ISB News Report - March 2012
March 29, 2012
Table of Contents
Regulation of GE Plants and Animals: Trials and Tribulations
During December, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) deregulated two of Monsanto Company's genetically engineered (GE) plants: Monsanto's VistiveR Gold soybeans; and Monsanto's GE drought-tolerant corn (MON 87460). In both cases, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service determined that the GE plants are unlikely to pose a plant pest risk in view of the agency's plant pest risk assessments and draft Environmental Assessments. Consequently, neither GE plant is subject to APHIS regulation. While this may seem to be the end of the matter, APHIS deregulation can signal the first step of a thousand mile journey.
GE Animals: Waiting for Their Day(s) in Court?
"Companies making genetically modified animals face a regulatory morass in this country," reported National Public Radio's Joe Palca. "It's not always clear which federal agency has responsibility for regulating a particular animal, and even when one agency does take the lead, the approval process can drag on for years." However, pinpointing the correct federal agency may not accelerate the approval process.
Changes Regarding the Solicitation of Public Comment for Petitions for Determinations of Nonregulated Status for Genetically Engineered Organisms
Biotechnology Regulatory Services is advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is implementing changes to the way it solicits public comment when considering petitions for determinations of nonregulated status for genetically engineered organisms to allow for early public involvement in the process.
Intragenic Virus Resistance in Potato
Jason Cavatorta, Kari W. Perez and Molly Jahn
Potato virus Y (PVY) is the most destructive virus in potato seed production fields. Plant resistance is therefore a desirable alternative to control PVY, but efforts to develop resistant cultivars have been challenged by poor or unfamiliar horticultural characteristics of resistant potatoes or because of concerns over consumer acceptance of transgenic approaches. In a recent study, we engineered PVY resistant potatoes using transgenes derived from pepper and even from potato itself. This strategy may have wide application to other pathosystems. The use of genes from closely related species that mimic naturally occurring variability may be more acceptable to some who are uncomfortable with genetic engineering technology.
A Cisgenic Approach for Improving the Bioavailability of Phosphate in the Barley Grain
Inger Baksted Holme, Giuseppe Dionisio, Henrik Brinch-Pedersen, Toni Wendt, Claus Krogh Madsen, Eva Vincze and Preben Bach Holm
Genetically engineered plants are met with considerable skepticism among the public, particularly in Europe. A major reason for skepticism is that genetically engineering plants usually involves the combination of genes from different organisms that cannot be crossed by natural means. To meet the concern of unnaturalness, the Dutch researchers Schouten, Krens and Jacobsen, from Wageningen UR, introduced the cisgenesis concept. Although cisgenesis has limitations compared to transgenesis, breeders could use cisgenesis as a supplement to overcome some of the limitations of classical breeding. In our recent article in the Plant Biotechnology Journal, we demonstrate that cisgenesis can be used to enhance the expression of an endogenous phytase gene in barley through the insertion of extra gene copies of the endogenous phytase gene isolated from barley itself.
More news from:
. University of Virginia
. ISB News Report
Published: April 6, 2012