Desi GM Alternative : Environment for UPSC Exams

Desi GM Alternative : Environment for UPSC Exams

  • 2 new sets of indigenously developed transgenic ‘events’, in cotton, hold out the promise of alternative suppliers for a technology largely monopolised by multinationals.

  • Scientists at Delhi University’s Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants (CGMCP) have developed two independent ‘events’ for insertion of the cry1Ac gene — isolated from a soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis and coding for a protein toxic to Helicoverpa armigera or American bollworm insect pest — into cotton.

  • The levels of cry1Ac protein expression in these events are claimed to be much higher than in the Bt cotton hybrids based on the US life sciences giant Monsanto’s proprietary Bollgard I and II technologies.

  • In Monsanto’s cry1Ac event, also called MON 531, the protein expression drops as the plants matures and sets bolls. Further, it is high in the roots, which serves no purpose as the bollworm pests do not feed on underground plant parts.

  • High protein expression can also address the increasing vulnerability of Bollgard Bt cotton to Pectinophora gossypiella or the pink bollworm.

  • The other promising indigenous GM event is a whitefly-resistant cotton developed by the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow.

  • A gene called Tma12, encodes a protein toxic to whitefly, an insect pest that sucks sap from the phloem tissues — which carry nutrients from the leaves to other plant parts — resulting in wilting, stunted growth and eventually yield loss.

  • Further, Tma12 protein showed no adverse biochemical changes or effects on kidney, liver and other functions therefore safe of healthy life.

  • Threats of pink bollworm in Gujarat, central Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, and whitefly in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan can be addressed.

Online Crash Course for UPSC PRE Exam

Printed Study Material for UPSC Pre General Studies (Paper-1)

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