs of Australia's SEC-based moratoria between 2004 and 2014. The environmental impacts are measured through the amount of chemical active ingredients applied during pest management, the Environmental Impact Quotient indicator, and greenhouse gas emissions. The economic impacts are measured through the variable costs of the weed control programs, yield and the contribution margin. The environmental opportunity costs from delaying the adoption of GM canola in Australia include an additional 6.5 million kilograms of active ingredients applied to canola land; a 14.3% increase in environmental impact to farmers, consumers and the ecology; 8.7 million litres of diesel fuel burned; and an additional 24.2 million kilograms of greenhouse gas (GHG) and compound emissions released. The economic opportunity costs of the SEC-based moratoria resulted in foregone output of 1.1 million metric tonnes of canola and a net economic loss to canola farmers' of AU$485.6 million. The paper provides some of the first quantified, post-adoption evidence on the opportunity cost and environmental impacts of incorporating SECs into GM crop regulation.

  13. Conflicts of Interest in GM Bt Crop Efficacy and Durability Studies

    PubMed Central

    Lombaert, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Public confidence in genetically modified (GM) crop studies is tenuous at best in many countries, including those of the European Union in particular. A lack of information about the effects of ties between academic research and industry might stretch this confidence to the breaking point. We therefore performed an analysis on a large set of research articles (n = 672) focusing on the efficacy or durability of GM Bt crops and ties between the researchers carrying out these studies and the GM crop industry. We found that ties between researchers and the GM crop industry were common, with 40% of the articles considered displaying conflicts of interest (COI). In particular, we found that, compared to the absence of COI, the presence of a COI was associated with a 50% higher frequency of outcomes favorable to the interests of the GM crop company. Using our large dataset, we were able to propose possible direct and indirect mechanisms behind this statistical association. They might notably include changes of authorship or funding statements after the results of a study have been obtained and a choice in the topics studied driven by industrial priorities. PMID:27977705

  14. Time to Redefine Organic Agriculture: Can't GM Crops Be Certified as Organics?

    PubMed

    Husaini, Amjad M; Sohail, Muhammad

    2018-01-01

    The challenges of sustainable food production without damaging the environment for a growing human population have increased considerably. The current agricultural practices involving chemical fertilizers and even organic farming are not sustainable in the long run and can have deleterious effects on the environment. Thus, new, innovative solutions need to be identified and propagated for tackling this. Among such innovations, that can complement conventional as well as organic farming methods, are genetic modification (GM) and aquaculture. Yet, GM technologies often face resistance from civil groups owing to an 'unknown' fear, akin to Frankenstein's monster. How real is this fear? Our discussion rests on basic questions like, why can't 'organics' include GM crops that do not require chemical inputs for cultivation, and can GM crops like Golden rice qualify to be 'organic' if cultivated through organic practices? Do we need to rethink organic agriculture in the context of the present and future challenges of 21st century?

  15. Functional analysis of structurally related soybean GmWRKY58 and GmWRKY76 in plant growth and development

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yan; Chi, Yingjun; Wang, Ze; Zhou, Yuan; Fan, Baofang; Chen, Zhixiang

    2016-01-01

    WRKY transcription factors constitute a large protein superfamily with a predominant role in plant stress responses. In this study we report that two structurally related soybean WRKY proteins, GmWRKY58 and GmWRKY76, play a critical role in plant growth and flowering. GmWRKY58 and GmWRKY76 are both Group III WRKY proteins with a C2HC zinc finger domain and are close homologs of AtWRKY70 and AtWRKY54, two well-characterized Arabidopsis WRKY proteins with an important role in plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. GmWRKY58 and GmWRKY76 are both localized to the nucleus, recognize the TTGACC W-box sequence with a high specificity, and function as transcriptional activators in both yeast and plant cells. Expression of GmWRKY58 and GmWRKY76 was detected at low levels in roots, stem, leaves, flowers, and pods. Expression of the two genes in leaves increased substantially during the first 4 weeks after germination but steadily declined thereafter with increased age. To determine their biological functions, transgenic Arabidopsis plants were generated overexpressing GmWRKY58 or GmWRKY76. Unlike AtWRKY70 and AtWRKY54, overexpression of GmWRKY58 or GmWRKY76 had no effect on disease resistance and only small effects on abiotic stress tolerance of the transgenic plants. Significantly, transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing GmWRKY58 or GmWRKY76 flowered substantially earlier than control plants and this early flowering phenotype was associated with increased expression of several flowering-promoting genes, some of which are enriched in W-box sequences in their promoters recognized by GmWRKY58 and GmWRKY76. In addition, virus-induced silencing of GmWRKY58 and GmWRKY76 in soybean resulted in stunted plants with reduced leaf expansion and terminated stem growth. These results provide strong evidence for functional divergence among close structural homologs of WRKY proteins from different plant species. PMID:27335454

  16. Functional analysis of structurally related soybean GmWRKY58 and GmWRKY76 in plant growth and development.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yan; Chi, Yingjun; Wang, Ze; Zhou, Yuan; Fan, Baofang; Chen, Zhixiang

    2016-08-01

    WRKY transcription factors constitute a large protein superfamily with a predominant role in plant stress responses. In this study we report that two structurally related soybean WRKY proteins, GmWRKY58 and GmWRKY76, play a critical role in plant growth and flowering. GmWRKY58 and GmWRKY76 are both Group III WRKY proteins with a C2HC zinc finger domain and are close homologs of AtWRKY70 and AtWRKY54, two well-characterized Arabidopsis WRKY proteins with an important role in plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. GmWRKY58 and GmWRKY76 are both localized to the nucleus, recognize the TTGACC W-box sequence with a high specificity, and function as transcriptional activators in both yeast and plant cells. Expression of GmWRKY58 and GmWRKY76 was detected at low levels in roots, stem, leaves, flowers, and pods. Expression of the two genes in leaves increased substantially during the first 4 weeks after germination but steadily declined thereafter with increased age. To determine their biological functions, transgenic Arabidopsis plants were generated overexpressing GmWRKY58 or GmWRKY76 Unlike AtWRKY70 and AtWRKY54, overexpression of GmWRKY58 or GmWRKY76 had no effect on disease resistance and only small effects on abiotic stress tolerance of the transgenic plants. Significantly, transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing GmWRKY58 or GmWRKY76 flowered substantially earlier than control plants and this early flowering phenotype was associated with increased expression of several flowering-promoting genes, some of which are enriched in W-box sequences in their promoters recognized by GmWRKY58 and GmWRKY76. In addition, virus-induced silencing of GmWRKY58 and GmWRKY76 in soybean resulted in stunted plants with reduced leaf expansion and terminated stem growth. These results provide strong evidence for functional divergence among close structural homologs of WRKY proteins from different plant species. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on

  17. Fitness and beyond: preparing for the arrival of GM crops with ecologically important novel characters.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Mike; Tepfer, Mark

    2009-01-01

    The seemingly inexorable expansion of global human population size, significant increases in the use of biofuel crops and the growing pressures of multifunctional land-use have intensified the need to improve crop productivity. The widespread cultivation of high-yielding genetically modified (GM) crops could help to address these problems, although in doing so, steps must also be taken to ensure that any gene flow from these crops to wild or weedy recipients does not cause significant ecological harm. It is partly for this reason that new GM cultivars are invariably subjected to strict regulatory evaluation in order to assess the risks that each may pose to the environment. Regulatory bodies vary in their approach to decision-making, although all require access to large quantities of detailed information. Such an exhaustive case-by-case approach has been made tractable by the comparative simplicity of the portfolio of GM crops currently on the market, with four crops and two classes of traits accounting for almost all of the area under cultivation of GM crops. This simplified situation will change shortly, and will seriously complicate and potentially slow the evaluation process. Nowhere will the increased diversity of GM crops cause more difficulty to regulators than in those cases where there is a need to assess whether the transgene(s) will enhance fitness in a non-transgenic relative and thereafter cause ecological harm. Current practice to test this risk hypothesis focuses on attempting to detect increased fitness in the recipient. In this paper we explore the merits and shortcomings of this strategy, and investigate the scope for developing new approaches to streamline decision-making processes for transgenes that could cause unwanted ecological change.

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lewis, Christopher P; Newell, James N; Herron, Caroline M; Nawabu, Haidari

    2010-07-12

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  2. Farmers prevailing perception profiles regarding GM crops: A classification proposal.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Carla; Massarani, Luisa

    2018-04-01

    Genetically modified organisms have been at the centre of a major public controversy, involving different interests and actors. While much attention has been devoted to consumer views on genetically modified food, there have been few attempts to understand the perceptions of genetically modified technology among farmers. By investigating perceptions of genetically modified organisms among Brazilian farmers, we intend to contribute towards filling this gap and thereby add the views of this stakeholder group to the genetically modified debate. A comparative analysis of our data and data from other studies indicate there is a complex variety of views on genetically modified organisms among farmers. Despite this diversity, we found variations in such views occur within limited parameters, concerned principally with expectations or concrete experiences regarding the advantages of genetically modified crops, perceptions of risks associated with them, and ethical questions they raise. We then propose a classification of prevailing profiles to represent the spectrum of perceptions of genetically modified organisms among farmers.

  3. The CINMa index: assessing the potential impact of GM crop management across a heterogeneous landscape.

    PubMed

    Collier, Marcus J; Mullins, Ewen

    2010-01-01

    While significant progress has been made on the modification of crops for the benefit of producers, the same cannot be said in regards to eliciting the potential impact that these crops may have on the wider landscape and the diversity of life therein. Management impacts can create difficulties when making policy, regulation and licensing decisions in those countries where agriculture has a significant social and ecological position in the landscape. To begin to gauge the potential impacts of the management of a selection of GM crops on an agricultural landscape, four key biodiversity stressors (Chemicals, Introgression, Nutrients and Management: CINMa) were identified and a grading system developed using published data. Upon application to five selected GM crops in a case study area, CINMa identifies areas in the wider landscape where biodiversity is likely to be negatively or positively impacted, as well as agricultural zones which may benefit from the land use change associated with the management of GM crops and their associated post market environmental monitoring. © ISBR, EDP Sciences, 2011.

  4. Mitigation of indirect environmental effects of GM crops

    PubMed Central

    Pidgeon, J.D; May, M.J; Perry, J.N; Poppy, G.M

    2007-01-01

    Currently, the UK has no procedure for the approval of novel agricultural practices that is based on environmental risk management principles. Here, we make a first application of the ‘bow-tie’ risk management approach in agriculture, for assessment of land use changes, in a case study of the introduction of genetically modified herbicide tolerant (GMHT) sugar beet. There are agronomic and economic benefits, but indirect environmental harm from increased weed control is a hazard. The Farm Scale Evaluation (FSE) trials demonstrated reduced broad-leaved weed biomass and seed production at the field scale. The simplest mitigation measure is to leave a proportion of rows unsprayed in each GMHT crop field. Our calculations, based on FSE data, show that a maximum of 2% of field area left unsprayed is required to mitigate weed seed production and 4% to mitigate weed biomass production. Tilled margin effects could simply be mitigated by increasing the margin width from 0.5 to 1.5 m. Such changes are cheap and simple to implement in farming practices. This case study demonstrates the usefulness of the bow-tie risk management approach and the transparency with which hazards can be addressed. If adopted generally, it would help to enable agriculture to adopt new practices with due environmental precaution. PMID:17439853

  5. Spatial exposure-hazard and landscape models for assessing the impact of GM crops on non-target organisms.

    PubMed

    Leclerc, Melen; Walker, Emily; Messéan, Antoine; Soubeyrand, Samuel

    2018-05-15

    The cultivation of Genetically Modified (GM) crops may have substantial impacts on populations of non-target organisms (NTOs) in agroecosystems. These impacts should be assessed at larger spatial scales than the cultivated field, and, as landscape-scale experiments are difficult, if not impossible, modelling approaches are needed to address landscape risk management. We present an original stochastic and spatially explicit modelling framework for assessing the risk at the landscape level. We use techniques from spatial statistics for simulating simplified landscapes made up of (aggregated or non-aggregated) GM fields, neutral fields and NTO's habitat areas. The dispersal of toxic pollen grains is obtained by convolving the emission of GM plants and validated dispersal kernel functions while the locations of exposed individuals are drawn from a point process. By taking into account the adherence of the ambient pollen on plants, the loss of pollen due to climatic events, and, an experimentally-validated mortality-dose function we predict risk maps and provide a distribution giving how the risk varies within exposed individuals in the landscape. Then, we consider the impact of the Bt maize on Inachis io in worst-case scenarii where exposed individuals are located in the vicinity of GM fields and pollen shedding overlaps with larval emergence. We perform a Global Sensitivity Analysis (GSA) to explore numerically how our input parameters influence the risk. Our results confirm the important effects of pollen emission and loss. Most interestingly they highlight that the optimal spatial distribution of GM fields that mitigates the risk depends on our knowledge of the habitats of NTOs, and finally, moderate the influence of the dispersal kernel function. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. The interplay between societal concerns and the regulatory frame on GM crops in the European Union.

    PubMed

    Devos, Yann; Reheul, Dirk; De Waele, Danny; Van Speybroeck, Linda

    2006-01-01

    Recapitulating how genetic modification technology and its agro-food products aroused strong societal opposition in the European Union, this paper demonstrates how this opposition contributed to shape the European regulatory frame on GM crops. More specifically, it describes how this opposition contributed to a de facto moratorium on the commercialization of new GM crop events in the end of the nineties. From this period onwards, the regulatory frame has been continuously revised in order to slow down further erosion of public and market confidence. Various scientific and technical reforms were made to meet societal concerns relating to the safety of GM crops. In this context, the precautionary principle, environmental post-market monitoring and traceability were adopted as ways to cope with scientific uncertainties. Labeling, traceability, co-existence and public information were installed in an attempt to meet the general public request for more information about GM agro-food products, and the specific demand to respect the consumers' and farmers' freedom of choice. Despite these efforts, today, the explicit role of public participation and/or ethical consultation during authorization procedures is at best minimal. Moreover, no legal room was created to progress to an integral sustainability evaluation during market procedures. It remains to be seen whether the recent policy shift towards greater transparency about value judgments, plural viewpoints and scientific uncertainties will be one step forward in integrating ethical concerns more explicitly in risk analysis. As such, the regulatory frame stands open for further interpretation, reflecting in various degrees a continued interplay with societal concerns relating to GM agro-food products. In this regard, both societal concerns and diversely interpreted regulatory criteria can be inferred as signaling a request - and even a quest - to render more explicit the broader-than-scientific dimension of the actual

  7. Time to Redefine Organic Agriculture: Can’t GM Crops Be Certified as Organics?

    PubMed Central

    Husaini, Amjad M.; Sohail, Muhammad

    2018-01-01

    The challenges of sustainable food production without damaging the environment for a growing human population have increased considerably. The current agricultural practices involving chemical fertilizers and even organic farming are not sustainable in the long run and can have deleterious effects on the environment. Thus, new, innovative solutions need to be identified and propagated for tackling this. Among such innovations, that can complement conventional as well as organic farming methods, are genetic modification (GM) and aquaculture. Yet, GM technologies often face resistance from civil groups owing to an ‘unknown’ fear, akin to Frankenstein’s monster. How real is this fear? Our discussion rests on basic questions like, why can’t ‘organics’ include GM crops that do not require chemical inputs for cultivation, and can GM crops like Golden rice qualify to be ‘organic’ if cultivated through organic practices? Do we need to rethink organic agriculture in the context of the present and future challenges of 21st century? PMID:29692789

  8. Expert opinion vs. empirical evidence: the precautionary principle applied to GM crops.

    PubMed

    Herman, Rod A; Raybould, Alan

    2014-01-01

    Expert opinion is often sought by government regulatory agencies when there is insufficient empirical evidence to judge the safety implications of a course of action. However, it can be reckless to continue following expert opinion when a preponderance of evidence is amassed that conflicts with this opinion. Factual evidence should always trump opinion in prioritizing the information that is used to guide regulatory policy. Evidence-based medicine has seen a dramatic upturn in recent years spurred by examples where evidence indicated that certain treatments recommended by expert opinions increased death rates. We suggest that scientific evidence should also take priority over expert opinion in the regulation of genetically modified crops (GM). Examples of regulatory data requirements that are not justified based on the mass of evidence are described, and it is suggested that expertise in risk assessment should guide evidence-based regulation of GM crops.

  9. Effects of biotechnology on biodiversity: herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant GM crops.

    PubMed

    Ammann, Klaus

    2005-08-01

    Biodiversity is threatened by agriculture as a whole, and particularly also by traditional methods of agriculture. Knowledge-based agriculture, including GM crops, can reduce this threat in the future. The introduction of no-tillage practices, which are beneficial for soil fertility, has been encouraged by the rapid spread of herbicide-tolerant soybeans in the USA. The replacement of pesticides through Bt crops is advantageous for the non-target insect fauna in test-fields. The results of the British Farm Scale experiment are discussed. Biodiversity differences can mainly be referred to as differences in herbicide application management.

  10. Co-existence of GM, conventional and organic crops in developing countries: Main debates and concerns.

    PubMed

    Azadi, Hossein; Taube, Friedhelm; Taheri, Fatemeh

    2017-06-05

    The co-existence approach of GM crops with conventional agriculture and organic farming as a feasible agricultural farming system has recently been placed in the center of hot debates at the EU-level and become a source of anxiety in developing countries. The main promises of this approach is to ensure "food security" and "food safety" on the one hand, and to avoid the adventitious presence of GM crops in conventional and organic farming on the other, as well as to present concerns in many debates on implementing the approach in developing countries. Here, we discuss the main debates on ("what," "why," "who," "where," "which," and "how") applying this approach in developing countries and review the main considerations and tradeoffs in this regard. The paper concludes that a peaceful co-existence between GM, conventional, and organic farming is not easy but is still possible. The goal should be to implement rules that are well-established proportionately, efficiently and cost-effectively, using crop-case, farming system-based and should be biodiversity-focused ending up with "codes of good agricultural practice" for co-existence.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2016-01-02

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

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

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Global income and production impacts of using GM crop technology 1996–2014

    PubMed Central

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Global income and production impacts of using GM crop technology 1996–2013

    PubMed Central

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Farm income and production impacts of using GM crop technology 1996–2015

    PubMed Central

    Brookes, Graham

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT This paper provides an assessment of the value of using genetically modified (GM) crop technology in agriculture at the farm level. It follows and updates earlier annual studies which examined impacts on yields, key variable costs of production, direct farm (gross) income and impacts on the production base of the 4 main crops of soybeans, corn, cotton and canola. The commercialisation of GM crops has occurred at a rapid rate since the mid 1990s, with important changes in both the overall level of adoption and impact occurring in 2015. This annual updated analysis shows that there continues to be very significant net economic benefits at the farm level amounting to $15.4 billion in 2015 and $167.8 billion for the 20 year period 1996–2015 (in nominal terms). These gains have been divided 49% to farmers in developed countries and 51% to farmers in developing countries. About 72% of the gains have derived from yield and production gains with the remaining 28% coming from cost savings. The technology has also made important contributions to increasing global production levels of the 4 main crops, having, for example, added 180 million tonnes and 358 million tonnes respectively, to the global production of soybeans and maize since the introduction of the technology in the mid 1990s. PMID:28481684

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2016-04-02

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

  20. Environmental impacts of genetically modified (GM) crop use 1996-2015: Impacts on pesticide use and carbon emissions.

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2017-04-03

    This paper updates previous assessments of important environmental impacts associated with using crop biotechnology in global agriculture. It focuses on the environmental impacts associated with changes in pesticide use and greenhouse gas emissions arising from the use of GM crops since their first widespread commercial use in the mid-1990s. The adoption of GM insect resistant and herbicide tolerant technology has reduced pesticide spraying by 618.7 million kg (-8.1%) and, as a result, decreased the environmental impact associated with herbicide and insecticide use on these crops (as measured by the indicator, the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ)) by18.6%. The technology has also facilitated important cuts in fuel use and tillage changes, resulting in a significant reduction in the release of greenhouse gas emissions from the GM cropping area. In 2015, this was equivalent to removing 11.9 million cars from the roads.

  1. Environmental impacts of genetically modified (GM) crop use 1996–2015: Impacts on pesticide use and carbon emissions

    PubMed Central

    Brookes, Graham

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT This paper updates previous assessments of important environmental impacts associated with using crop biotechnology in global agriculture. It focuses on the environmental impacts associated with changes in pesticide use and greenhouse gas emissions arising from the use of GM crops since their first widespread commercial use in the mid-1990s. The adoption of GM insect resistant and herbicide tolerant technology has reduced pesticide spraying by 618.7 million kg (−8.1%) and, as a result, decreased the environmental impact associated with herbicide and insecticide use on these crops (as measured by the indicator, the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ)) by18.6%. The technology has also facilitated important cuts in fuel use and tillage changes, resulting in a significant reduction in the release of greenhouse gas emissions from the GM cropping area. In 2015, this was equivalent to removing 11.9 million cars from the roads. PMID:28414252

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

    PubMed Central

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT This paper updates previous assessments of how crop biotechnology has changed the environmental impact of global agriculture. It focuses on the environmental impacts associated with changes in pesticide use and greenhouse gas emissions arising from the use of GM crops since their first widespread commercial use in the mid 1990s. The adoption of GM insect resistant and herbicide tolerant technology has reduced pesticide spraying by 553 million kg (−8.6%) and, as a result, decreased the environmental impact associated with herbicide and insecticide use on these crops (as measured by the indicator the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ)) by19.1%. The technology has also facilitated important cuts in fuel use and tillage changes, resulting in a significant reduction in the release of greenhouse gas emissions from the GM cropping area. In 2013, this was equivalent to removing 12.4 million cars from the roads. PMID:25760405

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

    PubMed

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Safety assessment of GM plants: An updated review of the scientific literature.

    PubMed

    Domingo, José L

    2016-09-01

    In a wide revision of the literature conducted in 2000, I noted that the information in scientific journals on the safety of genetically modified (GM) foods in general, and GM plants in particular, was scarce. Of course, it was not sufficient to guarantee that the consumption of these products should not mean risks for the health of the consumers. Because of the scientific interest in GM organisms (GMOs), as well as the great concern that the consumption of GM foods/plants has raised in a number of countries, I conducted two subsequent revisions (2007 and 2011) on the adverse/toxic effects of GM plants. In the present review, I have updated the information on the potential adverse health effects of GM plants consumed as food and/or feed. With only a few exceptions, the reported studies in the last six years show rather similar conclusions; that is to say, the assessed GM soybeans, rice, corn/maize and wheat would be as safe as the parental species of these plants. However, in spite of the notable increase in the available information, studies on the long-term health effects of GM plants, including tests of mutagenicity, teratogenicity and carcinogenicity seem to be still clearly necessary. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. RNAi-based GM plants: food for thought for risk assessors.

    PubMed

    Ramon, Matthew; Devos, Yann; Lanzoni, Anna; Liu, Yi; Gomes, Ana; Gennaro, Andrea; Waigmann, Elisabeth

    2014-12-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) is an emerging technology that offers new opportunities for the generation of new traits in genetically modified (GM) plants. Potential risks associated with RNAi-based GM plants and issues specific to their risk assessment were discussed during an international scientific workshop (June 2014) organized by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Selected key outcomes of the workshop are reported here. © 2014 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. In silico assessment of the potential allergenicity of transgenes used for the development of GM food crops.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Ankita; Gaur, S N; Singh, B P; Arora, Naveen

    2012-05-01

    Genetically modified (GM) crops require allergenicity and toxicity assessment of the novel protein(s) to ensure complete safety to the consumers. These assessments are performed in accordance with the guidelines proposed by Codex (2003) and ICMR (2008). The guidelines recommend sequence homology analysis as a preliminary step towards allergenicity prediction, later in vitro experiments may be performed to confirm allergenicity. In the present study, an in silico approach is employed to evaluate the allergenic potential of six transgenes routinely used for the development of GM food crops. Among the genes studied, manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) and osmotin shares greater than 90% identity with Hev b 10 and Cap a 1w, respectively. Chitinase shares greater than 70% identity with allergens namely Pers a 1 and Hev b 11, and fungal chitinase showed significant IgE binding with 7 of 75 patients' sera positive to different food extracts. Glucanases (alfalfa, wheat) and glycine betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase gene share 50% homology with allergens like - Ole e 9, Cla h 10 and Alt a 10. The results demonstrate the allergenic potential of six genes and can serve as a guide for selection of transgenes to develop GM crops. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

    Before a genetically modified (GM) crop can be commercialized it must pass through a rigorous regulatory process to verify that it is safe for human and animal consumption, and to the environment. One particular area of focus is the potential introduction of a known or cross-reactive allergen not previously present within the crop. The assessment of possible allergenicity uses the guidelines outlined by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization's (WHO) Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) to evaluate all newly expressed proteins. Some regulatory authorities have broadened the scope of the assessment to include all DNA reading frames between stop codons across the insert and spanning the insert/genomic DNA junctions. To investigate the utility of this bioinformatic assessment, all naturally occurring stop-to-stop frames in the non-transgenic genomes of maize, rice, and soybean, as well as the human genome, were compared against the AllergenOnline (www.allergenonline.org) database using the Codex criteria. We discovered thousands of frames that exceeded the Codex defined threshold for potential cross-reactivity suggesting that evaluating hypothetical ORFs (stop-to-stop frames) has questionable value for making decisions on the safety of GM crops. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  12. Plants & Crops | National Agricultural Library

    Science.gov Websites

    Skip to main content Home National Agricultural Library United States Department of Agriculture Ag , tables, graphs), Agricultural Products html Useful to Usable: Developing usable climate science for climatology, crop modeling, agronomy, cyber-technology, agricultural economics, sociology, Extension and

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  14. A case for a duty to feed the hungry: GM plants and the third world.

    PubMed

    Carter, Lucy

    2007-03-01

    This article is concerned with a discussion of the plausibility of the claim that GM technology has the potential to provide the hungry with sufficient food for subsistence. Following a brief outline of the potential applications of GM in this context, a history of the green revolution and its impact will be discussed in relation to the current developing world agriculture situation. Following a contemporary analysis of malnutrition, the claim that GM technology has the potential to provide the hungry with sufficient nourishment will be discussed within the domain of moral philosophy to determine whether there exists a moral obligation to pursue this end if and only if the technology proves to be relatively safe and effective. By using Peter Singer's duty of moral rescue, I argue that we have a moral duty to assist the third world through the distribution of such GM plants. I conclude the paper by demonstrating that my argument can be supported by applying a version of the Precautionary Principle on the grounds that doing nothing might be worse for the current situation.

  15. Review: Potential biotechnological assets related to plant immunity modulation applicable in engineering disease-resistant crops.

    PubMed

    Silva, Marilia Santos; Arraes, Fabrício Barbosa Monteiro; Campos, Magnólia de Araújo; Grossi-de-Sa, Maira; Fernandez, Diana; Cândido, Elizabete de Souza; Cardoso, Marlon Henrique; Franco, Octávio Luiz; Grossi-de-Sa, Maria Fátima

    2018-05-01

    This review emphasizes the biotechnological potential of molecules implicated in the different layers of plant immunity, including, pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP)-triggered immunity (PTI), effector-triggered susceptibility (ETS), and effector-triggered immunity (ETI) that can be applied in the development of disease-resistant genetically modified (GM) plants. These biomolecules are produced by pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi, oomycetes) or plants during their mutual interactions. Biomolecules involved in the first layers of plant immunity, PTI and ETS, include inhibitors of pathogen cell-wall-degrading enzymes (CWDEs), plant pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) and susceptibility (S) proteins, while the ETI-related biomolecules include plant resistance (R) proteins. The biomolecules involved in plant defense PTI/ETI responses described herein also include antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins and ribosome-inhibiting proteins (RIPs), as well as enzymes involved in plant defensive secondary metabolite biosynthesis (phytoanticipins and phytoalexins). Moreover, the regulation of immunity by RNA interference (RNAi) in GM disease-resistant plants is also considered. Therefore, the present review does not cover all the classes of biomolecules involved in plant innate immunity that may be applied in the development of disease-resistant GM crops but instead highlights the most common strategies in the literature, as well as their advantages and disadvantages. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. The soybean R2R3 MYB transcription factor GmMYB100 negatively regulates plant flavonoid biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Yan, Junhui; Wang, Biao; Zhong, Yunpeng; Yao, Luming; Cheng, Linjing; Wu, Tianlong

    2015-09-01

    Soybean flavonoids, a group of important signaling molecules in plant-environment interaction, ubiquitously exist in soybean and are tightly regulated by many genes. Here we reported that GmMYB100, a gene encoding a R2R3 MYB transcription factor, is involved in soybean flavonoid biosynthesis. GmMYB100 is mainly expressed in flowers, leaves and immature embryo, and its level is decreased after pod ripening. Subcellular localization assay indicates that GmMYB100 is a nuclear protein. GmMYB100 has transactivation ability revealed by a yeast functional assay; whereas bioinformatic analysis suggests that GmMYB100 has a negative function in flavonoid biosynthesis. GmMYB100-overexpression represses the transcript levels of flavonoid-related genes in transgenic soybean hairy roots and Arabidopsis, and inhibits isoflavonoid (soybean) and flavonol (Arabidopsis) production in transgenic plants. Furthermore, the transcript levels of six flavonoid-related genes and flavonoid (isoflavonoid and flavone aglycones) accumulation are elevated in the GmMYB100-RNAi transgenic hairy roots. We also demonstrate that GmMYB100 protein depresses the promoter activities of soybean chalcone synthase and chalcone isomerase. These findings indicate that GmMYB100 is a negative regulator in soybean flavonoid biosynthesis pathway.

  17. Ethylene synthesis and sensitivity in crop plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klassen, Stephen P.; Bugbee, Bruce

    2004-01-01

    Closed and semi-closed plant growth chambers have long been used in studies of plant and crop physiology. These studies include the measurement of photosynthesis and transpiration via photosynthetic gas exchange. Unfortunately, other gaseous products of plant metabolism can accumulate in these chambers and cause artifacts in the measurements. The most important of these gaseous byproducts is the plant hormone ethylene (C2H4). In spite of hundreds of manuscripts on ethylene, we still have a limited understanding of the synthesis rates throughout the plant life cycle. We also have a poor understanding of the sensitivity of intact, rapidly growing plants to ethylene. We know ethylene synthesis and sensitivity are influenced by both biotic and abiotic stresses, but such whole plant responses have not been accurately quantified. Here we present an overview of basic studies on ethylene synthesis and sensitivity.

  18. Enhancing Integrated Pest Management in GM Cotton Systems Using Host Plant Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Trapero, Carlos; Wilson, Iain W.; Stiller, Warwick N.; Wilson, Lewis J.

    2016-01-01

    Cotton has lost many ancestral defensive traits against key invertebrate pests. This is suggested by the levels of resistance to some pests found in wild cotton genotypes as well as in cultivated landraces and is a result of domestication and a long history of targeted breeding for yield and fiber quality, along with the capacity to control pests with pesticides. Genetic modification (GM) allowed integration of toxins from a bacteria into cotton to control key Lepidopteran pests. Since the mid-1990s, use of GM cotton cultivars has greatly reduced the amount of pesticides used in many cotton systems. However, pests not controlled by the GM traits have usually emerged as problems, especially the sucking bug complex. Control of this complex with pesticides often causes a reduction in beneficial invertebrate populations, allowing other secondary pests to increase rapidly and require control. Control of both sucking bug complex and secondary pests is problematic due to the cost of pesticides and/or high risk of selecting for pesticide resistance. Deployment of host plant resistance (HPR) provides an opportunity to manage these issues in GM cotton systems. Cotton cultivars resistant to the sucking bug complex and/or secondary pests would require fewer pesticide applications, reducing costs and risks to beneficial invertebrate populations and pesticide resistance. Incorporation of HPR traits into elite cotton cultivars with high yield and fiber quality offers the potential to further reduce pesticide use and increase the durability of pest management in GM cotton systems. We review the challenges that the identification and use of HPR against invertebrate pests brings to cotton breeding. We explore sources of resistance to the sucking bug complex and secondary pests, the mechanisms that control them and the approaches to incorporate these defense traits to commercial cultivars. PMID:27148323

  19. Balancing Immunity and Yield in Crop Plants.

    PubMed

    Ning, Yuese; Liu, Wende; Wang, Guo-Liang

    2017-12-01

    Crop diseases cause enormous yield losses and threaten global food[ED1] security. The use of highly resistant cultivars can effectively control plant diseases, but in crops, genetic immunity to disease often comes with an unintended reduction in growth and yield. Here, we review recent advances in understanding how nucleotide-binding domain, leucine-rich repeat (NLR) receptors and cell wall-associated kinase (WAK) proteins function in balancing immunity and yield. We also discuss the role of plant hormones and transcription factors in regulating the trade-offs between plant growth and immunity. Finally, we describe how a novel mechanism of translational control of defense proteins can enhance immunity without the reduction in fitness. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Goodman, Richard E

    2008-10-01

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

  2. Are Limits of Concern a useful concept to improve the environmental risk assessment of GM plants?

    PubMed

    Dolezel, Marion; Miklau, Marianne; Heissenberger, Andreas; Reichenbecher, Wolfram

    2017-01-01

    The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has introduced a concept for the environmental risk assessment of genetically modified (GM) plants which foresees the definition of ecological threshold values defining acceptable adverse effects of the GM plant on the environment (Limits of Concern, LoC). We analysed the LoC concept by scrutinising its feasibility with regard to important aspects of the environmental risk assessment. We then considered its relationship with protection goals, the comparative safety assessment and the stepwise testing approach. We finally discussed its usefulness for assessing long-term effects, effects on non-target organisms and species of conservation concern. The LoC concept is a possible approach to introduce ecological thresholds into environmental risk assessment in order to evaluate environmental harm. However, the concept leaves many important aspects open. Thresholds for environmental harm for protection goals need spatial and temporal differentiation from LoCs used for ERA indicators. Regionalisation of LoCs must be provided for as biodiversity levels and protection goals vary across the EU. Further guidance is needed with respect to the consequences, in case LoCs are exceeded and a link needs to be established between environmentally relevant results from the comparative safety assessment and the LoC concept. LoCs for long-term effects have to be evaluated by long-term monitoring. LoCs for non-target organisms need to be discriminated according to the species and parameters assessed. The overall LoC concept is considered useful if LoCs are further specified and differentiated. Although LoCs will finally be determined by political decisions, they should be based on scientific grounds in order to increase confidence in the conclusions on the safety of GM plants.

  3. Safety Assessment of Food and Feed from GM Crops in Europe: Evaluating EFSA's Alternative Framework for the Rat 90-day Feeding Study.

    PubMed

    Hong, Bonnie; Du, Yingzhou; Mukerji, Pushkor; Roper, Jason M; Appenzeller, Laura M

    2017-07-12

    Regulatory-compliant rodent subchronic feeding studies are compulsory regardless of a hypothesis to test, according to recent EU legislation for the safety assessment of whole food/feed produced from genetically modified (GM) crops containing a single genetic transformation event (European Union Commission Implementing Regulation No. 503/2013). The Implementing Regulation refers to guidelines set forth by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for the design, conduct, and analysis of rodent subchronic feeding studies. The set of EFSA recommendations was rigorously applied to a 90-day feeding study in Sprague-Dawley rats. After study completion, the appropriateness and applicability of these recommendations were assessed using a battery of statistical analysis approaches including both retrospective and prospective statistical power analyses as well as variance-covariance decomposition. In the interest of animal welfare considerations, alternative experimental designs were investigated and evaluated in the context of informing the health risk assessment of food/feed from GM crops.

  4. Locus-dependent selection in crop-wild hybrids of lettuce under field conditions and its implication for GM crop development

    PubMed Central

    Hooftman, Danny A P; Flavell, Andrew J; Jansen, Hans; den Nijs, Hans C M; Syed, Naeem H; Sørensen, Anker P; Orozco-ter Wengel, Pablo; van de Wiel, Clemens C M

    2011-01-01

    Gene escape from crops has gained much attention in the last two decades, as transgenes introgressing into wild populations could affect the latter's ecological characteristics. However, different genes have different likelihoods of introgression. The mixture of selective forces provided by natural conditions creates an adaptive mosaic of alleles from both parental species. We investigated segregation patterns after hybridization between lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and its wild relative, L. serriola. Three generations of hybrids (S1, BC1, and BC1S1) were grown in habitats mimicking the wild parent's habitat. As control, we harvested S1 seedlings grown under controlled conditions, providing very limited possibility for selection. We used 89 AFLP loci, as well as more recently developed dominant markers, 115 retrotransposon markers (SSAP), and 28 NBS loci linked to resistance genes. For many loci, allele frequencies were biased in plants exposed to natural field conditions, including over-representation of crop alleles for various loci. Furthermore, Linkage disequilibrium was locally changed, allegedly by selection caused by the natural field conditions, providing ample opportunity for genetic hitchhiking. Our study indicates that when developing genetically modified crops, a judicious selection of insertion sites, based on knowledge of selective (dis)advantages of the surrounding crop genome under field conditions, could diminish transgene persistence. PMID:25568012

  5. Locus-dependent selection in crop-wild hybrids of lettuce under field conditions and its implication for GM crop development.

    PubMed

    Hooftman, Danny A P; Flavell, Andrew J; Jansen, Hans; den Nijs, Hans C M; Syed, Naeem H; Sørensen, Anker P; Orozco-Ter Wengel, Pablo; van de Wiel, Clemens C M

    2011-09-01

    Gene escape from crops has gained much attention in the last two decades, as transgenes introgressing into wild populations could affect the latter's ecological characteristics. However, different genes have different likelihoods of introgression. The mixture of selective forces provided by natural conditions creates an adaptive mosaic of alleles from both parental species. We investigated segregation patterns after hybridization between lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and its wild relative, L. serriola. Three generations of hybrids (S1, BC1, and BC1S1) were grown in habitats mimicking the wild parent's habitat. As control, we harvested S1 seedlings grown under controlled conditions, providing very limited possibility for selection. We used 89 AFLP loci, as well as more recently developed dominant markers, 115 retrotransposon markers (SSAP), and 28 NBS loci linked to resistance genes. For many loci, allele frequencies were biased in plants exposed to natural field conditions, including over-representation of crop alleles for various loci. Furthermore, Linkage disequilibrium was locally changed, allegedly by selection caused by the natural field conditions, providing ample opportunity for genetic hitchhiking. Our study indicates that when developing genetically modified crops, a judicious selection of insertion sites, based on knowledge of selective (dis)advantages of the surrounding crop genome under field conditions, could diminish transgene persistence.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  7. Plants for space plantations. [crops for closed life support systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nikishanova, T. I.

    1978-01-01

    Criteria for selection of candidate crops for closed life support systems are presented and discussed, and desired characteristics of candidate higher plant crops are given. Carbohydrate crops, which are most suitable, grown worldwide are listed and discussed. The sweet potato, ipomoea batatas Poir., is shown to meet the criteria to the greatest degree, and the criteria are recommended as suitable for initial evaluation of candidate higher plant crops for such systems.

  8. Developing biosafety risk hypotheses for invertebrates exposed to GM plants using conceptual food webs: a case study with elevated triacylglyceride levels in ryegrass.

    PubMed

    Barratt, Barbara I P; Todd, Jacqui H; Burgess, Elisabeth P J; Malone, Louise A

    2010-01-01

    Regulators are acutely aware of the need for meaningful risk assessments to support decisions on the safety of GM crops to non-target invertebrates in determining their suitability for field release. We describe a process for developing appropriate, testable risk hypotheses for invertebrates in agroecosystems that might be exposed to plants developed by GM and future novel technologies. An existing model (PRONTI) generates a ranked list of invertebrate species for biosafety testing by accessing a database of biological, ecological and food web information about species which occur in cropping environments and their potential interactions with a particular stressor (Eco Invertebase). Our objective in this contribution is to explore and further utilise these resources to assist in the process of problem formulation by identifying potentially significant effects of the stressor on the invertebrate community and the ecosystem services they provide. We propose that for high ranking species, a conceptual food web using information in Eco Invertebase is constructed, and using an accepted regulatory risk analysis framework, the likelihood of risk, and magnitude of impact for each link in the food web is evaluated. Using as filters only those risks evaluated as likely to extremely likely, and the magnitude of an effect being considered as moderate to massive, the most significant potential effects can be identified. A stepwise approach is suggested to develop a sequence of appropriate tests. The GM ryegrass plant used as the "stressor" in this study has been modified to increase triacylglyceride levels in foliage by 100% to increase the metabolisable energy content of forage for grazing animals. The high-ranking "test" species chosen to illustrate the concept are New Zealand native species Wiseana cervinata (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae), Persectania aversa (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), and the self-introduced grey field slug, Deroceras reticulatum (Müller).

  9. Evaluating impact level of different factors in environmental impact assessment for incinerator plants using GM (1, N) model.

    PubMed

    Pai, T Y; Chiou, R J; Wen, H H

    2008-01-01

    In this study, the impact levels in environmental impact assessment (EIA) reports of 10 incinerator plants were quantified and discussed. The relationship between the quantified impact levels and the plant scale factors of BeiTou, LiZe, BaLi, LuTsao, RenWu, PingTung, SiJhou and HsinChu were constructed, and the impact levels of the GangShan (GS) and YongKong (YK) plants were predicted using grey model GM (1, N). Finally, the effects of plant scale factors on impact levels were evaluated using grey model GM (1, N) too. According to the predicted results of GM, the relative errors of topography/geology/soil, air quality, hydrology/water quality, solid waste, noise, terrestrial fauna/flora, aquatic fauna/flora and traffic in the GS plant were 17%, 14%, 15%, 17%, 75%, 16%, 13%, and 37%, respectively. The relative errors of the same environmental items in the YK plant were 1%, 18%, 10%, 40%, 37%, 3%, 25% and 33%, respectively. According to GM (1, N), design capacity (DC) and heat value (HV) were the plant scale factors that affected the impact levels significantly in each environmental item, and thus were the most significant plant scale factors. GM (1, N) was effective in predicting the environmental impact and analyzing the reasonableness of the impact. If there is an EIA for a new incinerator plant to be reviewed in the future, the official committee of the Taiwan EPA could review the reasonableness of impact levels in EIA reports quickly.

  10. Single molecule Raman spectroscopic assay to detect transgene from GM plants.

    PubMed

    Kadam, Ulhas S; Chavhan, Rahul L; Schulz, Burkhard; Irudayaraj, Joseph

    2017-09-01

    Substantial concerns have been raised for the safety of transgenics on human health and environment. Many organizations, consumer groups, and environmental agencies advocate for stringent regulations to avoid transgene products' contamination in food cycle or in nature. Here we demonstrate a novel approach using surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to detect and quantify transgene from GM plants. We show a highly sensitive and accurate quantification of transgene DNA from multiple transgenic lines of Arabidopsis. The assay allows us to detect and quantify the transgenes as low as 0.10 pg without need for PCR-amplification. This technology is relatively cheap, quick, simple, and suitable for detection at low target concentration. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. EVALUATING THE ROLE OF HABITAT QUALITY ON ESTABLISHMENT OF GM AGROSTIS STOLONIFERA PLANTS IN NON-AGRONOMIC SETTINGS

    EPA Science Inventory

    We compared soil chemistry and plant community data at non-agronomic mesic locations that either did or did not contain genetically modified (GM) Agrostis stolonifera. The best two-variable logistic regression model included soil Mn content and A. stolonifera cover and explained...

  13. Risk assessment of Bt crops on the non-target plant-associated insects and soil organisms.

    PubMed

    Yaqoob, Amina; Shahid, Ahmad Ali; Samiullah, Tahir Rehman; Rao, Abdul Qayyum; Khan, Muhammad Azmat Ullah; Tahir, Sana; Mirza, Safdar Ali; Husnain, Tayyab

    2016-06-01

    Transgenic plants containing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) genes are being cultivated worldwide to express toxic insecticidal proteins. However, the commercial utilisation of Bt crops greatly highlights biosafety issues worldwide. Therefore, assessing the risks caused by genetically modified crops prior to their commercial cultivation is a critical issue to be addressed. In agricultural biotechnology, the goal of safety assessment is not just to identify the safety of a genetically modified (GM) plant, rather to demonstrate its impact on the ecosystem. Various experimental studies have been made worldwide during the last 20 years to investigate the risks and fears associated with non-target organisms (NTOs). The NTOs include beneficial insects, natural pest controllers, rhizobacteria, growth promoting microbes, pollinators, soil dwellers, aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates, mammals and humans. To highlight all the possible risks associated with different GM events, information has been gathered from a total of 76 articles, regarding non-target plant and soil inhabiting organisms, and summarised in the form of the current review article. No significant harmful impact has been reported in any case study related to approved GM events, although critical risk assessments are still needed before commercialisation of these crops. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  14. Criticism of EFSA's scientific opinion on combinatorial effects of 'stacked' GM plants.

    PubMed

    Bøhn, Thomas

    2018-01-01

    Recent genetically modified plants tend to include both insect resistance and herbicide tolerance traits. Some of these 'stacked' GM plants have multiple Cry-toxins expressed as well as tolerance to several herbicides. This means that non-target organisms in the environment (biodiversity) will be co-exposed to multiple stressors simultaneously. A similar co-exposure may happen to consumers through chemical residues in the food chain. EFSA, the responsible unit for minimizing risk of harm in European food chains, has expressed its scientific interest in combinatorial effects. However, when new data showed how two Cry-toxins acted in combination (added toxicity), and that the same Cry-toxins showed combinatorial effects when co-exposed with Roundup (Bøhn et al., 2016), EFSA dismissed these new peer-reviewed results. In effect, EFSA claimed that combinatorial effects are not relevant for itself. EFSA was justifying this by referring to a policy question, and by making invalid assumptions, which could have been checked directly with the lead-author. With such approach, EFSA may miss the opportunity to improve its environmental and health risk assessment of toxins and pesticides in the food chain. Failure to follow its own published requests for combinatorial effects research, may also risk jeopardizing EFSA's scientific and public reputation. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  16. Safety and nutritional assessment of GM plants and derived food and feed: the role of animal feeding trials.

    PubMed

    2008-03-01

    In this report the various elements of the safety and nutritional assessment procedure for genetically modified (GM) plant derived food and feed are discussed, in particular the potential and limitations of animal feeding trials for the safety and nutritional testing of whole GM food and feed. The general principles for the risk assessment of GM plants and derived food and feed are followed, as described in the EFSA guidance document of the EFSA Scientific Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms. In Section 1 the mandate, scope and general principles for risk assessment of GM plant derived food and feed are discussed. Products under consideration are food and feed derived from GM plants, such as maize, soybeans, oilseed rape and cotton, modified through the introduction of one or more genes coding for agronomic input traits like herbicide tolerance and/or insect resistance. Furthermore GM plant derived food and feed, which have been obtained through extensive genetic modifications targeted at specific alterations of metabolic pathways leading to improved nutritional and/or health characteristics, such as rice containing beta-carotene, soybeans with enhanced oleic acid content, or tomato with increased concentration of flavonoids, are considered. The safety assessment of GM plants and derived food and feed follows a comparative approach, i.e. the food and feed are compared with their non-GM counterparts in order to identify intended and unintended (unexpected) differences which subsequently are assessed with respect to their potential impact on the environment, safety for humans and animals, and nutritional quality. Key elements of the assessment procedure are the molecular, compositional, phenotypic and agronomic analysis in order to identify similarities and differences between the GM plant and its near isogenic counterpart. The safety assessment is focussed on (i) the presence and characteristics of newly expressed proteins and other new constituents and possible

  17. Plant, soil, and shadow reflectance components of row crops

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richardson, A. J.; Wiegand, C. L.; Gausman, H. W.; Cuellar, J. A.; Gerbermann, A. H.

    1975-01-01

    Data from the first Earth Resource Technology Satellite (LANDSAT-1) multispectral scanner (MSS) were used to develop three plant canopy models (Kubelka-Munk (K-M), regression, and combined K-M and regression models) for extracting plant, soil, and shadow reflectance components of cropped fields. The combined model gave the best correlation between MSS data and ground truth, by accounting for essentially all of the reflectance of plants, soil, and shadow between crop rows. The principles presented can be used to better forecast crop yield and to estimate acreage.

