Trans gene or gene, this is the question here

Risk assessment should now be based on the fitness effect

A transgene that protects sunflower plants before fungal infestation does not dominate the natural growth. US researchers recommend to rate the risk of GM plants only after the fitness effect.

Trans gene or gene, this is the question here

While the commutations of genetically modified plants praise the waiver of pesticides and the more economic yield, the opponents burrow that the scandally transgenic transgenic destroys the natural inventory. Not the economic benefit is in the foreground, but the later bondage, which goes out of the patented plants. Furthermore, the health damage for animals and humans and the interactions to the natural environment is by no means reliable enough to be scaffolded.

John M. Burke and Loren H. Rieseberg from Vanderbilt University in Nashville present in Science examination results, with which they want to move the European rejection. "The risk assessment may not focus on the mixing between natural and sprayed plant species or the spread of the artificial plants, but must be based on the fitness effect," explains John M. Burke.

Trans gene or gene, this is the question here

(Credit Science)

The model of biologists is the sunflower that takes damage by the infestation with a fungus (sclerotinia sclerotiorium). Transgenic oxalate oxidase reduces the pathogenicity by deteriorating the mushroom for the fungus by the degradation of oxalic acid. Although transgenic sunflower seeds in the United States were extensively strewn under controlled conditions, it has already been used for the periodic mixing with natural plants. The episode: Sunflowers also thrive where they compete unquestioned with the cultivation of grain and corn. With this finding, John M came. Burke and employees in the previous year to the public (see. The sunflower gauge).

At the now reported two-year attempt Saten John M. Burke and Loren H. Rieseberg Transgenene plants and jerk crossed transgene-free sunflowers under controlled conditions. In the selected three states with their typical climate of Heib to moist-warm, the seed developed differently. Nevertheless, the yield remained the same in comparison of both types of plant. Differences were only there, where 50 percent mushroom infestation was produced artificially. In the hot California, only a few GM plants diseased, in Indiana, however, the infection detected both plant types equailed. Similarly, the seed yield behaved. The biologists concluit from that transgene do not grab the natural evolution of the sunflowers, but support the plants where it is necessary.

The element re-introduced by the scientists into the risk assessment is the "Fitness effect". No really new characteristic, because it has long been used in the dynamics of population genetics and treated mathematically. The theory states that certain gene or phenotypes are developed differently in natural selection, which in turn is based on different fertility and survival rates. Genmutations, in particular with diploids, but also with haploid chromosome rats neutral, destructive or favorable.

However, the effect can not be settled at the ruler or after the Gaubschen distribution, but follows a complex, many unknown function. The US researchers, however, argue: the read-out process for GM plants would be so strapping as the GM opponents accept, Kame to the dominance of the genetically modified sunflowers. In fact, this effect remains in its investigations because the fertility of wild plants is equal or better than the GM sunflowers. Although the heater climate in California counted the infection of the jerk crossed plants, but does not reduce the seed. In the other fields, many of the jerk crossed "natural" Plants already be immune to the mushroom. In the sum:

We expect that the transgenic plants are preferred. surprisingly, we did not find exactly that. A sign for that that natural selection is effective.

What pays is the amount of sunflower seeds (Credit Science)

Contemporarily, the OL of sunflower seeds brings 9 billion US dollars. Due to the fungus attack, the farmers suffer a loss of 50-80 million US dollars. Calculating the 1.2-2.0 per thousand. According to John M. Burke justifies this loss the efforts of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, a DuPont Group company to promote the development of transgenic sunflowers. "Instead of highly thinking about whether and how intensively transgenene is worn into the environment, it is time to put the problem at the root, namely to ask: what effect has transgene after you get into the environment," Calls John M. Burke.

Pragmatists and industry will thank the new considerations. The incorporation of the already irreversible dissemination of transgenic plants calls for the willingness to allow further field trials from commercial interests, and the rigid regulations of the National Research Council ("Environmental Effects of Transgenic Plants: The Scope and Adequacy of Regulation") to soften. Steven H. Strauss collected in short in Science "Democraticization of Biotechnology" fight against "regulations".

This trend will take the opponents of GM plants on lost items: they derive the previous guideline. "fitness", So John Heritage writes from the University of Leeds in Great Britain in his comment in Science, "is not part of the policies published by the EU (European Commission Scientific Steering Committee: Guidance Document for the Risk Assessment of Genetically Modified Plants and Derived Food and Feed of 23.April 2003)." Since the view is unnecessarily accessible to the vitality by the dissemination of the transgene.

In fact, the knowledge of the fitness effect is beyond theory of Rudimentar. In Nature, the search results in three goals, in Science a little more, with investigations in animal living beings. At the beginning of the year, an Italian working group describes the "Impact of Gentic Manipulation on the Fitness of Anopheles Stephensi Mosquitoes" with the words:

The development of an exogenous gene, the mutations after his implantation, and the transformations in the course of the proliferation (after 10 generations) leads to a loss of fitness.

John M. Burke and employees have hitherto probably remained the answer, how fit the sunflowers will be two or more generations later – or after the episode of the fungus at less oxalate.

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