2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid

2,4-D2, 4-D2,4D
In 2010, Dow published that it had created genetically modified soybeans made resistant to 2,4-D by insertion of a bacterial aryloxyalkanoate dioxygenase gene, aad1. Dow intended it to be used as an alternative or complement to Roundup Ready crops due to the increasing prevalence of glyphosate-resistant weeds. As of April 2014, genetically modified maize and soybeans resistant to 2,4-D and glyphosate have been approved in Canada. In September 2014, the USDA also approved Dow's maize and soybeans, and in October, the EPA registered the "Enlist Duo" herbicide containing 2,4-D and glyphosate.


Herbicide-resistant seed has a gene implanted into its genome that allows the plants to tolerate exposure to herbicides, including glyphosate. These seeds allow the farmer to grow a crop that can be sprayed with herbicides to control weeds without harming the resistant crop. Herbicide-tolerant crops are used by farmers worldwide. With the increasing use of herbicide-tolerant crops, comes an increase in the use of glyphosate-based herbicide sprays. In some areas glyphosate resistant weeds have developed, causing farmers to switch to other herbicides.


cropsfood cropfood crops
Globally, the following crops contribute most to human food supply (values of kcal/person/day for 2013 given in parentheses): rice (541 kcal), wheat (527 kcal), sugarcane and other sugar crops (200 kcal), maize (corn) (147 kcal), soybean oil (82 kcal), other vegetables (74 kcal), potatoes (64 kcal), palm oil (52 kcal), cassava (37 kcal), legume pulses (37 kcal), sunflowerseed oil (35 kcal), rape and mustard oil (34 kcal), other fruits, (31 kcal), sorghum (28 kcal), millet (27 kcal), groundnuts (25 kcal), beans (23 kcal), sweet potatoes (22 kcal), bananas (21 kcal), various nuts (16 kcal), soybeans (14 kcal), cottonseed oil (13 kcal), groundnut oil (13 kcal), yams (13 kcal).

Plant breeding

breedingplant breederplant biotechnology
The debate surrounding genetically modified food during the 1990s peaked in 1999 in terms of media coverage and risk perception, and continues today – for example, "Germany has thrown its weight behind a growing European mutiny over genetically modified crops by banning the planting of a widely grown pest-resistant corn variety." The debate encompasses the ecological impact of genetically modified plants, the safety of genetically modified food and concepts used for safety evaluation like substantial equivalence. Such concerns are not new to plant breeding.

Agricultural Research Service

ARSUSDA Agricultural Research ServiceUSDA-ARS
The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the principal in-house research agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). ARS is one of four agencies in USDA's Research, Education and Economics mission area. ARS is charged with extending the nation's scientific knowledge and solving agricultural problems through its four national program areas: nutrition, food safety and quality; animal production and protection; natural resources and sustainable agricultural systems; and crop production and protection. ARS research focuses on solving problems affecting Americans every day.


pesticidescrop sprayingchemical pesticides
Prominent families of herbicides include phenoxy and benzoic acid herbicides (e.g. 2,4-D), triazines (e.g., atrazine), ureas (e.g., diuron), and Chloroacetanilides (e.g., alachlor). Phenoxy compounds tend to selectively kill broad-leaf weeds rather than grasses. The phenoxy and benzoic acid herbicides function similar to plant growth hormones, and grow cells without normal cell division, crushing the plant's nutrient transport system. Triazines interfere with photosynthesis. Many commonly used pesticides are not included in these families, including glyphosate.


These include not only major grains (rice, wheat, maize, etc.), but also forage grasses, sugar cane, and the bamboos. Other economically important monocot crops include various palms (Arecaceae), bananas and plantains (Musaceae), gingers and their relatives, turmeric and cardamom (Zingiberaceae), asparagus (Asparagaceae), pineapple (Bromeliaceae), water chestnut (Cyperaceae), and leeks, onion and garlic (Amaryllidaceae). Many houseplants are monocot epiphytes. Additionally most of the horticultural bulbs, plants cultivated for their blooms, such as lilies, daffodils, irises, amaryllis, cannas, bluebells and tulips, are monocots.

Genetically modified plant

transgenic planttransgenic plantsgenetically modified plants
The majority of GM crops have been modified to be resistant to selected herbicides, usually a glyphosate or glufosinate based one. Genetically modified crops engineered to resist herbicides are now more available than conventionally bred resistant varieties; in the USA 93% of soybeans and most of the GM maize grown is glyphosate tolerant. Most currently available genes used to engineer insect resistance come from the Bacillus thuringiensis bacterium. Most are in the form of delta endotoxin genes known as cry proteins, while a few use the genes that encode for vegetative insecticidal proteins.