  18. Genomics Approaches For Improving Salinity Stress Tolerance in Crop Plants.

    PubMed

    Nongpiur, Ramsong Chantre; Singla-Pareek, Sneh Lata; Pareek, Ashwani

    2016-08-01

    Salinity is one of the major factors which reduces crop production worldwide. Plant responses to salinity are highly complex and involve a plethora of genes. Due to its multigenicity, it has been difficult to attain a complete understanding of how plants respond to salinity. Genomics has progressed tremendously over the past decade and has played a crucial role towards providing necessary knowledge for crop improvement. Through genomics, we have been able to identify and characterize the genes involved in salinity stress response, map out signaling pathways and ultimately utilize this information for improving the salinity tolerance of existing crops. The use of new tools, such as gene pyramiding, in genetic engineering and marker assisted breeding has tremendously enhanced our ability to generate stress tolerant crops. Genome editing technologies such as Zinc finger nucleases, TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9 also provide newer and faster avenues for plant biologists to generate precisely engineered crops.

  19. Characterization of scientific studies usually cited as evidence of adverse effects of GM food/feed.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Miguel A; Parrott, Wayne A

    2017-10-01

    GM crops are the most studied crops in history. Approximately 5% of the safety studies on them show adverse effects that are a cause for concern and tend to be featured in media reports. Although these reports are based on just a handful of GM events, they are used to cast doubt on all GM crops. Furthermore, they tend to come from just a few laboratories and are published in less important journals. Importantly, a close examination of these reports invariably shows methodological flaws that invalidate any conclusions of adverse effects. Twenty years after commercial cultivation of GM crops began, a bona fide report of an adverse health effect due to a commercialized modification in a crop has yet to be reported. © 2017 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Multiplex PCR assay for detection of recombinant genes encoding fatty acid desaturases fused with lichenase reporter protein in GM plants.

    PubMed

    Berdichevets, Iryna N; Shimshilashvili, Hristina R; Gerasymenko, Iryna M; Sindarovska, Yana R; Sheludko, Yuriy V; Goldenkova-Pavlova, Irina V

    2010-07-01

    Thermostable lichenase encoded by licB gene of Clostridium thermocellum can be used as a reporter protein in plant, bacterial, yeast, and mammalian cells. It has important advantages of high sensitivity and specificity in qualitative and quantitative assays. Deletion variants of LicB (e.g., LicBM3) retain its enzymatic activity and thermostability and can be expressed in translational fusion with target proteins without compromising with their properties. Fusion with the lichenase reporter is especially convenient for the heterologous expression of proteins whose analysis is difficult or compromised by host enzyme activities, as it is in case of fatty acid desaturases occurring in all groups of organisms. Recombinant desaturase-lichenase genes can be used for creating genetically modified (GM) plants with improved chill tolerance. Development of an analytical method for detection of fused desaturase-lichenase transgenes is necessary both for production of GM plants and for their certification. Here, we report a multiplex polymerase chain reaction method for detection of desA and desC desaturase genes of cyanobacteria Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 and Synechococcus vulcanus, respectively, fused to licBM3 reporter in GM plants.

  1. 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 ...

  2. Glyphosate Effects on Plant Mineral Nutrition, Crop Rhizosphere Microbiota, and Plant Disease in Glyphosate-Resistant Crops

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Claims have been made recently that glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops sometimes have mineral deficiencies and increased plant disease. This review evaluates the literature that is germane to these claims. Our conclusions are: (1) although there is conflicting literature on the effects of glyphosate on mineral nutrition on GR crops, most of the literature indicates that mineral nutrition in GR crops is not affected by either the GR trait or by application of glyphosate; (2) most of the available data support the view that neither the GR transgenes nor glyphosate use in GR crops increases crop disease; and (3) yield data on GR crops do not support the hypotheses that there are substantive mineral nutrition or disease problems that are specific to GR crops. PMID:23013354

  3. The distinct properties of natural and GM cry insecticidal proteins.

    PubMed

    Latham, Jonathan R; Love, Madeleine; Hilbeck, Angelika

    2017-04-01

    The Cry toxins are a family of crystal-forming proteins produced by the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Their mode of action is thought to be to create pores that disrupt the gut epithelial membranes of juvenile insects. These pores allow pathogen entry into the hemocoel, thereby killing the insect. Genes encoding a spectrum of Cry toxins, including Cry mutants, Cry chimaeras and other Cry derivatives, are used commercially to enhance insect resistance in genetically modified (GM) crops. In most countries of the world, such GM crops are regulated and must be assessed for human and environmental safety. However, such risk assessments often do not test the GM crop or its tissues directly. Instead, assessments rely primarily on historical information from naturally occurring Cry proteins and on data collected on Cry proteins (called 'surrogates') purified from laboratory strains of bacteria engineered to express Cry protein. However, neither surrogates nor naturally occurring Cry proteins are identical to the proteins to which humans or other nontarget organisms are exposed by the production and consumption of GM plants. To-date there has been no systematic survey of these differences. This review fills this knowledge gap with respect to the most commonly grown GM Cry-containing crops approved for international use. Having described the specific differences between natural, surrogate and GM Cry proteins this review assesses these differences for their potential to undermine the reliability of risk assessments. Lastly, we make specific recommendations for improving risk assessments.

  4. The relevance of gene transfer to the safety of food and feed derived from genetically modified (GM) plants.

    PubMed

    van den Eede, G; Aarts, H; Buhk, H-J; Corthier, G; Flint, H J; Hammes, W; Jacobsen, B; Midtvedt, T; van der Vossen, J; von Wright, A; Wackernagel, W; Wilcks, A

    2004-07-01

    In 2000, the thematic network ENTRANSFOOD was launched to assess four different topics that are all related to the testing or assessment of food containing or produced from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Each of the topics was linked to a European Commission (EC)-funded large shared cost action (see http://www.entransfood.com). Since the exchange of genetic information through horizontal (lateral) gene transfer (HGT) might play a more important role, in quantity and quality, than hitherto imagined, a working group dealing with HGT in the context of food and feed safety was established. This working group was linked to the GMOBILITY project (GMOBILITY, 2003) and the results of the deliberations are laid down in this review paper. HGT is reviewed in relation to the potential risks of consuming food or feed derived from transgenic crops. First, the mechanisms for obtaining transgenic crops are described. Next, HGT mechanisms and its possible evolutionary role are described. The use of marker genes is presented in detail as a special case for genes that may pose a risk. Furthermore, the exposure to GMOs and in particular to genetically modified (GM) deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is discussed as part of the total risk assessment. The review finishes off with a number of conclusions related to GM food and feed safety. The aim of this paper is to provide a comprehensive overview to assist risk assessors as well as regulators and the general public in understanding the safety issues related to these mechanisms. Copryright 2004 Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Can GM sorghum impact Africa?

    PubMed

    Botha, Gerda M; Viljoen, Christopher D

    2008-02-01

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

  6. 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).

  7. Do Refuge Plants Favour Natural Pest Control in Maize Crops?

    PubMed Central

    Quispe, Reinaldo; Mazón, Marina; Rodríguez-Berrío, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    The use of non-crop plants to provide the resources that herbivorous crop pests’ natural enemies need is being increasingly incorporated into integrated pest management programs. We evaluated insect functional groups found on three refuges consisting of five different plant species each, planted next to a maize crop in Lima, Peru, to investigate which refuge favoured natural control of herbivores considered as pests of maize in Peru, and which refuge plant traits were more attractive to those desirable enemies. Insects occurring in all the plants, including the maize crop itself, were sampled weekly during the crop growing cycle, from February to June 2011. All individuals collected were identified and classified into three functional groups: herbivores, parasitoids, and predators. Refuges were compared based on their effectiveness in enhancing the populations of predator and parasitoid insects of the crop enemies. Refuges A and B were the most effective, showing the highest richness and abundance of both predators and parasitoids, including several insect species that are reported to attack the main insect pests of maize (Spodoptera frugiperda and Rhopalosiphum maidis), as well as other species that serve as alternative hosts of these natural enemies. PMID:28718835

  8. Soil, Plant, and Crop Science. Teacher Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oklahoma State Dept. of Vocational and Technical Education, Stillwater. Curriculum and Instructional Materials Center.

    This package contains an instructor's manual, an instructor's resource package, and a student workbook for a course in agricultural production and management as it relates to crop production. The module contains 17 units of instruction, each of which contains some or all of the following components: objective sheet, instructor's guide, information…

  9. Crop and medicinal plants proteomics in response to salt stress

    PubMed Central

    Aghaei, Keyvan; Komatsu, Setsuko

    2013-01-01

    Increasing of world population marks a serious need to create new crop cultivars and medicinal plants with high growth and production at any environmental situations. Among the environmental unfavorable conditions, salinity is the most widespread in the world. Crop production and growth severely decreases under salt stress; however, some crop cultivars show significant tolerance against the negative effects of salinity. Among salt stress responses of crops, proteomic responses play a pivotal role in their ability to cope with it and have become the main center of notification. Many physiological responses are detectable in terms of protein increase and decrease even before physiological responses take place. Thus proteomic approach makes a short cut in the way of inferring how crops response to salt stress. Nowadays many salt-responsive proteins such as heat shock proteins, pathogen-related proteins, protein kinases, ascorbate peroxidase, osmotin, ornithine decarboxylase, and some transcription factors, have been detected in some major crops which are thought to give them the ability of withstanding against salt stress. Proteomic analysis of medicinal plants also revealed that alkaloid biosynthesis related proteins such as tryptophan synthase, codeinone reductase, strictosidine synthase, and 12-oxophytodienoate reductase might have major role in production of secondary metabolites. In this review we are comparing some different or similar proteomic responses of several crops and medicinal plants to salt stress and discuss about the future prospects. PMID:23386857

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

    PubMed

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

    2018-01-01

    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.

  11. The components of crop productivity: measuring and modeling plant metabolism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugbee, B.

    1995-01-01

    Several investigators in the CELSS program have demonstrated that crop plants can be remarkably productive in optimal environments where plants are limited only by incident radiation. Radiation use efficiencies of 0.4 to 0.7 g biomass per mol of incident photons have been measured for crops in several laboratories. Some early published values for radiation use efficiency (1 g mol-1) were inflated due to the effect of side lighting. Sealed chambers are the basic research module for crop studies for space. Such chambers allow the measurement of radiation and CO2 fluxes, thus providing values for three determinants of plant growth: radiation absorption, photosynthetic efficiency (quantum yield), and respiration efficiency (carbon use efficiency). Continuous measurement of each of these parameters over the plant life cycle has provided a blueprint for daily growth rates, and is the basis for modeling crop productivity based on component metabolic processes. Much of what has been interpreted as low photosynthetic efficiency is really the result of reduced leaf expansion and poor radiation absorption. Measurements and models of short-term (minutes to hours) and long-term (days to weeks) plant metabolic rates have enormously improved our understanding of plant environment interactions in ground-based growth chambers and are critical to understanding plant responses to the space environment.

  12. Biotech crop planting resumes high adoption in 2016.

    PubMed

    Aldemita, Rhodora R; Hautea, Randy A

    2018-01-02

    The global area of biotech crops in 2016 increased from 179.7 million hectares to 185.1 million hectares, a 3% increase equivalent to 5.4 million hectares. Some 26 countries planted biotech crops, 19 of which were developing countries and seven were industrial. Information and data collected from various credible sources showed variations from the previous year. Fluctuations in biotech crop area (both increases and decreases) are influenced by factors including, among others, acceptance and commercialization of new products, demand for meat and livestock feeds, weather conditions, global market price, disease/pest pressure, and government's enabling policies. Countries which have increased biotech crop area in decreasing order in 2016 were Brazil, United States of America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Bolivia, Philippines, Spain, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Colombia, Honduras, Chile, Sudan, Slovakia, and Costa Rica. Countries with decreased biotech area in decreasing order were China, India, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Mexico, Portugal, and Czech Republic, in decreasing incremental decrease in biotech area. Pakistan and Myanmar were the only countries with no change in biotech crop (cotton) planted. Information detailed in the paper including future crops and traits in each country could guide stakeholders in informed crafting of strategies and policies for increased adoption of biotech crops in the country.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Herman, Rod A; Ekmay, Ricardo

    2014-02-01

    The use of whole-food (grain meal contained in feed) animal-feeding studies to support the safety assessment of genetically modified crops has been contentious. This may be, in part, a consequence of poorly agreed upon study objectives. Whole-food animal-feeding studies have been postulated to be useful in detecting both expected and unexpected effects on the composition of genetically modified crops. While the justification of animal feeding studies to detect unexpected effects may be inadequately supported, there may be better justification to conduct such studies in specific cases to investigate the consequences of expected compositional effects including expression of transgenic proteins. Such studies may be justified when (1) safety cannot reasonably be predicted from other evidence, (2) reasonable hypothesis for adverse effects are postulated, (3) the compositional component in question cannot be isolated or enriched in an active form for inclusion in animal feeding studies, and (4) reasonable multiples of exposure can be accomplished relative to human diets. The study design for whole-food animal-feeding studies should be hypotheses-driven, and the types of data collected should be consistent with adverse effects that are known to occur from dietary components of biological origin. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Constantly evolving safety assessment protocols for GM foods.

    PubMed

    Sesikeran, B; Vasanthi, Siruguri

    2008-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Folates in plants: research advances and progress in crop biofortification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorelova, Vera; Ambach, Lars; Rébeillé, Fabrice; Stove, Christophe; Van Der Straeten, Dominique

    2017-03-01

    Folates, also known as B9 vitamins, serve as donors and acceptors in one-carbon (C1) transfer reactions. The latter are involved in synthesis of many important biomolecules, such as amino acids, nucleic acids and vitamin B5. Folates also play a central role in the methyl cycle that provides one-carbon groups for methylation reactions. The important functions fulfilled by folates make them essential in all living organisms. Plants, being able to synthesize folates de novo, serve as an excellent dietary source of folates for animals that lack the respective biosynthetic pathway. Unfortunately, the most important staple crops such as rice, potato and maize are rather poor sources of folates. Insufficient folate consumption is known to cause severe developmental disorders in humans. Two approaches are employed to fight folate deficiency: pharmacological supplementation in the form of folate pills and biofortification of staple crops. As the former approach is considered rather costly for the major part of the world population, biofortification of staple crops is viewed as a decent alternative in the struggle against folate deficiency. Therefore strategies, challenges and recent progress of folate enhancement in plants will be addressed in this review. Apart from the ever-growing need for the enhancement of nutritional quality of crops, the world population faces climate change catastrophes or environmental stresses, such as elevated temperatures, drought, salinity that severely affect growth and productivity of crops. Due to immense diversity of their biochemical functions, folates take part in virtually every aspect of plant physiology. Any disturbance to the plant folate metabolism leads to severe growth inhibition and, as a consequence, to a lower productivity. Whereas today’s knowledge of folate biochemistry can be considered very profound, evidence on the physiological roles of folates in plants only starts to emerge. In the current review we will discuss the

  20. PLANT INCORPORATED PROTECTANT CROP MONITORING USING REMOTE SENSING

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  1. Overexpression of a specific soybean GmGSTU4 isoenzyme improves diphenyl ether and chloroacetanilide herbicide tolerance of transgenic tobacco plants.

    PubMed

    Benekos, Kostantinos; Kissoudis, Christos; Nianiou-Obeidat, Irini; Labrou, Nikolaos; Madesis, Panagiotis; Kalamaki, Mary; Makris, Antonis; Tsaftaris, Athanasios

    2010-10-01

    Plant glutathione transferases (GSTs) superfamily consists of multifunctional enzymes and forms a major part of the plants herbicide detoxification enzyme network. The tau class GST isoenzyme GmGSTU4 from soybean, exhibits catalytic activity towards the diphenyl ether herbicide fluorodifen and is active as glutathione-dependent peroxidase (GPOX). Transgenic tobacco plants of Basmas cultivar were generated via Agrobacterium transformation. The aim was to evaluate in planta, GmGSTU4's role in detoxifying the diphenyl ether herbicides fluorodifen and oxyfluorfen and the chloroacetanilides alachlor and metolachlor. Transgenic tobacco plants were verified by PCR and Southern blot hybridization and expression of GmGSTU4 was determined by RT-PCR. Leaf extracts from transgenic plants showed moderate increase in GST activity towards CDNB and a significant increase towards fluorodifen and alachlor, and at the same time an increased GPOX activity towards cumene hydroperoxide. GmGSTU4 overexpressing plants when treated with 200 μM fluorodifen or oxyfluorfen exhibited reduced relative electrolyte leakage compared to wild type plants. Moreover all GmGSTU4 overexpressing lines exhibited significantly increased tolerance towards alachlor when grown in vitro at 7.5 mg/L alachlor compared to wild type plants. No significant increased tolerance was observed to metolachlor. These results confirm the contribution of this particular GmGSTU4 isoenzyme from soybean in the detoxification of fluorodifen and alachlor, and provide the basis towards the development of transgenic plants with improved phytoremediation capabilities for future use in environmental cleanup of herbicides. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

    Changing the nature, kind and quantity of particular regulatory-RNA molecules through genetic engineering can create biosafety risks. While some genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are intended to produce new regulatory-RNA molecules, these may also arise in other GMOs not intended to express them. To characterise, assess and then mitigate the potential adverse effects arising from changes to RNA requires changing current approaches to food or environmental risk assessments of GMOs. We document risk assessment advice offered to government regulators in Australia, New Zealand and Brazil during official risk evaluations of GM plants for use as human food or for release into the environment (whether for field trials or commercial release), how the regulator considered those risks, and what that experience teaches us about the GMO risk assessment framework. We also suggest improvements to the process. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Envirotyping for deciphering environmental impacts on crop plants.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yunbi

    2016-04-01

    Global climate change imposes increasing impacts on our environments and crop production. To decipher environmental impacts on crop plants, the concept "envirotyping" is proposed, as a third "typing" technology, complementing with genotyping and phenotyping. Environmental factors can be collected through multiple environmental trials, geographic and soil information systems, measurement of soil and canopy properties, and evaluation of companion organisms. Envirotyping contributes to crop modeling and phenotype prediction through its functional components, including genotype-by-environment interaction (GEI), genes responsive to environmental signals, biotic and abiotic stresses, and integrative phenotyping. Envirotyping, driven by information and support systems, has a wide range of applications, including environmental characterization, GEI analysis, phenotype prediction, near-iso-environment construction, agronomic genomics, precision agriculture and breeding, and development of a four-dimensional profile of crop science involving genotype (G), phenotype (P), envirotype (E) and time (T) (developmental stage). In the future, envirotyping needs to zoom into specific experimental plots and individual plants, along with the development of high-throughput and precision envirotyping platforms, to integrate genotypic, phenotypic and envirotypic information for establishing a high-efficient precision breeding and sustainable crop production system based on deciphered environmental impacts.

  4. 7 CFR 760.814 - Calculation of acreage for crop losses other than prevented planted.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... of the crop, as applicable, or actual acreage of the crop planted for harvest. (b) In cases where... good farming practices; and (4) Could reach maturity if each planting was harvested or would have been harvested. (c) In cases where there is multiple-cropped acreage, each crop may be eligible for disaster...

  5. 7 CFR 760.814 - Calculation of acreage for crop losses other than prevented planted.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... of the crop, as applicable, or actual acreage of the crop planted for harvest. (b) In cases where... good farming practices; and (4) Could reach maturity if each planting was harvested or would have been harvested. (c) In cases where there is multiple-cropped acreage, each crop may be eligible for disaster...

  6. Progress and challenges for abiotic stress proteomics of crop plants.

    PubMed

    Barkla, Bronwyn J; Vera-Estrella, Rosario; Pantoja, Omar

    2013-06-01

    Plants are continually challenged to recognize and respond to adverse changes in their environment to avoid detrimental effects on growth and development. Understanding the mechanisms that crop plants employ to resist and tolerate abiotic stress is of considerable interest for designing agriculture breeding strategies to ensure sustainable productivity. The application of proteomics technologies to advance our knowledge in crop plant abiotic stress tolerance has increased dramatically in the past few years as evidenced by the large amount of publications in this area. This is attributed to advances in various technology platforms associated with MS-based techniques as well as the accessibility of proteomics units to a wider plant research community. This review summarizes the work which has been reported for major crop plants and evaluates the findings in context of the approaches that are widely employed with the aim to encourage broadening the strategies used to increase coverage of the proteome. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  7. Plant species evaluated for new crop potential

    SciTech Connect

    Carr, M.E.

    1985-01-01

    Ninety-two plant species from various regions of the USA were screened for their energy-producing potential. Samples were analysed for oil, polyphenol, hydrocarbon and protein. Oil fractions of some species were analysed for classes of lipid constituents and yields of unsaponifiable matter and fatty acids were determined. Hydrocarbon fractions of some species were analysed for rubber, gutta and waxes. Average MW and MW distribution of rubber and gutta were determined. Complete analytical data for 16 species is presented. Large quantities of oil were obtained from Philadelphus coronarius, Cacalia muhlenbergii, Lindera benzoin and Koelreuteria paniculata. High yields of polyphenols came from Acermore » ginnala, Cornus obliqua and Salix caprea and maximum yields of hydrocarbon and protein were from Elymus virginicus and Lindera benzoin, respectively.« less

  8. Effect of crop residues on soil properties, plant growth, and crop yield. Agronomy Farm, Lincoln, Nebraska

    SciTech Connect

    Power, J.F.

    1981-01-01

    Progress is reported in a study designed to evaluate the effects of quantity of crop residues left on soil surface on soil properties, plant growth, and crop yield and to determine the effects of quantity of surface residues upon soil, fertilizer, and residue N transformations, availability, and efficiency of use. In a dryland corn-sorghum-soybean rotation produced on a clay loam, residues remaining after harvest of the previous crop were removed and respread on plots at rates of 0, 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 times the quantity of residues originally present. The above crops were planted in four replications the following springmore » without tillage, after broadcasting 50 kg N/ha as ammonium nitrate. In 1980, /sup 15/N-depleted NH/sub 4/NO/sub 3/ was applied to half of each plot. After harvest, crop residues produced on the half-plot receiving the N-isotope were transferred to the half-plot receiving regular fertilizer, and visa versa. In 1981, /sup 15/N-depleted NH/sub 4/NO/sub 3/ was applied to half of each plot again, except at right angles to the fertilizer applied in 1980. After planting each year, thermocouples were installed in each plot and soil temperatures were recorded. Also access tubes were installed in all plots and soil water content was measured to the 150 cm soil depth periodically during the growing season. Dry matter production and N uptake by the plant tissue was measured periodically during the growing season and at maturity. Additional measurements taken included leaf area index, xylem water potentials, and soil microbial populations. Data are presented on corn and soybean production characteristics as affected by rate of crop residue on soil surface. Results are also given on leaf area index (LAI) and dry matter production of corn and soybeans as affected by surface residue rate. Total N content of corn and soybean plant materials and surface residues, and total and inorganic soil N (1980) are reported.« less

  9. Quantifying the effect of crop spatial arrangement on weed suppression using functional-structural plant modelling.

    PubMed

    Evers, Jochem B; Bastiaans, Lammert

    2016-05-01

    Suppression of weed growth in a crop canopy can be enhanced by improving crop competitiveness. One way to achieve this is by modifying the crop planting pattern. In this study, we addressed the question to what extent a uniform planting pattern increases the ability of a crop to compete with weed plants for light compared to a random and a row planting pattern, and how this ability relates to crop and weed plant density as well as the relative time of emergence of the weed. To this end, we adopted the functional-structural plant modelling approach which allowed us to explicitly include the 3D spatial configuration of the crop-weed canopy and to simulate intra- and interspecific competition between individual plants for light. Based on results of simulated leaf area development, canopy photosynthesis and biomass growth of the crop, we conclude that differences between planting pattern were small, particularly if compared to the effects of relative time of emergence of the weed, weed density and crop density. Nevertheless, analysis of simulated weed biomass demonstrated that a uniform planting of the crop improved the weed-suppression ability of the crop canopy. Differences in weed suppressiveness between planting patterns were largest with weed emergence before crop emergence, when the suppressive effect of the crop was only marginal. With simultaneous emergence a uniform planting pattern was 8 and 15 % more competitive than a row and a random planting pattern, respectively. When weed emergence occurred after crop emergence, differences between crop planting patterns further decreased as crop canopy closure was reached early on regardless of planting pattern. We furthermore conclude that our modelling approach provides promising avenues to further explore crop-weed interactions and aid in the design of crop management strategies that aim at improving crop competitiveness with weeds.

  10. Hormone balance and abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Peleg, Zvi; Blumwald, Eduardo

    2011-06-01

    Plant hormones play central roles in the ability of plants to adapt to changing environments, by mediating growth, development, nutrient allocation, and source/sink transitions. Although ABA is the most studied stress-responsive hormone, the role of cytokinins, brassinosteroids, and auxins during environmental stress is emerging. Recent evidence indicated that plant hormones are involved in multiple processes. Cross-talk between the different plant hormones results in synergetic or antagonic interactions that play crucial roles in response of plants to abiotic stress. The characterization of the molecular mechanisms regulating hormone synthesis, signaling, and action are facilitating the modification of hormone biosynthetic pathways for the generation of transgenic crop plants with enhanced abiotic stress tolerance. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Rationalising vitamin B6 biofortification in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Fudge, Jared; Mangel, Nathalie; Gruissem, Wilhelm; Vanderschuren, Hervé; Fitzpatrick, Teresa B

    2017-04-01

    Vitamin B 6 encompasses a group of related compounds (vitamers) that can only be biosynthesised de novo by plants and microorganisms. Enzymatic cofactor and antioxidant functions for vitamin B 6 are established in all kingdoms. Human vitamin B 6 dietary insufficiency or genetic defects in B 6 vitamer interconversion result in various neurological and inflammatory pathologies with several populations at-risk or marginal for vitamin B 6 status. Three (rice, wheat and cassava) of the world's top five staple crops do not meet the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin B 6 , when consumed as a major proportion of the diet. In addition, controlled enhancement of the appropriate B 6 vitamer in crops has the potential to confer stress resistance. Thus, crop biofortification strategies represent an opportunity to reduce the risk of deficiency in populations with limited diet diversity and quality, as well as improving stress tolerance. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Distinguishing succulent plants from crop and woody plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gausman, H. W.; Escobar, D. E.; Everitt, J. H.; Richardson, A. J.; Rodriguez, R. R.

    1978-01-01

    We compared laboratory spectrophotometrically measured leaf reflectances of six succulents (peperomia, possum-grape, prickly pear, spiderwort, Texas tuberose, wolfberry) with those of four nonsucculents (cenizo, honey mesquite, cotton, sugarcane) for plant species discrimination. Succulents (average leaf water content of 92.2 percent) could be distinguished from nonsucculents (average leaf water content of 71.2 percent) within the near-infrared water absorption waveband (1.35 to 2.5 microns). This was substantiated by field spectrophotometric reflectances of plant canopies. Sensor bands encompassing either the 1.6- or 2.2-wavelengths may be useful to distinguish succulent from nonsucculent plant species.

  13. Time interval between cover crop termination and planting influences corn seedling disease, plant growth, and yield

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Experiments were established in controlled and field environment to evaluate the effect of time intervals between cereal rye cover crop termination and corn planting on corn seedling disease, corn growth, and grain yield in 2014 and 2015. Rye termination dates ranged from 25 days before planting (DB...

  14. 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...

  15. Plant-herbivore and plant-pollinator interactions of the developing perennial oilseed crop, Silphium integrifolium

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Sampling in Kansas and North Dakota documented the plant-herbivore and plant-pollinator interactions of the developing perennial oilseed crop, Silphium integrifolium Michx. The larva of the tortricid moth, Eucosma giganteana (Riley), was the most common floret- and seed-feeding pest in Kansas, with ...

  16. Not all GMOs are crop plants: non-plant GMO applications in agriculture

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    In the time since the tools of modern biotechnology have become available, the most commonly applied and often discussed genetically modified organisms are genetically modified crop plants, although genetic engineering is also being used successfully in organisms other than plants, including bacteri...

  17. Rhizosphere Microbiomes Modulated by Pre-crops Assisted Plants in Defense Against Plant-Parasitic Nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Elhady, Ahmed; Adss, Shimaa; Hallmann, Johannes; Heuer, Holger

    2018-01-01

    Plant-parasitic nematodes cause considerable damage to crop plants. The rhizosphere microbiome can affect invasion and reproductive success of plant-parasitic nematodes, thus affecting plant damage. In this study, we investigated how the transplanted rhizosphere microbiome from different crops affect plant-parasitic nematodes on soybean or tomato, and whether the plant’s own microbiome from the rhizosphere protects it better than the microbiome from fallow soil. Soybean plants growing in sterilized substrate were inoculated with the microbiome extracted from the rhizosphere of soybean, maize, or tomato. Controls were inoculated with extracts from bulk soil, or not inoculated. After the microbiome was established, the root lesion nematode Pratylenchus penetrans was added. Root invasion of P. penetrans was significantly reduced on soybean plants inoculated with the microbiome from maize or soybean compared to tomato or bulk soil, or the uninoculated control. In the analogous experiment with tomato plants inoculated with either P. penetrans or the root knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita, the rhizosphere microbiomes of maize and tomato reduced root invasion by P. penetrans and M. incognita compared to microbiomes from soybean or bulk soil. Reproduction of M. incognita on tomato followed the same trend, and it was best suppressed by the tomato rhizosphere microbiome. In split-root experiments with soybean and tomato plants, a systemic effect of the inoculated rhizosphere microbiomes on root invasion of P. penetrans was shown. Furthermore, some transplanted microbiomes slightly enhanced plant growth compared to uninoculated plants. The microbiomes from maize rhizosphere and bulk soil increased the fresh weights of roots and shoots of soybean plants, and microbiomes from soybean rhizosphere and bulk soil increased the fresh weights of roots and shoots of tomato plants. Nematode invasion did not affect plant growth in these short-term experiments. In conclusion, this

  18. Plant growth promotion in cereal and leguminous agricultural important plants: from microorganism capacities to crop production.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Montaño, F; Alías-Villegas, C; Bellogín, R A; del Cerro, P; Espuny, M R; Jiménez-Guerrero, I; López-Baena, F J; Ollero, F J; Cubo, T

    2014-01-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are free-living bacteria which actively colonize plant roots, exerting beneficial effects on plant development. The PGPR may (i) promote the plant growth either by using their own metabolism (solubilizing phosphates, producing hormones or fixing nitrogen) or directly affecting the plant metabolism (increasing the uptake of water and minerals), enhancing root development, increasing the enzymatic activity of the plant or "helping" other beneficial microorganisms to enhance their action on the plants; (ii) or may promote the plant growth by suppressing plant pathogens. These abilities are of great agriculture importance in terms of improving soil fertility and crop yield, thus reducing the negative impact of chemical fertilizers on the environment. The progress in the last decade in using PGPR in a variety of plants (maize, rice, wheat, soybean and bean) along with their mechanism of action are summarized and discussed here. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  19. A future scenario of the global regulatory landscape regarding genome-edited crops

    PubMed Central

    Araki, Motoko

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The global agricultural landscape regarding the commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops is mosaic. Meanwhile, a new plant breeding technique, genome editing is expected to make genetic engineering-mediated crop breeding more socially acceptable because it can be used to develop crop varieties without introducing transgenes, which have hampered the regulatory review and public acceptance of GM crops. The present study revealed that product- and process-based concepts have been implemented to regulate GM crops in 30 countries. Moreover, this study analyzed the regulatory responses to genome-edited crops in the USA, Argentina, Sweden and New Zealand. The findings suggested that countries will likely be divided in their policies on genome-edited crops: Some will deregulate transgene-free crops, while others will regulate all types of crops that have been modified by genome editing. These implications are discussed from the viewpoint of public acceptance. PMID:27960622

  20. Suitability of non-lethal marker and marker-free systems for development of transgenic crop plants: present status and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Manimaran, P; Ramkumar, G; Sakthivel, K; Sundaram, R M; Madhav, M S; Balachandran, S M

    2011-01-01

    Genetically modified crops are one of the prudent options for enhancing the production and productivity of crop plants by safeguarding from the losses due to biotic and abiotic stresses. Agrobacterium-mediated and biolistic transformation methods are used to develop transgenic crop plants in which selectable marker genes (SMG) are generally deployed to identify 'true' transformants. The commonly used SMG obtained from prokaryotic sources when employed in transgenic plants pose risks due to their lethal nature during selection process. In the recent past, some non-lethal SMGs have been identified and used for selection of transformants with increased precision and high selection efficiency. Considering the concerns related to bio-safety of the environment, it is desirable to remove the SMG in order to maximize the commercial success through wide adoption and public acceptance of genetically modified (GM) food crops. In this review, we examine the availability, and the suitability of wide range of non-lethal selection markers and elimination of SMG methods to develop marker-free transgenics for achieving global food security. As the strategies for marker-free plants are still in proof-of-concept stage, adaptation of new genomics tools for identification of novel non-lethal marker systems and its application for developing marker-free transgenics would further strengthen the crop improvement program. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Fungal Plant Pathogens Associated with Emerging Crops in North America: An Emerging Challenge for Plant Health Professionals

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    'Emerging crops' is a term typically applied to ethnic food plants, or plants used in traditional or ethnic medicine, some of which are becoming viable niche markets in North America. Information on crop protection of these plants is often scarce to lacking. Literature providing information on diagn...

  2. Climate driven crop planting date in the ACME Land Model (ALM): Impacts on productivity and yield

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drewniak, B.

    2017-12-01

    Climate is one of the key drivers of crop suitability and productivity in a region. The influence of climate and weather on the growing season determine the amount of time crops spend in each growth phase, which in turn impacts productivity and, more importantly, yields. Planting date can have a strong influence on yields with earlier planting generally resulting in higher yields, a sensitivity that is also present in some crop models. Furthermore, planting date is already changing and may continue, especially if longer growing seasons caused by future climate change drive early (or late) planting decisions. Crop models need an accurate method to predict plant date to allow these models to: 1) capture changes in crop management to adapt to climate change, 2) accurately model the timing of crop phenology, and 3) improve crop simulated influences on carbon, nutrient, energy, and water cycles. Previous studies have used climate as a predictor for planting date. Climate as a plant date predictor has more advantages than fixed plant dates. For example, crop expansion and other changes in land use (e.g., due to changing temperature conditions), can be accommodated without additional model inputs. As such, a new methodology to implement a predictive planting date based on climate inputs is added to the Accelerated Climate Model for Energy (ACME) Land Model (ALM). The model considers two main sources of climate data important for planting: precipitation and temperature. This method expands the current temperature threshold planting trigger and improves the estimated plant date in ALM. Furthermore, the precipitation metric for planting, which synchronizes the crop growing season with the wettest months, allows tropical crops to be introduced to the model. This presentation will demonstrate how the improved model enhances the ability of ALM to capture planting date compared with observations. More importantly, the impact of changing the planting date and introducing tropical

  3. Assuring the safety of genetically modified (GM) foods: the importance of an holistic, integrative approach.

    PubMed

    Cockburn, Andrew

    2002-09-11

    Genes change continuously by natural mutation and recombination enabling man to select and breed crops having the most desirable traits such as yield or flavour. Genetic modification (GM) is a recent development which allows specific genes to be identified, isolated, copied and inserted into other plants with a high level of specificity. The food safety considerations for GM crops are basically the same as those arising from conventionally bred crops, very few of which have been subject to any testing yet are generally regarded as being safe to eat. In contrast a rigorous safety testing paradigm has been developed for GM crops, which utilises a systematic, stepwise and holistic approach. The resultant science based process, focuses on a classical evaluation of the toxic potential of the introduced novel trait and the wholesomeness of the transformed crop. In addition, detailed consideration is given to the history and safe use of the parent crop as well as that of the gene donor. The overall safety evaluation is conducted under the concept known as substantial equivalence which is enshrined in all international crop biotechnology guidelines. This provides the framework for a comparative approach to identify the similarities and differences between the GM product and its comparator which has a known history of safe use. By building a detailed profile on each step in the transformation process, from parent to new crop, and by thoroughly evaluating the significance from a safety perspective, of any differences that may be detected, a very comprehensive matrix of information is constructed which enables the conclusion as to whether the GM crop, derived food or feed is as safe as its traditional counterpart. Using this approach in the evaluation of more than 50 GM crops which have been approved worldwide, the conclusion has been that foods and feeds derived from genetically modified crops are as safe and nutritious as those derived from traditional crops. The lack of

  4. Abscisic Acid and Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop Plants

    PubMed Central

    Sah, Saroj K.; Reddy, Kambham R.; Li, Jiaxu

    2016-01-01

    Abiotic stress is a primary threat to fulfill the demand of agricultural production to feed the world in coming decades. Plants reduce growth and development process during stress conditions, which ultimately affect the yield. In stress conditions, plants develop various stress mechanism to face the magnitude of stress challenges, although that is not enough to protect them. Therefore, many strategies have been used to produce abiotic stress tolerance crop plants, among them, abscisic acid (ABA) phytohormone engineering could be one of the methods of choice. ABA is an isoprenoid phytohormone, which regulates various physiological processes ranging from stomatal opening to protein storage and provides adaptation to many stresses like drought, salt, and cold stresses. ABA is also called an important messenger that acts as the signaling mediator for regulating the adaptive response of plants to different environmental stress conditions. In this review, we will discuss the role of ABA in response to abiotic stress at the molecular level and ABA signaling. The review also deals with the effect of ABA in respect to gene expression. PMID:27200044

  5. Crop Registration: The Pathway to Public Access of Plant Genetic Materials to Build Crops for the Future

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Starting as Crop Science Registrations in the American Journal of the Society of Agronomy in 1926, and continuing 80+ years later in the Journal of Plant Registrations, 11,241 plant cultivars, germplasm, parental lines, genetic stocks and mapping populations have been registered as of December 31, 2...

  6. Next biotech plants: new traits, crops, developers and technologies for addressing global challenges.

    PubMed

    Ricroch, Agnès E; Hénard-Damave, Marie-Cécile

    2016-08-01

    Most of the genetically modified (GM) plants currently commercialized encompass a handful of crop species (soybean, corn, cotton and canola) with agronomic characters (traits) directed against some biotic stresses (pest resistance, herbicide tolerance or both) and created by multinational companies. The same crops with agronomic traits already on the market today will continue to be commercialized, but there will be also a wider range of species with combined traits. The timeframe anticipated for market release of the next biotech plants will not only depend on science progress in research and development (R&D) in laboratories and fields, but also primarily on how demanding regulatory requirements are in countries where marketing approvals are pending. Regulatory constraints, including environmental and health impact assessments, have increased significantly in the past decades, delaying approvals and increasing their costs. This has sometimes discouraged public research entities and small and medium size plant breeding companies from using biotechnology and given preference to other technologies, not as stringently regulated. Nevertheless, R&D programs are flourishing in developing countries, boosted by the necessity to meet the global challenges that are food security of a booming world population while mitigating climate change impacts. Biotechnology is an instrument at the service of these imperatives and a wide variety of plants are currently tested for their high yield despite biotic and abiotic stresses. Many plants with higher water or nitrogen use efficiency, tolerant to cold, salinity or water submergence are being developed. Food security is not only a question of quantity but also of quality of agricultural and food products, to be available and accessible for the ones who need it the most. Many biotech plants (especially staple food) are therefore being developed with nutritional traits, such as biofortification in vitamins and metals. The main

  7. Not all GMOs are crop plants: non-plant GMO applications in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Hokanson, K E; Dawson, W O; Handler, A M; Schetelig, M F; St Leger, R J

    2014-12-01

    Since tools of modern biotechnology have become available, the most commonly applied and often discussed genetically modified organisms are genetically modified crop plants, although genetic engineering is also being used successfully in organisms other than plants, including bacteria, fungi, insects, and viruses. Many of these organisms, as with crop plants, are being engineered for applications in agriculture, to control plant insect pests or diseases. This paper reviews the genetically modified non-plant organisms that have been the subject of permit approvals for environmental release by the United States Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service since the US began regulating genetically modified organisms. This is an indication of the breadth and progress of research in the area of non-plant genetically modified organisms. This review includes three examples of promising research on non-plant genetically modified organisms for application in agriculture: (1) insects for insect pest control using improved vector systems; (2) fungal pathogens of insects to control insect pests; and (3) virus for use as transient-expression vectors for disease control in plants.

  8. GmDREB1 overexpression affects the expression of microRNAs in GM wheat seeds

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Fengjuan; Hu, Zheng; Chen, Rui; Zhang, Hui

    2017-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small regulators of gene expression that act on many different molecular and biochemical processes in eukaryotes. To date, miRNAs have not been considered in the current evaluation system for GM crops. In this study, small RNAs from the dry seeds of a GM wheat line overexpressing GmDREB1 and non-GM wheat cultivars were investigated using deep sequencing technology and bioinformatic approaches. As a result, 23 differentially expressed miRNAs in dry seeds were identified and confirmed between GM wheat and a non-GM acceptor. Notably, more differentially expressed tae-miRNAs between non-GM wheat varieties were found, indicating that the degree of variance between non-GM cultivars was considerably higher than that induced by the transgenic event. Most of the target genes of these differentially expressed miRNAs between GM wheat and a non-GM acceptor were associated with abiotic stress, in accordance with the product concept of GM wheat in improving drought and salt tolerance. Our data provided useful information and insights into the evaluation of miRNA expression in edible GM crops. PMID:28459812

  9. GmDREB1 overexpression affects the expression of microRNAs in GM wheat seeds.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Qiyan; Sun, Xianjun; Niu, Fengjuan; Hu, Zheng; Chen, Rui; Zhang, Hui

    2017-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small regulators of gene expression that act on many different molecular and biochemical processes in eukaryotes. To date, miRNAs have not been considered in the current evaluation system for GM crops. In this study, small RNAs from the dry seeds of a GM wheat line overexpressing GmDREB1 and non-GM wheat cultivars were investigated using deep sequencing technology and bioinformatic approaches. As a result, 23 differentially expressed miRNAs in dry seeds were identified and confirmed between GM wheat and a non-GM acceptor. Notably, more differentially expressed tae-miRNAs between non-GM wheat varieties were found, indicating that the degree of variance between non-GM cultivars was considerably higher than that induced by the transgenic event. Most of the target genes of these differentially expressed miRNAs between GM wheat and a non-GM acceptor were associated with abiotic stress, in accordance with the product concept of GM wheat in improving drought and salt tolerance. Our data provided useful information and insights into the evaluation of miRNA expression in edible GM crops.

  10. The release of genetically modified crops into the environment. Part II. Overview of ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Conner, Anthony J; Glare, Travis R; Nap, Jan-Peter

    2003-01-01

    Despite numerous future promises, there is a multitude of concerns about the impact of GM crops on the environment. Key issues in the environmental assessment of GM crops are putative invasiveness, vertical or horizontal gene flow, other ecological impacts, effects on biodiversity and the impact of presence of GM material in other products. These are all highly interdisciplinary and complex issues. A crucial component for a proper assessment is defining the appropriate baseline for comparison and decision. For GM crops, the best and most appropriately defined reference point is the impact of plants developed by traditional breeding. The latter is an integral and accepted part of agriculture. In many instances, the putative impacts identified for GM crops are very similar to the impacts of new cultivars derived from traditional breeding. When assessing GM crops relative to existing cultivars, the increased knowledge base underpinning the development of GM crops will provide greater confidence in the assurances plant science can give on the risks of releasing such crops.

  11. Orgenic plants: gene-manipulated plants compatible with organic farming.

    PubMed

    Ryffel, Gerhart U

    2012-11-01

    Based on recent advances in plant gene technology, I propose to develop a new category of GM plants, orgenic plants, that are compatible with organic farming. These orgenic plants do not contain herbicide resistance genes to avoid herbicide application in agriculture. Furthermore, they either contain genes that are naturally exchanged between species, or are sterile to avoid outcrossing if they received a transgene from a different species. These GM plants are likely to be acceptable to most skeptics of GM plants and facilitate the use of innovative new crops. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  12. Cura Annonae-Chemically Boosting Crop Yields Through Metabolic Feeding of a Plant Signaling Precursor.

    PubMed

    Vocadlo, David J

    2017-05-22

    The cream of the crop: With the world facing a projected shortfall of crops by 2050, new approaches are needed to boost crop yields. Metabolic feeding of plants with photocaged trehalose-6-phosphate (Tre6P) can increase levels of the signaling metabolite Tre6P in the plant. Reprogramming of cellular metabolism by Tre6P stimulates a program of plant growth and enhanced crop yields, while boosting starch content. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  13. 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.

  14. The world of "GM-free".

    PubMed

    Moses, Vivian; Brookes, Graham

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Tencalla, Francesca

    2006-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  17. Overexpression of a GmGBP1 ortholog of soybean enhances the responses to flowering, stem elongation and heat tolerance in transgenic tobaccos.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lin; Wang, Zhixin; Lu, Qingyao; Wang, Pengpeng; Li, Yongguang; Lv, Qingxue; Song, Xianping; Li, Dongmei; Gu, Yuejiao; Liu, Lixue; Li, Wenbin

    2013-06-01

    Soybean is a typical short-day crop, and its photoperiodic and gibberellin (GA) responses for the control of flowering are critical to seed yield. The GmGBP1 mRNA abundance in leaves was dramatically increased in short-days (SDs) compared to that in long-days in which it was consistently low at all time points from 0 to 6 days (days after transfer to SDs). GmGBP1 was highly expressed in leaves and exhibited a circadian rhythm in SDs. Ectopic overexpression of GmGBP1 in tobaccos caused photoperiod-insensitive early flowering by increasing NtCO mRNA levels. GmGBP1 mRNA abundance was also increased by GAs. Transgenic GmGBP1 overexpressing (-ox) tobacco plants exhibited increased GA signaling-related phenotypes including flowering and plant height promotion. Furthermore, the hypocotyl elongation, early-flowering and longer internode phenotypes were largely accelerated by GA3 application in the GmGBP1-ox tobacco seedlings. Being consistent, overexpression of GmGBP1 resulted in significantly enhanced GA signaling (evidenced suppressed expression of NtGA20ox) both with and without GA treatments. GmGBP1 was a positive regulator of both photoperiod and GA-mediated flowering responses. In addition, GmGBP1-ox tobaccos were hypersensitive to ABA, salt and osmotic stresses during seed germination. Heat-inducible GmGBP1 also enhanced thermotolerance in transgenic GmGBP1-ox tobaccos during seed germination and growth. GmGBP1 protein was localized in the nucleus. Analyses of a series of 5'-deletions of the GmGBP1 promoter suggested that several cis-acting elements, including P-BOX, TCA-motif and three HSE elements necessary to induce gene expression by GA, salicic acid and heat stress, were specifically localized in the GmGBP1 promoter region.

  18. Transgenic, transplastomic and other genetically modified plants: a Canadian perspective.

    PubMed

    Belzile, François J

    2002-11-01

    Since the mid 1990s, genetically modified (GM) crops have been grown commercially in Canada on a scale that has increased steadily over the years. An intense debate ensued, as elsewhere, and many fears were expressed regarding not only the technology itself but some of the main GM crops being grown. It would seem appropriate at this time to examine how these novel crops compare to crops bred by more traditional means and what impacts these GM crops have had based on experience and not merely on conjecture. To begin, we will put things in a historical perspective and recall how domestication and conventional plant breeding have shaped the crops of today. Then, we will describe briefly the distinctive features of GM plants (obtained so far mainly by nuclear transgenesis) and how these novel crops are regulated in Canada. We will then give two examples of widely grown GM crops in Canada (insect-resistant corn and herbicide-tolerant canola) and examine the main questions that were raised as well as the actual impacts these crops have had on the farm. These examples will help us outline some of the limitations of the current generation of GM plants and, finally, we will try to get a glimpse of the future by examining some recent technical developments in the field of recombinant DNA technologies applied to plant breeding.

  19. Cisgenics - A Sustainable Approach for Crop Improvement

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Regulation of Na+ and K+ homeostasis in plants: towards improved salt stress tolerance in crop plants

    PubMed Central

    Almeida, Diego M.; Oliveira, M. Margarida; Saibo, Nelson J. M.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Soil salinity is a major abiotic stress that results in considerable crop yield losses worldwide. However, some plant genotypes show a high tolerance to soil salinity, as they manage to maintain a high K+/Na+ ratio in the cytosol, in contrast to salt stress susceptible genotypes. Although, different plant genotypes show different salt tolerance mechanisms, they all rely on the regulation and function of K+ and Na+ transporters and H+ pumps, which generate the driving force for K+ and Na+ transport. In this review we will introduce salt stress responses in plants and summarize the current knowledge about the most important ion transporters that facilitate intra- and intercellular K+ and Na+ homeostasis in these organisms. We will describe and discuss the regulation and function of the H+-ATPases, H+-PPases, SOS1, HKTs, and NHXs, including the specific tissues where they work and their response to salt stress. PMID:28350038

  2. Measuring host plant selection and retention of Halyomorpha halys by a trap crop

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Trap cropping may exploit a pest’s dispersal behavior and relationship with its hosts in order to protect a desired crop. Here, we used a combination of visual sampling, immunomarking, and harmonic radar to assess host plant selection and retention time of the highly mobile and invasive Halyomorpha...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  4. Forage radish winter cover crop suppresses winter annual weeds in fall and before corn planting

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Forage radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. longipinnatus) is a new winter cover crop in the Mid-Atlantic region. The objective of this project was to characterize the repeatability, amount, and duration of weed suppression during and after a fall-planted forage radish cover crop and to quantify the sub...

