The Axis of Evil and Maize Oil - Njcu.info

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Dec 14, 2012 (4 years and 6 months ago)

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The Axis of Evil and
Maize Oil

Dr. Melanie DeVore

Professor, Georgia College & State
University

Milledgeville, GA

Crop and Variety Loss


75% of all crop and vegetable varieties
have been lost over the last century.


2% of our crop and vegetable varieties
are lost every year.


What does this have to do with
Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)


Is Dupont the “world
-
wide leader in
biopiracy of plant genetic resources”?

IPRs


IPRs now include forms of life


Private companies and research
institutes are “EVIL” because they can
patent and own life forms and genes


Developing countries see these “Evil
Doers” as the thieves who steal
genetic resources


This theft is termed “BIOPIRACY”

Straight from the mouth of the
International Undertaking



Loss of agricultural biodiversity and the
private ownership and control of plant
genetic resources have been given new
impetus by the advent of genetic
engineering.


The genetic engineering of plants is
currently a private science being developed
and controlled by profit
-
making multinational
companies which also own the handful of
seed companies that control most of the
world’s commercial seed varieties.

Who makes up the
“axis of evil”?


DuPont


Monsanto


Syngenta


They buy the monster sized
international seed companies and
control commercial seed varieties

How the Evil Doers
Operate


Seed and food patentability is the tool
used to manipulate the world


Seeds and plants get changed and
companies claim plant varieties, seeds
and harvests as intellectual property


Plant genetic resources are no longer
public domain and become private
property

What happens next?


Only plants of grand commercial
interest are bred


Varieties get lost or are held captive in
seed banks of companies


Small farmers are denied breeding
material (seeds)

How this works


Dupont bought the world’s largest seed
company (Pioneer Hi
-
Bred in 1999)


Pioneer filed 150 patent applications at the
European Patent Office


These are classified as “World Patent
Applications” and are filed in USA, Japan,
and other nations simultaneously.


DuPont “Invents” Maize


Once upon a time (August, 2000) the
European Patent Office took an
application from DuPont which
covered all maize plants containing
more than a particular amount of oil
and oleic acid.


EP 744 888

What the patent would
cover


Claims ANY variety of maize with/or
above that designated oil content


Claims made covering the planting,
cultivation, harvesting and processing
for FOOD, ANIMAL FEED or
INDUSTRIAL use

How DuPont and
Pioneer Operate


Insert a gene and make a claim


Culture plant material using tissue
culture and claim all resources with the
given characteristic


Change a breeding process


Isolate a gene and claim the sequence
as an invention

WHAT IS THE BASIS
FOR THIS CLAIM

Patent is based on an invention

“This invention relates to corn grain having a
significantly higher oleic acid content acid
content by virtue of heritable genes for
increased oil and oleic acid content and to
the production of high oil high oleic grain,
plants and plant parts grown from such
grain and uses of such improved grain”

Two Questions


Based on what you have read and what we
have discussed on class think about this:


1) Could you produce the “claimed” corn
varieties naturally?


2) How would people in Mexico and South
America feel about the situation?


The International Maize and Wheat
Improvement Center is located in MEXICO


GMOs =
G
enetically
M
odified
O
rganism
s

Broadly defined: any microbe, plant, or animal developed through















breeding and selection


Narrowly defined: organisms produced by gene transfer techniques

insect
-
resistant crops




cotton


potato


corn

herbicide
-
resistant crops




soybean


corn


canola (rapeseed)


many others

Current examples of GMO Crops

GMO Crops on the Horizon

Corn, soy, canola with improved

nutritional qualities for animal feed


Crops with specialty starches and oils

for industrial processes

Nutraceuticals “Golden Rice”









Vaccines in plants


Improved yields and stress tolerance

PLANT GENETIC ENGINEERING


Product Concepts and Technical Feasibility



Building the Transgenes



Plant Transformation



Event Selection



Plant Breeding



Seed Production and Marketing




Detection of GMO Crops in the Commodity Chain

Product Concepts and Technical Feasibility

Market potential for GMO Crop



alternatives for production inputs



enhanced storage stability



improved nutritional or processing qualities

Can the desired traits be engineered?



How many genes must be introduced?




Where must gene be expressed?


appropriate organs, tissues, developmental stage

localization within the cell




Are genes and expression elements available to


modify trait?



Will there be interactions with other genes?