Monsanto CompanyCalgeneGenuity
Glyphosate has since been marketed by many agrochemical companies, in various solution strengths and with various adjuvants, under dozens of tradenames. As of 2009, glyphosate represented about 10% of Monsanto's revenue. Roundup-related products (which include genetically modified seeds) represented about half of Monsanto's gross margin. As of 2015, Monsanto's line of seed products included corn, cotton, soy and vegetable seeds. Many of Monsanto's agricultural seed products are genetically modified, such as for resistance to herbicides, including glyphosate and dicamba. Monsanto calls glyphosate-tolerant seeds Roundup Ready.

Canola oil

canolacanola (rapeseed)canola (rapeseed) oil
The introduction of the genetically modified crop to Australia generated considerable controversy. Canola is Australia's third biggest crop, and is used often by wheat farmers as a break crop to improve soil quality. As of 2008, the only genetically modified crops in Australia were canola, cotton, and carnations. Genetically modified canola has become a point of controversy and contentious legal battles. In one high-profile case (Monsanto Canada Inc. v.


Common examples of such combinations are dal (lentils) with rice by South Indians and Bengalis, dal with wheat in Pakistan and North India, beans with corn tortillas, tofu with rice, and peanut butter with wheat bread (as sandwiches) in several other cultures, including the Americas. The amount of crude protein measured in grains is expressed as grain crude protein concentration. Cereals contain exogenous opioid peptides called exorphins and include opioid food peptides like Gluten exorphin and opioid food peptides. They mimic the actions of endorphines because they bind to the same opioid receptors in the brain.


grassturfgrass family
Three cereals—rice, wheat, and maize (corn)—provide more than half of all calories consumed by humans. Cereals constitute the major source of carbohydrates for humans and perhaps the major source of protein, including rice (in southern and eastern Asia), maize (in Central and South America), and wheat and barley (in Europe, northern Asia and the Americas). Sugarcane is the major source of sugar production. Additional food uses of sugarcane include sprouted grain, shoots, and rhizomes, and in drink they include sugarcane juice and plant milk, as well as rum, beer, whisky, and vodka. Lemongrass is a grass used as a culinary herb for its citrus-like flavor and scent.

Intensive crop farming

crop managementchemical agriculturecrops
In 1995, Monsanto introduced "Roundup Ready" (RR) soybeans that have had a copy of a gene from the bacterium, Agrobacterium sp. strain CP4, inserted, by means of a gene gun, into its genome that allows the transgenic plant to survive being sprayed by this non-selective herbicide, glyphosate. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, kills conventional soybeans. The bacterial gene is EPSP (= 5-enolpyruvyl shikimic acid-3-phosphate) synthase. Soybean also has a version of this gene, but the soybean version is sensitive to glyphosate, while the CP4 version is not.


Atrazine is a herbicide that is used to stop pre- and post-emergence broadleaf and grassy weeds in crops such as sorghum, maize, sugarcane, lupins, pine, and eucalypt plantations, and triazine-tolerant canola. In the United States as of 2014, atrazine was the second-most widely used herbicide after glyphosate, with 76 million pounds of it applied each year. Atrazine continues to be one of the most widely used herbicides in Australian agriculture. Its use was banned in the European Union in 2004, when the EU found groundwater levels exceeding the limits set by regulators, and Syngenta could not show that this could be prevented nor that these levels were safe.


weedsvegetable pestsweedy species
Methods include hand cultivation with hoes, powered cultivation with cultivators, smothering with mulch, lethal wilting with high heat, burning, or chemical attack with herbicides. Certain classes of weeds share adaptations to ruderal environments. That is to say: disturbed environments where soil or natural vegetative cover has been damaged or frequently gets damaged, disturbances that give the weeds advantages over desirable crops, pastures, or ornamental plants. The nature of the habitat and its disturbances will affect or even determine which types of weed communities become dominant.

Pesticide resistance

insecticide resistanceresistanceherbicide resistance
Before glyphosate, most herbicides would kill a limited number of weed species, forcing farmers to continually rotate their crops and herbicides to prevent resistance. Glyphosate disrupts the ability of most plants to construct new proteins. Glyphosate-tolerant transgenic crops are not affected. A weed family that includes waterhemp (Amaranthus rudis) has developed glyphosate-resistant strains. A 2008 to 2009 survey of 144 populations of waterhemp in 41 Missouri counties revealed glyphosate resistance in 69%. Weed surveys from some 500 sites throughout Iowa in 2011 and 2012 revealed glyphosate resistance in approximately 64% of waterhemp samples.


Agricultural Research StationNovartisNovartis Seed Co.
In 2004, Syngenta Seeds purchased Garst, the North American corn and soybean business of Advanta, as well as Golden Harvest Seeds. On 5 December 2004, the European Union ended a six-year moratorium when it approved imports of two varieties of genetically modified corn sold by Monsanto and its Swiss rival, Syngenta. In 2005, Syngenta opposed a Swiss ban on genetically engineered organisms. On 28 November 2005, Switzerland enacted a five-year ban on the farming of genetically modified crops, underscoring the problems facing the European Commission and biotech companies like Syngenta, Bayer and Monsanto as they try to overcome consumer doubts about safety.