  5. Introduction to Grassland Management. Instructor Guide, Student Reference [and] Crop and Grassland Plant Identification Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Suits, Susie

    This packet contains an Instructor guide and student reference for a course in introduction to grassland management, as well as a crop and grassland plant identification manual. The three-unit curriculum contains the following 11 lessons: (unit I, grasslands and grassland plants): (1) an introduction to grasslands; (2) plant classification; (3)…

  6. Expansion of mass-flowering crops leads to transient pollinator dilution and reduced wild plant pollination

    PubMed Central

    Holzschuh, Andrea; Dormann, Carsten F.; Tscharntke, Teja; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2011-01-01

    Agricultural land use results in direct biodiversity decline through loss of natural habitat, but may also cause indirect cross-habitat effects on conservation areas. We conducted three landscape-scale field studies on 67 sites to test the hypothesis that mass flowering of oilseed rape (Brassica napus) results in a transient dilution of bees in crop fields, and in increased competition between crop plants and grassland plants for pollinators. Abundances of bumble-bees, which are the main pollinators of the grassland plant Primula veris, but also pollinate oilseed rape (OSR), decreased with increasing amount of OSR. This landscape-scale dilution affected bumble-bee abundances strongly in OSR fields and marginally in grasslands, where bumble-bee abundances were generally low at the time of Primula flowering. Seed set of Primula veris, which flowers during OSR bloom, was reduced by 20 per cent when the amount of OSR within 1 km radius increased from 0 to 15 per cent. Hence, the current expansion of bee-attractive biofuel crops results in transient dilution of crop pollinators, which means an increased competition for pollinators between crops and wild plants. In conclusion, mass-flowering crops potentially threaten fitness of concurrently flowering wild plants in conservation areas, despite the fact that, in the long run, mass-flowering crops can enhance abundances of generalist pollinators and their pollination service. PMID:21471115

  7. GM organisms and the EU regulatory environment: allergenicity as a risk component.

    PubMed

    Davies, Howard V

    2005-11-01

    The European Food Safety Authority, following a request from the European Commission, has published a guidance document for the risk assessment of GM plants and derived food and feed to assist in the implementation of provisions of Regulation (EC) 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and Council on GM food and feed. This regulation has applied since 18 April 2004. In principle, hazard identification and characterisation of GM crops is conducted in four steps: characterisation of the parent crop and any hazards associated with it; characterisation of the transformation process and of the inserted recombinant DNA, including an assessment of the possible production of new fusion proteins or allergens; assessment of the introduced proteins (toxicity, allergenicity) and metabolites; identification of any other targetted and unexpected alterations in the GM crop, including changes in the plant metabolism resulting in compositional changes and assessment of their toxicological, allergenic or nutritional impact. In relation to allergenicity specifically, it is clear that this property of a given protein is not intrinsic and fully predictable but is a biological activity requiring an interaction with individuals with a predisposed genetic background. Allergenicity, therefore, depends on the genetic diversity and variability in atopic human subjects. Given this lack of complete predictability it is necessary to obtain, from several steps in the risk-assessment process, a cumulative body of evidence that minimises any uncertainty about the protein(s) in question.

  8. 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.

  9. Recommendations from the workshop on Comparative Approaches to Safety Assessment of GM Plant Materials: A road toward harmonized criteria?

    PubMed Central

    Bartholomaeus, Andrew; Batista, Juan Carlos; Burachik, Moisés; Parrott, Wayne

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT An international meeting of genetically modified (GM) food safety assessors from the main importing and exporting countries from Asia and the Americas was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, between June 26th and 28th, 2013. Participants shared their evaluation approaches, identified similarities and challenges, and used their experience to propose areas for future work. Recommendations for improving risk assessment procedures and avenues for future collaboration were also discussed. The deliberations of the meeting were also supported by a survey of participants which canvassed risk assessment approaches across the regions from which participants came. This project was initiated by Argentine Agri-Food Health and Quality National Service (SENASA, Ministry of Agriculture, Argentina), with the support of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) and other partner institutions. The importance of making all possible efforts toward more integrated and harmonized regulatory oversight for GM organisms (GMOs) was strongly emphasized. This exercise showed that such harmonization is a feasible goal that would contribute to sustain a fluid trade of commodities and ultimately enhance food security. Before this can be achieved, key issues identified in this meeting will have to be addressed in the near future to enable regulatory collaboration or joint work. The authors propose that the recommendations coming out of the meeting should be used as a basis for continuing work, follow up discussions and concrete actions. PMID:25706477

  10. Recommendations from the workshop on Comparative Approaches to Safety Assessment of GM Plant Materials: A road toward harmonized criteria?

    PubMed

    Bartholomaeus, Andrew; Batista, Juan Carlos; Burachik, Moisés; Parrott, Wayne

    2015-01-01

    An international meeting of genetically modified (GM) food safety assessors from the main importing and exporting countries from Asia and the Americas was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, between June 26(th) and 28(th), 2013. Participants shared their evaluation approaches, identified similarities and challenges, and used their experience to propose areas for future work. Recommendations for improving risk assessment procedures and avenues for future collaboration were also discussed. The deliberations of the meeting were also supported by a survey of participants which canvassed risk assessment approaches across the regions from which participants came. This project was initiated by Argentine Agri-Food Health and Quality National Service (SENASA, Ministry of Agriculture, Argentina), with the support of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) and other partner institutions. The importance of making all possible efforts toward more integrated and harmonized regulatory oversight for GM organisms (GMOs) was strongly emphasized. This exercise showed that such harmonization is a feasible goal that would contribute to sustain a fluid trade of commodities and ultimately enhance food security. Before this can be achieved, key issues identified in this meeting will have to be addressed in the near future to enable regulatory collaboration or joint work. The authors propose that the recommendations coming out of the meeting should be used as a basis for continuing work, follow up discussions and concrete actions.

  11. Irrigation and Maize Cultivation Erode Plant Diversity Within Crops in Mediterranean Dry Cereal Agro-Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Fagúndez, Jaime; Olea, Pedro P; Tejedo, Pablo; Mateo-Tomás, Patricia; Gómez, David

    2016-07-01

    The intensification of agriculture has increased production at the cost of environment and biodiversity worldwide. To increase crop yield in dry cereal systems, vast farmland areas of high conservation value are being converted into irrigation, especially in Mediterranean countries. We analyze the effect of irrigation-driven changes on the farm biota by comparing species diversity, community composition, and species traits of arable plants within crop fields from two contrasting farming systems (dry and irrigated) in Spain. We sampled plant species within 80 fields of dry wheat, irrigated wheat, and maize (only cultivated under irrigation). Wheat crops held higher landscape and per field species richness, and beta diversity than maize. Within the same type of crop, irrigated wheat hosted lower plant diversity than dry wheat at both field and landscape scales. Floristic composition differed between crop types, with higher frequencies of perennials, cosmopolitan, exotic, wind-pollinated and C4 species in maize. Our results suggest that irrigation projects, that transform large areas of dry cereal agro-ecosystems into irrigated crop systems dominated by maize, erode plant diversity. An adequate planning on the type and proportion of crops used in the irrigated agro-ecosystems is needed in order to balance agriculture production and biodiversity conservation.

  12. Variation block-based genomics method for crop plants.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yul Ho; Park, Hyang Mi; Hwang, Tae-Young; Lee, Seuk Ki; Choi, Man Soo; Jho, Sungwoong; Hwang, Seungwoo; Kim, Hak-Min; Lee, Dongwoo; Kim, Byoung-Chul; Hong, Chang Pyo; Cho, Yun Sung; Kim, Hyunmin; Jeong, Kwang Ho; Seo, Min Jung; Yun, Hong Tai; Kim, Sun Lim; Kwon, Young-Up; Kim, Wook Han; Chun, Hye Kyung; Lim, Sang Jong; Shin, Young-Ah; Choi, Ik-Young; Kim, Young Sun; Yoon, Ho-Sung; Lee, Suk-Ha; Lee, Sunghoon

    2014-06-15

    In contrast with wild species, cultivated crop genomes consist of reshuffled recombination blocks, which occurred by crossing and selection processes. Accordingly, recombination block-based genomics analysis can be an effective approach for the screening of target loci for agricultural traits. We propose the variation block method, which is a three-step process for recombination block detection and comparison. The first step is to detect variations by comparing the short-read DNA sequences of the cultivar to the reference genome of the target crop. Next, sequence blocks with variation patterns are examined and defined. The boundaries between the variation-containing sequence blocks are regarded as recombination sites. All the assumed recombination sites in the cultivar set are used to split the genomes, and the resulting sequence regions are termed variation blocks. Finally, the genomes are compared using the variation blocks. The variation block method identified recurring recombination blocks accurately and successfully represented block-level diversities in the publicly available genomes of 31 soybean and 23 rice accessions. The practicality of this approach was demonstrated by the identification of a putative locus determining soybean hilum color. We suggest that the variation block method is an efficient genomics method for the recombination block-level comparison of crop genomes. We expect that this method will facilitate the development of crop genomics by bringing genomics technologies to the field of crop breeding.

  13. Understanding plant response to nitrogen limitation for the improvement of crop nitrogen use efficiency.

    PubMed

    Kant, Surya; Bi, Yong-Mei; Rothstein, Steven J

    2011-02-01

    Development of genetic varieties with improved nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is essential for sustainable agriculture. Generally, NUE can be divided into two parts. First, assimilation efficiency involves nitrogen (N) uptake and assimilation and second utilization efficiency involves N remobilization. Understanding the mechanisms regulating these processes is crucial for the improvement of NUE in crop plants. One important approach is to develop an understanding of the plant response to different N regimes, especially to N limitation, using various methods including transcription profiling, analysing mutants defective in their normal response to N limitation, and studying plants that show better growth under N-limiting conditions. One can then attempt to improve NUE in crop plants using the knowledge gained from these studies. There are several potential genetic and molecular approaches for the improvement of crop NUE discussed in this review. Increased knowledge of how plants respond to different N levels as well as to other environmental conditions is required to achieve this.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Increasing plant diversity with border crops reduces insecticide use and increases crop yield in urban agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Yan-Jun; Ji, Xiang-Yun; Wu, Xiang-Wen; Zheng, Xiang-Rong; Cheng, Wei; Li, Jun; Jiang, Yao-Pei; Chen, Xin; Weiner, Jacob; Nie, Ming; Ju, Rui-Ting; Yuan, Tao; Tang, Jian-Jun; Tian, Wei-Dong; Zhang, Hao

    2018-01-01

    Urban agriculture is making an increasing contribution to food security in large cities around the world. The potential contribution of biodiversity to ecological intensification in urban agricultural systems has not been investigated. We present monitoring data collected from rice fields in 34 community farms in mega-urban Shanghai, China, from 2001 to 2015, and show that the presence of a border crop of soybeans and neighboring crops (maize, eggplant and Chinese cabbage), both without weed control, increased invertebrate predator abundance, decreased the abundance of pests and dependence on insecticides, and increased grain yield and economic profits. Two 2 year randomized experiments with the low and high diversity practices in the same locations confirmed these results. Our study shows that diversifying farming practices can make an important contribution to ecological intensification and the sustainable use of associated ecosystem services in an urban ecosystem. PMID:29792597

  17. Increasing plant diversity with border crops reduces insecticide use and increases crop yield in urban agriculture.

    PubMed

    Wan, Nian-Feng; Cai, You-Ming; Shen, Yan-Jun; Ji, Xiang-Yun; Wu, Xiang-Wen; Zheng, Xiang-Rong; Cheng, Wei; Li, Jun; Jiang, Yao-Pei; Chen, Xin; Weiner, Jacob; Jiang, Jie-Xian; Nie, Ming; Ju, Rui-Ting; Yuan, Tao; Tang, Jian-Jun; Tian, Wei-Dong; Zhang, Hao; Li, Bo

    2018-05-24

    Urban agriculture is making an increasing contribution to food security in large cities around the world. The potential contribution of biodiversity to ecological intensification in urban agricultural systems has not been investigated. We present monitoring data collected from rice fields in 34 community farms in mega-urban Shanghai, China, from 2001 to 2015, and show that the presence of a border crop of soybeans and neighboring crops (maize, eggplant and Chinese cabbage), both without weed control, increased invertebrate predator abundance, decreased the abundance of pests and dependence on insecticides, and increased grain yield and economic profits. Two 2 year randomized experiments with the low and high diversity practices in the same locations confirmed these results. Our study shows that diversifying farming practices can make an important contribution to ecological intensification and the sustainable use of associated ecosystem services in an urban ecosystem. © 2018, Wan et al.

  18. Dynamics of plant nutrients, utilization and uptake, and soil microbial community in crops under ambient and elevated carbon dioxide

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    In natural settings such as under field conditions, the plant available soil nutrients in conjunction with other environmental factors such as, solar radiation, temperature, precipitation, and atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration determine crop adaptation and productivity. Therefore, crop...

  19. Utilization of urea, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate by crop plants in a Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huffaker, R. C.; Rains, D. W.; Qualset, C. O.

    1982-01-01

    The utilization of nitrogen compounds by crop plants is studied. The selection of crop varieties for efficient production using urea, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and the assimilation of mixed nitrogen sources by cereal leaves and roots are discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-21

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Food safety assessment of planting patterns of four vegetable-type crops grown in soil contaminated by electronic waste activities.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ling; Hu, Liangliang; Tang, Jianjun; Li, Yuefang; Zhang, Qian; Chen, Xin

    2012-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted to assess the effect of crop and planting pattern on levels of cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), and copper (Cu) in crops grown in soil contaminated by electronic waste. The crops were maize (Zea mays L. var. Shentian-1), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L. var. Zhongshu-4), cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. Jingfeng-1), and pakchoi (Brassica chinensis (L.) Makino. var. Youdonger-Hangzhou). The planting patterns were crop monoculture, crop co-planted with a legume, and crop co-planted with another crop. Metal concentrations in the edible parts of the crops varied with types of metals and crops. Pb concentration was higher in leafy vegetables (cabbage and pakchoi) than in maize or tomato, Cd concentration was higher in tomato and pakchoi than in maize or cabbage, and Cu concentration was higher in maize and pakchoi than in tomato or cabbage. Metal concentrations in the edible part were also influenced by planting pattern. Relative to monoculture, co-planting and especially co-planting with Japanese clover tended to decrease Pb accumulation and increase Cd accumulation. According to the maximum permissible concentration (MPC) standard of the National Standard Agency in China, only maize (under all planting patterns) could be safely consumed. Because co-planting tended to increase Cd accumulation even in maize, however, the results suggest that maize monoculture is the optimal crop and planting pattern for this kind of contaminated soil. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. High concentrations of protein test substances may have non-toxic effects on Daphnia magna: implications for regulatory study designs and ecological risk assessments for GM crops.

    PubMed

    Raybould, Alan; Burns, Andrea; Hamer, Mick

    2014-01-01

    Laboratory testing for possible adverse effects of insecticidal proteins on non-target organisms (NTOs) is an important part of many ecological risk assessments for regulatory decision-making about the cultivation of insect-resistant genetically modified (IRGM) crops. To increase confidence in the risk assessments, regulatory guidelines for effects testing specify that representative surrogate species for NTOs are exposed to concentrations of insecticidal proteins that are in excess of worst-case predicted exposures in the field. High concentrations in effects tests are achieved by using protein test substances produced in microbes, such as Escherichia coli. In a study that exposed Daphnia magna to a single high concentration of a microbial test substance containing Vip3Aa20, the insecticidal protein in MIR162 maize, small reductions in growth were observed. These effects were surprising as many other studies strongly suggest that the activity of Vip3Aa20 is limited to Lepidoptera. A plausible explanation for the effect on growth is that high concentrations of test substance have a non-toxic effect on Daphnia, perhaps by reducing its feeding rate. A follow-up study tested that hypothesis by exposing D. magna to several concentrations of Vip3Aa20, and a high concentration of a non-toxic protein, bovine serum albumin (BSA). Vip3Aa20 and BSA had sporadic effects on the reproduction and growth of D. magna. The pattern of the effects suggests that they result from non-toxic effects of high concentrations of protein, and not from toxicity. The implications of these results for regulatory NTO effects testing and ERA of IRGM crops are discussed.

  4. Managing Phenol Contents in Crop Plants by Phytochemical Farming and Breeding—Visions and Constraints

    PubMed Central

    Treutter, Dieter

    2010-01-01

    Two main fields of interest form the background of actual demand for optimized levels of phenolic compounds in crop plants. These are human health and plant resistance to pathogens and to biotic and abiotic stress factors. A survey of agricultural technologies influencing the biosynthesis and accumulation of phenolic compounds in crop plants is presented, including observations on the effects of light, temperature, mineral nutrition, water management, grafting, elevated atmospheric CO2, growth and differentiation of the plant and application of elicitors, stimulating agents and plant activators. The underlying mechanisms are discussed with respect to carbohydrate availability, trade-offs to competing demands as well as to regulatory elements. Outlines are given for genetic engineering and plant breeding. Constraints and possible physiological feedbacks are considered for successful and sustainable application of agricultural techniques with respect to management of plant phenol profiles and concentrations. PMID:20479987

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Lab to farm: applying research on plant genetics and genomics to crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Ronald, Pamela C

    2014-06-01

    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.

  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. Estimating plant available water for general crop simulations in ALMANAC/APEX/EPIC/SWAT

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Process-based simulation models ALMANAC/APEX/EPIC/SWAT contain generalized plant growth subroutines to predict biomass and crop yield. Environmental constraints typically restrict plant growth and yield. Water stress is often an important limiting factor; it is calculated as the sum of water use f...

  9. Plant defense activators: applications and prospects in cereal crops

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This review addresses the current understanding of the plant immune response and the molecular mechanisms responsible for systemic acquired resistance as well as the phenomenon of "priming" in plant defense. A detailed discussion of the role of salicylic acid in activating the plant transcription c...

  10. Comparative impact of genetically modified and non modified maize (Zea mays L.) on succeeding crop and associated weed.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Muhammad; Ahmed, Naseer; Ullah, Faizan; Shinwari, Zabta Khan; Bano, Asghari

    2016-04-01

    This research work documents the comparative impact of genetically modified (GM) (insect resistance) and non modified maize (Zea mays L.) on growth and germination of succeeding crop wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and associated weed (Avena fatua L.). The aqueous extracts of both the GM and non-GM maize exhibited higher phenolic content than that of methanolic extracts. Germination percentage and germination index of wheat was significantly decreased by GM methanolic extract (10%) as well as that of non-GM maize at 3% aqueous extract. Similarly germination percentage of weed (Avena fatua L.) was significantly reduced by application of 3% and 5% methanolic GM extracts. All extracts of GM maize showed non-significant effect on the number of roots, root length and shoot length per plant but 5% and 10% methanolic extracts of non-GM maize significantly increased the number of roots per plant of wheat seedling. Similarly, 10% methanolic extract of GM maize significantly increased the number of roots per plant of weed seedling. Methanolic extracts of GM and non-GM maize (3% and 5%) significantly decreased the protease activity in wheat as compared to untreated control. © The Author(s) 2013.

  11. Bt crops: predicting effects of escaped transgenes on the fitness of wild plants and their herbivores.

    PubMed

    Letourneau, Deborah K; Robinson, Gaden S; Hagen, Joy A

    2003-01-01

    One prominent concern about genetically modified crops is the possibility of environmental impacts from the movement of fitness-enhancing traits to wild plant populations. Decisions to deregulate Bt crops in the USA have relied strongly on arguments that these crops will not interbreed with wild relatives in the permitted growing regions. Limited attention therefore has been directed to analyses of the consequences of gene flow. To provide a transparent evaluation process for risks associated with insecticidal transgene escape, we crafted a series of questions designed to guide this aspect of the risk assessment. We then explored the current knowledge base available for answering such risk-related questions for three Bt crops (cotton, rapeseed, and rice). First, we generated a list of wild relatives of these crops. A definitive list of potential transgene recipients is not yet possible for some crops. Sufficient data are not available for some crops to eliminate certain related plant species from consideration of fertile hybrid formation, thus making lists for these crops subject to speculation. Second, we queried the HOSTS database (UK) to obtain a worldwide listing of lepidopteran species that feed on these crops and their wild relatives, and to determine the host range of the larvae. To our knowledge, this list of 502 lepidopteran species is the first such list published for these crops and wild crop relatives. Third, we used a data set maintained by the Canadian Forest Service to assess Bt toxin susceptibility for these lepidopterans. Only 3% of those species have been tested for susceptibility; and the literature suggests that generalizations about susceptibility among taxa are difficult due to the variability within families. Fourth, we consulted the literature to interpret what is known about the ability of lepidopterans to regulate plant fitness or invasiveness. We could not eliminate the possibility of ecological release due to plant resistance against

  12. Evolution of crop production under a pseudo-space environment using model plants, Lotus japonicus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomita-Yokotani, Kaori; Motohashi, Kyohei; Omi, Naomi; Sato, Seigo; Aoki, Toshio; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Yamashita, Masamichi

    Habitation in outer space is one of our challenges. We have been studying space agriculture and/or spacecraft agriculture to provide food and oxygen for the habitation area in the space environment. However, careful investigation should be made concerning the results of exotic environmental effects on the endogenous production of biologically active substances in indi-vidual cultivated plants in a space environment. We have already reported that the production of functional substances in cultivated plants as crops are affected by gravity. The amounts of the main physiological substances in these plants grown under terrestrial control were different from that grown in a pseudo-microgravity. These results suggested that the nutrition would be changed in the plants/crops grown in the space environment when human beings eat in space. This estimation required us to investigate each of the useful components produced by each plant grown in the space environment. These estimations involved several study fields, includ-ing nutrition, plant physiology, etc. On the other hand, the analysis of model plant genomes has recently been remarkably advanced. Lotus japonicus, a leguminous plant, is also one of the model plant. The leguminosae is a large family in the plant vegetable kingdom and almost the entire genome sequence of Lotus japonicus has been determined. Nitrogen fixation would be possible even in a space environment. We are trying to determine the best conditions and evolution for crop production using the model plants.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-08

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

  15. The release of genetically modified crops into the environment. Part I. Overview of current status and regulations.

    PubMed

    Nap, Jan-Peter; Metz, Peter L J; Escaler, Marga; Conner, Anthony J

    2003-01-01

    In the past 6 years, the global area of commercially grown, genetically modified (GM) crops has increased more than 30-fold to over 52 million hectares. The number of countries involved has more than doubled. Especially in developing countries, the GM crop area is anticipated to increase rapidly in the coming years. Despite this high adoption rate and future promises, there is a multitude of concerns about the impact of GM crops on the environment. Regulatory approaches in Europe and North America are essentially different. In the EU, it is based on the process of making GM crops; in the US, on the characteristics of the GM product. Many other countries are in the process of establishing regulation based on either system or a mixture. Despite these differences, the information required for risk assessment tends to be similar. Each risk assessment considers the possibility, probability and consequence of harm on a case-by-case basis. For GM crops, the impact of non-use should be added to this evaluation. It is important that the regulation of risk should not turn into the risk of regulation. The best and most appropriate baseline for comparison when performing risk assessment on GM crops is the impact of plants developed by traditional breeding. The latter is an integral and accepted part of agriculture.

  16. Genome-Wide Identification and Characterization of the GmSnRK2 Family in Soybean

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Wei; Cheng, Yi-Hui; Zhang, Chi; Shen, Xin-Jie; You, Qing-Bo; Guo, Wei; Li, Xiang; Song, Xue-Jiao; Zhou, Xin-An

    2017-01-01

    Sucrose non-fermenting-1 (SNF1)-related protein kinase 2s (SnRK2s) that were reported to be involved in the transduction of abscisic acid (ABA) signaling, play important roles in response to biotic and abiotic stresses in plants. Compared to the systemic investigation of SnRK2s in Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa, little is known regarding SnRK2s in soybean, which is one of the most important oil and protein crops. In the present study, we performed genome-wide identification and characterization of GmSnRK2s in soybean. In summary, 22 GmSnRK2s were identified and clustered into four groups. Phylogenetic analysis indicated the expansion of SnRK2 gene family during the evolution of soybean. Various cis-acting elements such as ABA Response Elements (ABREs) were identified and analyzed in the promoter regions of GmSnRK2s. The results of RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) data for different soybean tissues showed that GmSnRK2s exhibited spatio-temporally specific expression patterns during soybean growth and development. Certain GmSnRK2s could respond to the treatments including salinity, ABA and strigolactones. Our results provide a foundation for the further elucidation of the function of GmSnRK2 genes in soybean. PMID:28832544

  17. Genome-Wide Identification and Characterization of the GmSnRK2 Family in Soybean.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Wei; Cheng, Yi-Hui; Zhang, Chi; Shen, Xin-Jie; You, Qing-Bo; Guo, Wei; Li, Xiang; Song, Xue-Jiao; Zhou, Xin-An; Jiao, Yong-Qing

    2017-08-23

    Sucrose non-fermenting-1 (SNF1)-related protein kinase 2s (SnRK2s) that were reported to be involved in the transduction of abscisic acid (ABA) signaling, play important roles in response to biotic and abiotic stresses in plants. Compared to the systemic investigation of SnRK2s in Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa , little is known regarding SnRK2s in soybean, which is one of the most important oil and protein crops. In the present study, we performed genome-wide identification and characterization of GmSnRK2s in soybean. In summary, 22 GmSnRK2s were identified and clustered into four groups. Phylogenetic analysis indicated the expansion of SnRK2 gene family during the evolution of soybean. Various cis -acting elements such as ABA Response Elements (ABREs) were identified and analyzed in the promoter regions of GmSnRK2s . The results of RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) data for different soybean tissues showed that GmSnRK2s exhibited spatio-temporally specific expression patterns during soybean growth and development. Certain GmSnRK2s could respond to the treatments including salinity, ABA and strigolactones. Our results provide a foundation for the further elucidation of the function of GmSnRK2 genes in soybean.

  18. Single-tube hydroponics as a novel idea for small-scale production of crop seed in a plant incubator.

    PubMed

    Kuroda, Masaharu; Ikenaga, Sachiko

    2015-01-01

    We present a novel protocol for small-scale production of crop seed in a plant incubator termed "Single-tube hydroponics." Our protocol minimizes the materials and methods for cultivation whereby a large number of independent plants can be cultured in a limited space. This study may aid in the improvement of crop seed components, especially in the cultivation of transgenic plants.

  19. Importance of plant integrity in crop research, breeding, and production.

    PubMed

    Bláha, Ladislav; Pazderů, Kateřina

    2013-11-01

    Plant integrity looks like a "very easy and expanded topic," but the reality is totally different. Thanks to the very high specialization of scientists, we are losing a holistic view of plants and are making mistakes in our research due to this drawback. It is necessary to sense a plant in their whole complexity--in both roots and shoot, as well as throughout their life cycles. Only such an integrated approach can allow us to reach correct interpretations of our experimental results.

  20. 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.

  1. Crops in silico: A community wide multi-scale computational modeling framework of plant canopies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srinivasan, V.; Christensen, A.; Borkiewic, K.; Yiwen, X.; Ellis, A.; Panneerselvam, B.; Kannan, K.; Shrivastava, S.; Cox, D.; Hart, J.; Marshall-Colon, A.; Long, S.

    2016-12-01

    Current crop models predict a looming gap between supply and demand for primary foodstuffs over the next 100 years. While significant yield increases were achieved in major food crops during the early years of the green revolution, the current rates of yield increases are insufficient to meet future projected food demand. Furthermore, with projected reduction in arable land, decrease in water availability, and increasing impacts of climate change on future food production, innovative technologies are required to sustainably improve crop yield. To meet these challenges, we are developing Crops in silico (Cis), a biologically informed, multi-scale, computational modeling framework that can facilitate whole plant simulations of crop systems. The Cis framework is capable of linking models of gene networks, protein synthesis, metabolic pathways, physiology, growth, and development in order to investigate crop response to different climate scenarios and resource constraints. This modeling framework will provide the mechanistic details to generate testable hypotheses toward accelerating directed breeding and engineering efforts to increase future food security. A primary objective for building such a framework is to create synergy among an inter-connected community of biologists and modelers to create a realistic virtual plant. This framework advantageously casts the detailed mechanistic understanding of individual plant processes across various scales in a common scalable framework that makes use of current advances in high performance and parallel computing. We are currently designing a user friendly interface that will make this tool equally accessible to biologists and computer scientists. Critically, this framework will provide the community with much needed tools for guiding future crop breeding and engineering, understanding the emergent implications of discoveries at the molecular level for whole plant behavior, and improved prediction of plant and ecosystem

  2. Opinion piece: genomics and crop plant science in Europe.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Steve

    2006-01-01

    Recent report reviews and funding initiatives in the field of plant genomic research are considered in the context of their translation into practical and economic value via plant breeding. It is concluded that there is a deficit in investment and that a change in working styles towards knowledge sharing and connectivity is required.

  3. Abscisic acid and abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    biotic stress is a primary threat to fulfill the demand of agricultural production to feed the world in coming decades. Plants reduce growth and development process during stress conditions, which ultimately affect the yield. In stress conditions, plants develop various stress mechanism to face the ...

  4. Editorial: Plant organ abscission: from models to crops

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The shedding of plant organs is a highly coordinated process essential for both vegetative and reproductive development (Addicott, 1982; Sexton and Roberts, 1982; Roberts et al., 2002; Leslie et al., 2007; Roberts and Gonzalez-Carranza, 2007; Estornell et al., 2013). Research with model plants, name...

  5. GM foods: is there a way forward?

    PubMed

    Jones, Huw D

    2015-08-01

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

  6. Photoreceptor Mediated Plant Growth Responses: Implications for Photoreceptor Engineering toward Improved Performance in Crops

    PubMed Central

    Mawphlang, Ophilia I. L.; Kharshiing, Eros V.

    2017-01-01

    Rising temperatures during growing seasons coupled with altered precipitation rates presents a challenging task of improving crop productivity for overcoming such altered weather patterns and cater to a growing population. Light is a critical environmental factor that exerts a powerful influence on plant growth and development ranging from seed germination to flowering and fruiting. Higher plants utilize a suite of complex photoreceptor proteins to perceive surrounding red/far-red (phytochromes), blue/UV-A (cryptochromes, phototropins, ZTL/FKF1/LKP2), and UV-B light (UVR8). While genomic studies have also shown that light induces extensive reprogramming of gene expression patterns in plants, molecular genetic studies have shown that manipulation of one or more photoreceptors can result in modification of agronomically beneficial traits. Such information can assist researchers to engineer photoreceptors via genome editing technologies to alter expression or even sensitivity thresholds of native photoreceptors for targeting aspects of plant growth that can confer superior agronomic value to the engineered crops. Here we summarize the agronomically important plant growth processes influenced by photoreceptors in crop species, alongwith the functional interactions between different photoreceptors and phytohormones in regulating these responses. We also discuss the potential utility of synthetic biology approaches in photobiology for improving agronomically beneficial traits of crop plants by engineering designer photoreceptors. PMID:28744290

  7. Strategies for coexistence of GM and non-GM soy from import to feed processing.

    PubMed

    Gryson, Nicolas; Eeckhout, Mia; Trouillier, Aurélie; Le Bail, Marianne; Soler, Louis-Georges

    2009-01-01

    Regulations 1829/2003/CE and 1830/2003/CE have allowed the placing on the European market of GM products in food and feed chains, and have defined their rules of traceability and labeling. For some supply chains, like for soy and its derived products that are used in the production of feed, manufacturers have to face both non-GM and GM production, although there are no labeling requirements for animal products derived from animals fed with GMOs. This study presents the strategies of stakeholders involved in the feed production chain to maintain concurrent production of compound feed with GM and non-GM soy products, by dealing with the coexistence between those two crops. The stakeholders include importers, traders, soy processors, feed processors and retailers. The study shows that many tools are in place to ensure and maintain the current coexistence. However, a profound harmonization of procedures and methods at a European level should be encouraged.

  8. Fabrication Of Biogenic Silver Nanoparticles Using Agricultural Crop Plant Leaf Extracts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajani, P.; SriSindhura, K.; Prasad, T. N. V. K. V.; Hussain, O. M.; Sudhakar, P.; Latha, P.; Balakrishna, M.; Kambala, V.; Reddy, K. Raja

    2010-10-01

    Nanoparticles are being viewed as fundamental building blocks of nanotechnology. Biosynthesis of nanoparticles by plant extracts is currently under exploitation. Use of agricultural crop plant extracts for synthesis of metal nanoparticles would add a new dimension to the agricultural sector in the utilization of crop waste. Silver has long been recognized as having an inhibitory effect towards many bacterial strains and microorganisms commonly present in medical and industrial processes. Four pulse crop plants and three cereal crop plants (Vigna radiata, Arachis hypogaea, Cyamopsis tetragonolobus, Zea mays, Pennisetum glaucum, Sorghum vulgare) were used and compared for their extra cellular synthesis of metallic silver nanoparticles. Stable silver nanoparticles were formed by treating aqueous solution of AgNO3 with the plant leaf extracts as reducing agent at temperatures 50 °C-95 °C. UV-Visible spectroscopy was utilized to monitor the formation of silver nanoparticles. XRD analysis of formed silver nanoparticles revealed face centered cubic structure with (111), (200), (220) and (311) planes. SEM and EDAX analysis confirm the size of the formed silver nanoparticles to be in the range of 50-200 nm. Our proposed work offers a enviro-friendly method for biogenic silver nanoparticles production. This could provide a faster synthesis rate comparable to those of chemical methods and potentially be used in areas such as cosmetics, food and medical applications.

  9. Integrated genomics and molecular breeding approaches for dissecting the complex quantitative traits in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Kujur, Alice; Saxena, Maneesha S; Bajaj, Deepak; Laxmi; Parida, Swarup K

    2013-12-01

    The enormous population growth, climate change and global warming are now considered major threats to agriculture and world's food security. To improve the productivity and sustainability of agriculture, the development of highyielding and durable abiotic and biotic stress-tolerant cultivars and/climate resilient crops is essential. Henceforth, understanding the molecular mechanism and dissection of complex quantitative yield and stress tolerance traits is the prime objective in current agricultural biotechnology research. In recent years, tremendous progress has been made in plant genomics and molecular breeding research pertaining to conventional and next-generation whole genome, transcriptome and epigenome sequencing efforts, generation of huge genomic, transcriptomic and epigenomic resources and development of modern genomics-assisted breeding approaches in diverse crop genotypes with contrasting yield and abiotic stress tolerance traits. Unfortunately, the detailed molecular mechanism and gene regulatory networks controlling such complex quantitative traits is not yet well understood in crop plants. Therefore, we propose an integrated strategies involving available enormous and diverse traditional and modern -omics (structural, functional, comparative and epigenomics) approaches/resources and genomics-assisted breeding methods which agricultural biotechnologist can adopt/utilize to dissect and decode the molecular and gene regulatory networks involved in the complex quantitative yield and stress tolerance traits in crop plants. This would provide clues and much needed inputs for rapid selection of novel functionally relevant molecular tags regulating such complex traits to expedite traditional and modern marker-assisted genetic enhancement studies in target crop species for developing high-yielding stress-tolerant varieties.

  10. Effect of Tropical Rotation Crops on Meloidogyne incognita and Other Plant-Parasitic Nematodes.

    PubMed

    McSorley, R; Dickson, D W

    1995-12-01

    In a field experiment conducted on sandy soil in Florida during the 1993 season, rotation crops of castor (Ricinus communis), velvetbean (Mucuna deeringina), 'Mississippi Silver' cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), American jointvetch (Aeschynomene americana), 'Dehapine 51' cotton (Gossypium hirsutum), and 'SX-17' sorghum-sudangrass (Sorghum bicolor x S. sudanense) were effective in maintaining low population densities (<12/100 cm(3) soil) of Meloidogyne incognita race 1, whereas high population densities (>450/100 cm(3) soil) resulted after 'Clemson Spineless' okra (Hibiscus esculentus) and 'Kirby' soybean (Glycine max). Following a winter cover crop of rye (Secale cereale), densities of M. incognita following the six most effective rotation crops (1993 season) remained relatively low (crop planted in 1994, but increased by the end of the eggplant crop. The rotation crops planted during 1993 had little effect on yield of eggplant in 1994. Eggplant yield was inversely correlated with preplant densities (Pi) of Belonolaimus longicaudatus (r = -0.282; P crop cultivars were lower (P crops intended for suppression of individual Meloidogyne spp. be evaluated for their response to other nematode pests as well.

  11. Regulating transgenic crops sensibly: lessons from plant breeding, biotechnology and genomics.

    PubMed

    Bradford, Kent J; Van Deynze, Allen; Gutterson, Neal; Parrott, Wayne; Strauss, Steven H

    2005-04-01

    The costs of meeting regulatory requirements and market restrictions guided by regulatory criteria are substantial impediments to the commercialization of transgenic crops. Although a cautious approach may have been prudent initially, we argue that some regulatory requirements can now be modified to reduce costs and uncertainty without compromising safety. Long-accepted plant breeding methods for incorporating new diversity into crop varieties, experience from two decades of research on and commercialization of transgenic crops, and expanding knowledge of plant genome structure and dynamics all indicate that if a gene or trait is safe, the genetic engineering process itself presents little potential for unexpected consequences that would not be identified or eliminated in the variety development process before commercialization. We propose that as in conventional breeding, regulatory emphasis should be on phenotypic rather than genomic characteristics once a gene or trait has been shown to be safe.

  12. Using plant canopy temperature to improve irrigated crop management

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Remotely sensed plant canopy temperature has long been recognized as having potential as a tool for irrigation management. However, a number of barriers have prevented its routine use in practice, such as the spatial and temporal resolution of remote sensing platforms, limitations in computing capac...

  13. Capability of selected crop plants for shoot mercury accumulation from polluted soils: phytoremediation perspectives.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Luis; Rincón, Jesusa; Asencio, Isaac; Rodríguez-Castellanos, Laura

    2007-01-01

    High-biomass crops can be considered as an alternative to hyperaccumulator plants to phytoremediate soils contaminated by heavy metals. In order to assess their practical capability for the absorption and accumulation of Hg in shoots, barley, white lupine, lentil, and chickpea were tested in pot experiments using several growth substrates. In the first experimental series, plants were grown in a mixture of vermiculite and perlite spiked with 8.35 microg g(-1) d.w. of soluble Hg. The mercury concentration of the plants' aerial tissues ranged from 1.51 to 5.13 microg g(-1) d.w. with lentil and lupine showing the highest values. In a second experiment carried out using a Hg-polluted soil (32.16 microg g(-1) d.w.) collected from a historical mining area (Almadén, Spain), the crop plants tested only reached shoot Hg concentration up to 1.13 microg g(-1) d.w. In the third experimental series, the Almadén soil was spiked with 1 microg g(-1) d.w. of soluble Hg; as a result, mercury concentrations in the plant shoots increased approximately 6 times for lupine, 5 times for chickpea, and 3.5 times for barley and lentil, with respect to those obtained with the original soil without Hg added. This marked difference was attributed to the low availability of Hg in the original Almadin soil and its subsequent increase in the Hg-spiked soil. The low mercury accumulation yields obtained for all plants do not make a successful decontamination of the Almadén soils possible byphytoremediation using crop plants. However, since the crops tested can effectively decrease the plant-available Hg level in this soil, their use could, to some extent, reduce the environmental risk of Hg pollution in the area.

  14. Simulating unstressed crop development and growth using the Unified Plant Growth Model (UPGM)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Since development of the EPIC model in 1989, many versions of the plant growth component have been incorporated into other erosion and crop management models and subsequently modified to meet model objectives (e.g., WEPS, WEPP, SWAT, ALMANAC, GPFARM). This has resulted in different versions of the ...

  15. Coupling sensing to crop models for closed-loop plant production in advanced life support systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavazzoni, James; Ling, Peter P.

    1999-01-01

    We present a conceptual framework for coupling sensing to crop models for closed-loop analysis of plant production for NASA's program in advanced life support. Crop status may be monitored through non-destructive observations, while models may be independently applied to crop production planning and decision support. To achieve coupling, environmental variables and observations are linked to mode inputs and outputs, and monitoring results compared with model predictions of plant growth and development. The information thus provided may be useful in diagnosing problems with the plant growth system, or as a feedback to the model for evaluation of plant scheduling and potential yield. In this paper, we demonstrate this coupling using machine vision sensing of canopy height and top projected canopy area, and the CROPGRO crop growth model. Model simulations and scenarios are used for illustration. We also compare model predictions of the machine vision variables with data from soybean experiments conducted at New Jersey Agriculture Experiment Station Horticulture Greenhouse Facility, Rutgers University. Model simulations produce reasonable agreement with the available data, supporting our illustration.

  16. Accurate measurement of transgene copy number in crop plants using droplet digital PCR

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Technical abstract: Genetic transformation is a powerful means for the improvement of crop plants, but requires labor and resource intensive methods. An efficient method for identifying single copy transgene insertion events from a population of independent transgenic lines is desirable. Currently ...

  17. Accurate measure of transgene copy number in crop plants using droplet digital PCR

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Genetic transformation is a powerful means for the improvement of crop plants, but requires labor- and resource-intensive methods. An efficient method for identifying single-copy transgene insertion events from a population of independent transgenic lines is desirable. Currently, transgene copy numb...

  18. Planting Cotton in a Crop Residue in a Semiarid Climate: Water Balance and Lint Yield

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is planted on more land area than any other crop on the Texas High Plains. Much of this area is considered highly erodible and requires a conservation compliance program to participate in government farm programs. Because this region is semiarid and because irrigation ...

  19. The Effects of Different Concentrations of Lead Salts on a Variety of Crop Plants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whiteley, Liz; Gibbon, Jamie; Hofgartner, Jon; Mason, Craig; Willmetts, Helen

    2003-01-01

    An investigation is described that would be suitable for A-level or first year degree Biology or Environmental Science students. Crop plants were grown in different concentrations of lead chloride and lead nitrate. French beans, carrots and Brussels sprouts were all inhibited at concentrations over 0.01 mol dm[superscript -3] showing stunted root…

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Comparative genomics of grass EST libraries reveals previously uncharacterized splicing events in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Chuang, Trees-Juen; Yang, Min-Yu; Lin, Chuang-Chieh; Hsieh, Ping-Hung; Hung, Li-Yuan

    2015-02-05

    Crop plants such as rice, maize and sorghum play economically-important roles as main sources of food, fuel, and animal feed. However, current genome annotations of crop plants still suffer false-positive predictions; a more comprehensive registry of alternative splicing (AS) events is also in demand. Comparative genomics of crop plants is largely unexplored. We performed a large-scale comparative analysis (ExonFinder) of the expressed sequence tag (EST) library from nine grass plants against three crop genomes (rice, maize, and sorghum) and identified 2,879 previously-unannotated exons (i.e., novel exons) in the three crops. We validated 81% of the tested exons by RT-PCR-sequencing, supporting the effectiveness of our in silico strategy. Evolutionary analysis reveals that the novel exons, comparing with their flanking annotated ones, are generally under weaker selection pressure at the protein level, but under stronger pressure at the RNA level, suggesting that most of the novel exons also represent novel alternatively spliced variants (ASVs). However, we also observed the consistency of evolutionary rates between certain novel exons and their flanking exons, which provided further evidence of their co-occurrence in the transcripts, suggesting that previously-annotated isoforms might be subject to erroneous predictions. Our validation showed that 54% of the tested genes expressed the newly-identified isoforms that contained the novel exons, rather than the previously-annotated isoforms that excluded them. The consistent results were steadily observed across cultivated (Oryza sativa and O. glaberrima) and wild (O. rufipogon and O. nivara) rice species, asserting the necessity of our curation of the crop genome annotations. Our comparative analyses also inferred the common ancestral transcriptome of grass plants and gain- and loss-of-ASV events. We have reannotated the rice, maize, and sorghum genomes, and showed that evolutionary rates might serve as an indicator

  3. Plant Productivity and Characterization of Zeoponic Substrates after Three Successive Crops of Radish (Raphanus sativus L.)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gruener, J. E.; Ming, Douglas W.; Galindo, C., Jr.; Henderson, K. E.; Golden, D. C.

    2007-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has developed a zeolite-based synthetic substrate, termed zeoponics. The zeoponic substrate (consisting of NH4(-) and K-exchanged clinoptilolite, synthetic apatite, and dolomite) provides all of the plant-essential nutrients through mineral dissolution and ion exchange, with only the addition of water. Previous studies have shown high productivity of wheat in zeoponic substrates; however, no experiments have been conducted on other crops. The objective of this study was to determine the productivity and nutrient uptake of radish (Raphanus sativus L.) grown in zeoponic substrates with three successive crops in the same substrate. Radish was chosen because of its sensitivities to NH4(+). Average fresh weights of edible roots were similar for radish grown in zeoponic substrates watered with deionized H2O (10.97 g/plant) and in potting mix control substrate irrigated with nutrient solution (10.92 g/plant). Average fresh weight production of edible roots for radish grown in same zeoponic substrate increased in yield over time with the lowest yield in the first crop (7.10 g/plant) and highest in the third crop (13.90 g/plant). The Ca plant tissue levels in radishes (1.8-2.9 wt. %) grown in zeoponic substrates are lower than the suggested sufficient range of 3.0-4.5 wt. % Ca; however, the Ca level is highest (2.9 wt. %) in radishes grown in the third crop in the same zeoponic substrates. The higher radish yield in the third crop was attributed to a reduction in an NH4(-) induced Ca deficiency that has been previously described for wheat grown in zeoponic substrates. The P levels in plant tissues of radish grown in the zeoponic substrates ranged from 0.94-1.15 wt. %; which is slightly higher than the sufficient levels of 0.3-0.7 wt. %. With the exception of Ca and P, other macronutrient and micronutrient levels in radish grown in zeoponic substrates were well within the recommended sufficient ranges. After three

  4. Breeding crop plants with deep roots: their role in sustainable carbon, nutrient and water sequestration.

    PubMed

    Kell, Douglas B

    2011-09-01

    The soil represents a reservoir that contains at least twice as much carbon as does the atmosphere, yet (apart from 'root crops') mainly just the above-ground plant biomass is harvested in agriculture, and plant photosynthesis represents the effective origin of the overwhelming bulk of soil carbon. However, present estimates of the carbon sequestration potential of soils are based more on what is happening now than what might be changed by active agricultural intervention, and tend to concentrate only on the first metre of soil depth. Breeding crop plants with deeper and bushy root ecosystems could simultaneously improve both the soil structure and its steady-state carbon, water and nutrient retention, as well as sustainable plant yields. The carbon that can be sequestered in the steady state by increasing the rooting depths of crop plants and grasses from, say, 1 m to 2 m depends significantly on its lifetime(s) in different molecular forms in the soil, but calculations (http://dbkgroup.org/carbonsequestration/rootsystem.html) suggest that this breeding strategy could have a hugely beneficial effect in stabilizing atmospheric CO(2). This sets an important research agenda, and the breeding of plants with improved and deep rooting habits and architectures is a goal well worth pursuing.

  5. Crop-noncrop spillover: arable fields affect trophic interactions on wild plants in surrounding habitats.

    PubMed

    Gladbach, David J; Holzschuh, Andrea; Scherber, Christoph; Thies, Carsten; Dormann, Carsten F; Tscharntke, Teja

    2011-06-01

    Ecosystem processes in agricultural landscapes are often triggered by resource availability in crop and noncrop habitats. We investigated how oilseed rape (OSR; Brassica napus, Brassicaceae) affects noncrop plants in managed systems and semi-natural habitat, using trophic interactions among wild mustard (Sinapis arvensis, Brassicaceae), rape pollen beetles (Meligethes aeneus, Nitidulidae) and their parasitoids (Tersilochus heterocerus, Ichneumonidae). We exposed wild mustard as phytometer plants in two cropland habitat types (wheat field, field margin) and three noncrop habitat types (fallow, grassland, wood margin) across eight landscapes along a gradient from simple to complex (quantified as % arable land). Both landscape and local factors affected the abundance of rape pollen beetles and parasitoids. Rape pollen beetle infestation and parasitism rates on these plants were lower in noncrop habitats and higher in wheat fields and field margins, whereas beetles and parasitoids responded differently to landscape scale parameters. We found the hypothesized spillover from OSR crop onto wild plants in surrounding habitats only for parasitoids, but not for pollen beetles. Parasitism rates were not related to landscape simplification, but benefited from increasing proportions of OSR. In contrast, rape pollen beetles benefited from simple landscape structures, presumably due to multi-annual population build-ups resulting from long-term OSR planting (as part of the crop rotation). In conclusion, we showed that spillover from cropland affects parasitism rates on related wild plants outside cropland, which has not been shown so far, but can be expected to be a widespread effect shaping noncrop food webs.

