Crop desiccation

crop desiccant
In April 2015 an oat buyer in Western Canada announced that it was refusing oats in which pre-harvest glyphosate had been used. Maize. Cereals such as barley, wheat, and oats. Oilseed rape. Legumes including lentils, garbanzos, and soybeans. Sunflower. Potatoes. Cotton.

Genetically modified food

genetically modified foodsgenetically modifiedGM food
China was the first country to commercialize a transgenic crop in 1993 with the introduction of virus-resistant tobacco. In 1995, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Potato was approved for cultivation, making it the first pesticide producing crop to be approved in the US. Other genetically modified crops receiving marketing approval in 1995 were: canola with modified oil composition, Bt maize, cotton resistant to the herbicide bromoxynil, Bt cotton, glyphosate-tolerant soybeans, virus-resistant squash, and another delayed ripening tomato. With the creation of golden rice in 2000, scientists had genetically modified food to increase its nutrient value for the first time.


PP 4 phosphoric
It is used in life-science laboratories in applications in which lower energy beta emissions are advantageous such as DNA sequencing. Phosphates are used to make special glasses for sodium lamps. Bone-ash, calcium phosphate, is used in the production of fine china. Phosphoric acid made from elemental phosphorus is used in food applications such as soft drinks, and as a starting point for food grade phosphates. These include mono-calcium phosphate for baking powder and sodium tripolyphosphate. Phosphates are used to improve the characteristics of processed meat and cheese, and in toothpaste.


crown gallAgrobacterium''-mediated recombinationAgrobacteria
Corn. Sugar Beet. Alfalfa. Wheat. Rapeseed Oil (Canola). Creeping bentgrass (for animal feed). Rice (Golden Rice). Agroinfiltration. Marc Van Montagu. Rhizobium rhizogenes (formerly Agrobacterium rhizogenes). Current taxonomy of Agrobacterium species, and new Rhizobium names. Agrobacteria is used as gene ferry - Plant transformation with Agrobacterium].

EPSP synthase

5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase3-phosphoshikimate 1-carboxyvinyltransferase5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate
It is the biological target of the herbicide glyphosate, and a glyphosate-resistant version of this gene has been used in genetically modified crops. The enzyme belongs to the family of transferases, to be specific those transferring aryl or alkyl groups other than methyl groups. The systematic name of this enzyme class is phosphoenolpyruvate:3-phosphoshikimate 5-O-(1-carboxyvinyl)-transferase. Other names in common use include: EPSP synthase is a monomeric enzyme with a molecular mass of about 46,000. It is composed of two domains, which are joined by protein strands. This strand acts as a hinge, and can bring the two protein domains closer together.

Panicum virgatum

switchgrassswitch grasspanic-grass
In a novel application, US scientists have genetically modified switchgrass to enable it to produce polyhydroxybutyrate, which accumulates in beadlike granules within the plant's cells. In preliminary tests, the dry weight of a plants leaves were shown to comprise up to 3.7% of the polymer. Such low accumulation rates do not, as of 2009, allow for commercial use of switchgrass as a biosource. Switchgrass is useful for soil conservation and amendment, particularly in the United States and Canada, where switchgrass is endemic. Switchgrass has a deep fibrous root system – nearly as deep as the plant is tall.

Intensive farming

industrial agricultureintensive agricultureintensive
Norin 10 wheat, a variety developed by Orville Vogel from Japanese dwarf wheat varieties, was instrumental in developing wheat cultivars. IR8, the first widely implemented HYV rice to be developed by the International Rice Research Institute, was created through a cross between an Indonesian variety named “Peta” and a Chinese variety named “Dee Geo Woo Gen.”

Roundup Ready

herbicide-resistant crop plants
Roundup Ready is the Monsanto trademark for its patented line of genetically modified crop seeds that are resistant to its glyphosate-based herbicide, Roundup. In 1996, genetically modified Roundup Ready soybeans resistant to Roundup became commercially available, followed by Roundup Ready corn in 1998. Roundup Ready soybeans patent is due to expire in 2014. Current Roundup Ready crops include soy, maize (corn), canola, sugar beets, cotton and alfalfa, with wheat still under development. For additional information on Roundup Ready crops, please consult the GM Crops List. As of 2005, 87% of U.S. soybean fields were planted with glyphosate resistant varieties.

