7 comments on “My Conversation With A Scientist: Part Three

  1. Just one small clarification, that isn’t really relevant to the broader discussion (which I think is great). Dr. Folta mentions “detoxification” with respect to glyphosate resistant weeds, but I don’t think this is accurate. Indeed, herbicide detoxification is a common mechanism weeds have evolved to resist other herbicide modes of action. But I’m not aware of any glyphosate resistant weeds being able to break down glyphosate, at least not rapidly enough to make them resistant. Glyphosate resistance is typically associated with altered movement of the herbicide in the plant, overproduction of the target enzyme, or in a few cases, an altered target site is involved. I’ve really enjoyed your posts. Keep up the great work!

  2. Sorry for being slightly off topic but this is a new article about probable benefits of the reverse “Trojan” effect. (the worry that a GM gene could transfer into a wild or native plant population and wreak all sorts of havoc) The article reports that gene transgression from wild corn to crop corn was beneficial and may have happened in many other cases yielding “adaptations such as drought tolerance, acclimation to extreme temperature and disease resistance” and thus may be used for continued crop improvement:
    http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1003477

  3. Just an awesome article. Having studied biochemistry in college, I just love all the chemical talk. Thanks so much for this series! We have used Round Up Ready cottonseed for many years. When used at the time the weeds are small and young, we always have great results. Out here by the Chihuahuan Desert, once a weed gets large and sets into drought mode in the hot, dry summer, they can all be pretty tough to kill, (that’s when the farmer brings out his choppin’ hoe) but when applied at the right amounts and times, we always get excellent results. We have not witnessed any actual RR resistant weeds developing.

    • @Suzie. Thanks for that! I think my next question might be: Does Monsanto hold a gun to your head to continue buying RR seed or is it your choice to do so? (I think I already know your answer but I’d love you to comment anyway :))

  4. No gun Julee! Just awesome technology that makes our lives better out here next to the Chiuahuan Desert. Actually, the Monsanto rep down here is a really nice guy named Jearl and happens to live down the street from us. We make our seed decision on variety and GM traits at the last minute due to the moisture situation here. But for the past 7 or 8 years, we have opted for Round Up Ready and Bt Bollworm resistant. If we go without the bollworm trait, we could have to spray up to 5 times for bollworms. If we went without the Round Up Ready, we would have to put down pre-emergent herbicide, which is much more harsh than Round Up, and we would be in the field plowing a lot more.

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