  6. GM foods and the misperception of risk perception.

    PubMed

    Gaskell, George; Allum, Nick; Wagner, Wolfgang; Kronberger, Nicole; Torgersen, Helge; Hampel, Juergen; Bardes, Julie

    2004-02-01

    Public opposition to genetically modified (GM) food and crops is widely interpreted as the result of the public's misperception of the risks. With scientific assessment pointing to no unique risks from GM crops and foods, a strategy of accurate risk communication from trusted sources has been advocated. This is based on the assumption that the benefits of GM crops and foods are self-evident. Informed by the interpretation of some qualitative interviews with lay people, we use data from the Eurobarometer survey on biotechnology to explore the hypothesis that it is not so much the perception of risks as the absence of benefits that is the basis of the widespread rejection of GM foods and crops by the European public. Some respondents perceive both risks and benefits, and may be trading off these attributes along the lines of a rational choice model. However, for others, one attribute-benefit-appears to dominate their judgments: the lexicographic heuristic. For these respondents, their perception of risk is of limited importance in the formation of attitudes toward GM food and crops. The implication is that the absence of perceived benefits from GM foods and crops calls into question the relevance of risk communication strategies for bringing about change in public opinion.

  7. Heat stress regimes for the investigation of pollen thermotolerance in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Mesihovic, Anida; Iannacone, Rina; Firon, Nurit; Fragkostefanakis, Sotirios

    2016-06-01

    Pollen thermotolerance. Global warming is predicted to increase the frequency and severity of extreme weather phenomena such as heat waves thereby posing a major threat for crop productivity and food security. The yield in case of most crop species is dependent on the success of reproductive development. Pollen development has been shown to be highly sensitive to elevated temperatures while the development of the female gametophyte as well as sporophytic tissues might also be disturbed under mild or severe heat stress conditions. Therefore, assessing pollen thermotolerance is currently of high interest for geneticists, plant biologists and breeders. A key aspect in pollen thermotolerance studies is the selection of the appropriate heat stress regime, the developmental stage that the stress is applied to, as well as the method of application. Literature search reveals a rather high variability in heat stress treatments mainly due to the lack of standardized protocols for different plant species. In this review, we summarize and discuss experimental approaches that have been used in various crops, with special focus on tomato, rice and wheat, as the best studied crops regarding pollen thermotolerance. The overview of stress treatments and the major outcomes of each study aim to provide guidelines for similar research in other crops.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Understanding and engineering beneficial plant–microbe interactions: plant growth promotion in energy crops

    PubMed Central

    Farrar, Kerrie; Bryant, David; Cope-Selby, Naomi

    2014-01-01

    Plant production systems globally must be optimized to produce stable high yields from limited land under changing and variable climates. Demands for food, animal feed, and feedstocks for bioenergy and biorefining applications, are increasing with population growth, urbanization and affluence. Low-input, sustainable, alternatives to petrochemical-derived fertilizers and pesticides are required to reduce input costs and maintain or increase yields, with potential biological solutions having an important role to play. In contrast to crops that have been bred for food, many bioenergy crops are largely undomesticated, and so there is an opportunity to harness beneficial plant–microbe relationships which may have been inadvertently lost through intensive crop breeding. Plant–microbe interactions span a wide range of relationships in which one or both of the organisms may have a beneficial, neutral or negative effect on the other partner. A relatively small number of beneficial plant–microbe interactions are well understood and already exploited; however, others remain understudied and represent an untapped reservoir for optimizing plant production. There may be near-term applications for bacterial strains as microbial biopesticides and biofertilizers to increase biomass yield from energy crops grown on land unsuitable for food production. Longer term aims involve the design of synthetic genetic circuits within and between the host and microbes to optimize plant production. A highly exciting prospect is that endosymbionts comprise a unique resource of reduced complexity microbial genomes with adaptive traits of great interest for a wide variety of applications. PMID:25431199

  11. [The application of genome editing in identification of plant gene function and crop breeding].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiang-chun; Xing, Yong-zhong

    2016-03-01

    Plant genome can be modified via current biotechnology with high specificity and excellent efficiency. Zinc finger nucleases (ZFN), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALEN) and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated 9 (Cas9) system are the key engineered nucleases used in the genome editing. Genome editing techniques enable gene targeted mutagenesis, gene knock-out, gene insertion or replacement at the target sites during the endogenous DNA repair process, including non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination (HR), triggered by the induction of DNA double-strand break (DSB). Genome editing has been successfully applied in the genome modification of diverse plant species, such as Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa, and Nicotiana tabacum. In this review, we summarize the application of genome editing in identification of plant gene function and crop breeding. Moreover, we also discuss the improving points of genome editing in crop precision genetic improvement for further study.

  12. Canadian regulatory perspectives on genome engineered crops

    PubMed Central

    Smyth, Stuart J.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT New breeding techniques in plant agriculture exploded upon the scene about two years ago, in 2014. While these innovative plant breeding techniques, soon to be led by CRISPR/Cas9, initially appear to hold tremendous promise for plant breeding, if not a revolution for the industry, the question of how the products of these technologies will be regulated is rapidly becoming a key aspect of the technology's future potential. Regulation of innovative technologies and products has always lagged that of the science, but in the past decade, regulatory systems in many jurisdictions have become gridlocked as they try to regulate genetically modified (GM) crops. This regulatory incapability to efficiently assess and approve innovative new agricultural products is particularly important for new plant breeding techniques as if these techniques are classified as genetically modified breeding techniques, then their acceptance and future will diminish considerably as they will be rejected by the European Union. Conversely, if the techniques are accepted as conventional plant breeding, then the future is blindingly bright. This article examines the international debate about the regulation of new plant breeding techniques and then assesses how the Canadian regulatory system has approached the regulation of these technologies through two more public product approvals, GM apples and GM potatoes, then discusses other crop variety approval and those in the regulatory pipeline. PMID:27858499

  13. DETERMINING POTENTIAL RISK TO NATIVE PLANTS FROM HERBICIDE DRIFT: COMPARATIVE RESPONSE OF SELECTED CROP AND NATIVE PLANT SPECIES TO GLYPHOSATE AND SULFOMETURON

    EPA Science Inventory

    abstract/abstract

    While native plant communities may be at risk from herbicide use, current crop-centric test procedures for pesticide registration may not adequately represent the sensitivity of native non-crop plants to herbicides. We are designing a protocol to determi...

  14. 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.

  15. DNA damage and repair in plants – from models to crops

    PubMed Central

    Manova, Vasilissa; Gruszka, Damian

    2015-01-01

    The genomic integrity of every organism is constantly challenged by endogenous and exogenous DNA-damaging factors. Mutagenic agents cause reduced stability of plant genome and have a deleterious effect on development, and in the case of crop species lead to yield reduction. It is crucial for all organisms, including plants, to develop efficient mechanisms for maintenance of the genome integrity. DNA repair processes have been characterized in bacterial, fungal, and mammalian model systems. The description of these processes in plants, in contrast, was initiated relatively recently and has been focused largely on the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Consequently, our knowledge about DNA repair in plant genomes - particularly in the genomes of crop plants - is by far more limited. However, the relatively small size of the Arabidopsis genome, its rapid life cycle and availability of various transformation methods make this species an attractive model for the study of eukaryotic DNA repair mechanisms and mutagenesis. Moreover, abnormalities in DNA repair which proved to be lethal for animal models are tolerated in plant genomes, although sensitivity to DNA damaging agents is retained. Due to the high conservation of DNA repair processes and factors mediating them among eukaryotes, genes and proteins that have been identified in model species may serve to identify homologous sequences in other species, including crop plants, in which these mechanisms are poorly understood. Crop breeding programs have provided remarkable advances in food quality and yield over the last century. Although the human population is predicted to “peak” by 2050, further advances in yield will be required to feed this population. Breeding requires genetic diversity. The biological impact of any mutagenic agent used for the creation of genetic diversity depends on the chemical nature of the induced lesions and on the efficiency and accuracy of their repair. More recent targeted mutagenesis

  16. 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

  17. Transfer of wastewater associated pharmaceuticals and personal care products to crop plants from biosolids treated soil.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chenxi; Spongberg, Alison L; Witter, Jason D; Sridhar, B B Maruthi

    2012-11-01

    The plant uptake of emerging organic contaminants such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) is receiving increased attention. Biosolids from municipal wastewater treatment have been previously identified as a major source for PPCPs. Thus, plant uptake of PPCPs from biosolids applied soils needs to be understood. In the present study, the uptake of carbamazepine, diphenhydramine, and triclocarban by five vegetable crop plants was examined in a field experiment. At the time of harvest, three compounds were detected in all plants grown in biosolids-treated soils. Calculated root concentration factor (RCF) and shoot concentration factor (SCF) are the highest for carbamazepine followed by triclocarban and diphenhydramine. Positive correlation between RCF and root lipid content was observed for carbamazepine but not for diphenhydramine and triclocarban. The results demonstrate the ability of crop plants to accumulate PPCPs from contaminated soils. The plant uptake processes of PPCPs are likely affected by their physico-chemical properties, and their interaction with soil. The difference uptake behavior between plant species could not solely be attributed to the root lipid content. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. BioChar Amendments for Improved Plant Microbiome and Crop Health Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zeitlin, Nancy; Smith, David; Catechis, John; Khodadad, Christina; Koss, Lawrence; Mejia, Oscar Monje; Spencer, Lashelle

    2015-01-01

    Plant-based Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) enable human existence beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) by providing oxygen, water and food. The root modules are key to success of sustainable plant-based ECLSS. In microgravity, hydroponics is not viable as gases separate from fluids, thus plants are grown in soil substrates, which are bulky and must be maintained for optimal plant growth. Soil substrate selection also impacts ECLSS self-sufficiency. Savings in resupply mass and volume are possible if soil is developed in-situ from regolith found on moons or planets. Biochar, a soil amendment used by ancient civilizations to improve soil fertility that promotes plant health and root zone microbes, can be produced by pyrolysis of plant biomass. The goal is to study the effect of biochar on sequential crop plantings in a single root module. The objectives are: 1) follow changes in root-microbe interactions using metagenomic techniques, 2) measure changes in microbial populations during sequential cropping in a single root module, and 3) examine effect of biochar amendments.

  19. Crop and Substrate Tests with Single Use Rooting "Pillows" for the VEGGIE Plant Growth Hardware

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Massa, Gioia; Newsham, Gerard; Caro, Janicce; Stutte, Gary; Morrow, Robert; Wheeler, Raymond

    2011-01-01

    VEGGIE is a small plant production chamber built by ORBITEC. This chamber can be collapsed for easy stowage and deployed in orbit. It is designed for gravity independent operation, and provides 0.17 square m of crop growth area with three primary subsystems: an LED light panel, extendable transparent Teflon bellows to enclose the plants, and a wicking reservoir. VEGGIE would provide the capability for astronauts to grow fresh foods for dietary supplementation. Initial planting concepts tested with the VEGGIE included direct seeding or plug placement on the reservoir surface. These options had issues of salt accumulation and eventual toxicity if the reservoir was filled with nutrient solution, and hardware reuse was limited due to sanitation. In response a rooting packet or "pillow" concept was developed: single-use bags of media containing time release fertilizer with a wicking surface contacting the VEGGIE reservoir. Pillows being tested are small electrostatic bags with a Nitex nylon mesh side, each holding 100 mL of dry media. Six pillows fit in one VEGGIE unit; however pillow size could vary depending on crop selected. Seeds can be planted directly in pillows and planted pillows can be hydrated in space as desired. Our goals were to define optimal media and crops for an ISS mission scenario. Plant tests in pillows were performed in a controlled environment chamber set to habitat-relevant conditions, and capillary reservoir analogs were utilized. Media tested within pillows included: a commercial peat-based potting mix, arcillite (calcined clay), perlite: vermiculite, and peat-based: arcillite blends. Testing included 15 types of leafy greens, snow pea, radish, and herbs. Media performance was crop dependent, but generally plants showed the greatest growth in the peat-based: arcillite mixes. Crops with the best performance in pillows were identified, and testing is underway with select leafy greens examining plant and microbial load response to repeated harvest

  20. Impact of Cropping Systems, Soil Inoculum, and Plant Species Identity on Soil Bacterial Community Structure.

    PubMed

    Ishaq, Suzanne L; Johnson, Stephen P; Miller, Zach J; Lehnhoff, Erik A; Olivo, Sarah; Yeoman, Carl J; Menalled, Fabian D

    2017-02-01

    Farming practices affect the soil microbial community, which in turn impacts crop growth and crop-weed interactions. This study assessed the modification of soil bacterial community structure by organic or conventional cropping systems, weed species identity [Amaranthus retroflexus L. (redroot pigweed) or Avena fatua L. (wild oat)], and living or sterilized inoculum. Soil from eight paired USDA-certified organic and conventional farms in north-central Montana was used as living or autoclave-sterilized inoculant into steam-pasteurized potting soil, planted with Am. retroflexus or Av. fatua and grown for two consecutive 8-week periods to condition soil nutrients and biota. Subsequently, the V3-V4 regions of the microbial 16S rRNA gene were sequenced by Illumina MiSeq. Treatments clustered significantly, with living or sterilized inoculum being the strongest delineating factor, followed by organic or conventional cropping system, then individual farm. Living inoculum-treated soil had greater species richness and was more diverse than sterile inoculum-treated soil (observed OTUs, Chao, inverse Simpson, Shannon, P < 0.001) and had more discriminant taxa delineating groups (linear discriminant analysis). Living inoculum soil contained more Chloroflexi and Acidobacteria, while the sterile inoculum soil had more Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Gemmatimonadetes, and Verrucomicrobia. Organically farmed inoculum-treated soil had greater species richness, more diversity (observed OTUs, Chao, Shannon, P < 0.05), and more discriminant taxa than conventionally farmed inoculum-treated soil. Cyanobacteria were higher in pots growing Am. retroflexus, regardless of inoculum type, for three of the four organic farms. Results highlight the potential of cropping systems and species identity to modify soil bacterial communities, subsequently modifying plant growth and crop-weed competition.

  1. "Founder crops" v. wild plants: Assessing the plant-based diet of the last hunter-gatherers in southwest Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arranz-Otaegui, Amaia; González Carretero, Lara; Roe, Joe; Richter, Tobias

    2018-04-01

    The Natufian culture (c. 14.6-11.5 ka cal. BP) represents the last hunter-gatherer society that inhabited southwest Asia before the development of plant food production. It has long been suggested that Natufians based their economy on the exploitation of the wild ancestors of the Neolithic "founder crops", and that these hunter-gatherers were therefore on the "threshold to agriculture". In this work we review the available data on Natufian plant exploitation and we report new archaeobotanical evidence from Shubayqa 1, a Natufian site located in northeastern Jordan (14.6-11.5 ka cal. BP). Shubayqa 1 has produced an exceptionally large plant assemblage, including direct evidence for the continuous exploitation of club-rush tubers (often regarded as "missing foods") and other wild plants, which were probably used as food, fuel and building materials. Taking together this data we evaluate the composition of archaeobotanical assemblages (plant macroremains) from the Natufian to the Early Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (EPPNB). Natufian assemblages comprise large proportions of non-founder plant species (>90% on average), amongst which sedges, small-seeded grasses and legumes, and fruits and nuts predominate. During the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, in particular the EPPNB, the presence of "founder crops" increases dramatically and constitute up to c. 42% of the archaeobotanical assemblages on average. Our results suggest that plant exploitation strategies during the Natufian were very different from those attested during subsequent Neolithic periods. We argue that historically driven interpretations of the archaeological record have over-emphasized the role of the wild ancestors of domesticated crops previous to the emergence of agriculture.

  2. Landscape configurational heterogeneity by small-scale agriculture, not crop diversity, maintains pollinators and plant reproduction in western Europe.

    PubMed

    Hass, Annika L; Kormann, Urs G; Tscharntke, Teja; Clough, Yann; Baillod, Aliette Bosem; Sirami, Clélia; Fahrig, Lenore; Martin, Jean-Louis; Baudry, Jacques; Bertrand, Colette; Bosch, Jordi; Brotons, Lluís; Burel, Françoise; Georges, Romain; Giralt, David; Marcos-García, María Á; Ricarte, Antonio; Siriwardena, Gavin; Batáry, Péter

    2018-02-14

    Agricultural intensification is one of the main causes for the current biodiversity crisis. While reversing habitat loss on agricultural land is challenging, increasing the farmland configurational heterogeneity (higher field border density) and farmland compositional heterogeneity (higher crop diversity) has been proposed to counteract some habitat loss. Here, we tested whether increased farmland configurational and compositional heterogeneity promote wild pollinators and plant reproduction in 229 landscapes located in four major western European agricultural regions. High-field border density consistently increased wild bee abundance and seed set of radish ( Raphanus sativus ), probably through enhanced connectivity. In particular, we demonstrate the importance of crop-crop borders for pollinator movement as an additional experiment showed higher transfer of a pollen analogue along crop-crop borders than across fields or along semi-natural crop borders. By contrast, high crop diversity reduced bee abundance, probably due to an increase of crop types with particularly intensive management. This highlights the importance of crop identity when higher crop diversity is promoted. Our results show that small-scale agricultural systems can boost pollinators and plant reproduction. Agri-environmental policies should therefore aim to halt and reverse the current trend of increasing field sizes and to reduce the amount of crop types with particularly intensive management. © 2018 The Author(s).

  3. Fluorescent marker for the detection of crop and upper gastrointestinal leakage in poultry processing plants.

    PubMed

    Byrd, J A; Hargis, B M; Corrier, D E; Brewer, R L; Caldwell, D J; Bailey, R H; McReynolds, J L; Herron, K L; Stanker, L H

    2002-01-01

    Previous published research has identified the crop as a source of Salmonella and Campylobacter contamination for broiler carcasses and reported that broiler crops are 86 times more likely to rupture than ceca during commercial processing. Presently, we evaluated leakage of crop and upper gastrointestinal contents from broilers using a fluorescent marker at commercial processing plants. Broilers were orally gavaged with a fluorescent marker paste (corn meal-fluorescein dye-agar) within 30 min of live hang. Carcasses were collected at several points during processing and were examined for upper gastrointestinal leakage using long-wavelength black light. This survey indicated that 67% of the total broiler carcasses were positive for the marker at the rehang station following head and shank removal. Crops were mechanically removed from 61% of the carcasses prior to the cropper, and visual online examination indicated leakage of crop contents following crop removal by the pack puller. Examination of the carcasses prior to the cropper detected the marker in the following regions: neck (50.5% positive), thoracic inlet (69.7% positive), thoracic cavity (35.4% positive), and abdominal cavity (34.3% positive). Immediately prior to chill immersion, 53.2% of the carcasses contained some degree of visually identifiable marker contamination, as follows: neck (41.5% positive), thoracic inlet (45.2% positive), thoracic cavity (26.2% positive), and abdominal cavity (30.2% positive). These results suggest that this fluorescent marker technique may serve as a useful tool for rapid identification of potential changes, which could reduce the incidence of crop rupture and contamination of carcasses at processing.

  4. Plant Adaptation to Acid Soils: The Molecular Basis for Crop Aluminum Resistance.

    PubMed

    Kochian, Leon V; Piñeros, Miguel A; Liu, Jiping; Magalhaes, Jurandir V

    2015-01-01

    Aluminum (Al) toxicity in acid soils is a significant limitation to crop production worldwide, as approximately 50% of the world's potentially arable soil is acidic. Because acid soils are such an important constraint to agriculture, understanding the mechanisms and genes conferring resistance to Al toxicity has been a focus of intense research interest in the decade since the last article on crop acid soil tolerance was published in this journal. An impressive amount of progress has been made during that time that has greatly increased our understanding of the diversity of Al resistance genes and mechanisms, how resistance gene expression is regulated and triggered by Al and Al-induced signals, and how the proteins encoded by these genes function and are regulated. This review examines the state of our understanding of the physiological, genetic, and molecular bases for crop Al tolerance, looking at the novel Al resistance genes and mechanisms that have been identified over the past ten years. Additionally, it examines how the integration of molecular and genetic analyses of crop Al resistance is starting to be exploited for the improvement of crop plants grown on acid soils via both molecular-assisted breeding and biotechnology approaches.

  5. Small RNAs in plants: recent development and application for crop improvement

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The phenomenon of RNA interference (RNAi) which involves sequence-specific gene regulation by small non-coding RNAs, i.e., small interfering RNA (siRNA) and microRNA (miRNA) has emerged as one of most powerful approaches for crop improvement. RNAi based on siRNA is one of the widely used tools of reverse genetics which aid in revealing gene functions in many species. This technology has been extensively applied to alter the gene expression in plants with an aim to achieve desirable traits. RNAi has been used for enhancing the crop yield and productivity by manipulating the gene involved in biomass, grain yield and enhanced shelf life of fruits and vegetables. It has also been applied for developing resistance against various biotic (bacteria, fungi, viruses, nematodes, insects) and abiotic stresses (drought, salinity, cold, etc.). Nutritional improvements of crops have also been achieved by enriching the crops with essential amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidants and other nutrients beneficial for human health or by reducing allergens or anti-nutrients. microRNAs are key regulators of important plant processes like growth, development, and response to various stresses. In spite of similarity in size (20–24 nt), miRNA differ from siRNA in precursor structures, pathway of biogenesis, and modes of action. This review also highlights the miRNA based genetic modification technology where various miRNAs/artificial miRNAs and their targets can be utilized for improving several desirable plant traits. microRNA based strategies are much efficient than siRNA-based RNAi strategies due to its specificity and less undesirable off target effects. As per the FDA guidelines, small RNA (sRNA) based transgenics are much safer for consumption than those over-expressing proteins. This review thereby summarizes the emerging advances and achievement in the field of sRNAs and its application for crop improvement. PMID:25883599

  6. Engineering Mycorrhizal Symbioses to Alter Plant Metabolism and Improve Crop Health

    PubMed Central

    French, Katherine E.

    2017-01-01

    Creating sustainable bioeconomies for the 21st century relies on optimizing the use of biological resources to improve agricultural productivity and create new products. Arbuscular mycorrhizae (phylum Glomeromycota) form symbiotic relationships with over 80% of vascular plants. In return for carbon, these fungi improve plant health and tolerance to environmental stress. This symbiosis is over 400 million years old and there are currently over 200 known arbuscular mycorrhizae, with dozens of new species described annually. Metagenomic sequencing of native soil communities, from species-rich meadows to mangroves, suggests biologically diverse habitats support a variety of mycorrhizal species with potential agricultural, medical, and biotechnological applications. This review looks at the effect of mycorrhizae on plant metabolism and how we can harness this symbiosis to improve crop health. I will first describe the mechanisms that underlie this symbiosis and what physiological, metabolic, and environmental factors trigger these plant-fungal relationships. These include mycorrhizal manipulation of host genetic expression, host mitochondrial and plastid proliferation, and increased production of terpenoids and jasmonic acid by the host plant. I will then discuss the effects of mycorrhizae on plant root and foliar secondary metabolism. I subsequently outline how mycorrhizae induce three key benefits in crops: defense against pathogen and herbivore attack, drought resistance, and heavy metal tolerance. I conclude with an overview of current efforts to harness mycorrhizal diversity to improve crop health through customized inoculum. I argue future research should embrace synthetic biology to create mycorrhizal chasses with improved symbiotic abilities and potentially novel functions to improve plant health. As the effects of climate change and anthropogenic disturbance increase, the global diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi should be monitored and protected to

  7. Engineering Mycorrhizal Symbioses to Alter Plant Metabolism and Improve Crop Health.

    PubMed

    French, Katherine E

    2017-01-01

    Creating sustainable bioeconomies for the 21st century relies on optimizing the use of biological resources to improve agricultural productivity and create new products. Arbuscular mycorrhizae (phylum Glomeromycota) form symbiotic relationships with over 80% of vascular plants. In return for carbon, these fungi improve plant health and tolerance to environmental stress. This symbiosis is over 400 million years old and there are currently over 200 known arbuscular mycorrhizae, with dozens of new species described annually. Metagenomic sequencing of native soil communities, from species-rich meadows to mangroves, suggests biologically diverse habitats support a variety of mycorrhizal species with potential agricultural, medical, and biotechnological applications. This review looks at the effect of mycorrhizae on plant metabolism and how we can harness this symbiosis to improve crop health. I will first describe the mechanisms that underlie this symbiosis and what physiological, metabolic, and environmental factors trigger these plant-fungal relationships. These include mycorrhizal manipulation of host genetic expression, host mitochondrial and plastid proliferation, and increased production of terpenoids and jasmonic acid by the host plant. I will then discuss the effects of mycorrhizae on plant root and foliar secondary metabolism. I subsequently outline how mycorrhizae induce three key benefits in crops: defense against pathogen and herbivore attack, drought resistance, and heavy metal tolerance. I conclude with an overview of current efforts to harness mycorrhizal diversity to improve crop health through customized inoculum. I argue future research should embrace synthetic biology to create mycorrhizal chasses with improved symbiotic abilities and potentially novel functions to improve plant health. As the effects of climate change and anthropogenic disturbance increase, the global diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi should be monitored and protected to

  8. GM Risk Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sparrow, Penny A. C.

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

  9. Interaction of femtosecond laser pulses with plants: towards distinguishing weeds and crops using plasma temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kunz, Jeremy N.; Voronine, Dmitri V.; Ko, Brian A.; Lee, Ho Wai Howard; Rana, Aman; Bagavathiannan, Muthukumar V.; Sokolov, Alexei V.; Scully, Marlan O.

    2017-05-01

    The ability to distinguish between crops and weeds using sensors from a distance will greatly benefit the farming community through improved and efficient scouting for weeds, reduced herbicide input costs and improved profitability. In the present study, we examined the utility of femtosecond laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for plant species differentiation. Greenhouse-grown plants of dallisgrass, wheat, soybean and bell pepper were evaluated using LIBS under an ambient environment. LIBS experiments were performed on the leaf samples of different plant species using a femtosecond laser system with an inexpensive lightweight detector. Temperatures of laser-induced plasma in plants depend on many parameters and were determined for each of the study species by the constituent elements interacting with femtosecond laser pulses. Using elemental calcium transitions in plant tissue samples to measure plasma temperatures, we report consistent differences among the four study species, with average values ranging from 5090 ± 168 K (soybean) to 5647 ± 223 K (dallisgrass).

  10. Assessment of water sources to plant growth in rice based cropping systems by stable water isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahindawansha, Amani; Kraft, Philipp; Racela, Heathcliff; Breuer, Lutz

    2016-04-01

    Rice is one of the most water-consuming crops in the world. Understanding water source utilization of rice will help us to improve water use efficiency (WUE) in paddy management. The objectives of our study are to evaluate the isotopic compositions of surface ponded water, soil water, irrigation water, groundwater, rain water and plant water and based on stable water isotope signatures to evaluate the contributions of various water sources to plant growth (wet rice, aerobic rice and maize) together with investigating the contribution of water from different soil horizons for plant growth in different maturity periods during wet and dry seasons. Finally we will compare the water balances and crop yields in both crops during both seasons and calculate the water use efficiencies. This will help to identify the most efficient water management systems in rice based cropping ecosystems using stable water isotopes. Soil samples are collected from 9 different depths at up to 60 cm in vegetative, reproductive and matured periods of plant growth together with stem samples. Soil and plant samples are extracted by cryogenic vacuum extraction. Root samples are collected up to 60 cm depth from 10 cm intercepts leading calculation of root length density and dry weight. Groundwater, surface water, rain water and irrigation water are sampled weekly. All water samples are analyzed for hydrogen and oxygen isotope ratios (d18O and dD) using Los Gatos Research DLT100. Rainfall records, ground water level, surface water level fluctuations and the amount of water irrigated in each field will be measured during the sampling period. The direct inference approach which is based on comparing isotopic compositions (dD and d18O) between plant stem water and soil water will be used to determine water sources taken up by plant. Multiple-source mass balance assessment can provide the estimated range of potential contributions of water from each soil depth to root water uptake of a crop. These

  11. Breeding crop plants with deep roots: their role in sustainable carbon, nutrient and water sequestration

    PubMed Central

    Kell, Douglas B.

    2011-01-01

    Background The soil represents a reservoir that contains at least twice as much carbon as does the atmosphere, yet (apart from ‘root crops’) mainly just the above-ground plant biomass is harvested in agriculture, and plant photosynthesis represents the effective origin of the overwhelming bulk of soil carbon. However, present estimates of the carbon sequestration potential of soils are based more on what is happening now than what might be changed by active agricultural intervention, and tend to concentrate only on the first metre of soil depth. Scope Breeding crop plants with deeper and bushy root ecosystems could simultaneously improve both the soil structure and its steady-state carbon, water and nutrient retention, as well as sustainable plant yields. The carbon that can be sequestered in the steady state by increasing the rooting depths of crop plants and grasses from, say, 1 m to 2 m depends significantly on its lifetime(s) in different molecular forms in the soil, but calculations (http://dbkgroup.org/carbonsequestration/rootsystem.html) suggest that this breeding strategy could have a hugely beneficial effect in stabilizing atmospheric CO2. This sets an important research agenda, and the breeding of plants with improved and deep rooting habits and architectures is a goal well worth pursuing. PMID:21813565

  12. Accumulation of contaminants of emerging concern in food crops-part 2: Plant distribution.

    PubMed

    Hyland, Katherine C; Blaine, Andrea C; Higgins, Christopher P

    2015-10-01

    Arid agricultural regions often turn to using treated wastewater (reclaimed water) to irrigate food crops. Concerns arise, however, when considering the potential for persistent contaminants of emerging concern to accumulate into plants intended for human consumption. The present study examined the accumulation of a suite of 9 contaminants of emerging concern into 2 representative food crops, lettuce and strawberry, following uptake via the roots and subsequent distribution to other plant tissues. Calculating accumulation metrics (concentration factors) allowed for comparison of the compartmental affinity of each chemical for each plant tissue compartment. The root concentration factor was found to exhibit a positive linear correlation with the pH-adjusted octanol-water partition coefficient (DOW ) for the target contaminants of emerging concern. Coupled with the concentration-dependent accumulation observed in the roots, this result implies that accumulation of these contaminants of emerging concern into plant roots is driven by passive partitioning. Of the contaminants of emerging concern examined, nonionizable contaminants, such as triclocarban, carbamazepine, and organophosphate flame retardants displayed the greatest potential for translocation from the roots to above-ground plant compartments. In particular, the organophosphate flame retardants displayed increasing affinity for shoots and fruits with decreasing size/octanol-water partition coefficient (KOW ). Cationic diphenhydramine and anionic sulfamethoxazole, once transported to the shoots of the strawberry plant, demonstrated the greatest potential of the contaminants examined to be then carried to the edible fruit portion. © 2015 SETAC.

  13. Chilling and Drought Stresses in Crop Plants: Implications, Cross Talk, and Potential Management Opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Hussain, Hafiz A.; Hussain, Saddam; Khaliq, Abdul; Ashraf, Umair; Anjum, Shakeel A.; Men, Shengnan; Wang, Longchang

    2018-01-01

    Plants face a combination of different abiotic stresses under field conditions which are lethal to plant growth and production. Simultaneous occurrence of chilling and drought stresses in plants due to the drastic and rapid global climate changes, can alter the morphological, physiological and molecular responses. Both these stresses adversely affect the plant growth and yields due to physical damages, physiological and biochemical disruptions, and molecular changes. In general, the co-occurrence of chilling and drought combination is even worse for crop production rather than an individual stress condition. Plants attain various common and different physiological and molecular protective approaches for tolerance under chilling and drought stresses. Nevertheless, plant responses to a combination of chilling and drought stresses are unique from those to individual stress. In the present review, we summarized the recent evidence on plant responses to chilling and drought stresses on shared as well as unique basis and tried to find a common thread potentially underlying these responses. We addressed the possible cross talk between plant responses to these stresses and discussed the potential management strategies for regulating the mechanisms of plant tolerance to drought and/or chilling stresses. To date, various novel approaches have been tested in minimizing the negative effects of combine stresses. Despite of the main improvements there is still a big room for improvement in combination of drought and chilling tolerance. Thus, future researches particularly using biotechnological and molecular approaches should be carried out to develop genetically engineered plants with enhanced tolerance against these stress factors. PMID:29692787

  14. Low crop plant population densities promote pollen-mediated gene flow in spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).

    PubMed

    Willenborg, Christian J; Brûlé-Babel, Anita L; Van Acker, Rene C

    2009-12-01

    Transgenic wheat is currently being field tested with the intent of eventual commercialization. The development of wheat genotypes with novel traits has raised concerns regarding the presence of volunteer wheat populations and the role they may play in facilitating transgene movement. Here, we report the results of a field experiment that investigated the potential of spring wheat plant population density and crop height to minimize gene flow from a herbicide-resistant (HR) volunteer population to a non-HR crop. Pollen-mediated gene flow (PMGF) between the HR volunteer wheat population and four conventional spring wheat genotypes varying in height was assessed over a range of plant population densities. Natural hybridization events between the two cultivars were detected by phenotypically scoring plants in F(1) populations followed by verification with Mendelian segregation ratios in the F(1:2) families. PMGF was strongly associated with crop yield components, but showed no association with flowering synchrony. Maximum observed PMGF was always less than 0.6%, regardless of crop height and density. The frequency of PMGF in spring wheat decreased exponentially with increasing plant population density, but showed no dependence on either crop genotype or height. However, increasing plant densities beyond the recommended planting rate of 300 cropped wheat plants m(-2) provided no obvious benefit to reducing PMGF. Nevertheless, our results demonstrate a critical plant density of 175-200 cropped wheat plants m(-2) below which PMGF frequencies rise exponentially with decreasing plant density. These results will be useful in the development of mechanistic models and best management practices that collectively facilitate the coexistence of transgenic and nontransgenic wheat crops.

  15. Bioaccumulation of heavy metals in crop plants grown near Almeda Textile Factory, Adwa, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Gitet, Hintsa; Hilawie, Masho; Muuz, Mehari; Weldegebriel, Yirgaalem; Gebremichael, Dawit; Gebremedhin, Desta

    2016-09-01

    The contents of heavy metals cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) present in water (wastewater and wetland), soils, and food crops collected from the vicinity of Almeda Textile Factory were quantified using Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (FAAS) in order to assess the environmental impact of the textile factory. The contents of heavy metals determined in the wastewater were found below the recommended limit set by WHO and United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) except for Cr, which was found slightly higher than WHO permissible limit. Besides, the contents of the heavy metals determined in soils were below the permissible level of FAO/WHO and Canada maximum allowable limits. Moreover, only the concentrations of Cd and Pb were found above the permissible level set by FAO/WHO in the crop plants studied. Generally, the mean concentrations of heavy metals in the plants were in the decreasing order of: Mn > Zn > Cu > Pb > Ni > Co > Cr > Cd. Nevertheless, higher bioconcentration factor (BCF) was found for Cd (0.108-1.156) followed by Zn (0.081-0.499). In conclusion, comparison of heavy metal concentrations with the permissible limits in all collected sample types i.e. water, soil, and crop plants did not show significant pollution from the factory.

  16. Quantitative Resistance to Plant Pathogens in Pyramiding Strategies for Durable Crop Protection.

    PubMed

    Pilet-Nayel, Marie-Laure; Moury, Benoît; Caffier, Valérie; Montarry, Josselin; Kerlan, Marie-Claire; Fournet, Sylvain; Durel, Charles-Eric; Delourme, Régine

    2017-01-01

    Quantitative resistance has gained interest in plant breeding for pathogen control in low-input cropping systems. Although quantitative resistance frequently has only a partial effect and is difficult to select, it is considered more durable than major resistance (R) genes. With the exponential development of molecular markers over the past 20 years, resistance QTL have been more accurately detected and better integrated into breeding strategies for resistant varieties with increased potential for durability. This review summarizes current knowledge on the genetic inheritance, molecular basis, and durability of quantitative resistance. Based on this knowledge, we discuss how strategies that combine major R genes and QTL in crops can maintain the effectiveness of plant resistance to pathogens. Combining resistance QTL with complementary modes of action appears to be an interesting strategy for breeding effective and potentially durable resistance. Combining quantitative resistance with major R genes has proven to be a valuable approach for extending the effectiveness of major genes. In the plant genomics era, improved tools and methods are becoming available to better integrate quantitative resistance into breeding strategies. Nevertheless, optimal combinations of resistance loci will still have to be identified to preserve resistance effectiveness over time for durable crop protection.

  17. Crop Production under Drought and Heat Stress: Plant Responses and Management Options

    PubMed Central

    Fahad, Shah; Bajwa, Ali A.; Nazir, Usman; Anjum, Shakeel A.; Farooq, Ayesha; Zohaib, Ali; Sadia, Sehrish; Nasim, Wajid; Adkins, Steve; Saud, Shah; Ihsan, Muhammad Z.; Alharby, Hesham; Wu, Chao; Wang, Depeng; Huang, Jianliang

    2017-01-01

    Abiotic stresses are one of the major constraints to crop production and food security worldwide. The situation has aggravated due to the drastic and rapid changes in global climate. Heat and drought are undoubtedly the two most important stresses having huge impact on growth and productivity of the crops. It is very important to understand the physiological, biochemical, and ecological interventions related to these stresses for better management. A wide range of plant responses to these stresses could be generalized into morphological, physiological, and biochemical responses. Interestingly, this review provides a detailed account of plant responses to heat and drought stresses with special focus on highlighting the commonalities and differences. Crop growth and yields are negatively affected by sub-optimal water supply and abnormal temperatures due to physical damages, physiological disruptions, and biochemical changes. Both these stresses have multi-lateral impacts and therefore, complex in mechanistic action. A better understanding of plant responses to these stresses has pragmatic implication for remedies and management. A comprehensive account of conventional as well as modern approaches to deal with heat and drought stresses have also been presented here. A side-by-side critical discussion on salient responses and management strategies for these two important abiotic stresses provides a unique insight into the phenomena. A holistic approach taking into account the different management options to deal with heat and drought stress simultaneously could be a win-win approach in future. PMID:28706531

  18. Plant genome editing made easy: targeted mutagenesis in model and crop plants using the CRISPR/Cas system.

    PubMed

    Belhaj, Khaoula; Chaparro-Garcia, Angela; Kamoun, Sophien; Nekrasov, Vladimir

    2013-10-11

    Targeted genome engineering (also known as genome editing) has emerged as an alternative to classical plant breeding and transgenic (GMO) methods to improve crop plants. Until recently, available tools for introducing site-specific double strand DNA breaks were restricted to zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) and TAL effector nucleases (TALENs). However, these technologies have not been widely adopted by the plant research community due to complicated design and laborious assembly of specific DNA binding proteins for each target gene. Recently, an easier method has emerged based on the bacterial type II CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)/Cas (CRISPR-associated) immune system. The CRISPR/Cas system allows targeted cleavage of genomic DNA guided by a customizable small noncoding RNA, resulting in gene modifications by both non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and homology-directed repair (HDR) mechanisms. In this review we summarize and discuss recent applications of the CRISPR/Cas technology in plants.

  19. Assessing the phytoremediation potential of crop and grass plants for atrazine-spiked soils.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Virtudes; López-Bellido, Francisco Javier; Cañizares, Pablo; Rodríguez, Luis

    2017-10-01

    Pollution of soil and groundwater by atrazine has become an increasing environmental concern in the last decade. A phytoremediation test using plastic pots was conducted in order to assess the ability of several crops and grasses to remove atrazine from a soil of low permeability spiked with this herbicide. Four plant species were assessed for their ability to degrade or accumulate atrazine from soils: two grasses, i.e., ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea), and two crops, i.e., barley (Hordeum vulgare) and maize (Zea mays). Three different doses of atrazine were used for the contamination of the pots: 2, 5 and 10 mg kg -1 . 16 days after spiking, the initial amount of atrazine was reduced by 88.6-99.6% in planted pots, while a decrease of only 63.1-78.2% was found for the unplanted pots, thus showing the contribution of plants to soil decontamination. All the plant species were capable of accumulating atrazine and its N-dealkylated metabolites, i.e., deethylatrazine and deisopropylatrazine, in their tissues. Some toxic responses, such as biomass decreases and/or chlorosis, were observed in plants to a greater or lesser extent for initial soil doses of atrazine above 2 mg kg -1 . Maize was the plant species with the highest ability to accumulate atrazine derivatives, reaching up to 38.4% of the initial atrazine added to the soil. Rhizosphere degradation/mineralization by microorganisms or plant enzymes, together with degradation inside the plants, have been proposed as the mechanisms that contributed to a higher extent than plant accumulation to explain the removal of atrazine from soils. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Crop Establishment Practices Are a Driver of the Plant Microbiota in Winter Oilseed Rape (Brassica napus)

    PubMed Central

    Rathore, Ridhdhi; Dowling, David N.; Forristal, Patrick D.; Spink, John; Cotter, Paul D.; Bulgarelli, Davide; Germaine, Kieran J.

    2017-01-01

    Gaining a greater understanding of the plant microbiota and its interactions with its host plant heralds a new era of scientific discovery in agriculture. Different agricultural management practices influence soil microbial populations by changing a soil’s physical, chemical and biological properties. However, the impact of these practices on the microbiota associated with economically important crops such as oilseed rape, are still understudied. In this work we investigated the impact of two contrasting crop establishment practices, conventional (plow based) and conservation (strip–tillage) systems, on the microbiota inhabiting different plant microhabitats, namely rhizosphere, root and shoot, of winter oilseed rape under Irish agronomic conditions. Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequence profiling showed that the plant associated microhabitats (root and shoot), are dominated by members of the bacterial phyla Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes. The root and shoot associated bacterial communities displayed markedly distinct profiles as a result of tillage practices. We observed a very limited ‘rhizosphere effect’ in the root zone of WOSR, i.e., there was little or no increase in bacterial community richness and abundance in the WOSR rhizosphere compared to the bulk soil. The two tillage systems investigated did not appear to lead to any major long term differences on the bulk soil or rhizosphere bacterial communities. Our data suggests that the WOSR root and shoot microbiota can be impacted by management practices and is an important mechanism that could allow us to understand how plants respond to different management practices and environments. PMID:28848510

  1. Plant productivity and characterization of zeoponic substrates after three successive crops of radish

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gruener, J. E.; Ming, Doug; Galindo, C., Jr.; Henderson, K. E.

    2006-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has developed advanced life support (ALS) systems for long duration space missions that incorporate plants to regenerate the atmosphere (CO2 to O2), recycle water (via evapotranspiration), and produce food. NASA has also developed a zeolite-based synthetic substrate consisting of clinoptilolite and synthetic apatite to support plant growth for ALS systems (Ming et al., 1995). The substrate is called zeoponics and has been designed to slowly release all plant essential elements into "soil" solution. The substrate consists of K- and NH4-exchanged clinoptilolite and a synthetic hydroxyapatite that has Mg, S, and the plant-essential micronutrients incorporated into its structure in addition to Ca and P. Plant performance in zeoponic substrates has been improved by the addition of dolomite pH buffers, nitrifying bacteria, and other calcium-bearing minerals (Henderson et al., 2000; Gruener et al., 2003). Wheat was used as the test crop for all of these studies. The objectives of this study were to expand upon the previous studies to determine the growth and nutrient uptake of radish in zeoponic substrates and to determine the nutrient availability of the zeoponic substrate after three successive radish crops.

  2. Accurate measurement of transgene copy number in crop plants using droplet digital PCR.

    PubMed

    Collier, Ray; Dasgupta, Kasturi; Xing, Yan-Ping; Hernandez, Bryan Tarape; Shao, Min; Rohozinski, Dominica; Kovak, Emma; Lin, Jeanie; de Oliveira, Maria Luiza P; Stover, Ed; McCue, Kent F; Harmon, Frank G; Blechl, Ann; Thomson, James G; Thilmony, Roger

    2017-06-01

    Genetic transformation is a powerful means for the improvement of crop plants, but requires labor- and resource-intensive methods. An efficient method for identifying single-copy transgene insertion events from a population of independent transgenic lines is desirable. Currently, transgene copy number is estimated by either Southern blot hybridization analyses or quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) experiments. Southern hybridization is a convincing and reliable method, but it also is expensive, time-consuming and often requires a large amount of genomic DNA and radioactively labeled probes. Alternatively, qPCR requires less DNA and is potentially simpler to perform, but its results can lack the accuracy and precision needed to confidently distinguish between one- and two-copy events in transgenic plants with large genomes. To address this need, we developed a droplet digital PCR-based method for transgene copy number measurement in an array of crops: rice, citrus, potato, maize, tomato and wheat. The method utilizes specific primers to amplify target transgenes, and endogenous reference genes in a single duplexed reaction containing thousands of droplets. Endpoint amplicon production in the droplets is detected and quantified using sequence-specific fluorescently labeled probes. The results demonstrate that this approach can generate confident copy number measurements in independent transgenic lines in these crop species. This method and the compendium of probes and primers will be a useful resource for the plant research community, enabling the simple and accurate determination of transgene copy number in these six important crop species. Published 2017. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  3. 76 FR 37769 - Bayer CropScience LP; Availability of Petition, Plant Pest Risk Assessment, and Environmental...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-28

    ... DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2010-0102] Bayer CropScience LP; Availability of Petition, Plant Pest Risk Assessment, and Environmental Assessment... Herbicide Tolerance AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: We...

  4. Sexual and apomictic plant reproduction in the genomics era: exploring the mechanisms potentially useful in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Dwivedi, Sangam L; Perotti, Enrico; Upadhyaya, Hari D; Ortiz, Rodomiro

    2010-12-01

    Arabidopsis, Mimulus and tomato have emerged as model plants in researching genetic and molecular basis of differences in mating systems. Variations in floral traits and loss of self-incompatibility have been associated with mating system differences in crops. Genomics research has advanced considerably, both in model and crop plants, which may provide opportunities to modify breeding systems as evidenced in Arabidopsis and tomato. Mating system, however, not recombination per se, has greater effect on the level of polymorphism. Generating targeted recombination remains one of the most important factors for crop genetic enhancement. Asexual reproduction through seeds or apomixis, by producing maternal clones, presents a tremendous potential for agriculture. Although believed to be under simple genetic control, recent research has revealed that apomixis results as a consequence of the deregulation of the timing of sexual events rather than being the product of specific apomixis genes. Further, forward genetic studies in Arabidopsis have permitted the isolation of novel genes reported to control meiosis I and II entry. Mutations in these genes trigger the production of unreduced or apomeiotic megagametes and are an important step toward understanding and engineering apomixis.

  5. GIS based evaluation of crop suitability for agricultural sustainability around Kolaghat thermal power plant, India.

    PubMed

    Adak, Subhas; Adhikari, Kalyan; Brahmachari, Koushik

    2016-09-01

    Fly ash exhaust from Kolaghat thermal power plant, West Bengal, India,?? affects the areas within the radius of 3 - 4 km. Land information system indicated that surface texture within 4 km was silty loam and clay content increased with increase of distance. Soil pH was alkaline (7.58-8.01) in affected circles, whereas soil was acidic (5.95-6.41) in rest of block. Organic carbon (OC) is roving from 0.36 to 0.64% in the nearer circles which is lesser from others. The present Crop suitability analysis revealed that 96.98 % area was suitable (S1) for maize, sesame, jute, whereas these were cultivated in less than 1% of land. Flowers are the best suitable (S1) in 88.9 % but it was grown in 6.02 % area.? The present rice area within 4 km of KTPP is showing moderately suitable (S2) and S1 for the rest. Wheat is moderately suitable (S2) in the almost all the circles.? Cultivation of vegetable crops is limited in the affected circles while the highly suitable (S1) comprises 67.49 % for the remaining areas though it covered only 6.01 % of the block.? This evaluation precisely improves more than 300% from the earlier cropping intensity of 177.95 %. Suitability based land use allocation serves as stepping stone to promote agricultural sustainability. Geographic information system (GIS) model has been developed to assess site specific crop suitability for sustainable agricultural planning.