Genetic engineering

genetically engineeredgenetically modifiedgenetic modification
One of the best-known and controversial applications of genetic engineering is the creation and use of genetically modified crops or genetically modified livestock to produce genetically modified food. Crops have been developed to increase production, increase tolerance to abiotic stresses, alter the composition of the food, or to produce novel products. The first crops to be released commercially on a large scale provided protection from insect pests or tolerance to herbicides. Fungal and virus resistant crops have also been developed or are in development. This make the insect and weed management of crops easier and can indirectly increase crop yield.


seedsseed coatkernel
Genetically modified crops. List of world's largest seeds. Recalcitrant seed. Seed company. Seed enhancement. Seed library. Seed orchard. Seed paper. Seed saving. Seed testing. Seed trap. Seedbed. Soil seed bank. A.C. Martin. The Comparative Internal Morphology of Seeds. American Midland Naturalist Vol. 36, No. 3 (Nov., 1946), pp. 513–660. M.B. McDonald, Francis Y. Kwong (eds.). Flower Seeds: Biology and Technology. CABI, 2005. ISBN: 0-85199-906-9. also available on line Volume I. Edred John Henry Corner. The Seeds of Dicotyledons. Cambridge University Press, 1976. ISBN: 0-521-20688-X. United States Forest Service. Woody Plant Seed Manual. 1948. Stuppy, W.

Bacillus thuringiensis

BtB. thuringiensisB . thuringiensis
For current crops and their acreage under cultivation, see genetically modified crops. In 1996, genetically modified maize producing Bt Cry protein was approved, which killed the European corn borer and related species; subsequent Bt genes were introduced that killed corn rootworm larvae. The Bt genes engineered into crops and approved for release include, singly and stacked: Cry1A.105, CryIAb, CryIF, Cry2Ab, Cry3Bb1, Cry34Ab1, Cry35Ab1, mCry3A, and VIP, and the engineered crops include corn and cotton. Corn genetically modified to produce VIP was first approved in the US in 2010.


Increasing use of dicamba has been reported with the release of dicamba-resistant genetically modified plants by Monsanto. In October 2016, the EPA launched a criminal investigation into the illegal application of older, drift prone formulations of dicamba onto these new plants. Older formulations have been reported to drift after application and affect other crops not meant to be treated. A less volatile formulation of dicamba made by Monsanto, designed to be less prone to vaporizing and inhibit unintended drift between fields, was approved for use in the United States by the EPA in 2016, and was expected to be commercially available in 2017.


Trptryptophan metabolism L -tryptophan
The industrial production of tryptophan is also biosynthetic and is based on the fermentation of serine and indole using either wild-type or genetically modified bacteria such as B. amyloliquefaciens, B. subtilis, C. glutamicum or E. coli. These strains carry mutations that prevent the reuptake of aromatic amino acids or multiple/overexpressed trp operons. The conversion is catalyzed by the enzyme tryptophan synthase. There was a large outbreak of eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS) in the U.S. in 1989, with more than 1,500 cases reported to the CDC and at least 37 deaths. After preliminary investigation revealed that the outbreak was linked to intake of tryptophan, the U.S.

DuPont Pioneer

DuPontHi-Bred Corn CompanyPioneer
They are a major producer of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), including genetically modified crops with insect and herbicide resistance. In 1926, farm journal editor and future U.S. Vice President Henry A. Wallace, along with a group of Des Moines, Iowa businessmen, founded the "Hi-Bred Corn Company". Wallace had been experimenting with hybridization of corn and became convinced that hybrid seed corn would become important. Headquarters of DuPont Pioneer are located in Johnston, Iowa, with additional offices around the world. Pioneer produces, markets and sells hybrid seed corn in nearly 70 countries worldwide.


Soybeans are one of the "biotech food" crops that have been genetically modified, and genetically modified soybeans are being used in an increasing number of products. In 1995, Monsanto company introduced glyphosate-tolerant soybeans that have been genetically modified to be resistant to Monsanto's glyphosate herbicides through substitution of the Agrobacterium sp. (strain CP4) gene EPSP (5-enolpyruvyl shikimic acid-3-phosphate) synthase. The substituted version is not sensitive to glyphosate. In 1997, about 8% of all soybeans cultivated for the commercial market in the United States were genetically modified. In 2010, the figure was 93%.

Glyphosate-based herbicides

glyphosate formulationglyphosate-based herbicide
Glyphosate-based herbicides are usually made of a glyphosate salt that is combined with other ingredients that are needed to stabilize the herbicide formula and allow penetration into plants. The glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup was first developed by Monsanto in the 1970s. It is used most heavily on corn, soy, and cotton crops that have been genetically modified to be resistant to the herbicide. Some products include two active ingredients, such as Enlist Duo which includes 2,4-D as well as glyphosate. As of 2010, more than 750 glyphosate products were on the market. The names of inert ingredients used in glyphosate formulations are usually not listed on the product labels.