Food security

food insecurityfood supplyfood insecure
Taxpayers heavily subsidize corn and soy, which are main ingredients in processed foods and fatty foods which the government does not encourage, and used to fatten livestock. Half of farmland is devoted to corn and soy, the rest is wheat. Soy and corn can be found in sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup. Over $19 billion during the prior 18 years to 2013 was spent to incent farmers to grow these crops, raising the price of fruits and vegetables by about 40% and lowering the price of dairy and other animal products. Little land is used for fruit and vegetable farming.

Plant genetics

plant geneticistgeneticGenetics
Genetically modifying plants is an important economic activity: in 2017, 89% of corn, 94% of soybeans, and 91% of cotton produced in the US were from genetically modified strains. Since the introduction of GM crops, yields have increased by 22%, and profits have increased to farmers, especially in the developing world, by 68%. An important side effect of GM crops has been decreased land requirements, Commercial sale of genetically modified foods began in 1994, when Calgene first marketed its unsuccessful Flavr Savr delayed-ripening tomato. Most food modifications have primarily focused on cash crops in high demand by farmers such as soybean, corn, canola, and cotton.

Hybrid (biology)

Some crop plants are hybrids from different genera (intergeneric hybrids), such as Triticale, × Triticosecale, a wheat–rye hybrid. Most modern and ancient wheat breeds are themselves hybrids; bread wheat, Triticum aestivum, is a hexaploid hybrid of three wild grasses. Several commercial fruits including loganberry (Rubus × loganobaccus) and grapefruit (Citrus × paradisi) are hybrids, as are garden herbs such as peppermint (Mentha × piperita), and trees such as the London plane (Platanus × acerifolia).


lucerneMedicago sativaalfalfa hay
Roundup Ready alfalfa, a genetically modified variety, was released by Forage Genetics International in 2005. This was developed through the insertion of a gene owned by Monsanto Company that confers resistance to glyphosate, a broad-spectrum herbicide, also known as Roundup. Although most grassy and broadleaf plants, including ordinary alfalfa, are killed by Roundup, growers can spray fields of Roundup Ready alfalfa with the glyphosate herbicide and kill the weeds without harming the alfalfa crop.

United States

Agriculture accounts for just under 1% of GDP, yet the United States is the world's top producer of corn and soybeans. The National Agricultural Statistics Service maintains agricultural statistics for products that include peanuts, oats, rye, wheat, rice, cotton, corn, barley, hay, sunflowers, and oilseeds. In addition, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides livestock statistics regarding beef, poultry, pork, and dairy products. The country is the primary developer and grower of genetically modified food, representing half of the world's biotech crops. Consumer spending comprises 68% of the U.S. economy in 2015.

Genetically modified maize

genetically modified cornBt cornBt maize
Corn varieties resistant to glyphosate herbicides were first commercialized in 1996 by Monsanto, and are known as "Roundup Ready Corn". They tolerate the use of Roundup. Bayer CropScience developed "Liberty Link Corn" that is resistant to glufosinate. Pioneer Hi-Bred has developed and markets corn hybrids with tolerance to imidazoline herbicides under the trademark "Clearfield" – though in these hybrids, the herbicide-tolerance trait was bred using tissue culture selection and the chemical mutagen ethyl methanesulfonate, not genetic engineering. Consequently, the regulatory framework governing the approval of transgenic crops does not apply for Clearfield.


phosphinothricinglufosinate ammonium
Elevated levels of ammonia are detectable within one hour after application of Phosphinothricin. As glufosinate is often used as a pre-harvest desiccant, residues can also be found in foods that humans ingest. Such foods include potatoes, peas, beans, corn, wheat, and barley. In addition, the chemical can be passed to humans through animals who are fed contaminated straw. Flour processed from wheat grain that contained traces of glufosinate was found to retain 10-100% of the chemicals' residues. The herbicide is also persistent; it has been found to be prevalent in spinach, radishes, wheat and carrots that were planted 120 days after the treatment of the herbicide.

Weed control

weedingweedweed management
Pesticide application.


winter ryerye flourLargest rye producer
Rye will survive with snow cover that would otherwise result in winter-kill for winter wheat. Most farmers grow winter ryes, which are planted and begin to grow in autumn. In spring, the plants develop and produce their crop. Fall-planted rye shows fast growth. By the summer solstice, plants reach their maximum height of about a 120 cm (4 ft) while spring-planted wheat has only recently germinated. Vigorous growth suppresses even the most noxious weed competitors and rye can be grown without application of herbicides. Rye is a common, unwanted invader of winter wheat fields. If allowed to grow and mature, it may cause substantially reduced prices (docking) for harvested wheat.