  6. Crop systems and plant roots can modify the soil water holding capacity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doussan, Claude; Cousin, Isabelle; Berard, Annette; Chabbi, Abad; Legendre, Laurent; Czarnes, Sonia; Toussaint, Bruce; Ruy, Stéphane

    2015-04-01

    At the interface between atmosphere and deep sub-soil, the root zone plays a major role in regulating the flow of water between major compartments: groundwater / surface / atmosphere (drainage, runoff, evapotranspiration). This role of soil as regulator/control of water fluxes, but also as a supporting medium to plant growth, is strongly dependent on the hydric properties of the soil. In turn, the plant roots growing in the soil can change its structure; both in the plow layer and in the deeper horizons and, therefore, could change the soil properties, particularly hydric properties. Such root-related alteration of soil properties can be linked to direct effect of roots such as soil perforation during growth, aggregation of soil particles or indirect effects such as the release of exudates by roots that could modify the properties of water or of soil particles. On an another hand, the rhizosphere, the zone around roots influenced by the activity of root and associated microorganisms, could have a high influence on hydric properties, particularly the water retention. To test if crops and plant roots rhizosphere may have a significant effect on water retention, we conducted various experiment from laboratory to field scales. In the lab, we tested different soil and species for rhizospheric effect on soil water retention. Variation in available water content (AWC) between bulk and rhizospheric soil varied from non-significant to a significant increase (to about 16% increase) depending on plant species and soil type. In the field, the alteration of water retention by root systems was tested in different pedological settings for a Maize crop inoculated or not with the bacteria Azospirillum spp., known to alter root structure, growth and morphology. Again, a range of variation in AWC was evidenced, with significant increase (~30%) in some soil types, but more linked to innoculated/non-innoculated plants rather than to a difference between rhizospheric and bulk soil

  7. GmWRKY31 and GmHDL56 Enhances Resistance to Phytophthora sojae by Regulating Defense-Related Gene Expression in Soybean.

    PubMed

    Fan, Sujie; Dong, Lidong; Han, Dan; Zhang, Feng; Wu, Junjiang; Jiang, Liangyu; Cheng, Qun; Li, Rongpeng; Lu, Wencheng; Meng, Fanshan; Zhang, Shuzhen; Xu, Pengfei

    2017-01-01

    Phytophthora root and stem rot of soybean [ Glycine max (L.) Merr.] caused by the oomycete Phytophthora sojae , is a destructive disease worldwide. The molecular mechanism of the soybean response to P. sojae is largely unclear. We report a novel WRKY transcription factor (TF) in soybean, GmWRKY31, in the host response to P. sojae . Overexpression and RNA interference analysis demonstrated that GmWRKY31 enhanced resistance to P. sojae in transgenic soybean plants. GmWRKY31 was targeted to the nucleus, where it bound to the W-box and acted as an activator of gene transcription. Moreover, we determined that GmWRKY31 physically interacted with GmHDL56, which improved resistance to P. sojae in transgenic soybean roots. GmWRKY31 and GmHDL56 shared a common target GmNPR1 which was induced by P. sojae . Overexpression and RNA interference analysis demonstrated that GmNPR1 enhanced resistance to P. sojae in transgenic soybean plants. Several pathogenesis-related ( PR ) genes were constitutively activated, including GmPR1a , GmPR2 , GmPR3 , GmPR4 , GmPR5a , and GmPR10 , in soybean plants overexpressing GmNPR1 transcripts. By contrast, the induction of PR genes was compromised in transgenic GmNPR1 -RNAi lines. Taken together, these findings suggested that the interaction between GmWRKY31 and GmHDL56 enhances resistance to P. sojae by regulating defense-related gene expression in soybean.

  8. GmWRKY31 and GmHDL56 Enhances Resistance to Phytophthora sojae by Regulating Defense-Related Gene Expression in Soybean

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Sujie; Dong, Lidong; Han, Dan; Zhang, Feng; Wu, Junjiang; Jiang, Liangyu; Cheng, Qun; Li, Rongpeng; Lu, Wencheng; Meng, Fanshan; Zhang, Shuzhen; Xu, Pengfei

    2017-01-01

    Phytophthora root and stem rot of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] caused by the oomycete Phytophthora sojae, is a destructive disease worldwide. The molecular mechanism of the soybean response to P. sojae is largely unclear. We report a novel WRKY transcription factor (TF) in soybean, GmWRKY31, in the host response to P. sojae. Overexpression and RNA interference analysis demonstrated that GmWRKY31 enhanced resistance to P. sojae in transgenic soybean plants. GmWRKY31 was targeted to the nucleus, where it bound to the W-box and acted as an activator of gene transcription. Moreover, we determined that GmWRKY31 physically interacted with GmHDL56, which improved resistance to P. sojae in transgenic soybean roots. GmWRKY31 and GmHDL56 shared a common target GmNPR1 which was induced by P. sojae. Overexpression and RNA interference analysis demonstrated that GmNPR1 enhanced resistance to P. sojae in transgenic soybean plants. Several pathogenesis-related (PR) genes were constitutively activated, including GmPR1a, GmPR2, GmPR3, GmPR4, GmPR5a, and GmPR10, in soybean plants overexpressing GmNPR1 transcripts. By contrast, the induction of PR genes was compromised in transgenic GmNPR1-RNAi lines. Taken together, these findings suggested that the interaction between GmWRKY31 and GmHDL56 enhances resistance to P. sojae by regulating defense-related gene expression in soybean. PMID:28553307

  9. Host-Plant Selectivity of Rhizobacteria in a Crop/Weed Model System

    PubMed Central

    Zeller, Simon L.; Brandl, Helmut; Schmid, Bernhard

    2007-01-01

    Belowground microorganisms are known to influence plants' performance by altering the soil environment. Plant pathogens such as cyanide-producing strains of the rhizobacterium Pseudomonas may show strong host-plant selectivity. We analyzed interactions between different host plants and Pseudomonas strains and tested if these can be linked to the cyanide sensitivity of host plants, the cyanide production of bacterial strains or the plant identity from which strains had been isolated. Eight strains (four cyanide producing) were isolated from roots of four weed species and then re-inoculated on the four weed and two additional crop species. Bacterial strain composition varied strongly among the four weed species. Although all six plant species showed different reductions in root growth when cyanide was artificially applied to seedlings, they were generally not negatively affected by inoculation with cyanide-producing bacterial strains. We found a highly significant plant species x bacterial strain interaction. Partitioning this interaction into contrasts showed that it was entirely due to a strongly negative effect of a bacterial strain (Pseudomonas kilonensis/brassicacearum, isolated from Galium mollugo) on Echinochloa crus-galli. This exotic weed may not have become adapted to the bacterial strain isolated from a native weed. Our findings suggest that host-specific rhizobacteria hold some promise as biological weed-control agents. PMID:17786217

  10. Characterization and potential of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria isolated from native Andean crops.

    PubMed

    Ogata-Gutiérrez, Katty; Chumpitaz-Segovia, Carolina; Lirio-Paredes, Jesus; Finetti-Sialer, Mariella M; Zúñiga-Dávila, Doris

    2017-10-27

    Bacteria isolated from soil and rhizosphere samples collected in Peru from Andean crops were tested in vitro and in vivo to determine their potential as plant growth promoters and their ability to induce systemic resistance to Alternaria alternata in tomato plants. The isolates were identified by sequencing their 16S ribosomal RNA gene. Test for phosphate solubilization, and indolacetic acid were also carried out, together with in vitro antagonism assays in dual cultures towards the plant pathogens Fusarium solani, A. alternata and Curvularia lunata. The three most promising isolates (Pa15, Ps155, Ps168) belonged to the genus Pseudomonas. Further assays were carried out with tomato plants to assess their plant protection effect towards A. alternata and as growth promoters. Inoculation of tomato seeds with all isolates significantly enhanced seed germination, plantlets emergence and plant development. Bacterial inoculation also reduce damage level caused by A. alternata. The expression levels of three tomato genes involved in the jasmonate (AOS), ethylene responsive (ERF-2) and pathogenesis related (PR-P2) pathways were determined in plants challenged with A. alternata, alone or with each bacterial isolate, respectively. Results showed that at 24 h after infection, in absence of the pathogen, the expression level of the tested genes was very low. The presence of A. alternata alone and in combination with bacteria increased the transcripts of all genes. Data showed a potential of best performing isolate Ps168 to sustain tomato plants nutrition and activate defense-related genes for protection by pathogenic fungi.

  11. 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.

  12. Optimizing experimental procedures for quantitative evaluation of crop plant performance in high throughput phenotyping systems

    PubMed Central

    Junker, Astrid; Muraya, Moses M.; Weigelt-Fischer, Kathleen; Arana-Ceballos, Fernando; Klukas, Christian; Melchinger, Albrecht E.; Meyer, Rhonda C.; Riewe, David; Altmann, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Detailed and standardized protocols for plant cultivation in environmentally controlled conditions are an essential prerequisite to conduct reproducible experiments with precisely defined treatments. Setting up appropriate and well defined experimental procedures is thus crucial for the generation of solid evidence and indispensable for successful plant research. Non-invasive and high throughput (HT) phenotyping technologies offer the opportunity to monitor and quantify performance dynamics of several hundreds of plants at a time. Compared to small scale plant cultivations, HT systems have much higher demands, from a conceptual and a logistic point of view, on experimental design, as well as the actual plant cultivation conditions, and the image analysis and statistical methods for data evaluation. Furthermore, cultivation conditions need to be designed that elicit plant performance characteristics corresponding to those under natural conditions. This manuscript describes critical steps in the optimization of procedures for HT plant phenotyping systems. Starting with the model plant Arabidopsis, HT-compatible methods were tested, and optimized with regard to growth substrate, soil coverage, watering regime, experimental design (considering environmental inhomogeneities) in automated plant cultivation and imaging systems. As revealed by metabolite profiling, plant movement did not affect the plants' physiological status. Based on these results, procedures for maize HT cultivation and monitoring were established. Variation of maize vegetative growth in the HT phenotyping system did match well with that observed in the field. The presented results outline important issues to be considered in the design of HT phenotyping experiments for model and crop plants. It thereby provides guidelines for the setup of HT experimental procedures, which are required for the generation of reliable and reproducible data of phenotypic variation for a broad range of applications. PMID

  13. Plant Water Stress Affects Interactions Between an Invasive and a Naturalized Aphid Species on Cereal Crops.

    PubMed

    Foote, N E; Davis, T S; Crowder, D W; Bosque-Pérez, N A; Eigenbrode, S D

    2017-06-01

    In cereal cropping systems of the Pacific Northwestern United States (PNW), climate change is projected to increase the frequency of drought during summer months, which could increase water stress for crop plants. Yet, it remains uncertain how interactions between herbivore species are affected by drought stress. Here, interactions between two cereal aphids present in PNW cereal systems, Metopolophium festucae (Theobald) subsp. cerealium (a newly invasive species) and Rhopalosiphum padi L. (a naturalized species), were tested relative to wheat water stress. When aphids were confined in leaf cages on wheat, asymmetrical facilitation occurred; per capita fecundity of R. padi was increased by 46% when M. festucae cerealium was also present, compared to when only R. padi was present. Imposed water stress did not influence this interaction. When aphids were confined on whole wheat plants, asymmetrical competition occurred; cocolonization inhibited M. festucae cerealium population growth but did not affect R. padi population growth. Under conditions of plant water stress, however, the inhibitory effect of R. padi on M. festucae cerealium was not observed. We conclude that beneficial effects of cocolonization on R. padi are due to a localized plant response to M. festucae cerealium feeding, and that cocolonization of plants is likely to suppress M. festucae cerealium populations under ample water conditions, but not when plants are water stressed. This suggests that plant responses to water stress alter the outcome of competition between herbivore species, with implications for the structure of pest communities on wheat during periods of drought. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.

  14. Elevating crop disease resistance with cloned genes

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Jonathan D. G.; Witek, Kamil; Verweij, Walter; Jupe, Florian; Cooke, David; Dorling, Stephen; Tomlinson, Laurence; Smoker, Matthew; Perkins, Sara; Foster, Simon

    2014-01-01

    Essentially all plant species exhibit heritable genetic variation for resistance to a variety of plant diseases caused by fungi, bacteria, oomycetes or viruses. Disease losses in crop monocultures are already significant, and would be greater but for applications of disease-controlling agrichemicals. For sustainable intensification of crop production, we argue that disease control should as far as possible be achieved using genetics rather than using costly recurrent chemical sprays. The latter imply CO2 emissions from diesel fuel and potential soil compaction from tractor journeys. Great progress has been made in the past 25 years in our understanding of the molecular basis of plant disease resistance mechanisms, and of how pathogens circumvent them. These insights can inform more sophisticated approaches to elevating disease resistance in crops that help us tip the evolutionary balance in favour of the crop and away from the pathogen. We illustrate this theme with an account of a genetically modified (GM) blight-resistant potato trial in Norwich, using the Rpi-vnt1.1 gene isolated from a wild relative of potato, Solanum venturii, and introduced by GM methods into the potato variety Desiree. PMID:24535396

  15. Development of an agricultural biotechnology crop product: testing from discovery to commercialization.

    PubMed

    Privalle, Laura S; Chen, Jingwen; Clapper, Gina; Hunst, Penny; Spiegelhalter, Frank; Zhong, Cathy X

    2012-10-17

    "Genetically modified" (GM) or "biotech" crops have been the most rapidly adopted agricultural technology in recent years. The development of a GM crop encompasses trait identification, gene isolation, plant cell transformation, plant regeneration, efficacy evaluation, commercial event identification, safety evaluation, and finally commercial authorization. This is a lengthy, complex, and resource-intensive process. Crops produced through biotechnology are the most highly studied food or food component consumed. Before commercialization, these products are shown to be as safe as conventional crops with respect to feed, food, and the environment. This paper describes this global process and the various analytical tests that must accompany the product during the course of development, throughout its market life, and beyond.

  16. Comparative Effectiveness of Potential Elicitors of Plant Resistance against Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Four Crop Plants.

    PubMed

    Gordy, John W; Leonard, B Rogers; Blouin, David; Davis, Jeffrey A; Stout, Michael J

    2015-01-01

    Feeding by insect herbivores activates plant signaling pathways, resulting in the enhanced production of secondary metabolites and other resistance-related traits by injured plants. These traits can reduce insect fitness, deter feeding, and attract beneficial insects. Organic and inorganic chemicals applied as a foliar spray, seed treatment, or soil drench can activate these plant responses. Azelaic acid (AA), benzothiadiazole (BTH), gibberellic acid (GA), harpin, and jasmonic acid (JA) are thought to directly mediate plant responses to pathogens and herbivores or to mimic compounds that do. The effects of these potential elicitors on the induction of plant defenses were determined by measuring the weight gains of fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (FAW) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) larvae on four crop plants, cotton, corn, rice, and soybean, treated with the compounds under greenhouse conditions. Treatment with JA consistently reduced growth of FAW reared on treated cotton and soybean. In contrast, FAW fed BTH- and harpin-treated cotton and soybean tissue gained more weight than those fed control leaf tissue, consistent with negative crosstalk between the salicylic acid and JA signaling pathways. No induction or inconsistent induction of resistance was observed in corn and rice. Follow-up experiments showed that the co-application of adjuvants with JA failed to increase the effectiveness of induction by JA and that soybean looper [Chrysodeixis includens (Walker)], a relative specialist on legumes, was less affected by JA-induced responses in soybean than was the polyphagous FAW. Overall, the results of these experiments demonstrate that the effectiveness of elicitors as a management tactic will depend strongly on the identities of the crop, the pest, and the elicitor involved.

  17. Environmental impacts of genetically modified plants: A review.

    PubMed

    Tsatsakis, Aristidis M; Nawaz, Muhammad Amjad; Kouretas, Demetrios; Balias, Georgios; Savolainen, Kai; Tutelyan, Victor A; Golokhvast, Kirill S; Lee, Jeong Dong; Yang, Seung Hwan; Chung, Gyuhwa

    2017-07-01

    Powerful scientific techniques have caused dramatic expansion of genetically modified crops leading to altered agricultural practices posing direct and indirect environmental implications. Despite the enhanced yield potential, risks and biosafety concerns associated with such GM crops are the fundamental issues to be addressed. An increasing interest can be noted among the researchers and policy makers in exploring unintended effects of transgenes associated with gene flow, flow of naked DNA, weediness and chemical toxicity. The current state of knowledge reveals that GM crops impart damaging impacts on the environment such as modification in crop pervasiveness or invasiveness, the emergence of herbicide and insecticide tolerance, transgene stacking and disturbed biodiversity, but these impacts require a more in-depth view and critical research so as to unveil further facts. Most of the reviewed scientific resources provide similar conclusions and currently there is an insufficient amount of data available and up until today, the consumption of GM plant products are safe for consumption to a greater extent with few exceptions. This paper updates the undesirable impacts of GM crops and their products on target and non-target species and attempts to shed light on the emerging challenges and threats associated with it. Underpinning research also realizes the influence of GM crops on a disturbance in biodiversity, development of resistance and evolution slightly resembles with the effects of non-GM cultivation. Future prospects are also discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Neonicotinoid Insecticides Alter Induced Defenses and Increase Susceptibility to Spider Mites in Distantly Related Crop Plants

    PubMed Central

    Szczepaniec, Adrianna; Raupp, Michael J.; Parker, Roy D.; Kerns, David; Eubanks, Micky D.

    2013-01-01

    Background Chemical suppression of arthropod herbivores is the most common approach to plant protection. Insecticides, however, can cause unintended, adverse consequences for non-target organisms. Previous studies focused on the effects of pesticides on target and non-target pests, predatory arthropods, and concomitant ecological disruptions. Little research, however, has focused on the direct effects of insecticides on plants. Here we demonstrate that applications of neonicotinoid insecticides, one of the most important insecticide classes worldwide, suppress expression of important plant defense genes, alter levels of phytohormones involved in plant defense, and decrease plant resistance to unsusceptible herbivores, spider mites Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae), in multiple, distantly related crop plants. Methodology/Principal Findings Using cotton (Gossypium hirsutum), corn (Zea mays) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) plants, we show that transcription of phenylalanine amonia lyase, coenzyme A ligase, trypsin protease inhibitor and chitinase are suppressed and concentrations of the phytohormone OPDA and salicylic acid were altered by neonicotinoid insecticides. Consequently, the population growth of spider mites increased from 30% to over 100% on neonicotinoid-treated plants in the greenhouse and by nearly 200% in the field experiment. Conclusions/Significance Our findings are important because applications of neonicotinoid insecticides have been associated with outbreaks of spider mites in several unrelated plant species. More importantly, this is the first study to document insecticide-mediated disruption of plant defenses and link it to increased population growth of a non-target herbivore. This study adds to growing evidence that bioactive agrochemicals can have unanticipated ecological effects and suggests that the direct effects of insecticides on plant defenses should be considered when the ecological costs of insecticides are evaluated. PMID

  19. Functional and Structural Optimality in Plant Growth: A Crop Modelling Case Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caldararu, S.; Purves, D. W.; Smith, M. J.

    2014-12-01

    Simple mechanistic models of vegetation processes are essential both to our understanding of plant behaviour and to our ability to predict future changes in vegetation. One concept that can take us closer to such models is that of plant optimality, the hypothesis that plants aim to achieve an optimal state. Conceptually, plant optimality can be either structural or functional optimality. A structural constraint would mean that plants aim to achieve a certain structural characteristic such as an allometric relationship or nutrient content that allows optimal function. A functional condition refers to plants achieving optimal functionality, in most cases by maximising carbon gain. Functional optimality conditions are applied on shorter time scales and lead to higher plasticity, making plants more adaptable to changes in their environment. In contrast, structural constraints are optimal given the specific environmental conditions that plants are adapted to and offer less flexibility. We exemplify these concepts using a simple model of crop growth. The model represents annual cycles of growth from sowing date to harvest, including both vegetative and reproductive growth and phenology. Structural constraints to growth are represented as an optimal C:N ratio in all plant organs, which drives allocation throughout the vegetative growing stage. Reproductive phenology - i.e. the onset of flowering and grain filling - is determined by a functional optimality condition in the form of maximising final seed mass, so that vegetative growth stops when the plant reaches maximum nitrogen or carbon uptake. We investigate the plants' response to variations in environmental conditions within these two optimality constraints and show that final yield is most affected by changes during vegetative growth which affect the structural constraint.

  20. Exploitation of molecular profiling techniques for GM food safety assessment.

    PubMed

    Kuiper, Harry A; Kok, Esther J; Engel, Karl-Heinz

    2003-04-01

    Several strategies have been developed to identify unintended alterations in the composition of genetically modified (GM) food crops that may occur as a result of the genetic modification process. These include comparative chemical analysis of single compounds in GM food crops and their conventional non-GM counterparts, and profiling methods such as DNA/RNA microarray technologies, proteomics and metabolite profiling. The potential of profiling methods is obvious, but further exploration of specificity, sensitivity and validation is needed. Moreover, the successful application of profiling techniques to the safety evaluation of GM foods will require linked databases to be built that contain information on variations in profiles associated with differences in developmental stages and environmental conditions.

  1. Silicon Regulates Antioxidant Activities of Crop Plants under Abiotic-Induced Oxidative Stress: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Yoon-Ha; Khan, Abdul L.; Waqas, Muhammad; Lee, In-Jung

    2017-01-01

    Silicon (Si) is the second most abundant element in soil, where its availability to plants can exhilarate to 10% of total dry weight of the plant. Si accumulation/transport occurs in the upward direction, and has been identified in several crop plants. Si application has been known to ameliorate plant growth and development during normal and stressful conditions over past two-decades. During abiotic (salinity, drought, thermal, and heavy metal etc) stress, one of the immediate responses by plant is the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as singlet oxygen (1O2), superoxide (O2−), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and hydroxyl radicals (OH), which cause severe damage to the cell structure, organelles, and functions. To alleviate and repair this damage, plants have developed a complex antioxidant system to maintain homeostasis through non-enzymatic (carotenoids, tocopherols, ascorbate, and glutathione) and enzymatic antioxidants [superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and ascorbate peroxidase (APX)]. To this end, the exogenous application of Si has been found to induce stress tolerance by regulating the generation of ROS, reducing electrolytic leakage, and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents, and immobilizing and reducing the uptake of toxic ions like Na, under stressful conditions. However, the interaction of Si and plant antioxidant enzyme system remains poorly understood, and further in-depth analyses at the transcriptomic level are needed to understand the mechanisms responsible for the Si-mediated regulation of stress responses. PMID:28428797

  2. Genetic engineering of cytokinin metabolism: prospective way to improve agricultural traits of crop plants.

    PubMed

    Zalabák, David; Pospíšilová, Hana; Šmehilová, Mária; Mrízová, Katarína; Frébort, Ivo; Galuszka, Petr

    2013-01-01

    Cytokinins (CKs) are ubiquitous phytohormones that participate in development, morphogenesis and many physiological processes throughout plant kingdom. In higher plants, mutants and transgenic cells and tissues with altered activity of CK metabolic enzymes or perception machinery, have highlighted their crucial involvement in different agriculturally important traits, such as productivity, increased tolerance to various stresses and overall plant morphology. Furthermore, recent precise metabolomic analyses have elucidated the specific occurrence and distinct functions of different CK types in various plant species. Thus, smooth manipulation of active CK levels in a spatial and temporal way could be a very potent tool for plant biotechnology in the future. This review summarises recent advances in cytokinin research ranging from transgenic alteration of CK biosynthetic, degradation and glucosylation activities and CK perception to detailed elucidation of molecular processes, in which CKs work as a trigger in model plants. The first attempts to improve the quality of crop plants, focused on cereals are discussed, together with proposed mechanism of action of the responses involved. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Silicon Regulates Antioxidant Activities of Crop Plants under Abiotic-Induced Oxidative Stress: A Review.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yoon-Ha; Khan, Abdul L; Waqas, Muhammad; Lee, In-Jung

    2017-01-01

    Silicon (Si) is the second most abundant element in soil, where its availability to plants can exhilarate to 10% of total dry weight of the plant. Si accumulation/transport occurs in the upward direction, and has been identified in several crop plants. Si application has been known to ameliorate plant growth and development during normal and stressful conditions over past two-decades. During abiotic (salinity, drought, thermal, and heavy metal etc) stress, one of the immediate responses by plant is the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as singlet oxygen ( 1 O 2 ), superoxide ([Formula: see text]), hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ), and hydroxyl radicals (OH), which cause severe damage to the cell structure, organelles, and functions. To alleviate and repair this damage, plants have developed a complex antioxidant system to maintain homeostasis through non-enzymatic (carotenoids, tocopherols, ascorbate, and glutathione) and enzymatic antioxidants [superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and ascorbate peroxidase (APX)]. To this end, the exogenous application of Si has been found to induce stress tolerance by regulating the generation of ROS, reducing electrolytic leakage, and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents, and immobilizing and reducing the uptake of toxic ions like Na, under stressful conditions. However, the interaction of Si and plant antioxidant enzyme system remains poorly understood, and further in-depth analyses at the transcriptomic level are needed to understand the mechanisms responsible for the Si-mediated regulation of stress responses.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-27

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

  5. Carbon sequestration in dryland soils and plant residue as influenced by tillage and crop rotation.

    PubMed

    Sainju, Upendra M; Lenssen, Andrew; Caesar-Thonthat, Thecan; Waddell, Jed

    2006-01-01

    Long-term use of conventional tillage and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-fallow systems in the northern Great Plains have resulted in low soil organic carbon (SOC) levels. We examined the effects of two tillage practices [conventional till (CT) and no-till (NT)], five crop rotations [continuous spring wheat (CW), spring wheat-fallow (W-F), spring wheat-lentil (Lens culinaris Medic.) (W-L), spring wheat-spring wheat-fallow (W-W-F), and spring wheat-pea (Pisum sativum L.)-fallow (W-P-F)], and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) planting on plant C input, SOC, and particulate organic carbon (POC). A field experiment was conducted in a mixture of Scobey clay loam (fine-loamy, mixed, Aridic Argiborolls) and Kevin clay loam (fine, montmorillonitic, Aridic Argiborolls) from 1998 to 2003 in Havre, MT. Total plant biomass returned to the soil from 1998 to 2003 was greater in CW (15.5 Mg ha(-1)) than in other rotations. Residue cover, amount, and C content in 2004 were 33 to 86% greater in NT than in CT and greater in CRP than in crop rotations. Residue amount (2.47 Mg ha(-1)) and C content (0.96 Mg ha(-1)) were greater in NT with CW than in other treatments, except in CT with CRP and W-F and in NT with CRP and W-W-F. The SOC at the 0- to 5-cm depth was 23% greater in NT (6.4 Mg ha(-1)) than in CT. The POC was not influenced by tillage and crop rotation, but POC to SOC ratio at the 0- to 20-cm depth was greater in NT with W-L (369 g kg(-1) SOC) than in CT with CW, W-F, and W-L. From 1998 to 2003, SOC at the 0- to 20-cm depth decreased by 4% in CT but increased by 3% in NT. Carbon can be sequestered in dryland soils and plant residue in areas previously under CRP using reduced tillage and increased cropping intensity, such as NT with CW, compared with traditional practice, such as CT with W-F system, and the content can be similar to that in CRP planting.

  6. Extensive Analysis of GmFTL and GmCOL Expression in Northern Soybean Cultivars in Field Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Jinlong; Lu, Mingyang; Chen, Fulu; Liu, Linpo; Xi, Zhang-Ying; Bachmair, Andreas; Chen, Qingshan; Fu, Yong-Fu

    2015-01-01

    The FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) gene is a highly conserved florigen gene among flowering plants. Soybean genome encodes six homologs of FT, which display flowering activity in Arabidopsis thaliana. However, their contributions to flowering time in different soybean cultivars, especially in field conditions, are unclear. We employed six soybean cultivars with different maturities to extensively investigate expression patterns of GmFTLs (Glycine max FT-like) and GmCOLs (Glycine max CO-like) in the field conditions. The results show that GmFTL3 is an FT homolog with the highest transcript abundance in soybean, but other GmFTLs may also contribute to flower induction with different extents, because they have more or less similar expression patterns in developmental-, leaf-, and circadian-specific modes. And four GmCOL genes (GmCOL1/2/5/13) may confer to the expression of GmFTL genes. Artificial manipulation of GmFTL expression by transgenic strategy (overexpression and RNAi) results in a distinct change in soybean flowering time, indicating that GmFTLs not only impact on the control of flowering time, but have potential applications in the manipulation of photoperiodic adaptation in soybean. Additionally, transgenic plants show that GmFTLs play a role in formation of the first flowers and in vegetative growth. PMID:26371882

  7. Extensive Analysis of GmFTL and GmCOL Expression in Northern Soybean Cultivars in Field Conditions.

    PubMed

    Guo, Guangyu; Xu, Kun; Zhang, Xiaomei; Zhu, Jinlong; Lu, Mingyang; Chen, Fulu; Liu, Linpo; Xi, Zhang-Ying; Bachmair, Andreas; Chen, Qingshan; Fu, Yong-Fu

    2015-01-01

    The FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) gene is a highly conserved florigen gene among flowering plants. Soybean genome encodes six homologs of FT, which display flowering activity in Arabidopsis thaliana. However, their contributions to flowering time in different soybean cultivars, especially in field conditions, are unclear. We employed six soybean cultivars with different maturities to extensively investigate expression patterns of GmFTLs (Glycine max FT-like) and GmCOLs (Glycine max CO-like) in the field conditions. The results show that GmFTL3 is an FT homolog with the highest transcript abundance in soybean, but other GmFTLs may also contribute to flower induction with different extents, because they have more or less similar expression patterns in developmental-, leaf-, and circadian-specific modes. And four GmCOL genes (GmCOL1/2/5/13) may confer to the expression of GmFTL genes. Artificial manipulation of GmFTL expression by transgenic strategy (overexpression and RNAi) results in a distinct change in soybean flowering time, indicating that GmFTLs not only impact on the control of flowering time, but have potential applications in the manipulation of photoperiodic adaptation in soybean. Additionally, transgenic plants show that GmFTLs play a role in formation of the first flowers and in vegetative growth.

  8. 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

  9. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Hydrocarbon- and rubber-producing crops: evaluation of 100 US plant species

    SciTech Connect

    Buchanan, R.T.; Cull, I.M., Otey, F.H.; Russell, C.R.

    1978-01-01

    Agricultural production of rubber and other hydrocarbons in the United States may be compatible with increased food and fiber production if entire plants are harvested and processed for fiber, protein, and carbohydrate as well. Procedures and criteria have been established for the preliminary evaluation of plant species as potential multi-use hydrocarbon-producing crops. Previously, 106 species representing 44 families and 81 genera were evaluated. Now an additional 100 species respresenting 13 additional families and 60 additional genera have been evaluated, and some of these species also offer promise as future crops. Several Labiatae are high in natural rubber (NR) content: Pycnanthemummore » incanum (Mountain Mint) and Teucrium canadense (American Germander) were evaluated as promising species. Three Compositae, Cacalia atriplicifolia (Pale Indian-Plant), Solidago graminifolia (Grass-leafed Golden-rod, and Solidago rigida (Stiff Golden-rod) were also evaluated as promising species for NR. Campanuala americana (Tall Bellflower, Campanulaceae) has potential as a source of both oil and NR. Euphorbia dentata (Euphorbiaceae) does not produce NR but is very high in protein and oil contents. Sassafras albudim (Sassafras, Lauraceae) is of interest for its rapid growth rate in combination with a high oil content. A few other species offer some promise.« less

  11. Continuous cropping of endangered therapeutic plants via electron beam soil-treatment and neutron tomography.

    PubMed

    Sim, Cheul Muu; Seong, Bong Jae; Kim, Dong Won; Kim, Yong Bum; Wi, Seung Gon; Kim, Gyuil; Oh, Hwasuk; Kim, TaeJoo; Chung, Byung Yeoup; Song, Jeong Young; Kim, Hong Gi; Oh, Sang-Keun; Shin, Young Dol; Seok, Jea Hwan; Kang, Min Young; Lee, Yunhee; Radebe, Mabuti Jacob; Kardjilov, Nikolay; Honermeier, Bernd

    2018-02-01

    Various medicinal plants are threatened with extinction owing to their over-exploitation and the prevalence of soil borne pathogens. In this study, soils infected with root-rot pathogens, which prevent continuous-cropping, were treated with an electron beam. The level of soil-borne fungus was reduced to ≤0.01% by soil electron beam treatment without appreciable effects on the levels of antagonistic microorganism or on the physicochemical properties of the soil. The survival rate of 4-year-old plant was higher in electron beam-treated soil (81.0%) than in fumigated (62.5%), virgin (78%), or untreated-replanting soil (0%). Additionally, under various soils conditions, neutron tomography permitted the monitoring of plant health and the detection of root pathological changes over a period of 4-6 years by quantitatively measuring root water content in situ. These methods allow continual cropping on the same soil without pesticide treatment. This is a major step toward the environmentally friendly production of endangered therapeutic herbs.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Brassinosteroids play a critical role in the regulation of pesticide metabolism in crop plants

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yanhong; Xia, Xiaojian; Yu, Gaobo; Wang, Jitao; Wu, Jingxue; Wang, Mengmeng; Yang, Youxin; Shi, Kai; Yu, Yunlong; Chen, Zhixiang; Gan, Jay; Yu, Jingquan

    2015-01-01

    Pesticide residues in agricultural produce pose a threat to human health worldwide. Although the detoxification mechanisms for xenobiotics have been extensively studied in mammalian cells, information about the regulation network in plants remains elusive. Here we show that brassinosteroids (BRs), a class of natural plant hormones, decreased residues of common organophosphorus, organochlorine and carbamate pesticides by 30–70% on tomato, rice, tea, broccoli, cucumber, strawberry, and other plants when treated externally. Genome-wide microarray analysis showed that fungicide chlorothalonil (CHT) and BR co-upregulated 301 genes, including a set of detoxifying genes encoding cytochrome P450, oxidoreductase, hydrolase and transferase in tomato plants. The level of BRs was closely related to the respiratory burst oxidase 1 (RBOH1)-encoded NADPH oxides-dependent H2O2 production, glutathione biosynthesis and the redox homeostasis, and the activity of glutathione S-transferase (GST). Gene silencing treatments showed that BRs decreased pesticide residues in plants likely by promoting their metabolism through a signaling pathway involving BRs-induced H2O2 production and cellular redox change. Our study provided a novel approach for minimizing pesticide residues in crops by exploiting plants' own detoxification mechanisms. PMID:25761674

  14. Modeling plant interspecific interactions from experiments with perennial crop mixtures to predict optimal combinations.

    PubMed

    Halty, Virginia; Valdés, Matías; Tejera, Mauricio; Picasso, Valentín; Fort, Hugo

    2017-12-01

    The contribution of plant species richness to productivity and ecosystem functioning is a longstanding issue in ecology, with relevant implications for both conservation and agriculture. Both experiments and quantitative modeling are fundamental to the design of sustainable agroecosystems and the optimization of crop production. We modeled communities of perennial crop mixtures by using a generalized Lotka-Volterra model, i.e., a model such that the interspecific interactions are more general than purely competitive. We estimated model parameters -carrying capacities and interaction coefficients- from, respectively, the observed biomass of monocultures and bicultures measured in a large diversity experiment of seven perennial forage species in Iowa, United States. The sign and absolute value of the interaction coefficients showed that the biological interactions between species pairs included amensalism, competition, and parasitism (asymmetric positive-negative interaction), with various degrees of intensity. We tested the model fit by simulating the combinations of more than two species and comparing them with the polycultures experimental data. Overall, theoretical predictions are in good agreement with the experiments. Using this model, we also simulated species combinations that were not sown. From all possible mixtures (sown and not sown) we identified which are the most productive species combinations. Our results demonstrate that a combination of experiments and modeling can contribute to the design of sustainable agricultural systems in general and to the optimization of crop production in particular. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  15. High effectiveness of tailored flower strips in reducing pests and crop plant damage

    PubMed Central

    Tschumi, Matthias; Albrecht, Matthias; Entling, Martin H.; Jacot, Katja

    2015-01-01

    Providing key resources to animals may enhance both their biodiversity and the ecosystem services they provide. We examined the performance of annual flower strips targeted at the promotion of natural pest control in winter wheat. Flower strips were experimentally sown along 10 winter wheat fields across a gradient of landscape complexity (i.e. proportion non-crop area within 750 m around focal fields) and compared with 15 fields with wheat control strips. We found strong reductions in cereal leaf beetle (CLB) density (larvae: 40%; adults of the second generation: 53%) and plant damage caused by CLB (61%) in fields with flower strips compared with control fields. Natural enemies of CLB were strongly increased in flower strips and in part also in adjacent wheat fields. Flower strip effects on natural enemies, pests and crop damage were largely independent of landscape complexity (8–75% non-crop area). Our study demonstrates a high effectiveness of annual flower strips in promoting pest control, reducing CLB pest levels below the economic threshold. Hence, the studied flower strip offers a viable alternative to insecticides. This highlights the high potential of tailored agri-environment schemes to contribute to ecological intensification and may encourage more farmers to adopt such schemes. PMID:26311668

  16. High effectiveness of tailored flower strips in reducing pests and crop plant damage.

    PubMed

    Tschumi, Matthias; Albrecht, Matthias; Entling, Martin H; Jacot, Katja

    2015-09-07

    Providing key resources to animals may enhance both their biodiversity and the ecosystem services they provide. We examined the performance of annual flower strips targeted at the promotion of natural pest control in winter wheat. Flower strips were experimentally sown along 10 winter wheat fields across a gradient of landscape complexity (i.e. proportion non-crop area within 750 m around focal fields) and compared with 15 fields with wheat control strips. We found strong reductions in cereal leaf beetle(CLB) density (larvae: 40%; adults of the second generation: 53%) and plant damage caused by CLB (61%) in fields with flower strips compared with control fields. Natural enemies of CLB were strongly increased in flower strips and in part also in adjacent wheat fields. Flower strip effects on natural enemies, pests and crop damage were largely independent of landscape complexity(8-75% non-crop area). Our study demonstrates a high effectiveness of annual flower strips in promoting pest control, reducing CLB pest levels below the economic threshold. Hence, the studied flower strip offers a viable alternative to insecticides. This highlights the high potential of tailored agri-environment schemes to contribute to ecological intensification and may encourage more farmers to adopt such schemes.

  17. Trends in pesticide use on soybean, corn and cotton since the introduction of major genetically modified crops in the United States.

    PubMed

    Coupe, Richard H; Capel, Paul D

    2016-05-01

    Genetically modified (GM) varieties of soybean, corn and cotton have largely replaced conventional varieties in the United States. The most widely used applications of GM technology have been the development of crops that are resistant to a specific broad-spectrum herbicide (primarily glyphosate) or that produce insecticidal compounds within the plant itself. With the widespread adoption of GM crops, a decline in the use of conventional pesticides was expected. There has been a reduction in the annual herbicide application rate to corn since the advent of GM crops, but the herbicide application rate is mostly unchanged for cotton. Herbicide use on soybean has increased. There has been a substantial reduction in the amount of insecticides used on both corn and cotton since the introduction of GM crops. The observed changes in pesticide use are likely to be the result of many factors, including the introduction of GM crops, regulatory restrictions on some conventional pesticides, introduction of new pesticide technologies and changes in farming practices. In order to help protect human and environmental health and to help agriculture plan for the future, more detailed and complete documentation on pesticide use is needed on a frequent and ongoing basis. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  18. Trends in pesticide use on soybean, corn and cotton since the introduction of major genetically modified crops in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coupe, Richard H.; Capel, Paul D.

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUNDGenetically modified (GM) varieties of soybean, corn and cotton have largely replaced conventional varieties in the United States. The most widely used applications of GM technology have been the development of crops that are resistant to a specific broad-spectrum herbicide (primarily glyphosate) or that produce insecticidal compounds within the plant itself. With the widespread adoption of GM crops, a decline in the use of conventional pesticides was expected.RESULTSThere has been a reduction in the annual herbicide application rate to corn since the advent of GM crops, but the herbicide application rate is mostly unchanged for cotton. Herbicide use on soybean has increased. There has been a substantial reduction in the amount of insecticides used on both corn and cotton since the introduction of GM crops.CONCLUSIONSThe observed changes in pesticide use are likely to be the result of many factors, including the introduction of GM crops, regulatory restrictions on some conventional pesticides, introduction of new pesticide technologies and changes in farming practices. In order to help protect human and environmental health and to help agriculture plan for the future, more detailed and complete documentation on pesticide use is needed on a frequent and ongoing basis.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Soybean (Glycine max) WRINKLED1 transcription factor, GmWRI1a, positively regulates seed oil accumulation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Liang; Zheng, Yuhong; Dong, Zhimin; Meng, Fanfan; Sun, Xingmiao; Fan, Xuhong; Zhang, Yunfeng; Wang, Mingliang; Wang, Shuming

    2018-04-01

    Soybean is the world's most important leguminous crop producing high-quality protein and oil. Elevating oil accumulation in soybean seed is always many researchers' goal. WRINKLED1 (WRI1) encodes a transcription factor of the APETALA2/ethylene responsive element-binding protein (AP2/EREBP) family that plays important roles during plant seed oil accumulation. In this study, we isolated and characterized three distinct orthologues of WRI1 in soybean (Glycine max) that display different organ-specific expression patterns, among which GmWRI1a was highly expressed in maturing soybean seed. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and yeast one-hybrid experiments demonstrated that the GmWRI1a protein was capable of binding to AW-box, a conserved sequence in the proximal upstream regions of many genes involved in various steps of oil biosynthesis. Transgenic soybean seeds overexpressing GmWRI1a under the control of the seed-specific napin promoter showed the increased total oil and fatty acid content and the changed fatty acid composition. Furthermore, basing on the activated expressions in transgenic soybean seeds and existence of AW-box element in the promoter regions, direct downstream genes of GmWRI1a were identified, and their products were responsible for fatty acid production, elongation, desaturation and export from plastid. We conclude that GmWRI1a transcription factor can positively regulate oil accumulation in soybean seed by a complex gene expression network related to fatty acid biosynthesis.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  2. Cucumber plants (cucumis sativus l.) growth and crop yield of chicken manure fertilized with plant spacing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pratiwi Aritonang, Sri; Panjaitan, Ernitha; Parsaulian Tondang, Fetrus

    2018-03-01

    The research was conducted in Tanjung Sari, Kecamatan Medan Selayang Kotamadya Medan ± 32 meters above sea level. It started since July 2016 to September 2016. It was designed with randomization block design with two factorial experiments which are chicken manure and plant spacing. First factor was 4 doses of chicken manure, symbolized by K; K0 = 1.5 kg/plot, K1 = 2 kg/plot, K2 = 2.5 kg/plot and K3 = 3 kg/plot. Second was 4 different plant spacing, symbolized by J; J0 = 30 cm x 60 cm, J1 =: 35 cm x 60 cm, J2 = 40 cm x 60 cm and J3 = 45 cm x 60 cm. The result shows that giving 3kg/plot of chicken manure increases plant height to 162.15 cm with 22.44 number of leaves. Fresh fruits per sample was weight 1121.88 g and per plot is 4.52 kg with 9.17 and 36.67 units of fruits per sample and plot respectively. With 45 cm x 60 cm (J3) for plant spacing gives a plant with the height of 160.51 cm and 22.85 number of leaves. Fresh fruits obtained is 1216.67 g and 9.33 units per sample while per plot gives 4.90 kg and 7.33 units of fresh fruits. This plant spacing leads to a better output for the yield compared to narrower spacing. There are no interaction between chicken manure dosage and plant spacing towards plant height, number of leaves, fresh fruits weight and units per sample and plot.

  3. GM1 and GM2 gangliosides: recent developments.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  4. Simulating Crop Evapotranspiration Response under Different Planting Scenarios by Modified SWAT Model in an Irrigation District, Northwest China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xin; Wang, Sufen; Xue, Han; Singh, Vijay P

    2015-01-01

    Modelling crop evapotranspiration (ET) response to different planting scenarios in an irrigation district plays a significant role in optimizing crop planting patterns, resolving agricultural water scarcity and facilitating the sustainable use of water resources. In this study, the SWAT model was improved by transforming the evapotranspiration module. Then, the improved model was applied in Qingyuan Irrigation District of northwest China as a case study. Land use, soil, meteorology, irrigation scheduling and crop coefficient were considered as input data, and the irrigation district was divided into subdivisions based on the DEM and local canal systems. On the basis of model calibration and verification, the improved model showed better simulation efficiency than did the original model. Therefore, the improved model was used to simulate the crop evapotranspiration response under different planting scenarios in the irrigation district. Results indicated that crop evapotranspiration decreased by 2.94% and 6.01% under the scenarios of reducing the planting proportion of spring wheat (scenario 1) and summer maize (scenario 2) by keeping the total cultivated area unchanged. However, the total net output values presented an opposite trend under different scenarios. The values decreased by 3.28% under scenario 1, while it increased by 7.79% under scenario 2, compared with the current situation. This study presents a novel method to estimate crop evapotranspiration response under different planting scenarios using the SWAT model, and makes recommendations for strategic agricultural water management planning for the rational utilization of water resources and development of local economy by studying the impact of planting scenario changes on crop evapotranspiration and output values in the irrigation district of northwest China.

  5. Simulating Crop Evapotranspiration Response under Different Planting Scenarios by Modified SWAT Model in an Irrigation District, Northwest China

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xin; Wang, Sufen; Xue, Han; Singh, Vijay P.

    2015-01-01

    Modelling crop evapotranspiration (ET) response to different planting scenarios in an irrigation district plays a significant role in optimizing crop planting patterns, resolving agricultural water scarcity and facilitating the sustainable use of water resources. In this study, the SWAT model was improved by transforming the evapotranspiration module. Then, the improved model was applied in Qingyuan Irrigation District of northwest China as a case study. Land use, soil, meteorology, irrigation scheduling and crop coefficient were considered as input data, and the irrigation district was divided into subdivisions based on the DEM and local canal systems. On the basis of model calibration and verification, the improved model showed better simulation efficiency than did the original model. Therefore, the improved model was used to simulate the crop evapotranspiration response under different planting scenarios in the irrigation district. Results indicated that crop evapotranspiration decreased by 2.94% and 6.01% under the scenarios of reducing the planting proportion of spring wheat (scenario 1) and summer maize (scenario 2) by keeping the total cultivated area unchanged. However, the total net output values presented an opposite trend under different scenarios. The values decreased by 3.28% under scenario 1, while it increased by 7.79% under scenario 2, compared with the current situation. This study presents a novel method to estimate crop evapotranspiration response under different planting scenarios using the SWAT model, and makes recommendations for strategic agricultural water management planning for the rational utilization of water resources and development of local economy by studying the impact of planting scenario changes on crop evapotranspiration and output values in the irrigation district of northwest China. PMID:26439928

  6. Biotechnological approaches to determine the impact of viruses in the energy crop plant Jatropha curcas

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Geminiviruses infect a wide range of plant species including Jatropha and cassava both belonging to family Euphorbiaceae. Cassava is traditionally an important food crop in Sub - Saharan countries, while Jatropha is considered as valuable biofuel plant with great perspectives in the future. Results A total of 127 Jatropha samples from Ethiopia and Kenya and 124 cassava samples from Kenya were tested by Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for RNA viruses and polymerase chain reaction for geminiviruses. Jatropha samples from 4 different districts in Kenya and Ethiopia (analyzed by ELISA) were negative for all three RNA viruses tested: Cassava brown streak virus (CBSV), Cassava common mosaic virus, Cucumber mosaic virus, Three cassava samples from Busia district (Kenya) contained CBSV. Efforts to develop diagnostic approaches allowing reliable pathogen detection in Jatropha, involved the amplification and sequencing of the entire DNA A molecules of 40 Kenyan isolates belonging to African cassava mosaic virus (ACMV) and East African cassava mosaic virus - Uganda. This information enabled the design of novel primers to address different questions: a) primers amplifying longer sequences led to a phylogenetic tree of isolates, allowing some predictions on the evolutionary aspects of Begomoviruses in Jatrophia; b) primers amplifying shorter sequences represent a reliable diagnostic tool. This is the first report of the two Begomoviruses in J. curcas. Two cassava samples were co - infected with cassava mosaic geminivirus and CBSV. A Defective DNA A of ACMV was found for the first time in Jatropha. Conclusion Cassava geminiviruses occurring in Jatropha might be spread wider than anticipated. If not taken care of, this virus infection might negatively impact large scale plantations for biofuel production. Being hosts for similar pathogens, the planting vicinity of the two crop plants needs to be handled carefully. PMID:21812981

  7. Ecogeography and utility to plant breeding of the crop wild relatives of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.)

