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Nury Duque-Feghali 1 Brittany Bostic Charlton Washington Travis 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 countries which include USA, Brazil, Argentina, China, India, Paraguay, Canada, and Bolivia. Within three years the total cultivated area has risen from 11 million hectares to 42.2 million hectares, and 75% of that area is in industrialized countries. Because there is such a mass investment going into these GMO’s an equally massive return is expected, so the view of investment has changed in order to try and meet these demands. It appears that the investments are now most interested in a “selective concentration on species and problems of global importance (Fresco (GMO)pg. 2)” than what use to be “system based approaches” (Fresco (“Where are we? Where are we going”) pg.3). Thus making the agriculture market dominant for large global companies and making it harder for small businesses to survive. Between 1998 and 2001 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 still growing. They have been produced in many countries around the world, and it has turned local markets into large global markets, all of these changes have created differences 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 to allow 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 genetically modified other aspects of the soybean among them the list would include fungal resistance, nematode resistance, resistance against pest such as larvae, butterflies, and moths, as well as aphids; they have also undergone adaptation and tolerance to draught and salinity. Also they are trying to be used as a system for pharmaceutical active ingredients that come from the genetically modified soybean. The most important aspect of the breeding aims of roundup-ready soybeans is the genetically modified alleles/genes that are being changed (whether they are being added or modified) within the genome. To put this in prospective as it relates to the soybeans population genome the wild type genes are the normal soybean traits and the mutate genes occur within the GMOs. The changes that have been artificially inserted into the mutate gene will/has ultimately mutate(d)/change(d) certain alleles on the chromosomes of the soy beans DNA. This change has genetically modified two major traits which are (1) insect resistance and (2) herbicide tolerance making them dominantly express in the genome. This specific modification could potentially cause mutation on many different levels one major level being the destabilization of soy

Nury Duque-Feghali 2 Brittany Bostic Charlton Washington Travis Vance beans over later generations. This specific mutant trait could be passed through interbreeding causing negatively altered phenotypes and genotypes for future generation. Thinking in terms of different population around the species of soy beans this tampering could also cause many organisms to inherit changes (i.e. weeds that could become resistant to the gene, animals that could acquire the crop could be affected, etc.) and ultimately change their genome causing harmful silent genes to arise in different populations. This artificially introduced DNA may have some positive economical benefits but in due time could produce genetic disadvantageous that can affect the genome of soybeans and its neighboring organism. One of the most important inorganic materials that soybeans need in order to thrive and produce a high soybean yield comes from the nitrogen cycle. Soybean plants need to be provided with a sufficient amount of nitrogen throughout their lifecycle, and in order to accomplish this task they have, over time, developed a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen fixing bacteria known as Bradyrhizobia japonicum. During the seed germination process, the bacteria attach to and enter the roots of the plants, where they begin to multiply and grow with the seedling. In return for providing the bacteria with sugars and other carbohydrates necessary for their development, 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 to produce it (because of the increased nitrogen fixation, it allows the nitrogen to be molded into new forms which allow for more energy to be converted and created), by producing biodiesel fuel out of soybeans, we would meet 12% of the worlds gasoline demand. Genetically modified soybeans are beneficial because it requires low chemical and energy input and it can give us much greater energy and environmental returns. Overall roundup ready soybeans may have many benefits and also some disadvantageous affects but the facts are not concrete enough to take a stand. If we had to absolutely take a stand we would have to agree that roundup ready soybeans could be a profitable organism in the future. This would creating more biodiesel fuels for consumption, allowing a longer life span for crops and also allowing the production of more crops which in term will produce a stronger agricultural economy.

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Works Cited

Bosch-Str. 7, Robert. GMO Compass. Eds. Robert Bosch- Str. 7 Klaus Minol, Elisabeth Schulte, and Kristina Sinemus. 9 July 2007. Genius GmbH. 24 June 2009

Duffy, Michael. "Genetically modified (GMO) soybeans." Genetically modified (GMO) soybeans/Integrated Crop Management. Ed. John VanDyk. 11 Oct. 1999. Iowa Stat University Extension. 24 June 2009

Fresco, Louise O. "Genetically Modified Organisms in Food and Agriculture: Where are we? Where are we going?" FAO Sep. 2001: 1. 23 June 2009 <>.

Iowa Soybean Association. Welcome to Iowa Soybean Association. 2009. 24 June 2009

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