CODING SEQUENCE

INTRON

poly A signal

PROMOTER

Building the Transgenes

Plant Transgene

bacterial genes


antibiotic marker


replication origin

Plant Selectable


Marker Gene

Plasmid DNA


Construct

ON/OFF Switch

Makes Protein

stop sign

Plant Transformation

The introduction and expression of

genes into plants is a three step process:

DNA Delivery to Target Cells


Selection and Regeneration

Event Selection

Plant Transformation


DNA Delivery

microprojectile bombardment

“biolistics” or “gene gun”

tiny DNA
-
coated particles are shot
into plant cells


versatile method


complex DNA integration patterns:
tandem arrays of fragmented
molecules

Agrobacterium tumefaciens

natural property of
Agrobacterium

to
transfer DNA to host plant cells is
exploited to introduce genes of
interest


difficult with cereal crops


simple DNA integration patterns

Plant Transformation


Target Cells

All Crop Transformation Protocols Deliver


DNA to Plant Cells in Tissue Culture

Tissue cultures allow regeneration of fertile
plants from single cells


Large number of target cells available for DNA
delivery in a compact form (callus)



Establishment, maintenance and plant
regeneration is labor intensive


Methods limited to a few genotypes, usually
not commercial varieties


Can introduce undesirable mutations

Plant Transformation


Selection

At best only 1 in 1000 cells integrate delivered
DNA


Transformed cells (events) are marked by co
-
introducing gene that provides resistance to
selective agents


Transformed cells are selected by killing non
-
transformed cells with selective agent.



Three main types of selective agents:


antibiotics


herbicides


plant growth regulators


Selectable markers assist in following inheritance
of transgenes.

tissue culture cells


under selection


Herbicide Leaf Paint Assay

transgenic non
-
transgenic

resistant susceptible

Event Selection

Goal: Identify transgenic lines that stably exhibit


desired phenotype


Typically only 1 in 100 events are commercialized



Transgene expression varies with chromosome position



Complex transgene insertions are generally unstable


gene silencing

recombination within integrated transgene DNA



Transgene cannot have negative effects on other plant


phenotypes



Transgenic line must satisfy regulatory requirements:


USDA, EPA, and FDA each review product

no novel toxic or allergenic proteins or metabolites

genetic stability

documented expression profile

THE MAKING OF A GMO CROP VARIETY

Backcrossing and selection (6
-

8 generations)

Transgenic


line

Commercial


variety

x

x

x

Commercial

Transgenic Line

Biotechnology

Seed Production

Target of 0.5% of U.S. Corn or Soybean Market


80 million acres x 0.005 = 400,000 acres


Corn (Cross
-
Pollinated Hybrids)


Planted at 30,000 plants/acre = 12 billion hybrid seed


Need 300 million seed of each inbred parent


Requires two field seasons to generate enough seed, one season to
produce hybrid seed


Soybean (Self
-
Pollinated Varieties)


require 3 seasons to generate enough seed


Maintaining Quality Control is a Challenge!!!

GMOs: Why the
Controversy?

Genetic engineering is a powerful new technology
that is in general poorly understood and whose long
term effects are unknown.


GMOs are an innovation that have and will
continue to impact all facets of the global
agricultural economy.

Production

Processing

Commodity Handling

Consumer Products

GMO Crops: Three Major Issues

1.
Food safety and environmental impacts



2. Global trade



3. Increased corporate control of agriculture

GMOs and Food Safety

Genetic engineering creates novel genetic combinations



Potential exists for undesirable effects of allergenicity or toxicity


All GMOs are tested extensively for food safety prior to sale




foods for human consumption and animal feed




agricultural products (meat, dairy, fresh produce)

To Label or Not to Label?



Labels must give accurate information on product composition



Identity preservation


methods, tolerances, costs

GMOs and Environmental Impacts

Genetic engineering creates novel genetic combinations





All GMOs are tested for potential environmental impacts prior to sale



influence on soil and water composition


insect resistance management




gene/trait transfer to weedy relatives


interactions with agricultural environment

GMO Crops Have Many Significant Environmental Benefits




Reduced chemical pesticide and herbicide use



More sustainable pest management



Better erosion control through no
-
till practices



Increased efficiency of production / unit fossil fuel energy expended

GMOs and Global Trade

GM Commodity Crops Highlight Differences in Culture and Economic
Systems



Education level and awareness of agriculture and biotechnology




Feelings toward food and agriculture as a way of life




Governmental policies on the regulation of GM crops


imports, sales




Agricultural economies