    PubMed Central

    Kantar, Michael B.; Sosa, Chrystian C.; Khoury, Colin K.; Castañeda-Álvarez, Nora P.; Achicanoy, Harold A.; Bernau, Vivian; Kane, Nolan C.; Marek, Laura; Seiler, Gerald; Rieseberg, Loren H.

    2015-01-01

    Crop wild relatives (CWR) are a rich source of genetic diversity for crop improvement. Combining ecogeographic and phylogenetic techniques can inform both conservation and breeding. Geographic occurrence, bioclimatic, and biophysical data were used to predict species distributions, range overlap and niche occupancy in 36 taxa closely related to sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Taxa lacking comprehensive ex situ conservation were identified. The predicted distributions for 36 Helianthus taxa identified substantial range overlap, range asymmetry and niche conservatism. Specific taxa (e.g., Helianthus deblis Nutt., Helianthus anomalus Blake, and Helianthus divaricatus L.) were identified as targets for traits of interest, particularly for abiotic stress tolerance, and adaptation to extreme soil properties. The combination of techniques demonstrates the potential for publicly available ecogeographic and phylogenetic data to facilitate the identification of possible sources of abiotic stress traits for plant breeding programs. Much of the primary genepool (wild H. annuus) occurs in extreme environments indicating that introgression of targeted traits may be relatively straightforward. Sister taxa in Helianthus have greater range overlap than more distantly related taxa within the genus. This adds to a growing body of literature suggesting that in plants (unlike some animal groups), geographic isolation may not be necessary for speciation. PMID:26500675

  8. Ecogeography and utility to plant breeding of the crop wild relatives of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.).

    PubMed

    Kantar, Michael B; Sosa, Chrystian C; Khoury, Colin K; Castañeda-Álvarez, Nora P; Achicanoy, Harold A; Bernau, Vivian; Kane, Nolan C; Marek, Laura; Seiler, Gerald; Rieseberg, Loren H

    2015-01-01

    Crop wild relatives (CWR) are a rich source of genetic diversity for crop improvement. Combining ecogeographic and phylogenetic techniques can inform both conservation and breeding. Geographic occurrence, bioclimatic, and biophysical data were used to predict species distributions, range overlap and niche occupancy in 36 taxa closely related to sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Taxa lacking comprehensive ex situ conservation were identified. The predicted distributions for 36 Helianthus taxa identified substantial range overlap, range asymmetry and niche conservatism. Specific taxa (e.g., Helianthus deblis Nutt., Helianthus anomalus Blake, and Helianthus divaricatus L.) were identified as targets for traits of interest, particularly for abiotic stress tolerance, and adaptation to extreme soil properties. The combination of techniques demonstrates the potential for publicly available ecogeographic and phylogenetic data to facilitate the identification of possible sources of abiotic stress traits for plant breeding programs. Much of the primary genepool (wild H. annuus) occurs in extreme environments indicating that introgression of targeted traits may be relatively straightforward. Sister taxa in Helianthus have greater range overlap than more distantly related taxa within the genus. This adds to a growing body of literature suggesting that in plants (unlike some animal groups), geographic isolation may not be necessary for speciation.

  9. Biochar potential in intensive cultivation of Capsicum annuum L. (sweet pepper): crop yield and plant protection.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Abhay; Elad, Yigal; Tsechansky, Ludmila; Abrol, Vikas; Lew, Beni; Offenbach, Rivka; Graber, Ellen R

    2018-01-01

    The influence of various biochars on crop yield and disease resistance of Capsicum annuum L. (sweet pepper) under modern, high input, intensive net house cultivation was tested over the course of 2011-2014 in the Arava desert region of Israel. A pot experiment with Lactuca sativa L. (lettuce) grown in the absence of fertilizer employed the 3-year-old field trial soils to determine if biochar treatments contributed to soil intrinsic fertility. Biochar amendments resulted in a significant increase in the number and weight of pepper fruits over 3 years. Concomitant with the increased yield, biochar significantly decreased the severity of powdery mildew (Leveillula taurica) disease and broad mite (Polyphagotarsonemus latus) pest infestation. Biochar additions resulted in increased soil organic matter but did not influence the pH, electrical conductivity or soil or plant mineral nutrients. Intrinsic fertility experiments with lettuce showed that two of the four biochar-treated field soils had significant positive impacts on lettuce fresh weight and total chlorophyll, carotenoid and anthocyanin contents. Biochar-based soil management can enhance the functioning of intensive, commercial, net house production of peppers under the tested conditions, resulting in increased crop yield and plant resistance to disease over several years. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  10. High yielding tropical energy crops for bioenergy production: Effects of plant components, harvest years and locations on biomass composition.

    PubMed

    Surendra, K C; Ogoshi, Richard; Zaleski, Halina M; Hashimoto, Andrew G; Khanal, Samir Kumar

    2018-03-01

    The composition of lignocellulosic feedstock, which depends on crop type, crop management, locations and plant parts, significantly affects the conversion efficiency of biomass into biofuels and biobased products. Thus, this study examined the composition of different parts of two high yielding tropical energy crops, Energycane and Napier grass, collected across three locations and years. Significantly higher fiber content was found in the leaves of Energycane than stems, while fiber content was significantly higher in the stems than the leaves of Napier grass. Similarly, fiber content was higher in Napier grass than Energycane. Due to significant differences in biomass composition between the plant parts within a crop type, neither biological conversion, including anaerobic digestion, nor thermochemical pretreatment alone is likely to efficiently convert biomass components into biofuels and biobased products. However, combination of anaerobic digestion with thermochemical conversion technologies could efficiently utilize biomass components in generating biofuels and biobased products. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Enhancing crop yield with the use of N-based fertilizers co-applied with plant hormones or growth regulators.

    PubMed

    Zaman, Mohammad; Kurepin, Leonid V; Catto, Warwick; Pharis, Richard P

    2015-07-01

    Crop yield, vegetative or reproductive, depends on access to an adequate supply of essential mineral nutrients. At the same time, a crop plant's growth and development, and thus yield, also depend on in situ production of plant hormones. Thus optimizing mineral nutrition and providing supplemental hormones are two mechanisms for gaining appreciable yield increases. Optimizing the mineral nutrient supply is a common and accepted agricultural practice, but the co-application of nitrogen-based fertilizers with plant hormones or plant growth regulators is relatively uncommon. Our review discusses possible uses of plant hormones (gibberellins, auxins, cytokinins, abscisic acid and ethylene) and specific growth regulators (glycine betaine and polyamines) to enhance and optimize crop yield when co-applied with nitrogen-based fertilizers. We conclude that use of growth-active gibberellins, together with a nitrogen-based fertilizer, can result in appreciable and significant additive increases in shoot dry biomass of crops, including forage crops growing under low-temperature conditions. There may also be a potential for use of an auxin or cytokinin, together with a nitrogen-based fertilizer, for obtaining additive increases in dry shoot biomass and/or reproductive yield. Further research, though, is needed to determine the potential of co-application of nitrogen-based fertilizers with abscisic acid, ethylene and other growth regulators. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry.

  12. GmCYP82A3, a Soybean Cytochrome P450 Family Gene Involved in the Jasmonic Acid and Ethylene Signaling Pathway, Enhances Plant Resistance to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Qiang; Cui, Xiaoxia; Lin, Shuai; Gan, Shuping; Xing, Han; Dou, Daolong

    2016-01-01

    The cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s) represent a large and important enzyme superfamily in plants. They catalyze numerous monooxygenation/hydroxylation reactions in biochemical pathways, P450s are involved in a variety of metabolic pathways and participate in the homeostasis of phytohormones. The CYP82 family genes specifically reside in dicots and are usually induced by distinct environmental stresses. However, their functions are largely unknown, especially in soybean (Glycine max L.). Here, we report the function of GmCYP82A3, a gene from soybean CYP82 family. Its expression was induced by Phytophthora sojae infection, salinity and drought stresses, and treatment with methyl jasmonate (MeJA) or ethephon (ETH). Its expression levels were consistently high in resistant cultivars. Transgenic Nicotiana benthamiana plants overexpressing GmCYP82A3 exhibited strong resistance to Botrytis cinerea and Phytophthora parasitica, and enhanced tolerance to salinity and drought stresses. Furthermore, transgenic plants were less sensitive to jasmonic acid (JA), and the enhanced resistance was accompanied with increased expression of the JA/ET signaling pathway-related genes. PMID:27588421

  13. Biotechnological applications in in vitro plant regeneration studies of broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica), an important vegetable crop.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Pankaj; Srivastava, Dinesh Kumar

    2016-04-01

    Biotechnology holds promise for genetic improvement of important vegetable crops. 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 commercial cultivation of broccoli. Establishment of a reliable, reproducible and efficient in vitro plant regeneration system with cell and tissue culture is a vital prerequisite for biotechnological application of crop improvement programme. An in vitro plant regeneration technique refers to culturing, cell division, cell multiplication, de-differentiation and differentiation of cells, protoplasts, tissues and organs on defined liquid/solid medium under aseptic and controlled environment. Recent progress in the field of plant tissue culture has made this area one of the most dynamic and promising in experimental biology. There are many published reports on in vitro plant regeneration studies in broccoli including direct organogenesis, indirect organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis. This review summarizes those plant regeneration studies in broccoli that could be helpful in drawing the attention of the researchers and scientists to work on it to produce healthy, biotic and abiotic stress resistant plant material and to carry out genetic transformation studies for the production of transgenic plants.

  14. A comparative study of human IgE binding to proteins of a genetically modified (GM) soybean and six non-GM soybeans grown in multiple locations.

    PubMed

    Lu, Mei; Jin, Yuan; Ballmer-Weber, Barbara; Goodman, Richard E

    2018-02-01

    Prior to commercialization, genetically modified (GM) crops are evaluated to determine the allergenicity of the newly expressed protein. Some regulators require an evaluation of endogenous allergens in commonly allergenic crops including soybean to determine if genetic transformation increased endogenous allergen concentrations, even asking for IgE testing using sera from individual sensitized subjects. Little is known about the variability of the expression of endogenous allergens among non-GM varieties or under different environmental conditions. We tested IgE binding to endogenous allergenic proteins in an experimental non-commercial GM line, a non-GM near-isoline control, and five non-GM commercial soybean lines replicated at three geographically separated locations. One-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) immunoblotting and ELISA were performed using serum or plasma from eleven soybean allergic patients. The results of immunoblots and ELISA showed no significant differences in IgE binding between the GM line and its non-GM near-isoline control. However, some distinct differences in IgE binding patterns were observed among the non-GM commercial soybean lines and between different locations, highlighting the inherent variability in endogenous allergenic proteins. Understanding the potential variability in the levels of endogenous allergens is necessary to establish a standard of acceptance for GM soybeans compared to non-GM soybean events and lines. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Effect of crop development on biogenic emissions from plant populations grown in closed plant growth chambers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Batten, J. H.; Stutte, G. W.; Wheeler, R. M.

    1995-01-01

    The Biomass Production Chamber at John F. Kennedy Space Center is a closed plant growth chamber facility that can be used to monitor the level of biogenic emissions from large populations of plants throughout their entire growth cycle. The head space atmosphere of a 26-day-old lettuce (Lactuca sativa cv. Waldmann's Green) stand was repeatedly sampled and emissions identified and quantified using GC-mass spectrometry. Concentrations of dimethyl sulphide, carbon disulphide, alpha-pinene, furan and 2-methylfuran were not significantly different throughout the day; whereas, isoprene showed significant differences in concentration between samples collected in light and dark periods. Volatile organic compounds from the atmosphere of wheat (Triticum aestivum cv. Yecora Rojo) were analysed and quantified from planting to maturity. Volatile plant-derived compounds included 1-butanol, 2-ethyl-1-hexanol, nonanal, benzaldehyde, tetramethylurea, tetramethylthiourea, 2-methylfuran and 3-methylfuran. Concentrations of volatiles were determined during seedling establishment, vegetative growth, anthesis, grain fill and senescence and found to vary depending on the developmental stage. Atmospheric concentrations of benzaldehyde and nonanal were highest during anthesis, 2-methylfuran and 3-methylfuran concentrations were greatest during grain fill, and the concentration of the tetramethylurea peaked during senescence.

  16. Suberized transport barriers in Arabidopsis, barley and rice roots: From the model plant to crop species.

    PubMed

    Kreszies, Tino; Schreiber, Lukas; Ranathunge, Kosala

    2018-02-07

    Water is the most important prerequisite for life and plays a major role during uptake and transport of nutrients. Roots are the plant organs that take up the major part of water, from the surrounding soil. Water uptake is related to the root system architecture, root growth, age and species dependent complex developmental changes in the anatomical structures. The latter is mainly attributed to the deposition of suberized barriers in certain layers of cell walls, such as endo- and exodermis. With respect to water permeability, changes in the suberization of roots are most relevant. Water transport or hydraulic conductivity of roots (Lp r ) can be described by the composite transport model and is known to be very variable between plant species and growth conditions and root developmental states. In this review, we summarize how anatomical structures and apoplastic barriers of roots can diversely affect water transport, comparing the model plant Arabidopsis with crop plants, such as barley and rice. Results comparing the suberin amounts and water transport properties indicate that the common assumption that suberin amount negatively correlates with water and solute transport through roots may not always be true. The composition, microstructure and localization of suberin may also have a great impact on the formation of efficient barriers to water and solutes. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.

  17. Emerging trends in the functional genomics of the abiotic stress response in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Vij, Shubha; Tyagi, Akhilesh K

    2007-05-01

    Plants are exposed to different abiotic stresses, such as water deficit, high temperature, salinity, cold, heavy metals and mechanical wounding, under field conditions. It is estimated that such stress conditions can potentially reduce the yield of crop plants by more than 50%. Investigations of the physiological, biochemical and molecular aspects of stress tolerance have been conducted to unravel the intrinsic mechanisms developed during evolution to mitigate against stress by plants. Before the advent of the genomics era, researchers primarily used a gene-by-gene approach to decipher the function of the genes involved in the abiotic stress response. However, abiotic stress tolerance is a complex trait and, although large numbers of genes have been identified to be involved in the abiotic stress response, there remain large gaps in our understanding of the trait. The availability of the genome sequences of certain important plant species has enabled the use of strategies, such as genome-wide expression profiling, to identify the genes associated with the stress response, followed by the verification of gene function by the analysis of mutants and transgenics. Certain components of both abscisic acid-dependent and -independent cascades involved in the stress response have already been identified. Information originating from the genome-wide analysis of abiotic stress tolerance will help to provide an insight into the stress-responsive network(s), and may allow the modification of this network to reduce the loss caused by stress and to increase agricultural productivity.

  18. Plants + soil/wetland microbes: Food crop systems that also clean air and water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, Mark; Wolverton, B. C.

    2011-02-01

    The limitations that will govern bioregenerative life support applications in space, especially volume and weight, make multi-purpose systems advantageous. This paper outlines two systems which utilize plants and associated microbial communities of root or growth medium to both produce food crops and clean air and water. Underlying these approaches are the large numbers and metabolic diversity of microbes associated with roots and found in either soil or other suitable growth media. Biogeochemical cycles have microbial links and the ability of microbes to metabolize virtually all trace gases, whether of technogenic or biogenic origin, has long been established. Wetland plants and the rootzone microbes of wetland soils/media also been extensively researched for their ability to purify wastewaters of a great number of potential water pollutants, from nutrients like N and P, to heavy metals and a range of complex industrial pollutants. There is a growing body of research on the ability of higher plants to purify air and water. Associated benefits of these approaches is that by utilizing natural ecological processes, the cleansing of air and water can be done with little or no energy inputs. Soil and rootzone microorganisms respond to changing pollutant types by an increase of the types of organisms with the capacity to use these compounds. Thus living systems have an adaptive capacity as long as the starting populations are sufficiently diverse. Tightly sealed environments, from office buildings to spacecraft, can have hundreds or even thousands of potential air pollutants, depending on the materials and equipment enclosed. Human waste products carry a plethora of microbes which are readily used in the process of converting its organic load to forms that can be utilized by green plants. Having endogenous means of responding to changing air and water quality conditions represents safety factors as these systems operate without the need for human intervention. We review

  19. Plants + microbes: Innovative food crop systems that also clean air and water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, Mark; Wolverton, B. C.

    The limitations that will govern bioregenerative life support applications in space, especially volume and weight, make multi-purpose systems advantageous. This paper outlines two systems which utilize plants and associated microbial communities of root or growth medium to both produce food crops and clean air and water. Underlying these approaches are the large numbers and metabolic diversity of microbes associated with roots and found in either soil or other suitable growth media. It is known that most biogeochemical cycles have a microbial link, and the ability of microbes to metabolize virtually all trace gases, whether of technogenic or biogenic origin, have long been established. Wetland plants and soil/media also been extensively researched for their ability to purify wastewaters of all kinds of potential water pollutants, from nutrients like N and P, to heavy metals and a range of complex industrial pollutants. There is a growing body of research on the ability of higher plants to purify air and water. Associated benefits of these approaches is that by utilizing natural ecological processes, the cleansing of air and water can be done with little or no energy inputs. Soil and root microorganisms respond to changing pollutant types by an increase of the types of organisms with the capacity to use these compounds. Thus living systems have an extraordinary adaptive capacity as long as the starting populations are sufficiently diverse. It is known that tightly sealed environments, from office buildings to spacecraft, can have hundreds or even thousands of potential air pollutants, depending on the materials and machines enclosed. Human waste products carry a plethora of microbes can are readily used in the process of converting its organic load to forms that can be utilized by green plants. Having endogenous means of responding to changing air and water quality conditions represents safety factors which operate without the need for human direction. We will

  20. 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.

  1. Introgression of physiological traits for a comprehensive improvement of drought adaptation in crop plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sreeman, Sheshshayee M.; Vijayaraghavareddy, Preethi; Sreevathsa, Rohini; Rajendrareddy, Sowmya; Arakesh, Smitharani; Bharti, Pooja; Dharmappa, Prathibha; Soolanayakanahally, Raju

    2018-04-01

    Burgeoning population growth, industrial demand and the predicted global climate change resulting in erratic monsoon rains are expected to severely limit fresh water availability for agriculture both in irrigated and rainfed ecosystems. In order to remain food and nutrient secure, agriculture research needs to focus on devising strategies to save water in irrigated conditions and to develop superior cultivars with improved water productivity to sustain yield under rainfed conditions. Recent opinions accruing in the scientific literature strongly favour the adoption of a “trait based” approach for increasing water productivity especially the traits associated with maintenance of positive tissue turgor and maintenance of increased carbon assimilation as the most relevant traits to improve crop growth rates under water limiting conditions and to enhance water productivity. The advent of several water saving agronomic practices notwithstanding, a genetic enhancement strategy of introgressing distinct physiological, morphological and cellular mechanisms on to a single elite genetic background is essential for achieving a comprehensive improvement in drought adaptation in crop plants. The significant progress made in genomics, though would provide the necessary impetus, a clear understanding of the “traits” to be introgressed is the most essential need of the hour. Water uptake by a better root architecture, water conservation by preventing unproductive transpiration is crucial for maintaining positive tissue water relations. Improved carbon assimilation associated with carboxylation capacity and mesophyll conductance is equally important in sustaining crop growth rates under water limited conditions. Besides these major traits, we summarized the available information in literature on classifying various drought adaptive traits. We provide evidences that water-use efficiency when introgressed with moderately higher transpiration, would significantly enhance

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    Data requirements are not harmonized globally for the regulation of food and feed derived from stacked genetically modified (GM) events, produced by combining individual GM events through conventional breeding. The data required by some regulatory agencies have increased despite the absence of substantiated adverse effects to animals or humans from the consumption of GM crops. Data from studies conducted over a 15-year period for several stacked GM event maize (Zea mays L.) products (Bt11 ×  GA21, Bt11 ×  MIR604, MIR604 ×  GA21, Bt11 ×  MIR604 ×  GA21, Bt11 ×  MIR162 ×  GA21 and Bt11 ×  MIR604 ×  MIR162 ×  GA21), together with their component single events, are presented. These data provide evidence that no substantial changes in composition, protein expression or insert stability have occurred after combining the single events through conventional breeding. An alternative food and feed risk assessment strategy for stacked GM events is suggested based on a problem formulation approach that utilizes (i) the outcome of the single event risk assessments, and (ii) the potential for interactions in the stack, based on an understanding of the mode of action of the transgenes and their products. © 2016 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Using remote sensing to calculate plant available nitrogen needed by crops on swine factory farm sprayfields in North Carolina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christenson, Elizabeth; Serre, Marc

    2015-10-01

    North Carolina (NC) is the second largest producer of hogs in the United States with Duplin county, NC having the densest population of hogs in the world. In NC, liquid swine manure is generally stored in open-air lagoons and sprayed onto sprayfields with sprinkler systems to be used as fertilizer for crops. Swine factory farms, termed concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), are regulated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) based on nutrient management plans (NMPs) having balanced plant available nitrogen (PAN). The estimated PAN in liquid manure being sprayed must be less than the estimated PAN needed crops during irrigation. Estimates for PAN needed by crops are dependent on crop and soil types. Objectives of this research were to develop a new, time-efficient method to identify PAN needed by crops on Duplin county sprayfields for years 2010-2014. Using remote sensing data instead of NMP data to identify PAN needed by crops allowed calendar year identification of which crops were grown on sprayfields instead of a five-year range of values. Although permitted data have more detailed crop information than remotely sensed data, identification of PAN needed by crops using remotely sensed data is more time efficient, internally consistent, easily publically accessible, and has the ability to identify annual changes in PAN on sprayfields. Once PAN needed by crops is known, remote sensing can be used to quantify PAN at other spatial scales, such as sub-watershed levels, and can be used to inform targeted water quality monitoring of swine CAFOs.

  4. Innovative combination of spectroscopic techniques to reveal nanoparticle fate in a crop plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larue, Camille; Castillo-Michel, Hiram; Stein, Ricardo J.; Fayard, Barbara; Pouyet, Emeline; Villanova, Julie; Magnin, Valérie; Pradas del Real, Ana-Elena; Trcera, Nicolas; Legros, Samuel; Sorieul, Stéphanie; Sarret, Géraldine

    2016-05-01

    Nanotechnology is the new industrial revolution of our century. Its development leads to an increasing use of nanoparticles and thus to their dissemination. Their fate in the environment is of great concern and especially their possible transfer in trophic chains might be an issue for food safety. However, so far our knowledge on this topic has been restricted by the lack of appropriate techniques to characterize their behavior in complex matrices. Here, we present in detail the use of cutting-edge beam-based techniques for nanoparticle in situ localization, quantification and speciation in a crop plant species (Lactuca sativa). Lettuce seedlings have been exposed to TiO2 and Ag nanoparticles and analyzed by inductively coupled plasma spectrometry, micro-particle induced X-ray emission coupled to Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy on nuclear microprobe, micro-X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and X-ray absorption near edge structure spectroscopy. The benefits and drawbacks of each technique are discussed, and the types of information that can be drawn, for example on the translocation to edible parts, change of speciation within the plant, detoxification mechanisms, or impact on the plant ionome, are highlighted. Such type of coupled approach would be an asset for nanoparticle risk assessment.

  5. Radiation preservation of foods of plant origin. Part 1. Potatoes and other tuber crops

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, P.

    1984-01-01

    In Part 1 of a planned series of articles on preservation of foods of plant origin by gamma irradiation, the current state of research on the technological, nutritional, and biochemical aspects of sprout inhibition of potatoes and other tuber crops are reviewed. These include varietal responses, dose effects, time of irradiation, pre- and postirradiation storage, and handling requirements; postirradiation changes in carbohydrates, ascorbic acid, amino acids, and other nutrients; respiration; biochemical mechanisms involved in sprout inhibition; wound healing and microbial infection during storage; formation of wound and light-induced glycoalkaloids and identification of irradiated potatoes. The culinary and processing qualities withmore » particular reference to darkening of boiled and processed potatoes are discussed. The prospects of irradiation on an industrial scale as an alternative to chemical sprout inhibitors or mechanical refrigeration are considered.« less

  6. Using The Corngrass1 Gene To Enhance The Biofuel Properties Of Crop Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Hake, Sarah; Chuck, George

    2015-10-29

    The development of novel plant germplasm is vital to addressing our increasing bioenergy demands. The major hurdle to digesting plant biomass is the complex structure of the cell walls, the substrate of fermentation. Plant cell walls are inaccessible matrices of macromolecules that are polymerized with lignin, making fermentation difficult. Overcoming this hurdle is a major goal toward developing usable bioenergy crop plants. Our project seeks to enhance the biofuel properties of perennial grass species using the Corngrass1 (Cg1) gene and its targets. Dominant maize Cg1 mutants produce increased biomass by continuously initiating extra axillary meristems and leaves. We cloned Cg1more » and showed that its phenotype is caused by over expression of a unique miR156 microRNA gene that negatively regulates SPL transcription factors. We transferred the Cg1 phenotype to other plants by expressing the gene behind constitutive promoters in four different species, including the monocots, Brachypodium and switchgrass, and dicots, Arabidopsis and poplar. All transformants displayed a similar range of phenotypes, including increased biomass from extended leaf production, and increased vegetative branching. Field grown switchgrass transformants showed that overall lignin content was reduced, the ratio of glucans to xylans was increased, and surprisingly, that starch levels were greatly increased. The goals of this project are to control the tissue and temporal expression of Cg1 by using different promoters to drive its expression, elucidate the function of the SPL targets of Cg1 by generating gain and loss of function alleles, and isolate downstream targets of select SPL genes using deep sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation. We believe it is possible to control biomass accumulation, cell wall properties, and sugar levels through manipulation of either the Cg1 gene and/or its SPL targets.« less

  7. [Biodiversity of phosphate-dissolving and plant growth--promoting endophytic bacteria of two crops].

    PubMed

    Huang, Jing; Sheng, Xiafang; He, Linyan

    2010-06-01

    We isolated and characterized phosphate-dissolving endophytic bacteria from two commonly cultivated crops. Phosphate-dissolving endophytic bacteria were isolated by plating and screening from interior tissues of rape and maize plants on NBRIP medium with tricalcium phosphate as sole phosphate source. Bacteria were characterized regarding characteristics that may be relevant for a beneficial plant-microbe interaction-indoleacetic acid, siderophore and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid deaminase production,and further classified by restriction analysis of 16S rDNA. Eleven typical strains were identified by 16S rDNA sequence analysis. Thirty-two phosphate-dissolving endophytic bacteria were isolated from maize and rape plants and classified by restriction analysis of 16S rDNA in 8 different taxonomic groups at the similarity level of 76%. All the isolates could release phosphate from tricalcium phosphate and decrease the pH of the medium. The maximum phosphate content (537.6 mg/L) in the solution was obtained with strain M1L5. Thirteen isolates isolated from rape produced indoleacetic acid and siderophore, 68.4% and 63.2% of the strains isolated from maize produced indoleacetic acid and siderophore,respectively. 63.2% of the strains isolated from maize were able to grow on 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid as the sole nitrogen source. The eleven strains belonged to five different genera including Pantoea, Pseudomonas, Burkholderia, Acinetobacter and Ralstonia. Phosphate-dissolving endophytic bacteria isolated from rape and maize plants have abundant characteristics relative to promoting plant growth and genetic diversity.

  8. Estimating biophysical properties of coffee (Coffea canephora) plants with above-canopy field measurements, using CropSpec®

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Putra, Bayu T. Widjaja; Soni, Peeyush; Morimoto, Eiji; Pujiyanto, Pujiyanto

    2018-04-01

    Remote sensing technologies have been applied to many crops, but tree crops like Robusta coffee (Coffea canephora) under shade conditions require additional attention while making above-canopy measurements. The objective of this study was to determine how well chlorophyll and nitrogen status of Robusta coffee plants can be estimated with the laser-based (CropSpec®) active sensor. This study also identified appropriate vegetation indices for estimating Nitrogen content by above-canopy measurement, using near-infra red and red-edge bands. Varying light intensity and different background of the plants were considered in developing the indices. Field experiments were conducted involving different non-destructive tools (CropSpec® and SPAD-502 chlorophyll meter). Subsequently, Kjeldahl laboratory analyses were performed to determine the actual Nitrogen content of the plants with different ages and field conditions used in the non-destructive previous stage. Measurements were undertaken for assessing the biophysical properties of tree plant. The usefulness of near-infrared and red-edge bands from these sensors in measuring critical nitrogen levels of coffee plants by above-canopy measurement are investigated in this study.

  9. Community Profiling of Fusarium in Combination with Other Plant-Associated Fungi in Different Crop Species Using SMRT Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Walder, Florian; Schlaeppi, Klaus; Wittwer, Raphaël; Held, Alain Y.; Vogelgsang, Susanne; van der Heijden, Marcel G. A.

    2017-01-01

    Fusarium head blight, caused by fungi from the genus Fusarium, is one of the most harmful cereal diseases, resulting not only in severe yield losses but also in mycotoxin contaminated and health-threatening grains. Fusarium head blight is caused by a diverse set of species that have different host ranges, mycotoxin profiles and responses to agricultural practices. Thus, understanding the composition of Fusarium communities in the field is crucial for estimating their impact and also for the development of effective control measures. Up to now, most molecular tools that monitor Fusarium communities on plants are limited to certain species and do not distinguish other plant associated fungi. To close these gaps, we developed a sequencing-based community profiling methodology for crop-associated fungi with a focus on the genus Fusarium. By analyzing a 1600 bp long amplicon spanning the highly variable segments ITS and D1–D3 of the ribosomal operon by PacBio SMRT sequencing, we were able to robustly quantify Fusarium down to species level through clustering against reference sequences. The newly developed methodology was successfully validated in mock communities and provided similar results as the culture-based assessment of Fusarium communities by seed health tests in grain samples from different crop species. Finally, we exemplified the newly developed methodology in a field experiment with a wheat-maize crop sequence under different cover crop and tillage regimes. We analyzed wheat straw residues, cover crop shoots and maize grains and we could reveal that the cover crop hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) acts as a potent alternative host for Fusarium (OTU F.ave/tri) showing an eightfold higher relative abundance compared with other cover crop treatments. Moreover, as the newly developed methodology also allows to trace other crop-associated fungi, we found that vetch and green fallow hosted further fungal plant pathogens including Zymoseptoria tritici. Thus, besides

  10. Community Profiling of Fusarium in Combination with Other Plant-Associated Fungi in Different Crop Species Using SMRT Sequencing.

    PubMed

    Walder, Florian; Schlaeppi, Klaus; Wittwer, Raphaël; Held, Alain Y; Vogelgsang, Susanne; van der Heijden, Marcel G A

    2017-01-01

    Fusarium head blight, caused by fungi from the genus Fusarium , is one of the most harmful cereal diseases, resulting not only in severe yield losses but also in mycotoxin contaminated and health-threatening grains. Fusarium head blight is caused by a diverse set of species that have different host ranges, mycotoxin profiles and responses to agricultural practices. Thus, understanding the composition of Fusarium communities in the field is crucial for estimating their impact and also for the development of effective control measures. Up to now, most molecular tools that monitor Fusarium communities on plants are limited to certain species and do not distinguish other plant associated fungi. To close these gaps, we developed a sequencing-based community profiling methodology for crop-associated fungi with a focus on the genus Fusarium . By analyzing a 1600 bp long amplicon spanning the highly variable segments ITS and D1-D3 of the ribosomal operon by PacBio SMRT sequencing, we were able to robustly quantify Fusarium down to species level through clustering against reference sequences. The newly developed methodology was successfully validated in mock communities and provided similar results as the culture-based assessment of Fusarium communities by seed health tests in grain samples from different crop species. Finally, we exemplified the newly developed methodology in a field experiment with a wheat-maize crop sequence under different cover crop and tillage regimes. We analyzed wheat straw residues, cover crop shoots and maize grains and we could reveal that the cover crop hairy vetch ( Vicia villosa ) acts as a potent alternative host for Fusarium (OTU F.ave/tri ) showing an eightfold higher relative abundance compared with other cover crop treatments. Moreover, as the newly developed methodology also allows to trace other crop-associated fungi, we found that vetch and green fallow hosted further fungal plant pathogens including Zymoseptoria tritici . Thus

  11. Effects of Planting Date, Small Grain Crop Destruction, Fallow, and Soil Temperature on the Management of Meloidogyne incognita

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, A. W.; Motsinger, R. E.

    1990-01-01

    The effects of planting date, rye (Secale cereale cv. Wren Abruzzi) and wheat (Triticura aestivum cv. Coker 797), crop destruction, fallow, and soil temperature on managing Meloidogyne incognita race 1 were determined in a 2-year study. More M. incognita juveniles (J2) and egg-producing adults were found in roots of rye planted 1 October than in roots of rye planted 1 November and wheat planted 1 November and 1 December. Numbers of M. incognita adults with and without egg masses were near or below detectable levels in roots of rye planted 1 November and wheat planted 1 November and 1 December. Meloidogyne incognita survived the mild winters in southern Georgia as J2 and eggs. The destruction of rye and wheat as a trap crop 1 March suppressed numbers of J2 in the soil temporarily but did not provide long-term benefits for susceptible crops that followed. In warmer areas where rye and wheat are grown in winter, reproduction of M. incognita may be avoided by delaying planting dates until soil temperature declines below the nematode penetration threshold (18 C), but no long-term benefits should be expected. The temperature threshold may be an important consideration in managing M. incognita population densities in areas having lower winter soil temperatures than southern Georgia. PMID:19287731

  12. Isoflavone Malonyltransferases GmIMaT1 and GmIMaT3 Differently Modify Isoflavone Glucosides in Soybean (Glycine max) under Various Stresses

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, Muhammad Z.; Li, Penghui; Wang, Junjie; Rehman, Naveed Ur; Zhao, Jian

    2017-01-01

    Malonylated isoflavones are the major forms of isoflavonoids in soybean plants, the genes responsible for their biosyntheses are not well understood, nor their physiological functions. Here we report a new benzylalcohol O-acetyltransferase, anthocyanin O-hydroxycinnamoyltransferase, anthranilate N-hydroxycinnamoyl/benzoyltransferase, deacetylvindoline 4-O-acetyltransferase (BAHD) family isoflavone glucoside malonyltransferase GmIMaT1, and GmIMaT3, which is allelic to the previously characterized GmMT7 and GmIF7MaT. Biochemical studies showed that recombinant GmIMaT1 and GmIMaT3 enzymes used malonyl-CoA and several isoflavone 7-O-glucosides as substrates. The Km values of GmIMaT1 for glycitin, genistin, and daidzin were 13.11, 23.04, and 36.28 μM, respectively, while these of GmIMaT3 were 12.94, 26.67, and 30.12 μM, respectively. Transgenic hairy roots overexpressing both GmIMaTs had increased levels of malonyldaidzin and malonylgenistin, and contents of daidzin and glycitin increased only in GmIMaT1-overexpression lines. The increased daidzein and genistein contents were detected only in GmIMaT3-overexpression lines. Knockdown of GmIMaT1 and GmIMaT3 reduced malonyldaidzin and malonylgenistin contents, and affected other isoflavonoids differently. GmIMaT1 is primarily localized to the endoplasmic reticulum while GmIMaT3 is primarily in the cytosol. By examining their transcript changes corresponding to the altered isoflavone metabolic profiles under various environmental and hormonal stresses, we probed the possible functions of GmIMaTs. Two GmIMaTs displayed distinct tissue expression patterns and respond differently to various factors in modifying isoflavone 7-O-glucosides under various stresses. PMID:28559900

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Effect of plant density and mixing ratio on crop yield in sweet corn/mungbean intercropping.

    PubMed

    Sarlak, S; Aghaalikhani, M; Zand, B

    2008-09-01

    In order to evaluate the ear and forage yield of sweet corn (Zea mays L. var. Saccarata) in pure stand and intercropped with mung bean (Vigna radiata L.), a field experiment was conducted at Varamin region on summer 2006. Experiment was carried out in a split plot design based on randomized complete blocks with 4 replications. Plant density with 3 levels [Low (D1), Mean (D2) and High (D3) respecting 6, 8 and 10 m(-2) for sweet corn, cultivar S.C.403 and 10, 20 and 30 m(-2) for mung bean cultivar, Partow] was arranged in main plots and 5 mixing ratios [(P1) = 0/100, (P2) = 25/75, (P3) = 50/50, (P4) = 75/25, (P5) = 100/0% for sweet corn/mung bean, respectively] were arranged in subplots. Quantitative attributes such as plant height, sucker numbers, LER, dry matter distribution in different plant organs were measured in sweet corn economical maturity. Furthermore the yield of cannable ear corn and yield components of sweet corn and mung bean were investigated. Results showed that plant density has not any significant effect on evaluated traits, while the effect of mixing ratio was significant (p < 0.01). Therefore, the mixing ratio of 75/25 (sweet corn/mung bean) could be introduced as the superior mixing ratio; because of it's maximum rate of total sweet corn's biomass, forage yield, yield and yield components of ear corn in intercropping. Regarding to profitability indices of intercropping, the mixing ratio 75/25 (sweet corn/mung bean) in low density (D1P2) which showed the LER = 1.03 and 1.09 for total crop yield before ear harvesting and total forage yield after ear harvest respectively, was better than corn or mung bean monoculture.

  15. Integrating Plant Science and Crop Modeling: Assessment of the Impact of Climate Change on Soybean and Maize Production.

    PubMed

    Fodor, Nándor; Challinor, Andrew; Droutsas, Ioannis; Ramirez-Villegas, Julian; Zabel, Florian; Koehler, Ann-Kristin; Foyer, Christine H

    2017-11-01

    Increasing global CO2 emissions have profound consequences for plant biology, not least because of direct influences on carbon gain. However, much remains uncertain regarding how our major crops will respond to a future high CO2 world. Crop model inter-comparison studies have identified large uncertainties and biases associated with climate change. The need to quantify uncertainty has drawn the fields of plant molecular physiology, crop breeding and biology, and climate change modeling closer together. Comparing data from different models that have been used to assess the potential climate change impacts on soybean and maize production, future yield losses have been predicted for both major crops. When CO2 fertilization effects are taken into account significant yield gains are predicted for soybean, together with a shift in global production from the Southern to the Northern hemisphere. Maize production is also forecast to shift northwards. However, unless plant breeders are able to produce new hybrids with improved traits, the forecasted yield losses for maize will only be mitigated by agro-management adaptations. In addition, the increasing demands of a growing world population will require larger areas of marginal land to be used for maize and soybean production. We summarize the outputs of crop models, together with mitigation options for decreasing the negative impacts of climate on the global maize and soybean production, providing an overview of projected land-use change as a major determining factor for future global crop production. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists.

  16. Effect of some detergents, humate, and composition of seedbed on crop of tomato plants in a hydroponic culture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guminka, A. Z.; Gracz-Nalepka, M.; Lukasiewicz, B.; Sobolewicz, E.; Turkiewicz, I. T.

    1978-01-01

    It is established that single detergent doses distinctly stimulate vegetative development of plants in the initial stage when humates are available. When detergents are applied every four weeks in a hydroponic culture, in which the seedbed does not contain active humates, the crop is reduced by 50%. This adverse effect does not occur when the seedbed is a mixture of brown coal and peat.

  17. Novel methods to optimize genotypic imputation for low-coverage, next-generation sequence data in crop plants

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Next-generation sequencing technology such as genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) made low-cost, but often low-coverage, whole-genome sequencing widely available. Extensive inbreeding in crop plants provides an untapped, high quality source of phased haplotypes for imputing missing genotypes. We introduc...

  18. Plant tolerance to high temperature in a changing environment: scientific fundamentals and production of heat stress-tolerant crops

    PubMed Central

    Bita, Craita E.; Gerats, Tom

    2013-01-01

    Global warming is predicted to have a general negative effect on plant growth due to the damaging effect of high temperatures on plant development. The increasing threat of climatological extremes including very high temperatures might lead to catastrophic loss of crop productivity and result in wide spread famine. In this review, we assess the impact of global climate change on the agricultural crop production. There is a differential effect of climate change both in terms of geographic location and the crops that will likely show the most extreme reductions in yield as a result of expected extreme fluctuations in temperature and global warming in general. High temperature stress has a wide range of effects on plants in terms of physiology, biochemistry and gene regulation pathways. However, strategies exist to crop improvement for heat stress tolerance. In this review, we present recent advances of research on all these levels of investigation and focus on potential leads that may help to understand more fully the mechanisms that make plants tolerant or susceptible to heat stress. Finally, we review possible procedures and methods which could lead to the generation of new varieties with sustainable yield production, in a world likely to be challenged both by increasing population, higher average temperatures and larger temperature fluctuations. PMID:23914193

  19. Elucidation of salt stress defense and tolerance mechanisms of crop plants using proteomics--current achievements and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Barkla, Bronwyn J; Castellanos-Cervantes, Thelma; de León, José L Diaz; Matros, Andrea; Mock, Hans-Peter; Perez-Alfocea, Francisco; Salekdeh, Ghasem H; Witzel, Katja; Zörb, Christian

    2013-06-01

    Salinity is a major threat limiting the productivity of crop plants. A clear demand for improving the salinity tolerance of the major crop plants is imposed by the rapidly growing world population. This review summarizes the achievements of proteomic studies to elucidate the response mechanisms of selected model and crop plants to cope with salinity stress. We also aim at identifying research areas, which deserve increased attention in future proteome studies, as a prerequisite to identify novel targets for breeding strategies. Such areas include the impact of plant-microbial communities on the salinity tolerance of crops under field conditions, the importance of hormone signaling in abiotic stress tolerance, and the significance of control mechanisms underlying the observed changes in the proteome patterns. We briefly highlight the impact of novel tools for future proteome studies and argue for the use of integrated approaches. The evaluation of genetic resources by means of novel automated phenotyping facilities will have a large impact on the application of proteomics especially in combination with metabolomics or transcriptomics. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  20. Soil Organic Matter Quality of an Oxisol Affected by Plant Residues and Crop Sequence under No-Tillage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cora, Jose; Marcelo, Adolfo

    2013-04-01

    Plant residues are considered the primarily resource for soil organic matter (SOM) formation and the amounts and properties of plant litter are important controlling factors for the SOM quality. We determined the amounts, quality and decomposition rate of plant residues and the effects of summer and winter crop sequences on soil organic C (TOC) content, both particulate organic C (POC) and mineral-associated organic C (MOC) pools and humic substances in a Brazilian Rhodic Eutrudox soil under a no-tillage system. The organic C analysis in specifics pools used in this study was effective and should be adopted in tropical climates to evaluate the soil quality and the sustainability of various cropping systems. Continuous growth of soybean (Glycine max L. Merrill) on summer provided higher contents of soil POC and continuous growth of maize (Zea mays L.) provided higher soil humic acid and MOC contents. Summer soybean-maize rotation provided the higher plant diversity, which likely improved the soil microbial activity and the soil organic C consumption. The winter sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L.), pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp), oilseed radish (Raphanus sativus L.) and pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum (L.) Leeke) enhanced the soil MOC, a finding that is attributable to the higher N content of the crop residue. Sunn hemp and pigeon pea provided the higher soil POC content. Sunn hemp showed better performance and positive effects on the SOM quality, making it a suitable winter crop choice for tropical conditions with a warm and dry winter.

  1. Plant tolerance to high temperature in a changing environment: scientific fundamentals and production of heat stress-tolerant crops.

    PubMed

    Bita, Craita E; Gerats, Tom

    2013-01-01

    Global warming is predicted to have a general negative effect on plant growth due to the damaging effect of high temperatures on plant development. The increasing threat of climatological extremes including very high temperatures might lead to catastrophic loss of crop productivity and result in wide spread famine. In this review, we assess the impact of global climate change on the agricultural crop production. There is a differential effect of climate change both in terms of geographic location and the crops that will likely show the most extreme reductions in yield as a result of expected extreme fluctuations in temperature and global warming in general. High temperature stress has a wide range of effects on plants in terms of physiology, biochemistry and gene regulation pathways. However, strategies exist to crop improvement for heat stress tolerance. In this review, we present recent advances of research on all these levels of investigation and focus on potential leads that may help to understand more fully the mechanisms that make plants tolerant or susceptible to heat stress. Finally, we review possible procedures and methods which could lead to the generation of new varieties with sustainable yield production, in a world likely to be challenged both by increasing population, higher average temperatures and larger temperature fluctuations.

  2. Ecogeography and utility to plant breeding of the crop wild relatives of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Crop wild relatives (CWR) are a rich source of genetic diversity for crop improvement. Combining ecogeographic and phylogenetic techniques can inform both conservation and breeding. Geographic occurrence, bioclimatic, and biophysical data were used to predict species distributions, range overlap and...

  3. GmWRKY53, a water- and salt-inducible soybean gene for rapid dissection of regulatory elements in BY-2 cell culture

    PubMed Central

    Tripathi, Prateek; Rabara, Roel C.; Lin, Jun; Rushton, Paul J.

    2013-01-01

    Drought is the major cause of crop losses worldwide. Water stress-inducible promoters are important for understanding the mechanisms of water stress responses in crop plants. Here we utilized tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) Bright Yellow 2 (BY-2) cell system in presence of polyethylene glycol, salt and phytohormones. Extension of the system to 85 mM NaCl led to inducibility of up to 10-fold with the water stress and salt responsive soybean GmWRKY53 promoter. Upon ABA and JA treatment fold inducibility was up to 5-fold and 14-fold, respectively. Thus, we hypothesize that GmWRKY53 could be used as potential model candidate for dissecting drought regulatory elements as well as understanding crosstalk utilizing a rapid heterologous system of BY-2 culture. PMID:23511199

  4. A photorespiratory bypass increases plant growth and seed yield in biofuel crop Camelina sativa

    SciTech Connect

    Dalal, Jyoti; Lopez, Harry; Vasani, Naresh B.

    Camelina sativa is an oilseed crop with great potential for biofuel production on marginal land. The seed oil from camelina has been converted to jet fuel and improved fuel efficiency in commercial and military test flights. Hydrogenation-derived renewable diesel from camelina is environmentally superior to that from canola due to lower agricultural inputs, and the seed meal is FDA approved for animal consumption. However, relatively low yield makes its farming less profitable. Our study is aimed at increasing camelina seed yield by reducing carbon loss from photorespiration via a photorespiratory bypass. Genes encoding three enzymes of the Escherichia coli glycolatemore » catabolic pathway were introduced: glycolate dehydrogenase (GDH), glyoxylate carboxyligase (GCL) and tartronic semialdehyde reductase (TSR). These enzymes compete for the photorespiratory substrate, glycolate, convert it to glycerate within the chloroplasts, and reduce photorespiration. As a by-product of the reaction, CO 2 is released in the chloroplast, which increases photosynthesis. Camelina plants were transformed with either partial bypass (GDH), or full bypass (GDH, GCL and TSR) genes. Furthermore, transgenic plants were evaluated for physiological and metabolic traits.« less

  5. Manipulating photorespiration to increase plant productivity: recent advances and perspectives for crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Betti, Marco; Bauwe, Hermann; Busch, Florian A; Fernie, Alisdair R; Keech, Olivier; Levey, Myles; Ort, Donald R; Parry, Martin A J; Sage, Rowan; Timm, Stefan; Walker, Berkley; Weber, Andreas P M

    2016-05-01

    Recycling of the 2-phosphoglycolate generated by the oxygenase reaction of Rubisco requires a complex and energy-consuming set of reactions collectively known as the photorespiratory cycle. Several approaches aimed at reducing the rates of photorespiratory energy or carbon loss have been proposed, based either on screening for natural variation or by means of genetic engineering. Recent work indicates that plant yield can be substantially improved by the alteration of photorespiratory fluxes or by engineering artificial bypasses to photorespiration. However, there is also evidence indicating that, under certain environmental and/or nutritional conditions, reduced photorespiratory capacity may be detrimental to plant performance. Here we summarize recent advances obtained in photorespiratory engineering and discuss prospects for these advances to be transferred to major crops to help address the globally increasing demand for food and biomass production. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Genome editing in plants: Advancing crop transformation and overview of tools.