For example, durum wheat is the result of the inter-species hybridization of two diploid grass species Triticum urartu and Aegilops speltoides. Both diploid ancestors had two sets of 7 chromosomes, which were similar in terms of size and genes contained on them. Durum wheat contains two sets of chromosomes derived from Triticum urartu and two sets of chromosomes derived from Aegilops speltoides. Each chromosome pair derived from the Triticum urartu parent is homoeologous to the opposite chromosome pair derived from the Aegilops speltoides parent, though each chromosome pair unto itself is homologous. Each Deinococcus radiodurans bacterium contains 4-8 copies of its chromosome.

United States Environmental Protection Agency

Environmental Protection AgencyEPAU.S. Environmental Protection Agency
In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization, cited research linking glyphosate, an ingredient of the weed killer Roundup manufactured by the chemical company Monsanto, to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In March 2017, the presiding judge in a litigation brought about by people who claim to have developed glyphosate-related non-Hodgkin's lymphoma opened Monsanto emails and other documents related to the case, including email exchanges between the company and federal regulators.

Integrated pest management

IPMgreen pesticideIntegrated Pest Management (IPM)
Applications of pesticides must reach their intended targets. Matching the application technique to the crop, the pest, and the pesticide is critical. The use of low-volume spray equipment reduces overall pesticide use and labor cost. Jahn, GC, PG Cox., E Rubia-Sanchez, and M Cohen 2001. The quest for connections: developing a research agenda for integrated pest and nutrient management. pp. 413–430, In S. Peng and B. Hardy [eds.] "Rice Research for Food Security and Poverty Alleviation." Proceedings of the International Rice Research Conference, 31 March – 3 April 2000, Los Baños, Philippines. Los Baños (Philippines): International Rice Research Institute. 692 p. Jahn, GC, B.

Evolutionary pressure

selective pressureselection pressureselection pressures
In Hawaii and Japan, the diamondback moth developed a resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis, which is used in several commercial crops including Bt corn, about three years after it began to be used heavily. In England, rats in certain areas have developed such a strong resistance to rat poison that they can consume up to five times as much of it as normal rats without dying. DDT is no longer effective in controlling mosquitoes that transmit malaria in some places, a fact that contributed to a resurgence of the disease. In the southern United States, the weed Amaranthus palmeri, which interferes with production of cotton, has developed widespread resistance to the herbicide glyphosate.


malting barleysix-row barleyH. vulgare
Barley is more tolerant of soil salinity than wheat, which might explain the increase of barley cultivation in Mesopotamia from the second millennium BCE onwards. Barley is not as cold tolerant as the winter wheats (Triticum aestivum), fall rye (Secale cereale) or winter triticale (× Triticosecale Wittm. ex A. Camus.), but may be sown as a winter crop in warmer areas of Australia and Great Britain. Barley has a short growing season and is also relatively drought tolerant. This plant is known or likely to be susceptible to barley mild mosaic bymovirus, as well as bacterial blight. It can be susceptible to many diseases, but plant breeders have been working hard to incorporate resistance.


potatoesSolanum tuberosumIrish potatoes
As of 2014, potatoes were the world's fourth-largest food crop after maize (corn), wheat, and rice. Wild potato species can be found throughout the Americas, from the United States to southern Chile. The potato was originally believed to have been domesticated independently in multiple locations, but later genetic testing of the wide variety of cultivars and wild species traced a single origin for potatoes. In the area of present-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia, from a species in the Solanum brevicaule complex, potatoes were domesticated approximately 7,000–10,000 years ago.


starcheswheat starchrice starch
In the printing industry, food grade starch is used in the manufacture of anti-set-off spray powder used to separate printed sheets of paper to avoid wet ink being set off. For body powder, powdered corn starch is used as a substitute for talcum powder, and similarly in other health and beauty products. Starch is used to produce various bioplastics, synthetic polymers that are biodegradable. An example is polylactic acid based on glucose from starch. Glucose from starch can be further fermented to biofuel corn ethanol using the so-called wet milling process. Today most bioethanol production plants use the dry milling process to ferment corn or other feedstock directly to ethanol.


Ketoclomazone is derived from herbicides applied to soil and binds to DXP synthase. This inhibits DXP synthase, preventing synthesis of DXP and halting the MEP pathway. The use of this toxin leads to lower levels of carotenoids in plants grown in the contaminated soil. Fosmidomycin, an antibiotic, is a competitive inhibitor of DXP reductoisomerase due to its similar structure to the enzyme. Application of said antibiotic prevents reduction of DXP, again halting the MEP pathway. The structure of carotenoids imparts biological abilities, including photosynthesis, photoprotection, plant coloration, and cell signaling.