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Genetically Modified Soybeans

Genetically Modified Soybeans

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Published by Charlton Washington

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Published by: Charlton Washington on Sep 24, 2012
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Nury Duque-FeghaliBrittany BosticCharlton WashingtonTravis Vance
Genetically Modified Soybeans
Soybeans are the top worldwide crop for oil and protein production, in 2006,226.8 million tons of soybeans were produced among the leading producing countrieswhich include USA, Brazil, Argentina, China, India, Paraguay, Canada, and Bolivia.Within three years the total cultivated area has risen from 11 million hectaresto 42.2 million hectares, and 75% of that area is in industrialized countries. Becausethere is such a mass investment going into these GMO’s an equally massive return isexpected, so the view of investment has changed in order to try and meet thesedemands. It appears that the investments are now most interested in a “selectiveconcentration on species and problems of global importance (Fresco (GMO)pg. 2)”than what use to be “system based approaches” (Fresco (“Where are we? Where arewe going”) pg.3). Thus making the agriculture market dominant for large globalcompanies and making it harder for small businesses to survive. Between 1998 and2001 global companies have expanded their ownership in the seed market to 85%from 69%. Within a small time frame the production of GMO’s has risen and is stillgrowing. They have been produced in many countries around the world, and it hasturned local markets into large global markets, all of these changes have createddifferences between the past and the present on a major scale. The most important commercial characteristic of roundup-ready soybeans(genetically modified soybeans) is the gene technology that has been developed toallow the plant to be resistant to herbicides containing the active ingredient of glyphosate (It is commonly used to manage weeds, but it is toxic to almost all plants)these are about 60% of the world’s soybean fabrication. They have also geneticallymodified other aspects of the soybean among them the list would include fungalresistance, nematode resistance, resistance against pest such as larvae, butterflies,and moths, as well as aphids; they have also undergone adaptation and tolerance todraught and salinity. Also they are trying to be used as a system for pharmaceuticalactive ingredients that come from the genetically modified soybean. The most important aspect of the breeding aims of roundup-ready soybeans isthe genetically modified alleles/genes that are being changed (whether they arebeing added or modified) within the genome. To put this in prospective as it relates tothe soybeans population genome the wild type genes are the normal soybean traitsand the mutate genes occur within the GMOs. The changes that have been artificiallyinserted into the mutate gene will/has ultimately mutate(d)/change(d) certain alleleson the chromosomes of the soy beans DNA. This change has genetically modified twomajor traits which are (1) insect resistance and (2) herbicide tolerance making themdominantly express in the genome. This specific modification could potentially causemutation on many different levels one major level being the destabilization of soy
Nury Duque-FeghaliBrittany BosticCharlton WashingtonTravis Vance
2beans over later generations. This specific mutant trait could be passed throughinterbreeding causing negatively altered phenotypes and genotypes for futuregeneration. Thinking in terms of different population around the species of soy beansthis tampering could also cause many organisms to inherit changes (i.e. weeds thatcould become resistant to the gene, animals that could acquire the crop could beaffected, etc.) and ultimately change their genome causing harmful silent genes toarise in different populations. This artificially introduced DNA may have some positiveeconomical benefits but in due time could produce genetic disadvantageous that canaffect the genome of soybeans and its neighboring organism.One of the most important inorganic materials that soybeans need in order tothrive and produce a high soybean yield comes from the nitrogen cycle. Soybeanplants need to be provided with a sufficient amount of nitrogen throughout theirlifecycle, and in order to accomplish this task they have, over time, developed asymbiotic relationship with nitrogen fixing bacteria known as
Bradyrhizobia japonicum.
During the seed germination process, the bacteria attach to and enter theroots of the plants, where they begin to multiply and grow with the seedling. In returnfor providing the bacteria with sugars and other carbohydrates necessary for theirdevelopment, the bacteria provide the seedling with a steady supply of nitrogen. The modified soy beans have also been proven to be a great source of biodiesel fuel. Soybean biodiesel returns 93 percent more energy than is used toproduce it (because of the increased nitrogen fixation, it allows the nitrogen to bemolded into new forms which allow for more energy to be converted and created), byproducing biodiesel fuel out of soybeans, we would meet 12% of the worlds gasolinedemand. Genetically modified soybeans are beneficial because it requires lowchemical and energy input and it can give us much greater energy and environmentalreturns.Overall roundup ready soybeans may have many benefits and also somedisadvantageous affects but the facts are not concrete enough to take a stand. If wehad to absolutely take a stand we would have to agree that roundup ready soybeanscould be a profitable organism in the future. This would creating more biodiesel fuelsfor consumption, allowing a longer life span for crops and also allowing the productionof more crops which in term will produce a stronger agricultural economy.
Nury Duque-FeghaliBrittany BosticCharlton WashingtonTravis Vance
Works Cited
Bosch-Str. 7, Robert. GMO Compass. Eds. Robert Bosch- Str. 7 Klaus Minol, ElisabethSchulte, andKristina Sinemus. 9 July 2007. Genius GmbH. 24 June 2009http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/database/plants/67.soybean.htmlDuffy, Michael. "Genetically modified (GMO) soybeans." Genetically modified (GMO)soybeans/Integrated Crop Management. Ed. John VanDyk. 11 Oct. 1999. IowaStat University Extension. 24 June 2009http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/icm/1999/10-11-1999/gmosoybeans.html.Fresco, Louise O. "Genetically Modified Organisms in Food and Agriculture: Where arewe? Where arewe going?" FAO Sep. 2001: 1. 23 June 2009 <http://www.fao.org/Ag/Magazine/GMOs.pdf >.Iowa Soybean Association. Welcome to Iowa Soybean Association. 2009. 24 June 2009

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