    PubMed

    Shah, Tariq; Andleeb, Tayyaba; Lateef, Sadia; Noor, Mehmood Ali

    2018-05-07

    Genome manipulation technology is one of emerging field which brings real revolution in genetic engineering and biotechnology. Targeted editing of genomes pave path to address a wide range of goals not only to improve quality and productivity of crops but also permit to investigate the fundamental roots of biological systems. These goals includes creation of plants with valued compositional properties and with characters that confer resistance to numerous biotic and abiotic stresses. Numerous novel genome editing systems have been introduced during the past few years; these comprise zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/Cas9 (CRISPR/Cas9). Genome editing technique is consistent for improving average yield to achieve the growing demands of the world's existing food famine and to launch a feasible and environmentally safe agriculture scheme, to more specific, productive, cost-effective and eco-friendly. These exciting novel methods, concisely reviewed herein, have verified themselves as efficient and reliable tools for the genetic improvement of plants. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  7. A photorespiratory bypass increases plant growth and seed yield in biofuel crop Camelina sativa

    DOE PAGES

    Dalal, Jyoti; Lopez, Harry; Vasani, Naresh B.; ...

    2015-10-29

    Camelina sativa is an oilseed crop with great potential for biofuel production on marginal land. The seed oil from camelina has been converted to jet fuel and improved fuel efficiency in commercial and military test flights. Hydrogenation-derived renewable diesel from camelina is environmentally superior to that from canola due to lower agricultural inputs, and the seed meal is FDA approved for animal consumption. However, relatively low yield makes its farming less profitable. Our study is aimed at increasing camelina seed yield by reducing carbon loss from photorespiration via a photorespiratory bypass. Genes encoding three enzymes of the Escherichia coli glycolatemore » catabolic pathway were introduced: glycolate dehydrogenase (GDH), glyoxylate carboxyligase (GCL) and tartronic semialdehyde reductase (TSR). These enzymes compete for the photorespiratory substrate, glycolate, convert it to glycerate within the chloroplasts, and reduce photorespiration. As a by-product of the reaction, CO 2 is released in the chloroplast, which increases photosynthesis. Camelina plants were transformed with either partial bypass (GDH), or full bypass (GDH, GCL and TSR) genes. Furthermore, transgenic plants were evaluated for physiological and metabolic traits.« less

  8. Chemical Processing of Non-Crop Plants for Jet Fuel Blends Production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kulis, M. J.; Hepp, A. F.; McDowell, M.; Ribita, D.

    2009-01-01

    The use of Biofuels has been gaining in popularity over the past few years due to their ability to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels. Biofuels as a renewable energy source can be a viable option for sustaining long-term energy needs if they are managed efficiently. We describe our initial efforts to exploit algae, halophytes and other non-crop plants to produce synthetics for fuel blends that can potentially be used as fuels for aviation and non-aerospace applications. Our efforts have been dedicated to crafting efficient extraction and refining processes in order to extract constituents from the plant materials with the ultimate goal of determining the feasibility of producing biomass-based jet fuel from the refined extract. Two extraction methods have been developed based on communition processes, and liquid-solid extraction techniques. Refining procedures such as chlorophyll removal and transesterification of triglycerides have been performed. Gas chromatography in tandem with mass spectroscopy is currently being utilized in order to qualitatively determine the individual components of the refined extract. We also briefly discuss and compare alternative methods to extract fuel-blending agents from alternative biofuels sources.

  9. 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. Copyright © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. A review of the use of engineered nanomaterials to suppress plant disease and enhance crop yield

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Servin, Alia; Elmer, Wade; Mukherjee, Arnab; De la Torre-Roche, Roberto; Hamdi, Helmi; White, Jason C.; Bindraban, Prem; Dimkpa, Christian

    2015-02-01

    Nanotechnology has the potential to play a critical role in global food production, food security, and food safety. The applications of nanotechnology in agriculture include fertilizers to increase plant growth and yield, pesticides for pest and disease management, and sensors for monitoring soil quality and plant health. Over the past decade, a number of patents and products incorporating nanomaterials into agricultural practices (e.g., nanopesticides, nanofertilizers, and nanosensors) have been developed. The collective goal of all of these approaches is to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of agricultural practices by requiring less input and generating less waste than conventional products and approaches. This review evaluates the current literature on the use of nanoscale nutrients (metals, metal oxides, carbon) to suppress crop disease and subsequently enhance growth and yield. Notably, this enhanced yield may not only be directly linked to the reduced presence of pathogenic organisms, but also to the potential nutritional value of the nanoparticles themselves, especially for the essential micronutrients necessary for host defense. We also posit that these positive effects are likely a result of the greater availability of the nutrients in the "nano" form. Last, we offer comments on the current regulatory perspective for such applications.

  11. Plants with genetically modified events combined by conventional breeding: an assessment of the need for additional regulatory data.

    PubMed

    Pilacinski, W; Crawford, A; Downey, R; Harvey, B; Huber, S; Hunst, P; Lahman, L K; MacIntosh, S; Pohl, M; Rickard, C; Tagliani, L; Weber, N

    2011-01-01

    Crop varieties with multiple GM events combined by conventional breeding have become important in global agriculture. The regulatory requirements in different countries for such products vary considerably, placing an additional burden on regulatory agencies in countries where the submission of additional data is required and delaying the introduction of innovative products to meet agricultural needs. The process of conventional plant breeding has predictably provided safe food and feed products both historically and in the modern era of plant breeding. Thus, previously approved GM events that have been combined by conventional plant breeding and contain GM traits that are not likely to interact in a manner affecting safety should be considered to be as safe as their conventional counterparts. Such combined GM event crop varieties should require little, if any, additional regulatory data to meet regulatory requirements. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Heavy metals effects on forage crops yields and estimation of elements accumulation in plants as affected by soil.

    PubMed

    Grytsyuk, N; Arapis, G; Perepelyatnikova, L; Ivanova, T; Vynograds'ka, V

    2006-02-01

    Heavy metals (Cu, Cd, Pb, Zn) effect on the productivity of forage crops (clover and perennial cereal grasses) and their accumulation in plants, depending on the concentration of these elements in a soil, has been studied in micro-field experiments on three types of soil. The principle objective was to determine regularities of heavy metals migration in a soil-plant system aiming the estimation of permissible levels of heavy metals content in soils with the following elaboration of methods, which regulate the toxicants transfer to plants. Methods of field experiments, agrochemical and atomic absorption analysis were used. Results were statistically treated by Statistica 6.0, S-Plus 6. Experimental results have shown that the intensity of heavy metals accumulation in plants depends on the type of the soil, the species of plants, the physicochemical properties of heavy metals and their content in the soil. Logarithmic interdependency of heavy metals concentration in soils and their accumulation in plants is suggested. However, the strong correlation between the different heavy metals concentrations in the various soils and the yield of crops was not observed. Toxicants accumulation in crops decreased in time.

  13. Effects of cover crop termination and cotton planting methods on cotton production in conservation systems

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    In conservation agriculture, cover crops are utilized to improve soil properties and to enhance cash crop growth. One important part of cover crop management is termination. With smaller profit margins and constraints on time and labor, producers are looking for ways to reduce time and labor require...

  14. Production characteristics of lettuce Lactuca sativa L. in the frame of the first crop tests in the Higher Plant Chamber integrated into the MELiSSA Pilot Plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tikhomirova, Natalia; Lawson, Jamie; Stasiak, Michael; Dixon, Mike; Paille, Christel; Peiro, Enrique; Fossen, Arnaud; Godia, Francesc

    Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative (MELiSSA) is an artificial closed ecosystem that is considered a tool for the development of a bioregenerative life support system for manned space missions. One of the five compartments of MELiSSA loop -Higher Plant Chamber was recently integrated into the MELiSSA Pilot Plant facility at Universitat Aut`noma deo Barcelona. The main contributions expected by integration of this photosynthetic compartment are oxygen, water, vegetable food production and CO2 consumption. Production characteristics of Lactuca sativa L., as a MELiSSA candidate crop, were investigated in this work in the first crop experiments in the MELiSSA Pilot Plant facility. The plants were grown in batch culture and totaled 100 plants with a growing area 5 m long and 1 m wide in a sealed controlled environment. Several replicates of the experiments were carried out with varying duration. It was shown that after 46 days of lettuce cultivation dry edible biomass averaged 27, 2 g per plant. However accumulation of oxygen in the chamber, which required purging of the chamber, and decrease in the food value of the plants was observed. Reducing the duration of the tests allowed uninterrupted test without opening the system and also allowed estimation of the crop's carbon balance. Results of productivity, tissue composition, nutrient uptake and canopy photosynthesis of lettuce regardless of test duration are discussed in the paper.

  15. The ecological risks of transgenic plants.

    PubMed

    Giovannetti, Manuela

    2003-01-01

    Biotechnologies have been utilized "ante litteram" for thousands of years to produce food and drink and genetic engineering techniques have been widely applied to produce many compounds for human use, from insulin to other medicines. The debate on genetically modified (GM) organisms broke out all over the world only when GM crops were released into the field. Plant ecologists, microbiologists and population geneticists carried out experiments aimed at evaluating the environmental impact of GM crops. The most significant findings concern: the spread of transgenes through GM pollen diffusion and its environmental impact after hybridisation with closely related wild species or subspecies; horizontal gene transfer from transgenic plants to soil microbes; the impact of insecticide proteins released into the soil by transformed plants on non-target microbial soil communities. Recent developments in genetic engineering produced a technology, dubbed "Terminator", which protects patented genes introduced in transgenic plants by killing the seeds in the second generation. This genetic construct, which interferes so heavily with fundamental life processes, is considered dangerous and should be ex-ante evaluated taking into account the data on "unexpected events", as here discussed, instead of relying on the "safe until proven otherwise" claim. Awareness that scientists, biotechnologists and genetic engineers cannot answer the fundamental question "how likely is that transgenes will be transferred from cultivated plants into the natural environment?" should foster long-term studies on the ecological risks and benefits of transgenic crops.

  16. A survey of crop-derived transgenes in activated and digester sludges in wastewater treatment plants in the United States.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Courtney M; Gwin, Carley A; Gunsch, Claudia K

    2018-04-01

    The use of transgenic crops has become increasingly common in the United States over the last several decades. Increasing evidence suggests that DNA may be protected from enzymatic digestion and acid hydrolysis in the digestive tract, suggesting that crop-derived transgenes may enter into wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) intact. Given the historical use of antibiotic resistance genes as selection markers in transgenic crop development, it is important to consider the fate of these transgenes. Herein we detected and quantified crop-derived transgenes in WWTPs. All viable US WWTP samples were found to contain multiple gene targets (p35, nos, bla and nptII) at significantly higher levels than control samples. Control wastewater samples obtained from France, where transgenic crops are not cultivated, contained significantly fewer copies of the nptII gene than US activated and digester sludges. No significant differences were measured for the bla antibiotic resistance gene (ARG). In addition, a nested PCR (polymerase chain reaction) assay was developed that targeted the bla ARG located in regions flanked by the p35 promoter and nos terminator. Overall this work suggests that transgenic crops may have provided an environmental source of nptII; however, follow-up studies are needed to ascertain the viability of these genes as they exit WWTPs.

  17. The Effect of Plant Cultivar, Growth Media, Harvest Method and Post Harvest Treatment on the Microbiology of Edible Crops

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hummerick, Mary P.; Gates, Justin R.; Nguyen, Bao-Thang; Massa, Gioia D.; Wheeler, Raymond M.

    2011-01-01

    Systems for the growth of crops in closed environments are being developed and tested for potential use in space applications to provide a source of fresh food. Plant growth conditions, growth media composition and harvest methods can have an effect on the microbial population of the plant, and therefore should be considered along with the optimization of plant growth and harvest yields to ensure a safe and palatable food crop. This work examines the effect of plant cultivar, growth media, and harvest method on plant microbial populations. Twelve varieties of leafy greens and herbs were grown on a mixture of Fafard #2 and Arcillite in the pillow root containment system currently being considered for the VEGGIE plant growth unit developed by Orbitec. In addition, ,Sierra and Outredgeous lettuce varieties were grown in three different mixtures (Fafard #2, Ardllite, and Perlite/Vermiculite). The plants were analyzed for microbial density. Two harvest methods, "cut and come again" (CACA) and terminal harvest were also compared. In one set ofexpe'riments red leaf lettuce and mizuna were grown in pots in a Biomass Production System for education. Plants were harvested every two weeks by either method. Another set of experiments was performed using the rooting pillows to grow 5 varieties of leafy greens and cut harvesting at different intervals. Radishes were harvested and replanted at two-week intervals. Results indicate up to a 3 IOglO difference in microbial counts between some varieties of plants. Rooting medium resulted in an approximately 2 IOglO lower count in the lettuce grown in arscillite then those grown in the other mixtures. Harvest method and frequency had less impact on microbial counts only showing a significant increase in one variety of plant. Post harvest methods to decrease the bacterial counts on edible crops were investigated in these and other experiments. The effectiveness of PRO-SAN and UV-C radiation is compared.

  18. Intraspecific variation of host plant and locality influence the lepidopteran-parasitoid system of Brassica oleracea crops.

    PubMed

    Santolamazza-Carbone, S; Velasco, P; Selfa, J; Soengas, P; Cartea, M E

    2013-06-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate the attractiveness to herbivores and parasitoids of two cultivars of Brassica oleracea L., namely, B. oleracea variety acephala (kale) and B. oleracea variety capitata (cabbage), that exhibit differences of morphological and biochemical traits. To this end, field samplings were replicated at seven localities in Galicia (northwestern Spain). Three specialist and three generalist lepidopteran species were sampled. In total, 7,050 parasitoids were obtained, belonging to 18 genera and 22 species. The results showed that 1) parasitism rate and parasitoid species richness changed with locality and was higher in cabbage, although this crop had lower herbivore abundance; 2) the proportion of specialist herbivores was higher in cabbage crops, whereas generalists dominated in kale crops; 3) the abundance of the parasitoids Telenomus sp. (Hymenoptera, Scelionidae), Cotesia glomerata L. (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), and Diadegma fenestrale (Holmgren) (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) was higher in kale crops; and 4) parasitism rate of Pieris rapae larvae and pupae and Mamestra brassicae eggs were higher in kale crops. In contrast with the notion that plant structural complexity provides physical refuge to the hosts and can interfere with parasitoid foraging, parasitism rate was higher on cabbage plants, which form heads of overlapped leaves. Possibly, different chemical profiles of cultivars also influenced the host-parasitoid relationship. These results suggest that top-down and bottom-up forces may enhance cabbage crops to better control herbivore pressure during the studied season. In Spain, information on natural occurring parasitoid guilds of Brassica crops is still scarce. The data provided here also represent a critical first step for conservation biological control plans of these cultivations.

  19. Using the USDA Weekly Crop Progress Record to Document Trends in Corn Planting Date From 1979 to 2005

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kucharik, C. J.

    2005-12-01

    Agriculture is a dominant driver of land surface phenology in the United States Corn Belt. The timing of planting and harvest, along with the rate of plant development, are influenced by crop type, technology, land management decisions, and weather and soil conditions. Collectively, these integrated factors affect the spatial and temporal spectral signature of crops captured by remote sensing. While many studies have used the historical satellite record of vegetation activity to detect changes across the land surface, there has been less emphasis on using ground-based or remote sensing data to depict the contemporary phenology of individual US agro-ecosystems. The objectives of this study were twofold: (1) demonstrate how weekly USDA-NASS 'Crop Progress' data and 'Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletins' could be useful to remote sensing science when characterizing changing land surface phenology over the US; and (2) quantify long-term trends in corn planting progress from 1979 to 2005 across 12 states in the US Corn Belt. Examination of the weekly NASS crop progress data shows that the initiation of corn planting has become significantly (P < 0.01) earlier by 6 to 24 days since 1979, potentially contributing to about 10% to 64% of the linear increase in corn yields during this period. The magnitude of earlier planting date trend varies regionally, and not all of this change can be attributed to an earlier arrival of spring or warmer springtime temperatures. Rather, the change appears to be related to increased farmer planting efficiency in spring attributed to the increased adoption of no-tillage or reduced-tillage practices and plowing soils in fall. Regardless of the exact cause of this trend, we have a legitimate reason to suspect that 'greening' of the Corn Belt since about 1980, according to remote sensing observations, is not entirely due to climate change, but rather arises from human land-use change in combination with climate factors. In the future, crop

  20. Regulation of Population Densities of Heterodera cajani and Other Plant-Parasitic Nematodes by Crop Rotations on Vertisols, in Semi-Arid Tropical Production Systems in India

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, S. B.; Rego, T. J.; Mohiuddin, M.; Rao, V. N.

    1996-01-01

    The significance of double crop (intercrop and sequential crop), single crop (rainy season crop fallow from June to September), and rotations on densities of Heterodera cajani, Helicotylenchus retusus, and Rotylenchulus reniformis was studied on Vertisol (Typic Pellusterts) between 1987 and 1993. Cowpea (Vigna sinensis), mungbean (Phaseolus aureus), and pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) greatly increased the population densities of H. cajani and suppressed the population densities of other plant-parasitic nematodes. Mean population densities of H. cajani were about 8 times lower in single crop systems than in double crop systems, with pigeonpea as a component intercrop. Plots planted to sorghum, safflower, and chickpea in the preceding year contained fewer H. cajani eggs and juveniles than did plots previously planted to pigeonpea, cowpea, or mungbean. Continuous cropping of sorghum in the rainy season and safflower in the post-rainy season markedly reduced the population density of H. cajani. Sorghum, safflower, and chickpea favored increased population densities of H. retusus. Adding cowpea to the system resulted in a significant increase in the densities of R. reniformis. Mean densities of total plant-parasitic nematodes were three times greater in double crop systems, with pigeonpea as a component intercrop than in single crop systems with rainy season fallow component. Cropping systems had a regulatory effect on the nematode populations and could be an effective nematode management tactic. Intercropping of sorghum with H. cajani tolerant pigeonpea could be effective in increasing the productivity of traditional production systems in H. cajani infested regions. PMID:19277141

  1. Mining Halophytes for Plant Growth-Promoting Halotolerant Bacteria to Enhance the Salinity Tolerance of Non-halophytic Crops

    PubMed Central

    Etesami, Hassan; Beattie, Gwyn A.

    2018-01-01

    Salinity stress is one of the major abiotic stresses limiting crop production in arid and semi-arid regions. Interest is increasing in the application of PGPRs (plant growth promoting rhizobacteria) to ameliorate stresses such as salinity stress in crop production. The identification of salt-tolerant, or halophilic, PGPRs has the potential to promote saline soil-based agriculture. Halophytes are a useful reservoir of halotolerant bacteria with plant growth-promoting capabilities. Here, we review recent studies on the use of halophilic PGPRs to stimulate plant growth and increase the tolerance of non-halophytic crops to salinity. These studies illustrate that halophilic PGPRs from the rhizosphere of halophytic species can be effective bio-inoculants for promoting the production of non-halophytic species in saline soils. These studies support the viability of bioinoculation with halophilic PGPRs as a strategy for the sustainable enhancement of non-halophytic crop growth. The potential of this strategy is discussed within the context of ensuring sustainable food production for a world with an increasing population and continuing climate change. We also explore future research needs for using halotolerant PGPRs under salinity stress. PMID:29472908

  2. Physiological response and sulfur metabolism of the V. dahliae-infected tomato plants in tomato/potato onion companion cropping

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Xuepeng; Li, Chunxia; Zhou, Xingang; Liu, Shouwei; Wu, Fengzhi

    2016-01-01

    Companion cropping with potato onions (Allium cepa var. agrogatum Don.) can enhance the disease resistance of tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum) to Verticillium dahliae infection by increasing the expressions of genes related to disease resistance. However, it is not clear how tomato plants physiologically respond to V. dahliae infection and what roles sulfur plays in the disease-resistance. Pot experiments were performed to examine changes in the physiology and sulfur metabolism of tomato roots infected by V. dahliae under the companion cropping (tomato/potato onion). The results showed that the companion cropping increased the content of total phenol, lignin and glutathione and increased the activities of peroxidase, polyphenol oxidase and phenylalanine ammonia lyase in the roots of tomato plants. RNA-seq analysis showed that the expressions of genes involved in sulfur uptake and assimilation, and the formation of sulfur-containing defense compounds (SDCs) were up-regulated in the V. dahlia-infected tomatoes in the companion cropping. In addition, the interactions among tomato, potato onion and V. dahliae induced the expression of the high- affinity sulfate transporter gene in the tomato roots. These results suggest that sulfur may play important roles in tomato disease resistance against V. dahliae. PMID:27808257

  3. Physiological response and sulfur metabolism of the V. dahliae-infected tomato plants in tomato/potato onion companion cropping.

    PubMed

    Fu, Xuepeng; Li, Chunxia; Zhou, Xingang; Liu, Shouwei; Wu, Fengzhi

    2016-11-03

    Companion cropping with potato onions (Allium cepa var. agrogatum Don.) can enhance the disease resistance of tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum) to Verticillium dahliae infection by increasing the expressions of genes related to disease resistance. However, it is not clear how tomato plants physiologically respond to V. dahliae infection and what roles sulfur plays in the disease-resistance. Pot experiments were performed to examine changes in the physiology and sulfur metabolism of tomato roots infected by V. dahliae under the companion cropping (tomato/potato onion). The results showed that the companion cropping increased the content of total phenol, lignin and glutathione and increased the activities of peroxidase, polyphenol oxidase and phenylalanine ammonia lyase in the roots of tomato plants. RNA-seq analysis showed that the expressions of genes involved in sulfur uptake and assimilation, and the formation of sulfur-containing defense compounds (SDCs) were up-regulated in the V. dahlia-infected tomatoes in the companion cropping. In addition, the interactions among tomato, potato onion and V. dahliae induced the expression of the high- affinity sulfate transporter gene in the tomato roots. These results suggest that sulfur may play important roles in tomato disease resistance against V. dahliae.

  4. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers. PMID:24885352

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Plant/soil concentration ratios for paired field and garden crops, with emphasis on iodine and the role of soil adhesion.

    PubMed

    Sheppard, S C; Long, J M; Sanipelli, B

    2010-12-01

    In the effort to predict the risks associated with contaminated soils, considerable reliance is placed on plant/soil concentration ratio (CR) values measured at sites other than the contaminated site. This inevitably results in the need to extrapolate among the many soil and plant types. There are few studies that compare CR among plant types that encompass both field and garden crops. Here, CRs for 40 elements were measured for 25 crops from farm and garden sites chosen so the grain crops were in close proximity to the gardens. Special emphasis was placed on iodine (I) because data for this element are sparse. For many elements, there were consistent trends among CRs for the various crop types, with leafy crops > root crops ≥ fruit crops ≈ seed crops. Exceptions included CR values for As, K, Se and Zn which were highest in the seed crops. The correlation of CRs from one plant type to another was evident only when there was a wide range in soil concentrations. In comparing CRs between crop types, it became apparent that the relationships differed for the rare earth elements (REE), which also had very low CR values. The CRs for root and leafy crops of REE converged to a minimum value. This was attributed to soil adhesion, despite the samples being washed, and the average soil adhesion for root crops was 500 mg soil kg⁻¹ dry plant and for leafy crops was 5 g kg⁻¹. Across elements, the log CR was negatively correlated with log Kd (the soil solid/liquid partition coefficient), as expected. Although, this correlation is expected, measures of correlation coefficients suitable for stochastic risk assessment are not frequently reported. The results suggest that r ≈ -0.7 would be appropriate for risk assessment. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

  8. Metabolic engineering of plant-derived (E)-β-farnesene synthase genes for a novel type of aphid-resistant genetically modified crop plants.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xiu-Dao; Pickett, John; Ma, You-Zhi; Bruce, Toby; Napier, Johnathan; Jones, Huw D; Xia, Lan-Qin

    2012-05-01

    Aphids are major agricultural pests that cause significant yield losses of crop plants each year. Excessive dependence on insecticides for long-term aphid control is undesirable because of the development of insecticide resistance, the potential negative effects on non-target organisms and environmental pollution. Transgenic crops engineered for resistance to aphids via a non-toxic mode of action could be an efficient alternative strategy. (E)-β-Farnesene (EβF) synthases catalyze the formation of EβF, which for many pest aphids is the main component of the alarm pheromone involved in the chemical communication within these species. EβF can also be synthesized by certain plants but is then normally contaminated with inhibitory compounds. Engineering of crop plants capable of synthesizing and emitting EβF could cause repulsion of aphids and also the attraction of natural enemies that use EβF as a foraging cue, thus minimizing aphid infestation. In this review, the effects of aphids on host plants, plants' defenses against aphid herbivory and the recruitment of natural enemies for aphid control in an agricultural setting are briefly introduced. Furthermore, the plant-derived EβF synthase genes cloned to date along with their potential roles in generating novel aphid resistance via genetically modified approaches are discussed. © 2012 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  9. Rare earth elements (REEs): effects on germination and growth of selected crop and native plant species.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Philippe J; Carpenter, David; Boutin, Céline; Allison, Jane E

    2014-02-01

    The phytotoxicity of rare earth elements (REEs) is still poorly understood. The exposure-response relationships of three native Canadian plant species (common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca L., showy ticktrefoil, Desmodium canadense (L.) DC. and switchgrass, Panicum virgatum L.) and two commonly used crop species (radish, Raphanus sativus L., and tomato, Solanum lycopersicum L.) to the REEs lanthanum (La), yttrium (Y) and cerium (Ce) were tested. In separate experiments, seven to eight doses of each element were added to the soil prior to sowing seeds. Effects of REE dose on germination were established through measures of total percent germination and speed of germination; effects on growth were established through determination of above ground biomass. Ce was also tested at two pH levels and plant tissue analysis was conducted on pooled samples. Effects on germination were mostly observed with Ce at low pH. However, effects on growth were more pronounced, with detectable inhibition concentrations causing 10% and 25% reductions in biomass for the two native forb species (A. syriaca and D. canadense) with all REEs and on all species tested with Ce in both soil pH treatments. Concentration of Ce in aboveground biomass was lower than root Ce content, and followed the dose-response trend. From values measured in natural soils around the world, our results continue to support the notion that REEs are of limited toxicity and not considered extremely hazardous to the environment. However, in areas where REE contamination is likely, the slow accumulation of these elements in the environment could become problematic. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  10. Plant available nitrogen from anaerobically digested sludge and septic tank sludge applied to crops grown in the tropics.

    PubMed

    Sripanomtanakorn, S; Polprasert, C

    2002-04-01

    Agricultural land is an attractive alternative for the disposal of biosolids since it utilises the recyclable nutrients in the production of crops. In Thailand and other tropical regions, limited field-study information exists on the effect of biosolids management strategies on crop N utilisation and plant available N (PAN) of biosolids. A field study was conducted to quantify the PAN of the applied biosolids, and to evaluate the N uptake rates of some tropical crops. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) were chosen in this study. Two types of biosolids used were: anaerobically digested sludge and septic tank sludge. The soil is acid sulfate and is classified as Sulfic Tropaquepts with heavy clay in texture. The anaerobically digested sludge applied rates were: 0, 156 and 312 kg N ha(-1) for the sunflower plots, and 0, 586, and 1172 kg N ha(-1) for the tomato plots. The septic tank sludge applied rates were: 0, 95 and 190 kg N ha(-1) for the sunflower plots, and 0, 354 and 708 kg N ha(-1) for the tomato plots, respectively. The results indicated the feasibility of applying biosolids to grow tropical crops. The applications of the anaerobically digested sludge and the septic tank sludge resulted in the yields of sunflower seeds and tomato fruits and the plant N uptakes comparable or better than that applied with only the chemical fertiliser. The estimated PAN of the anaerobically digested sludge was about 27-42% of the sludge organic N during the growing season. For the septic tank sludge, the PAN was about 15-58% of the sludge organic N. It is interesting to observe that an increase of the rate of septic tank sludge incorporated into this heavy clay soil under the cropping system resulted in the decrease of N mineralisation rate. This situation could cause the reduction of yield and N uptake of crops.

  11. Increasing Crop Yields in Water Stressed Countries by Combining Operations of Freshwater Reservoir and Wastewater Reclamation Plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhushan, R.; Ng, T. L.

    2015-12-01

    Freshwater resources around the world are increasing in scarcity due to population growth, industrialization and climate change. This is a serious concern for water stressed countries, including those in Asia and North Africa where future food production is expected to be negatively affected by this. To address this problem, we investigate the potential of combining freshwater reservoir and wastewater reclamation operations. Reservoir water is the cheaper source of irrigation, but is often limited and climate sensitive. Treated wastewater is a more reliable alternative for irrigation, but often requires extensive further treatment which can be expensive. We propose combining the operations of a reservoir and a wastewater reclamation plant (WWRP) to augment the supply from the reservoir with reclaimed water for increasing crop yields in water stressed regions. The joint system of reservoir and WWRP is modeled as a multi-objective optimization problem with the double objective of maximizing the crop yield and minimizing total cost, subject to constraints on reservoir storage, spill and release, and capacity of the WWRP. We use the crop growth model Aquacrop, supported by The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), to model crop growth in response to water use. Aquacrop considers the effects of water deficit on crop growth stages, and from there estimates crop yield. We generate results comparing total crop yield under irrigation with water from just the reservoir (which is limited and often interrupted), and yield with water from the joint system (which has the potential of higher supply and greater reliability). We will present results for locations in India and Africa to evaluate the potential of the joint operations for improving food security in those areas for different budgets.

  12. Induced mutation and epigenetics modification in plants for crop improvement by targeting CRISPR/Cas9 technology.

    PubMed

    Khan, Muhammad Hafeez Ullah; Khan, Shahid U; Muhammad, Ali; Hu, Limin; Yang, Yang; Fan, Chuchuan

    2018-06-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats associated protein Cas9 (CRISPR-Cas9), originally an adaptive immunity system of prokaryotes, is revolutionizing genome editing technologies with minimal off-targets in the present era. The CRISPR/Cas9 is now highly emergent, advanced, and highly specific tool for genome engineering. The technology is widely used to animal and plant genomes to achieve desirable results. The present review will encompass how CRISPR-Cas9 is revealing its beneficial role in characterizing plant genetic functions, genomic rearrangement, how it advances the site-specific mutagenesis, and epigenetics modification in plants to improve the yield of field crops with minimal side-effects. The possible pitfalls of using and designing CRISPR-Cas9 for plant genome editing are also discussed for its more appropriate applications in plant biology. Therefore, CRISPR/Cas9 system has multiple benefits that mostly scientists select for genome editing in several biological systems. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Characterization of the soybean GmALMT family genes and the function of GmALMT5 in response to phosphate starvation.

    PubMed

    Peng, Wenting; Wu, Weiwei; Peng, Junchu; Li, Jiaojiao; Lin, Yan; Wang, Yanan; Tian, Jiang; Sun, Lili; Liang, Cuiyue; Liao, Hong

    2018-03-01

    A potential mechanism to enhance utilization of sparingly soluble forms of phosphorus (P) is the root secretion of malate, which is mainly mediated by the ALMT gene family in plants. In this study, a total of 34 GmALMT genes were identified in the soybean genome. Expression patterns diverged considerably among GmALMTs in response to phosphate (Pi) starvation in leaves, roots and flowers, with expression altered by P availability in 26 of the 34 GmALMTs. One root-specific GmALMT whose expression was significantly enhanced by Pi-starvation, GmALMT5, was studied in more detail to determine its possible role in soybean P nutrition. Analysis of GmALMT5 tissue expression patterns, subcellular localization, and malate exudation from transgenic soybean hairy roots overexpressing GmALMT5, demonstrated that GmALMT5 is a plasma membrane protein that mediates malate efflux from roots. Furthermore, both growth and P content of transgenic Arabidopsis overexpressing GmALMT5 were significantly increased when sparingly soluble Ca-P was used as the external P source. Taken together, these results indicate that members of the soybean GmALMT gene family exhibit diverse responses to Pi starvation. One member of this family, GmALMT5, might contribute to soybean P efficiency by enhancing utilization of sparingly soluble P sources under P limited conditions. © 2017 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  14. Decreasing Fertilizer use by Optimizing Plant-microbe Interactions for Sustainable Supply of Nitrogen for Bioenergy Crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schicklberger, M. F.; Huang, J.; Felix, P.; Pettenato, A.; Chakraborty, R.

    2013-12-01

    Nitrogen (N) is an essential component of DNA and proteins and consequently a key element of life. N often is limited in plants, affecting plant growth and productivity. To alleviate this problem, tremendous amounts of N-fertilizer is used, which comes at a high economic price and heavy energy demand. In addition, N-fertilizer also significantly contributes to rising atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Therefore, the addition of fertilizer to overcome N limitation is highly undesirable. To explore reduction in fertilizer use our research focuses on optimizing the interaction between plants and diazotrophic bacteria, which could provide adequate amounts of N to the host-plant. Therefore we investigated the diversity of microbes associated with Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) and Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), considered as potential energy crop for bioenergy production. Several bacterial isolates with representatives from Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteriodetes and Bacilli were obtained from the roots, leaves, rhizoplane and rhizosphere of these plants. Majority of these isolates grew best with simple sugars and small organic acids. As shown by PCR amplification of nifH, several of these isolates are potential N2-fixing bacteria. We investigated diazotrophs for their response to elevated temperature and salinity (two common climate change induced stresses found on marginal lands), their N2-fixing ability, and their response to root exudates (which drive microbial colonization of the plant). Together this understanding is necessary for the development of eco-friendly, economically sustainable energy crops by decreasing their dependency on fertilizer.

  15. A rapid and efficient method to study the function of crop plant transporters in Arabidopsis

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Iron (Fe) is an essential micronutrient for humans. Fe deficiency disease is wide-spread and has lead to extensive studies on the mechanisms of Fe uptake and storage, especially in staple food crops such as rice. However, studies of functionally related genes in rice and other crops are often time a...

  16. Cultivar and planting date selection for relay-cropping soybean with winter oilseeds

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Double- and relay-cropping soybean with winter camelina (Camelina sativa L. Crantz) and pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) have been shown to be viable cropping systems for the Upper Midwest. Relaying soybean with these winter oilseeds can result in greater total seed yield (i.e., both combined) and ec...

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

    PubMed

    Gong, Chun Yan; Wang, Tai

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Effect of tillage and crop residue on soil temperature following planting for a Black soil in Northeast China.

    PubMed

    Shen, Yan; McLaughlin, Neil; Zhang, Xiaoping; Xu, Minggang; Liang, Aizhen

    2018-03-14

    Crop residue return is imperative to maintain soil health and productivity but some farmers resist adopting conservation tillage systems with residue return fearing reduced soil temperature following planting and crop yield. Soil temperatures were measured at 10 cm depth for one month following planting from 2004 to 2007 in a field experiment in Northeast China. Tillage treatments included mouldboard plough (MP), no till (NT), and ridge till (RT) with maize (Zea mays L.) and soybean (Glycine max Merr.) crops. Tillage had significant effects on soil temperature in 10 of 15 weekly periods. Weekly average NT soil temperature was 0-1.5 °C lower than MP, but the difference was significant (P < 0.05) only in 2007 when residue was not returned in MP the previous autumn. RT showed no clear advantage over NT in increasing soil temperature. Higher residue coverage caused lower soil temperature; the effect was greater for maize than soybean residue. Residue type had significant effect on soil temperature in 9 of 15 weekly periods with 0-1.9 °C lower soil temperature under maize than soybean residue. Both tillage and residue had small but inconsistent effect on soil temperature following planting in Northeast China representative of a cool to temperate zone.

  19. Development of transgenic crops based on photo-biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Ganesan, Markkandan; Lee, Hyo-Yeon; Kim, Jeong-Il; Song, Pill-Soon

    2017-11-01

    The phenotypes associated with plant photomorphogenesis such as the suppressed shade avoidance response and de-etiolation offer the potential for significant enhancement of crop yields. Of many light signal transducers and transcription factors involved in the photomorphogenic responses of plants, this review focuses on the transgenic overexpression of the photoreceptor genes at the uppermost stream of the signalling events, particularly phytochromes, crytochromes and phototropins as the transgenes for the genetic engineering of crops with improved harvest yields. In promoting the harvest yields of crops, the photoreceptors mediate the light regulation of photosynthetically important genes, and the improved yields often come with the tolerance to abiotic stresses such as drought, salinity and heavy metal ions. As a genetic engineering approach, the term photo-biotechnology has been coined to convey the idea that the greater the photosynthetic efficiency that crop plants can be engineered to possess, the stronger the resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Development of GM crops based on photoreceptor transgenes (mainly phytochromes, crytochromes and phototropins) is reviewed with the proposal of photo-biotechnology that the photoreceptors mediate the light regulation of photosynthetically important genes, and the improved yields often come with the added benefits of crops' tolerance to environmental stresses. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Hormonal and metabolic regulation of source-sink relations under salinity and drought: from plant survival to crop yield stability.

    PubMed

    Albacete, Alfonso A; Martínez-Andújar, Cristina; Pérez-Alfocea, Francisco

    2014-01-01

    Securing food production for the growing population will require closing the gap between potential crop productivity under optimal conditions and the yield captured by farmers under a changing environment, which is termed agronomical stability. Drought and salinity are major environmental factors contributing to the yield gap ultimately by inducing premature senescence in the photosynthetic source tissues of the plant and by reducing the number and growth of the harvestable sink organs by affecting the transport and use of assimilates between and within them. However, the changes in source-sink relations induced by stress also include adaptive changes in the reallocation of photoassimilates that influence crop productivity, ranging from plant survival to yield stability. While the massive utilization of -omic technologies in model plants is discovering hundreds of genes with potential impacts in alleviating short-term applied drought and salinity stress (usually measured as plant survival), only in relatively few cases has an effect on crop yield stability been proven. However, achieving the former does not necessarily imply the latter. Plant survival only requires water status conservation and delayed leaf senescence (thus maintaining source activity) that is usually accompanied by growth inhibition. However, yield stability will additionally require the maintenance or increase in sink activity in the reproductive structures, thus contributing to the transport of assimilates from the source leaves and to delayed stress-induced leaf senescence. This review emphasizes the role of several metabolic and hormonal factors influencing not only the source strength, but especially the sink activity and their inter-relations, and their potential to improve yield stability under drought and salinity stresses. © 2013.

  1. Native root-associated bacteria rescue a plant from a sudden-wilt disease that emerged during continuous cropping

    PubMed Central

    Santhanam, Rakesh; Luu, Van Thi; Weinhold, Arne; Goldberg, Jay; Oh, Youngjoo; Baldwin, Ian T.

    2015-01-01

    Plants maintain microbial associations whose functions remain largely unknown. For the past 15 y, we have planted the annual postfire tobacco Nicotiana attenuata into an experimental field plot in the plant’s native habitat, and for the last 8 y the number of plants dying from a sudden wilt disease has increased, leading to crop failure. Inadvertently we had recapitulated the common agricultural dilemma of pathogen buildup associated with continuous cropping for this native plant. Plants suffered sudden tissue collapse and black roots, symptoms similar to a Fusarium–Alternaria disease complex, recently characterized in a nearby native population and developed into an in vitro pathosystem for N. attenuata. With this in vitro disease system, different protection strategies (fungicide and inoculations with native root-associated bacterial and fungal isolates), together with a biochar soil amendment, were tested further in the field. A field trial with more than 900 plants in two field plots revealed that inoculation with a mixture of native bacterial isolates significantly reduced disease incidence and mortality in the infected field plot without influencing growth, herbivore resistance, or 32 defense and signaling metabolites known to mediate resistance against native herbivores. Tests in a subsequent year revealed that a core consortium of five bacteria was essential for disease reduction. This consortium, but not individual members of the root-associated bacteria community which this plant normally recruits during germination from native seed banks, provides enduring resistance against fungal diseases, demonstrating that native plants develop opportunistic mutualisms with prokaryotes that solve context-dependent ecological problems. PMID:26305938

  2. Estimating plant area index for monitoring crop growth dynamics using Landsat-8 and RapidEye images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shang, Jiali; Liu, Jiangui; Huffman, Ted; Qian, Budong; Pattey, Elizabeth; Wang, Jinfei; Zhao, Ting; Geng, Xiaoyuan; Kroetsch, David; Dong, Taifeng; Lantz, Nicholas

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates the use of two different optical sensors, the multispectral imager (MSI) onboard the RapidEye satellites and the operational land imager (OLI) onboard the Landsat-8 for mapping within-field variability of crop growth conditions and tracking the seasonal growth dynamics. The study was carried out in southern Ontario, Canada, during the 2013 growing season for three annual crops, corn, soybeans, and winter wheat. Plant area index (PAI) was measured at different growth stages using digital hemispherical photography at two corn fields, two winter wheat fields, and two soybean fields. Comparison between several conventional vegetation indices derived from concurrently acquired image data by the two sensors showed a good agreement. The two-band enhanced vegetation index (EVI2) and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) were derived from the surface reflectance of the two sensors. The study showed that EVI2 was more resistant to saturation at high biomass range than NDVI. A linear relationship could be used for crop green effective PAI estimation from EVI2, with a coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.85 and root-mean-square error of 0.53. The estimated multitemporal product of green PAI was found to be able to capture the seasonal dynamics of the three crops.

  3. How healthy is urban horticulture in high traffic areas? Trace metal concentrations in vegetable crops from plantings within inner city neighbourhoods in Berlin, Germany.

    PubMed

    Säumel, Ina; Kotsyuk, Iryna; Hölscher, Marie; Lenkereit, Claudia; Weber, Frauke; Kowarik, Ingo

    2012-06-01

    Food production by urban dwellers is of growing importance in developing and developed countries. Urban horticulture is associated with health risks as crops in urban settings are generally exposed to higher levels of pollutants than those in rural areas. We determined the concentration of trace metals in the biomass of different horticultural crops grown in the inner city of Berlin, Germany, and analysed how the local setting shaped the concentration patterns. We revealed significant differences in trace metal concentrations depending on local traffic, crop species, planting style and building structures, but not on vegetable type. Higher overall traffic burden increased trace metal content in the biomass. The presence of buildings and large masses of vegetation as barriers between crops and roads reduced trace metal content in the biomass. Based on this we discuss consequences for urban horticulture, risk assessment, and planting and monitoring guidelines for cultivation and consumption of crops. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Effects of citrate-coated silver nanoparticles on interactions between soil bacteria and the major crop plant Zea mays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doody, Michael; Bais, Harsh; Jin, Yan

    2014-05-01

    The increasing use of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in commercial antimicrobial products presents an opportunity for increased environmental exposures. While the behavior of AgNPs in surface waters is becoming increasingly understood, little research has been conducted on the effects of these, or any nanoparticles, on soil-dwelling bacteria and major crop plants. Because of the importance of soil bacteria to the overall health of natural and agricultural soils, it is necessary to better understand how AgNPs interact with common bacterial species such as Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli. It is further necessary to quantify the effect of AgNPs on major crop plants, including Zea mays, a staple crop for much of the world. Finally, research is needed on how complex plant-microbe interactions that originate in the rhizosphere may be disrupted by AgNPs. Our preliminary data show highly statistically significant growth inhibition near 30% for both species of bacteria exposed to 1.0 mg L-1 citrate-coated AgNPs (c-AgNPs). Growth curves compiled from absorbance data show a similar dose-response for both species. Treatment with aqueous Ag as AgNO3 slightly inhibits E. coli (90 ± 5 %), but enhances growth of B. subtilis to 127 ± 23% of control. These results indicate that toxicity may be related to specific nano-scale properties of the c-AgNPs. On-going experiments measure potential growth inhibition, root development and morphology of Z. mays exposed to c-AgNPs, and resulting changes in plant-microbe interactions.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Changing techniques in crop plant classification: molecularization at the National Institute of Agricultural Botany during the 1980s.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Matthew

    2017-04-01

    Modern methods of analysing biological materials, including protein and DNA sequencing, are increasingly the objects of historical study. Yet twentieth-century taxonomic techniques have been overlooked in one of their most important contexts: agricultural botany. This paper addresses this omission by harnessing unexamined archival material from the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB), a British plant science organization. During the 1980s the NIAB carried out three overlapping research programmes in crop identification and analysis: electrophoresis, near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and machine vision systems. For each of these three programmes, contemporary economic, statutory and scientific factors behind their uptake by the NIAB are discussed. This approach reveals significant links between taxonomic practice at the NIAB and historical questions around agricultural research, intellectual property and scientific values. Such links are of further importance given that the techniques developed by researchers at the NIAB during the 1980s remain part of crop classification guidelines issued by international bodies today.

  8. Genetically modified plants and food hypersensitivity diseases: usage and implications of experimental models for risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Prescott, Vanessa E; Hogan, Simon P

    2006-08-01

    The recent advances in biotechnology in the plant industry have led to increasing crop production and yield that in turn has increased the usage of genetically modified (GM) food in the human food chain. The usage of GM foods for human consumption has raised a number of fundamental questions including the ability of GM foods to elicit potentially harmful immunological responses, including allergic hypersensitivity. To assess the safety of foods derived from GM plants including allergenic potential, the US FDA, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)/World Health Organization (WHO), and the EU have developed approaches for evaluation assessment. One assessment approach that has been a very active area of research and debate is the development and usage of animal models to assess the potential allergenicity of GM foods. A number of specific animal models employing rodents, pigs, and dogs have been developed for allergenicity assessment. However, validation of these models is needed and consideration of the criteria for an appropriate animal model for the assessment of allergenicity in GM plants is required. We have recently employed a BALB/c mouse model to assess the potential allergenicity of GM plants. We have been able to demonstrate that this model is able to detect differences in antigenicity and identify aspects of protein post-translational modifications that can alter antigenicity. Furthermore, this model has also enabled us to examine the usage of GM plants as a therapeutic approach for the treatment of allergic diseases. This review discusses the current approaches to assess the allergenic potential of GM food and particularly focusing on the usage of animal models to determine the potential allergenicity of GM foods and gives an overview of our recent findings and implications of these studies.

  9. The prospect of applying chemical elicitors and plant strengtheners to enhance the biological control of crop pests

    PubMed Central

    Sobhy, Islam S.; Erb, Matthias; Lou, Yonggen; Turlings, Ted C. J.

    2014-01-01

    An imminent food crisis reinforces the need for novel strategies to increase crop yields worldwide. Effective control of pest insects should be part of such strategies, preferentially with reduced negative impact on the environment and optimal protection and utilization of existing biodiversity. Enhancing the presence and efficacy of native biological control agents could be one such strategy. Plant strengthener is a generic term for several commercially available compounds or mixtures of compounds that can be applied to cultivated plants in order to ‘boost their vigour, resilience and performance’. Studies into the consequences of boosting plant resistance against pests and diseases on plant volatiles have found a surprising and dramatic increase in the plants' attractiveness to parasitic wasps. Here, we summarize the results from these studies and present new results from assays that illustrate the great potential of two commercially available resistance elicitors. We argue that plant strengtheners may currently be the best option to enhance the attractiveness of cultivated plants to biological control agents. Other options, such as the genetic manipulation of the release of specific volatiles may offer future solutions, but in most systems, we still miss fundamental knowledge on which key attractants should be targeted for this approach. PMID:24535390

  10. A new synthetic biology approach allows transfer of an entire metabolic pathway from a medicinal plant to a biomass crop.

    PubMed

    Fuentes, Paulina; Zhou, Fei; Erban, Alexander; Karcher, Daniel; Kopka, Joachim; Bock, Ralph

    2016-06-14

    Artemisinin-based therapies are the only effective treatment for malaria, the most devastating disease in human history. To meet the growing demand for artemisinin and make it accessible to the poorest, an inexpensive and rapidly scalable production platform is urgently needed. Here we have developed a new synthetic biology approach, combinatorial supertransformation of transplastomic recipient lines (COSTREL), and applied it to introduce the complete pathway for artemisinic acid, the precursor of artemisinin, into the high-biomass crop tobacco. We first introduced the core pathway of artemisinic acid biosynthesis into the chloroplast genome. The transplastomic plants were then combinatorially supertransformed with cassettes for all additional enzymes known to affect flux through the artemisinin pathway. By screening large populations of COSTREL lines, we isolated plants that produce more than 120 milligram artemisinic acid per kilogram biomass. Our work provides an efficient strategy for engineering complex biochemical pathways into plants and optimizing the metabolic output.

  11. Plant Stress Responses and Phenotypic Plasticity in the Epigenomics Era: Perspectives on the Grapevine Scenario, a Model for Perennial Crop Plants

    PubMed Central

    Fortes, Ana M.; Gallusci, Philippe

    2017-01-01

    Epigenetic marks include Histone Post-Translational Modifications and DNA methylation which are known to participate in the programming of gene expression in plants and animals. These epigenetic marks may be subjected to dynamic changes in response to endogenous and/or external stimuli and can have an impact on phenotypic plasticity. Studying how plant genomes can be epigenetically shaped under stressed conditions has become an essential issue in order to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying plant stress responses and enabling epigenetic in addition to genetic factors to be considered when breeding crop plants. In this perspective, we discuss the contribution of epigenetic mechanisms to our understanding of plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. This regulation of gene expression in response to environment raises important biological questions for perennial species such as grapevine which is asexually propagated and grown worldwide in contrasting terroirs and environmental conditions. However, most species used for epigenomic studies are annual herbaceous plants, and epigenome dynamics has been poorly investigated in perennial woody plants, including grapevine. In this context, we propose grape as an essential model for epigenetic and epigenomic studies in perennial woody plants of agricultural importance. PMID:28220131

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Acceptability of GM foods among Pakistani consumers.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-02

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

  15. Acceptability of GM foods among Pakistani consumers

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Genome editing using CRISPR/Cas9-targeted mutagenesis: An opportunity for yield improvements of crop plants grown under environmental stresses.

    PubMed

    Abdelrahman, Mostafa; Al-Sadi, Abdullah M; Pour-Aboughadareh, Alireza; Burritt, David J; Tran, Lam-Son Phan

    2018-03-12

    Developing more crops able to sustainably produce high yields when grown under biotic/abiotic stresses is an important goal, if crop production and food security are to be guaranteed in the face of ever-increasing human population and unpredictable global climatic conditions. However, conventional crop improvement, through random mutagenesis or genetic recombination, is time-consuming and cannot keep pace with increasing food demands. Targeted genome editing (GE) technologies, especially clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/(CRISPR)-associated protein 9 (Cas9), have great potential to aid in the breeding of crops that are able to produce high yields under conditions of biotic/abiotic stress. This is due to their high efficiency, accuracy and low risk of off-target effects, compared with conventional random mutagenesis methods. The use of CRISPR/Cas9 system has grown very rapidly in recent years with numerous examples of targeted mutagenesis in crop plants, including gene knockouts, modifications, and the activation and repression of target genes. The potential of the GE approach for crop improvement has been clearly demonstrated. However, the regulation and social acceptance of GE crops still remain a challenge. In this review, we evaluate the recent applications of the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated GE, as a means to produce crop plants with greater resilience to the stressors they encounter when grown under increasing stressful environmental conditions. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  17. Mitigation technologies to control high-temperature stress in crop plants

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The book entitled “Crop Responses to Global Warming” describes the traditional historical shifts within the earth’s atmospheric temperature and weighs the evidence regarding anthropogenetic elicited changes within the level of temperature. There is not an abundant study to elucidate the shift in te...

  18. Response of Crops to Limited Water: Understanding and Modeling Water Stress Effects on Plant Growth Processes

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The semi-arid regions of western U.S., India, China, and other parts of the world produce a major portion of the world’s food and fiber needs—from staple food grains of wheat, rice, and corn, to vegetables, fruits, nuts, wine, cotton, and forage crops for cattle and poultry. Most of this production ...

  19. Plant adaptation to acid soils: the molecular basis for crop aluminum resistance

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Aluminum (Al) toxicity on acid soils is a significant limitation to crop production worldwide, as approximately 50% of the world’s potentially arable soils are acidic. Because acid soils are such an important constraint to agriculture, understanding the mechanisms and genes conferring resistance to ...

  20. Control of plant virus diseases in cool-season grain legume crops.

    PubMed

    Makkouk, Khaled M; Kumari, Safaa G; van Leur, Joop A G; Jones, Roger A C

    2014-01-01

    Cool-season grain legume crops become infected with a wide range of viruses, many of which cause serious diseases and major yield losses. This review starts by discussing which viruses are important in the principal cool-season grain legume crops in different parts of the world, the losses they cause and their economic impacts in relation to control. It then describes the main types of control measures available: host resistance, phytosanitary measures, cultural measures, chemical control, and biological control. Examples are provided of successful deployment of the different types of measures to control virus epidemics in cool-season grain legume crops. Next it emphasizes the need for integrated approaches to control because single control measures used alone rarely suffice to adequately reduce virus-induced yield losses in these crops. Development of effective integrated disease management (IDM) strategies depends on an interdisciplinary team approach to (i) understand the ecological and climatic factors which lead to damaging virus epidemics and (ii) evaluate the effectiveness of individual control measures. In addition to using virus-resistant cultivars, other IDM components include sowing virus-tested seed stocks, selecting cultivars with low seed transmission rates, using diverse phytosanitary or cultural practices that minimize the virus source or reduce its spread, and using selective pesticides in an environmentally responsible way. The review finishes by briefly discussing the implications of climate change in increasing problems associated with control and the opportunities to control virus diseases more effectively through new technologies.

  1. Landscape and host plant effects on two important omnivorous arthropod taxa in field crops

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The economically important brown stink bug, Euschistus servus (Say), is a native pest of many crops in southeastern USA and insecticide applications are the prevailing method of population suppression. To elucidate biological control of E. servus populations, we investigated two egg predators’ (red ...

  2. Perfluoroalkyl acid distribution in various plant compartments of edible crops grown in biosolids-amended soils

    EPA Science Inventory

    Crop uptake of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) from biosolids-amended soil has been identified as a potential pathway for PFAA entry into the terrestrial food chain. This study compared the uptake of PFAAs in greenhouse-grown radish (Raphanus sativus), celery (Apium graveolens var.d...

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Genetically modified plants and human health

    PubMed Central

    Key, Suzie; Ma, Julian K-C; Drake, Pascal MW

    2008-01-01

    Summary Genetically modified (or GM) plants have attracted a large amount of media attention in recent years and continue to do so. Despite this, the general public remains largely unaware of what a GM plant actually is or what advantages and disadvantages the technology has to offer, particularly with regard to the range of applications for which they can be used. From the first generation of GM crops, two main areas of concern have emerged, namely risk to the environment and risk to human health. As GM plants are gradually being introduced into the European Union there is likely to be increasing public concern regarding potential health issues. Although it is now commonplace for the press to adopt ‘health campaigns’, the information they publish is often unreliable and unrepresentative of the available scientific evidence. We consider it important that the medical profession should be aware of the state of the art, and, as they are often the first port of call for a concerned patient, be in a position to provide an informed opinion. This review will examine how GM plants may impact on human health both directly – through applications targeted at nutrition and enhancement of recombinant medicine production – but also indirectly, through potential effects on the environment. Finally, it will examine the most important opposition currently facing the worldwide adoption of this technology: public opinion. PMID:18515776

  6. Genetically modified plants and human health.

    PubMed

    Key, Suzie; Ma, Julian K-C; Drake, Pascal Mw

    2008-06-01

    Genetically modified (or GM) plants have attracted a large amount of media attention in recent years and continue to do so. Despite this, the general public remains largely unaware of what a GM plant actually is or what advantages and disadvantages the technology has to offer, particularly with regard to the range of applications for which they can be used. From the first generation of GM crops, two main areas of concern have emerged, namely risk to the environment and risk to human health. As GM plants are gradually being introduced into the European Union there is likely to be increasing public concern regarding potential health issues. Although it is now commonplace for the press to adopt 'health campaigns', the information they publish is often unreliable and unrepresentative of the available scientific evidence. We consider it important that the medical profession should be aware of the state of the art, and, as they are often the first port of call for a concerned patient, be in a position to provide an informed opinion. This review will examine how GM plants may impact on human health both directly - through applications targeted at nutrition and enhancement of recombinant medicine production - but also indirectly, through potential effects on the environment. Finally, it will examine the most important opposition currently facing the worldwide adoption of this technology: public opinion.

  7. Grand challenges for crop science

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Crop science is a highly integrative science using the disciplines of conventional plant breeding, transgenic crop improvement, plant physiology, and cropping system sciences to develop improved varieties of agronomic, turf, and forage crops to produce feed, food, fuel, and fiber for our world's gro...

  8. Irish public perceptions and attitudes to modern biotechnology: an overview with a focus on GM foods.

    PubMed

    Morris, S H; Adley, C C

    2001-02-01

    This article summarizes the current situation pertaining to modern biotechnology in Ireland, with a particular focus on genetically modified (GM) crops. It briefly examines some important results of the major national surveys carried out in Ireland since 1989, highlights the recent upsurge in media (newspaper) coverage of GM related stories in three Irish opinion leader publications and it allows for an insight into the Irish public's relationship with modern biotechnology.

  9. 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.

  10. Health risks of thallium in contaminated arable soils and food crops irrigated with wastewater from a sulfuric acid plant in western Guangdong province, China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chunlin; Chen, Yongheng; Liu, Juan; Wang, Jin; Li, Xiangping; Zhang, Yongbo; Liu, Yimin

    2013-04-01

    Thallium (Tl) contamination in soils poses a significant threat to human health due to the high toxicity of Tl and its ready assimilation by crops. Consumption of food crops contaminated with Tl is a major food chain route for human exposure. The health risks of Tl in contaminated food crops irrigated with wastewater from a sulfuric acid factory were investigated in this paper. Results indicate that long-term Tl-containing wastewater irrigation resulted in Tl contamination of arable soils and crops. The pollution load index values indicated that the arable soils were moderately enriched with Tl. Tl was highly accumulated in the crops. The content of Tl in the edible plant portions of crops ranged from 1.2 mg/kg to 104.8 mg/kg, exceeding the recommended permissible limits for food crops. The daily intake of metals (DIM) values of Tl for both adults and children via the consumption of the food crops except soya beans were higher than the reference oral dose (RfD) limit recommend by the United States environmental protection agency (US-EPA). Health risk index (HRI) values were generally higher than 1, indicating that health risks associated with Tl exposure are significant and assumed to be dangerous to the health of local villagers. Therefore, much attention should be paid to avoid consumption of these Tl-contaminated crops that can cause great potential risks. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. RESEARCH REPORT: USE OF VEGETATIVE VIGOR TEST TO DETECT EFFECTS OF LOW LEVELS OF HERBICIDES ON SELECTED NON-CROP PLANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    To address the need for improved phytotoxicity testing protocols, we evaluated use of the vegetative vigor test methodology for use in determining effects of low concentrations of chemical herbicides on terrestrial non-crop plant species. Species included native plants from Illi...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-25

    The use of genetically modified (GM) crops and their applications is partially suppressed in European Union (EU) agriculture, even if one would expect otherwise given their complementarity with the neoliberal and industrialised EU agricultural regime in place. By applying a qualitative content analysis, this paper analyses how food manufacturers and retailers (referred to as gatekeepers in the food industry) explain and defend the exclusion of GM-labelled food products on the EU market. The study design places emphasis on the role of perceptions in the strategic behaviour of gatekeepers and on the role of interaction in this regard, as we assume that the way in which gatekeepers perceive the 'rules of the game' for commercialising GM crop applications on the EU food market will be influenced by their interaction with other agribusiness actors. In a first stage, the analysis determines thematic congruence in the (types of) perceptions that explain an agribusiness actor's overall interpretation of the EU business environment for GM crop applications. This perceived 'structuring arena' (SA) for GM crop applications - as conceptualised within our framework - contains areas of either internal and external tensions, that have a compelling or non-committal influence on the agribusiness actor's interpretation. In a second stage, the analysis particularly defines how gatekeepers in the food industry perceive and experience the SA for GM crop applications on the EU market, and how these perceptual tensions subsequently influence their strategic behaviour for GM-labelled products on the EU market. Finally, we highlight how these perceptions and actions (or inaction) suppress the main changes in practice that are necessary to manage this wicked problem. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Discovering ways to improve crop production and plant quality [Chapter 17

    Treesearch

    Kim M. Wilkinson

    2009-01-01

    Working with plants is a process of discovery. Being curious and aware, paying close attention, and staying open and adaptive are important practices. Books and people can help us learn about plants in the nursery, but the very best teachers are the plants themselves. "Research" is simply paying close attention, tracking what is happening and what is causing...

  14. Impact of host plant connectivity, crop border and patch size on adult Colorado potato beetle retention

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Tagged Colorado potato beetles (CPB), Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say), were released on potato plants, Solanum tuberosum L., and tracked using a portable harmonic radar system to determine the impact of host plant spatial distribution on the tendency of the pest to remain on the colonized host plant...

  15. 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.

  16. Caesium-137 soil-to-plant transfer for representative agricultural crops of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants in post-Chernobyl steppe landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paramonova, Tatiana; Komissarova, Olga; Turykin, Leonid; Kuzmenkova, Natalia; Belyaev, Vladimir

    2016-04-01

    The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 had a large-scale action on more than 2.3 million hectares agricultural lands in Russia. The area of radioactively contaminated chernozems of semi-arid steppe zone with initial levels of Cs-137 185-555 kBq/m2 in Tula region received the name "Plavsky radioactive hotspot". Nowadays, after the first half-life period of Cs-137 arable chernozems of the region are still polluted with 3-6-fold excess above the radioactive safety standard (126-228 kBq/m2). Therefore, qualitative and quantitative characteristics of Cs-137 soil-to-plant transfer are currently a central problem for land use on the territory. The purpose of the present study was revealing the biological features of Cs-137 root uptake from contaminated arable chernozems by different agricultural crops. The components of a grass mixture growing at the central part of Plavsky radioactive hotspot with typical dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous plants - galega (Galega orientalis, Fabaceae family) and bromegrass (Bromus inermis, Gramineae family) respectively - were selected for the investigation, that was conducted during the period of harvesting in 2015. An important point was that the other factors influenced on Cs-137 soil-to-plant transfer - the level of soil pollution, soil properties, climatic conditions, vegetative phase, etc. - were equal. So, biological features of Cs-137 root uptake could be estimated the most credible manner. As a whole, general discrimination of Cs-137 root uptake was clearly shown for both agricultural crops. Whereas Cs-137 activity in rhizosphere 30-cm layer of arable chernozem was 371±74 Bq/kg (140±32 kBq/m2), Cs-137 activities in plant biomass were one-two orders of magnitude less, and transfer factor (TF) values (the ratio of the Cs-137 activities in vegetation and in soil) not exceeded 0.11. At the same time bioavailability of Cs-137 for bromegrass was significantly higher than for galega: TFs in total biomass of the

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

    PubMed

    Augoustinos, Martha; Crabb, Shona; Shepherd, Richard

    2010-01-01

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

  18. RNA interference as a resistance mechanism against crop parasites in Africa: a 'Trojan horse' approach.

    PubMed

    Runo, Steven; Alakonya, Amos; Machuka, Jesse; Sinha, Neelima

    2011-02-01

    Biological crop pests cause serious economic losses. In Africa, the most prevalent parasites are insect pests, plant pathogenic root-knot nematodes, viruses and parasitic plants. African smallholder farmers struggle to overcome these parasitic constraints to agricultural production. Crop losses and the host range of these parasites have continued to increase in spite of the use of widely advocated control methods. A sustainable method to overcome biological pests in Africa would be to develop crop germplasm resistant to parasites. This is achievable using either genetic modification (GM) or a non-GM approach. However, there is a paucity of resistant genes available for introduction. Additionally, the biological processes underpinning host parasite resistance are not sufficiently well understood. The authors review a technology platform for using RNA-mediated interference (RNAi) as bioengineered resistance to important crop parasites in Africa. To achieve acquired resistance, a host crop is stably transformed with a transgene that encodes a hairpin RNA targeting essential parasitic genes. The RNAi sequence is chosen in such a way that it shares no homology with the host's genes, so it remains 'inactive' until parasitism. Upon parasitism, the RNAi sequence enters the parasite and post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) mechanisms are activated, leading to the death of the parasite. Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry.

  19. Evaluation of spectrophotometric and HPLC methods for shikimic acid determination in plants: models in glyphosate-resistant and -susceptible crops.

    PubMed

    Zelaya, Ian A; Anderson, Jennifer A H; Owen, Micheal D K; Landes, Reid D

    2011-03-23

    Endogenous shikimic acid determinations are routinely used to assess the efficacy of glyphosate in plants. Numerous analytical methods exist in the public domain for the detection of shikimic acid, yet the most commonly cited comprise spectrophotometric and high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) methods. This paper compares an HPLC and two spectrophotometric methods (Spec 1 and Spec 2) and assesses the effectiveness in the detection of shikimic acid in the tissues of glyphosate-treated plants. Furthermore, the study evaluates the versatility of two acid-based shikimic acid extraction methods and assesses the longevity of plant extract samples under different storage conditions. Finally, Spec 1 and Spec 2 are further characterized with respect to (1) the capacity to discern between shikimic acid and chemically related alicyclic hydroxy acids, (2) the stability of the chromophore (t1/2), (3) the detection limits, and (4) the cost and simplicity of undertaking the analytical procedure. Overall, spectrophotometric methods were more cost-effective and simpler to execute yet provided a narrower detection limit compared to HPLC. All three methods were specific to shikimic acid and detected the compound in the tissues of glyphosate-susceptible crops, increasing exponentially in concentration within 24 h of glyphosate application and plateauing at approximately 72 h. Spec 1 estimated more shikimic acid in identical plant extract samples compared to Spec 2 and, likewise, HPLC detection was more effective than spectrophotometric determinations. Given the unprecedented global adoption of glyphosate-resistant crops and concomitant use of glyphosate, an effective and accurate assessment of glyphosate efficacy is important. Endogenous shikimic acid determinations are instrumental in corroborating the efficacy of glyphosate and therefore have numerous applications in herbicide research and related areas of science as well as resolving many commercial issues as a consequence of

  20. Interactions between plant nutrients, water and carbon dioxide as factors limiting crop yields

    PubMed Central

    Gregory, P. J.; Simmonds, L. P.; Warren, G. P.

    1997-01-01

    Biomass production of annual crops is often directly proportional to the amounts of radiation intercepted, water transpired and nutrients taken up. In many places the amount of rainfall during the period of rapid crop growth is less than the potential rate of evaporation, so that depletion of stored soil water is commonplace. The rate of mineralization of nitrogen (N) from organic matter and the processes of nutrient loss are closely related to the availability of soil water. Results from Kenya indicate the rapid changes in nitrate availability following rain.
    Nutrient supply has a large effect on the quantity of radiation intercepted and hence, biomass production. There is considerable scope for encouraging canopy expansion to conserve water by reducing evaporation from the soil surface in environments where it is frequently rewetted, and where the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of the soil is sufficient to supply water at the energy limited rate (e.g. northern Syria). In regions with high evaporative demand and coarse-textured soils (e.g. Niger), transpiration may be increased by management techniques that reduce drainage.
    Increases in atmospheric [CO2] are likely to have only a small impact on crop yields when allowance is made for the interacting effects of temperature, and water and nutrient supply.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Demont, Matty; Stein, Alexander J

    2013-06-25

    Unlike the other major crops, no genetically modified (GM) varieties of rice have been commercialized at a large scale. Within the next 2-3 years new transgenic rice varieties could be ready for regulatory approval and subsequent commercialization, though. Given the importance of rice as staple crop for many of the world's poorest people, this will have implications for the alleviation of poverty, hunger and malnutrition. Thus, policy-makers need to be aware of the potential benefits of GM rice. We provide an overview of the literature and discuss the evidence on expected agronomic and consumer benefits of genetically engineered rice. We find that while GM rice with improved agronomic traits could deliver benefits similar to already commercialized biotechnology crops, expected benefits of consumer traits could be higher by an order of magnitude. By aggregating the expected annual benefits, we estimate the global value of GM rice to be US$64 billion per year. This is only an indicative value, as more GM varieties will become available in future. Nevertheless, such a figure can help guide policy-makers when deciding on the approval or funding of biotechnology crops and it may also raise awareness among consumers about what is at stake for their societies. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. A new grading system for plant-available potassium using exhaustive cropping techniques combined with chemical analyses of soils

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ting; Wang, Huoyan; Zhou, Zijun; Chen, Xiaoqin; Zhou, Jianmin

    2016-01-01

    A new grading system for plant-available potassium (K) in soils based on K release rate from soils and plant growth indices was established. In the study, fourteen different agricultural soils from the southern subtropical to the northern temperate zones in China were analyzed by both chemical extraction methods and exhaustive cropping techniques. Based on the change trends in plant growth indices, relative biomass yields of 70% and 50%, K-deficient coefficients of 35 and 22 under conventional exhaustive experiments, and tissue K concentrations of 40 g kg−1 and 15 g kg−1 under intensive exhaustive experiments were obtained as critical values that represent different change trends. In addition, the extraction method using 0.2 mol L−1 sodium tetraphenylboron (NaTPB) suggested soil K release rates of 12 mg kg−1 min−1 and 0.4 mg kg−1 min−1 as turning points that illustrated three different release trends. Thus, plant-available K in soils was classified into three categories: high available K, medium available K and low available K, and grading criteria and measurement methods were also proposed. This work has increased our understanding of soil K bioavailability and has direct application in terms of routine assessment of agriculture soils. PMID:27876838

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Genome-wide identification and analysis of the B3 superfamily of transcription factors in Brassicaceae and major crop plants.

    PubMed

    Peng, Fred Y; Weselake, Randall J

    2013-05-01

    The plant-specific B3 superfamily of transcription factors has diverse functions in plant growth and development. Using a genome-wide domain analysis, we identified 92, 187, 58, 90, 81, 55, and 77 B3 transcription factor genes in the sequenced genome of Arabidopsis, Brassica rapa, castor bean (Ricinus communis), cocoa (Theobroma cacao), soybean (Glycine max), maize (Zea mays), and rice (Oryza sativa), respectively. The B3 superfamily has substantially expanded during the evolution in eudicots particularly in Brassicaceae, as compared to monocots in the analysis. We observed domain duplication in some of these B3 proteins, forming more complex domain architectures than currently understood. We found that the length of B3 domains exhibits a large variation, which may affect their exact number of α-helices and β-sheets in the core structure of B3 domains, and possibly have functional implications. Analysis of the public microarray data indicated that most of the B3 gene pairs encoding Arabidopsis-rice orthologs are preferentially expressed in different tissues, suggesting their different roles in these two species. Using ESTs in crops, we identified many B3 genes preferentially expressed in reproductive tissues. In a sequence-based quantitative trait loci analysis in rice and maize, we have found many B3 genes associated with traits such as grain yield, seed weight and number, and protein content. Our results provide a framework for future studies into the function of B3 genes in different phases of plant development, especially the ones related to traits in major crops.

  7. Radiation preservation of foods of plant origin. Part 2. Onions and other bulb crops

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, P.

    1984-01-01

    The various factors contributing to post harvest losses in onions and other bulb crops are briefly outlined in terms of the current storage methods. The present status of research on sprout inhibition by irradiation is reviewed in detail with respect to dose requirements, effect of time interval between harvest and irradiation, and the influence of environment on sprouting during storage. Biochemical mechanisms of sprout inhibition, metabolic and compositional changes (particularly sugars, anthocyanins, flavor and lachrymatory principles), and the culinary and processing qualities of irradiated onions are discussed. The future prospects for the commercial irradiation for sprout inhibition of bulb cropsmore » are considered.« less

  8. 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.

  9. ADVANCES IN THE APPLICATION OF REMOTE SENSING TO PLANT INCORPORATED PROTECTANT CROP MONITORING

    EPA Science Inventory

    Current forecasts call for significant increases to the plantings of transgenic corn in the United States for the 2007 growing season and beyond. Transgenic acreage approaching 80% of the total corn plantings could be realized by 2009. These conditions call for a new approach to ...

  10. Secondary School Students' and Their Parents' Knowledge and Interest in Crop Plants: Why Should We Care?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fritsch, Eva-Maria; Dreesmann, Daniel C.

    2015-01-01

    While there is increasing world-wide discussion of the importance of renewable biological resources and a bio-based economy, science educators around the world have become aware of a declining general interest in plants and agriculture and of little knowledge of plants among the public. Recently, there have been few systematic investigations on…

  11. Roles of Soybean Plasma Membrane Intrinsic Protein GmPIP2;9 in Drought Tolerance and Seed Development.

    PubMed

    Lu, Linghong; Dong, Changhe; Liu, Ruifang; Zhou, Bin; Wang, Chuang; Shou, Huixia

    2018-01-01

    Aquaporins play an essential role in water uptake and transport in vascular plants. The soybean genome contains a total of 22 plasma membrane intrinsic protein (PIP) genes. To identify candidate PIPs important for soybean yield and stress tolerance, we studied the transcript levels of all 22 soybean PIPs. We found that a GmPIP2 subfamily member, GmPIP2;9, was predominately expressed in roots and developing seeds. Here, we show that GmPIP2;9 localized to the plasma membrane and had high water channel activity when expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Using transgenic soybean plants expressing a native GmPIP2;9 promoter driving a GUS-reporter gene, it was found high GUS expression in the roots, in particular, in the endoderm, pericycle, and vascular tissues of the roots of transgenic plants. In addition, GmPIP2;9 was also highly expressed in developing pods. GmPIP2;9 expression significantly increased in short term of polyethylene glycol (PEG)-mediated drought stress treatment. GmPIP2;9 overexpression increased tolerance to drought stress in both solution cultures and soil plots. Drought stress in combination with GmPIP2;9 overexpression increased net CO 2 assimilation of photosynthesis, stomata conductance, and transpiration rate, suggesting that GmPIP2;9- overexpressing transgenic plants were less stressed than wild-type (WT) plants. Furthermore, field experiments showed that GmPIP2;9 -overexpressing plants had significantly more pod numbers and larger seed sizes than WT plants. In summary, the study demonstrated that GmPIP2;9 has water transport activity. Its relative high expression levels in roots and developing pods are in agreement with the phenotypes of GmPIP2;9 -overexpressing plants in drought stress tolerance and seed development.

  12. Roles of Soybean Plasma Membrane Intrinsic Protein GmPIP2;9 in Drought Tolerance and Seed Development

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Linghong; Dong, Changhe; Liu, Ruifang; Zhou, Bin; Wang, Chuang; Shou, Huixia

    2018-01-01

    Aquaporins play an essential role in water uptake and transport in vascular plants. The soybean genome contains a total of 22 plasma membrane intrinsic protein (PIP) genes. To identify candidate PIPs important for soybean yield and stress tolerance, we studied the transcript levels of all 22 soybean PIPs. We found that a GmPIP2 subfamily member, GmPIP2;9, was predominately expressed in roots and developing seeds. Here, we show that GmPIP2;9 localized to the plasma membrane and had high water channel activity when expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Using transgenic soybean plants expressing a native GmPIP2;9 promoter driving a GUS-reporter gene, it was found high GUS expression in the roots, in particular, in the endoderm, pericycle, and vascular tissues of the roots of transgenic plants. In addition, GmPIP2;9 was also highly expressed in developing pods. GmPIP2;9 expression significantly increased in short term of polyethylene glycol (PEG)-mediated drought stress treatment. GmPIP2;9 overexpression increased tolerance to drought stress in both solution cultures and soil plots. Drought stress in combination with GmPIP2;9 overexpression increased net CO2 assimilation of photosynthesis, stomata conductance, and transpiration rate, suggesting that GmPIP2;9-overexpressing transgenic plants were less stressed than wild-type (WT) plants. Furthermore, field experiments showed that GmPIP2;9-overexpressing plants had significantly more pod numbers and larger seed sizes than WT plants. In summary, the study demonstrated that GmPIP2;9 has water transport activity. Its relative high expression levels in roots and developing pods are in agreement with the phenotypes of GmPIP2;9-overexpressing plants in drought stress tolerance and seed development. PMID:29755491

  13. Framing GM Crops as a Food Security Solution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dibden, Jacqui; Gibbs, David; Cocklin, Chris

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Unlimited Thirst for Genome Sequencing, Data Interpretation, and Database Usage in Genomic Era: The Road towards Fast-Track Crop Plant Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Govindaraj, Mahalingam

    2015-01-01

    The number of sequenced crop genomes and associated genomic resources is growing rapidly with the advent of inexpensive next generation sequencing methods. Databases have become an integral part of all aspects of science research, including basic and applied plant and animal sciences. The importance of databases keeps increasing as the volume of datasets from direct and indirect genomics, as well as other omics approaches, keeps expanding in recent years. The databases and associated web portals provide at a minimum a uniform set of tools and automated analysis across a wide range of crop plant genomes. This paper reviews some basic terms and considerations in dealing with crop plant databases utilization in advancing genomic era. The utilization of databases for variation analysis with other comparative genomics tools, and data interpretation platforms are well described. The major focus of this review is to provide knowledge on platforms and databases for genome-based investigations of agriculturally important crop plants. The utilization of these databases in applied crop improvement program is still being achieved widely; otherwise, the end for sequencing is not far away. PMID:25874133

  15. Incidence and molecular diversity of poleroviruses infecting cucurbit crops and weed plants in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Cheewachaiwit, S; Warin, N; Phuangrat, B; Rukpratanporn, S; Gajanandana, O; Balatero, C H; Chatchawankanphanich, O

    2017-07-01

    Overall, 244 samples of cucurbit crops with yellowing symptoms and selected weed species, from 15 provinces in Thailand, were screened by RT-PCR using primers Polero-CP-F and Polero-CP-R. A total of 160 samples (~66%) were infected by poleroviruses. Analysis of a 1.4 kb region covering the 3' RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene, the intergenic non-coding region (iNCR), and the coat protein (CP), showed that four poleroviruses, namely, cucurbit aphid-borne yellows virus (CABYV), luffa aphid-borne yellows virus (LABYV), melon aphid-borne yellows virus (MABYV) and suakwa aphid-borne yellows virus (SABYV) were associated with the yellowing symptoms in cucurbit crops. Further analyses indicated presence of putative recombinant viruses referred to as CABYV-R and SABYV-R. CABYV-R was derived from the recombination between MABYV and the common strain of CABYV (CABYV-C). SABYV-R was derived from the recombination of MABYV and SABYV.

  16. Functional Analysis of GmCPDs and Investigation of Their Roles in Flowering

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Miao; Xu, Xin; Zhang, Xinxin; Sun, Shi; Wu, Cunxiang; Hou, Wensheng; Wang, Qingyu; Han, Tianfu

    2015-01-01

    The onset of floral development is a pivotal switch in the life of soybean. Brassinosteroids (BRs), a group of steroidal phytohormones with essential roles in plant growth and development, are associated with flowering induction. Genes involved in BR biosynthesis have been studied to a great extent in Arabidopsis, but the study of these genes has been limited in soybean. In this study, four CPD homologs (GmCPDs) catalyzing BR synthesis were isolated from soybean. Transcripts were mainly confined to cotyledons and leaves and were down-regulated in response to exogenous BR. Bioinformatic analysis showed strong sequence and structure similarity between GmCPDs and AtCPD as well as CPDs of other species. Overexpression of GmCPDs in an Arabidopsis BR-deficient mutant rescued the phenotype by restoring the biosynthesis pathway, revealing the functional roles of each GmCPDs in. Except for the rescue of root development, leaf expansion and plant type architecture, GmCPDs in expression also complemented the late flowering phenotype of Arabidopsis mutants deficient in CPD. Further evidence in soybean plants is that the expression levels of GmCPDs in are under photoperiod control in Zigongdongdou, a photoperiod-sensitive variety, and show a sudden peak upon floral meristem initiation. Together with increased GmCPDs in expression in the leaves and cotyledons of photoperiod-insensitive early-maturity soybean, it is clear that GmCPDs in contribute to flowering development and are essential in the early stages of flowering regulation. PMID:25734273

  17. Therapeutic evaluation of GM2 gangliosidoses by ELISA using anti-GM2 ganglioside antibodies.

    PubMed

    Tsuji, Daisuke; Higashine, Yukari; Matsuoka, Kazuhiko; Sakuraba, Hitoshi; Itoh, Kohji

    2007-03-01

    GM2 gangliosidoses, including Tay-Sachs disease, Sandhoff disease and the AB variant, comprise deficiencies of beta-hexosaminidase isozymes and GM2 ganglioside activator protein associated with accumulation of GM2 ganglioside (GM2) in lysosomes and neurosomatic clinical manifestations. A simple assay system for intracellular quantification of GM2 is required to evaluate the therapeutic effects on GM2-gangliosidoses. We newly established a cell-ELISA system involving anti-GM2 monoclonal antibodies for measuring GM2 storage in fibroblasts from Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff disease patients. We succeeded in detecting the corrective effect of enzyme replacement on elimination of GM2 in the cells with this ELISA system. This simple and sensitive system should be useful as additional diagnosis tool as well as therapeutic evaluation of GM2 gangliosidoses.

  18. Overexpression of a novel soybean gene modulating Na+ and K+ transport enhances salt tolerance in transgenic tobacco plants.

    PubMed

    Chen, Huatao; He, Hui; Yu, Deyue

    2011-01-01

    Salt is an important factor affecting the growth and development of soybean in saline soil. In this study, a novel soybean gene encoding a transporter (GmHKT1) was identified and its function analyzed using transgenic plants. GmHKT1 encoded a protein of 419 amino acids, with a potential molecular mass of 47.06 kDa and a predicted pI value of 8.59. Comparison of the genomic and cDNA sequences of GmHKT1 identified no intron. The deduced amino acid sequence of GmHKT1 showed 38-49% identity with other plant HKT-like sequences. RT-PCR analysis showed that the expression of GmHKT1 was upregulated by salt stress (150 mM NaCl) in roots and leaves but not in stems. Overexpression of GmHKT1 significantly enhanced the tolerance of transgenic tobacco plants to salt stress, compared with non-transgenic plants. To investigate the role of GmHKT1 in K(+) and Na(+) transport, we compared K(+) and Na(+) accumulation in roots and shoots of wild-type and transgenic tobacco plants. The results suggested that GmHKT1 is a transporter that affected K(+) and Na(+) transport in roots and shoots, and regulated Na(+) /K(+) homeostasis in these organs. Our findings suggest that GmHKT1 plays an important role in response to salt stress and would be useful in engineering crop plants for enhanced tolerance to salt stress. Copyright © Physiologia Plantarum 2010.

  19. Developing trap cropping systems for effective organic management of key insect pests of cucurbit crops (IPM)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Trap cropping is a behaviorally-based pest management approach that functions by planting highly attractive plants next to a higher value crop so as to attract the pest to the trap crop plants, thus preventing or making less likely the arrival of the pest to the main crop (= cash crop). In 2012, a s...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Ganglioside GM2 is the major lysosomal storage compound of Tay-Sachs disease. It also accumulates in Niemann-Pick disease types A and B with primary storage of SM and with cholesterol in type C. Reconstitution of GM2 catabolism with β-hexosaminidase A and GM2 activator protein (GM2AP) at uncharged liposomal surfaces carrying GM2 as substrate generated only a physiologically irrelevant catabolic rate, even at pH 4.2. However, incorporation of anionic phospholipids into the GM2 carrying liposomes stimulated GM2 hydrolysis more than 10-fold, while the incorporation of plasma membrane stabilizing lipids (SM and cholesterol) generated a strong inhibition of GM2 hydrolysis, even in the presence of anionic phospholipids. Mobilization of membrane lipids by GM2AP was also inhibited in the presence of cholesterol or SM, as revealed by surface plasmon resonance studies. These lipids also reduced the interliposomal transfer rate of 2-NBD-GM1 by GM2AP, as observed in assays using Förster resonance energy transfer. Our data raise major concerns about the usage of recombinant His-tagged GM2AP compared with untagged protein. The former binds more strongly to anionic GM2-carrying liposomal surfaces, increases GM2 hydrolysis, and accelerates intermembrane transfer of 2-NBD-GM1, but does not mobilize membrane lipids. Copyright © 2015 by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  1. Membrane lipids regulate ganglioside GM2 catabolism and GM2 activator protein activity[S

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. High throughput selection of novel plant growth regulators: Assessing the translatability of small bioactive molecules from Arabidopsis to crops.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Furlán, Cecilia; Miranda, Giovanna; Reggiardo, Martín; Hicks, Glenn R; Norambuena, Lorena

    2016-04-01

    Plant growth regulators (PGRs) have become an integral part of agricultural and horticultural practices. Accordingly, there is an increased demand for new and cost-effective products. Nevertheless, the market is limited by insufficient innovation. In this context chemical genomics has gained increasing attention as a powerful approach addressing specific traits. Here is described the successful implementation of a highly specific, sensitive and efficient high throughput screening approach using Arabidopsis as a model. Using a combination of techniques, 10,000 diverse compounds were screened and evaluated for several important plant growth traits including root and leaf growth. The phenotype-based selection allowed the compilation of a collection of putative Arabidopsis growth regulators with a broad range of activities and specificities. A subset was selected for evaluating their bioactivity in agronomically valuable plants. Their validation as growth regulators in commercial species such as tomato, lettuce, carrot, maize and turfgrasses reinforced the success of the screening in Arabidopsis and indicated that small molecules activity can be efficiently translated to commercial species. Therefore, the chemical genomics approach in Arabidopsis is a promising field that can be incorporated in PGR discovery programs and has a great potential to develop new products that can be efficiently used in crops. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  3. Effects of domestic wastewater treated by anaerobic stabilization on soil pollution, plant nutrition, and cotton crop yield.

    PubMed

    Uzen, Nese; Cetin, Oner; Unlu, Mustafa

    2016-12-01

    This study has aimed to determine the effects of treated wastewater on cotton yield and soil pollution in Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey during 2011 and 2012. The treated wastewater was provided from the reservoir operated as anaerobic stabilization. After treatment, suspended solids (28-60 mg/l), biological oxygen demand (29-30 mg/l), and chemical oxygen demand (71-112 mg/l) decreased significantly compared to those in the wastewater. There was no heavy metal pollution in the water used. There were no significant amounts of coliform bacteria, fecal coliform, and Escherichia coli compared to untreated wastewater. The cottonseed yield (31.8 g/plant) in the tanks where no commercial fertilizers were applied was considerably higher compared to the yield (17.2 g/plant) in the fertilized tanks where a common nitrogenous fertilizer was utilized. There were no significant differences between the values of soil pH. Soil electrical conductivity (EC) after the experiment increased from 0.8-1.0 to 0.9-1.8 dS/m. Heavy metal pollution did not occur in the soil and plants, because there were no heavy metals in the treated wastewater. It can be concluded that treated domestic wastewater could be used to grow in a controlled manner crops, such as cotton, that would not be used directly as human nutrients.

  4. A new synthetic biology approach allows transfer of an entire metabolic pathway from a medicinal plant to a biomass crop

    PubMed Central

    Fuentes, Paulina; Zhou, Fei; Erban, Alexander; Karcher, Daniel; Kopka, Joachim; Bock, Ralph

    2016-01-01

    Artemisinin-based therapies are the only effective treatment for malaria, the most devastating disease in human history. To meet the growing demand for artemisinin and make it accessible to the poorest, an inexpensive and rapidly scalable production platform is urgently needed. Here we have developed a new synthetic biology approach, combinatorial supertransformation of transplastomic recipient lines (COSTREL), and applied it to introduce the complete pathway for artemisinic acid, the precursor of artemisinin, into the high-biomass crop tobacco. We first introduced the core pathway of artemisinic acid biosynthesis into the chloroplast genome. The transplastomic plants were then combinatorially supertransformed with cassettes for all additional enzymes known to affect flux through the artemisinin pathway. By screening large populations of COSTREL lines, we isolated plants that produce more than 120 milligram artemisinic acid per kilogram biomass. Our work provides an efficient strategy for engineering complex biochemical pathways into plants and optimizing the metabolic output. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13664.001 PMID:27296645

  5. The method for detecting biological parameter of rice growth and early planting of paddy crop by using multi temporal remote sensing data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domiri, D. D.

    2017-01-01

    Rice crop is the most important food crop for the Asian population, especially in Indonesia. During the growth of rice plants have four main phases, namely the early planting or inundation phase, the vegetative phase, the generative phase, and bare land phase. Monitoring the condition of the rice plant needs to be conducted in order to know whether the rice plants have problems or not in its growth. Application of remote sensing technology, which uses satellite data such as Landsat 8 and others which has a spatial and temporal resolution is high enough for monitoring the condition of crops such as paddy crop in a large area. In this study has been made an algorithm for monitoring rapidly of rice growth condition using Maximum of Vegetation Index (EVI Max). The results showed that the time of early planting can be estimated if known when EVI Max occurred. The value of EVI Max and when it occured can be known by trough spatial analysis of multitemporal EVI Landsat 8 or other medium spatial resolution satellites.

  6. Cover crop biomass harvest for bioenergy: implications for crop productivity

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Winter cover crops, such as rye (Secale cereale), are usually used in conservation agriculture systems in the Southeast. Typically, the cover crop is terminated two to three weeks before planting the summer crop, with the cover biomass left on the soil surface as a mulch. However, these cover crops ...

  7. Characterization of plant growth-promoting traits of free-living diazotrophic bacteria and their inoculation effects on growth and nitrogen uptake of crop plants.

    PubMed

    Islam, Md Rashedul; Madhaiyan, M; Deka Boruah, Hari P; Yim, Woojong; Lee, Gillseung; Saravanan, V S; Fu, Qingling; Hu, Hongqing; Sa, Tongmin

    2009-10-01

    The search for diverse plant growth-promoting (PGP) diazotrophic bacteria is gaining momentum as efforts are made to exploit them as biofertilizers for various economically important crops. In the present study, 17 diazotrophic strains belonging to eight different genera isolated from rice paddy fields were screened for multiple PGP traits and evaluated for their inoculation effects on canola and rice plants. All of the strains tested positive for 1- aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase activity and production of indole 3-acetic acid (IAA) and ammonia (NH3). Additionally, four of the strains were able to solubilize phosphorus (P), five tested positive for zinc (Zn) solubilization and sulfur (S) oxidation, and eight strains produced siderophores. Based on the presence of multiple PGP traits, 10 strains were selected for inoculation studies. Treatment with Herbaspirillum sp. RFNB26 resulted in maximum root length (54.3%), seedling vigor, and dry biomass in canola, whereas Paenibacillus sp. RFNB4 exhibited the lowest activity under gnotobiotic conditions. However, under pot culture conditions, Paenibacillus sp. RFNB4 significantly increased plant height and dry biomass production by 42.3% and 29.5%, respectively. Canola plants and rhizosphere soils inoculated with Bacillus sp. RFNB6 exhibited significantly higher nitrogenase activity. In greenhouse experiments, Serratia sp. RFNB18 increased rice plant height by 35.1%, Xanthomonas sp. RFNB24 enhanced biomass production by 84.6%, and rice rhizosphere soils inoculated with Herbaspirillum sp. RFNB26 exhibited the highest nitrogenase activity. Our findings indicate that most of the selected strains possess multiple PGP properties that significantly improve the growth parameters of the two plants when tested under controlled conditions.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-12

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

  10. Comparative safety assessment of plant-derived foods.

    PubMed

    Kok, E J; Keijer, J; Kleter, G A; Kuiper, H A

    2008-02-01

    The second generation of genetically modified (GM) plants that are moving towards the market are characterized by modifications that may be more complex and traits that more often are to the benefit of the consumer. These developments will have implications for the safety assessment of the resulting plant products. In part of the cases the same crop plant can, however, also be obtained by 'conventional' breeding strategies. The breeder will decide on a case-by-case basis what will be the best strategy to reach the set target and whether genetic modification will form part of this strategy. This article discusses important aspects of the safety assessment of complex products derived from newly bred plant varieties obtained by different breeding strategies. On the basis of this overview, we conclude that the current process of the safety evaluation of GM versus conventionally bred plants is not well balanced. GM varieties are elaborately assessed, yet at the same time other crop plants resulting from conventional breeding strategies may warrant further food safety assessment for the benefit of the consumer. We propose to develop a general screening frame for all newly developed plant varieties to select varieties that cannot, on the basis of scientific criteria, be considered as safe as plant varieties that are already on the market.

  11. 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. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  12. Crop modeling: Studying the effect of water stress on the driving forces governing plant water potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Emmerik, T. H. M.; Mirfenderesgi, G.; Bohrer, G.; Steele-Dunne, S. C.; Van De Giesen, N.

    2015-12-01

    Water stress is one of the most important environmental factors that influence plant water dynamics. To prevent excessive water loss and physiological damage, plants can regulate transpiration by adjusting the stomatal aperture. This enhances survival, but also reduced photosynthesis and productivity. During periods of low water availability, stomatal regulation is a trade-off between optimization of either survival or production. Water stress defence mechanisms lead to significant changes in plant dynamics, e.g. leaf and stem water content. Recent research has shown that water content in a corn canopy can change up to 30% diurnally as a result of water stress, which has a considerable influence on radar backscatter from a corn canopy [1]. This highlighted the potential of water stress detection using radar. To fully explore the potential of water stress monitoring using radar, we need to understand the driving forces governing plant water potential. For this study, the recently developed the Finite-Element Tree-Crown Hydrodynamic model version 2 (FETCH2) model is applied to a corn canopy. FETCH2 is developed to resolve the hydrodynamic processes within a plant using the porous media analogy, allowing investigation of the influence of environmental stress factors on plant dynamics such as transpiration, photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, and leaf and stem water content. The model is parameterized and evaluated using a detailed dataset obtained during a three-month field experiment in Flevoland, the Netherlands, on a corn canopy. [1] van Emmerik, T., S. Steele-Dunne, J. Judge and N. van de Giesen: "Impact of Diurnal Variation in Vegetation Water Content on Radar Backscatter of Maize During Water Stress", Geosciences and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on, vol. 52, issue 7, doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2014.2386142, 2015.

  13. 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.

  14. Biotechnology: herbicide-resistant crops

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Transgenic, herbicide-resistant (HR) crops are planted on about 80% of the land covered by transgenic crops. More than 90% of HR crios are glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops, the others being resistant to glufosinate. The wide-scale adoption of HR crops, largely for economic reasons, has been the mos...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    The ability to manipulate and customize the genetic code of living organisms has brought forth the production of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and consumption of genetically modified (GM) foods. The potential for GM foods to improve the efficiency of food production, increase customer satisfaction, and provide potential health benefits has contributed to the rapid incorporation of GM foods into the American diet. However, GM foods and GMOs are also a topic of ethical debate. The use of GM foods and GM technology is surrounded by ethical concerns and situational judgment, and should ideally adhere to the ethical standards placed upon food and nutrition professionals, such as: beneficence, nonmaleficence, justice and autonomy. The future of GM foods involves many aspects and trends, including enhanced nutritional value in foods, strict labeling laws, and potential beneficial economic conditions in developing nations. This paper briefly reviews the origin and background of GM foods, while delving thoroughly into 3 areas: (1) GMO labeling, (2) ethical concerns, and (3) health and industry applications. This paper also examines the relationship between the various applications of GM foods and their corresponding ethical issues. Ethical concerns were evaluated in the context of the code of ethics developed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) that govern the work of food and nutrition professionals. Overall, there is a need to stay vigilant about the many ethical implications of producing and consuming GM foods and GMOs. © 2015 Institute of Food Technologists®

  16. Functional analysis of the GmESR1 gene associated with soybean regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Qingshan; Liu, Ming; Xin, Dawei; Qi, Zhaoming; Li, Sinan; Ma, Yanlong; Wang, Lingshuang; Jin, Yangmei; Li, Wenbin; Wu, Xiaoxia; Su, An-yu

    2017-01-01

    Plant regeneration can occur via in vitro tissue culture through somatic embryogenesis or de novo shoot organogenesis. Transformation of soybean (Glycine max) is difficult, hence optimization of the transformation system for soybean regeneration is required. This study investigated ENHANCER OF SHOOT REGENERATION 1 (GmESR1), a soybean transcription factor that targets regeneration-associated genes. Sequence analysis showed that GmESR1 contained a conserved 57 amino acid APETALA 2 (AP2)/ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR (ERF) DNA-binding domain. The relative expression level of GmESR1 was highest in young embryos, flowers and stems in the soybean cultivar ‘Dongnong 50’. To examine the function of GmESR1, transgenic Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and soybean plants overexpressing GmESR1 were generated. In Arabidopsis, overexpression of GmESR1 resulted in accelerated seed germination, and seedling shoot and root elongation. In soybean overexpression of GmESR1 also led to faster seed germination, and shoot and root elongation. GmESR1 specifically bound to the GCC-box. The results provide a foundation for the establishment of an efficient and stable transformation system for soybean. PMID:28403182

  17. Manipulating photorespiration to increase plant productivity. Recent advances and perspectives for crop improvement

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Recycling of the 2-phosphoglycolate generated by the oxygenase reaction of Rubisco requires a complex and energy-consuming set of reactions collectively known as the photorespiratory cycle. Several approaches have been proposed with the aim of producing plants with reduced rates of photorespiratory ...

  18. Selecting an ornamental pepper banker plant for Amblyseius swirskii in floriculture crops

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Preference of phytoseiid mite Amblyseiu