How A Sunflower Gene Crossed The Line From Weed To Crop

How a sunflowers genes crossed the line from weed to crop


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I ‘m rounding out The Salt ‘s Pest Resistance Week with a little-known tale that may confuse you.

You ‘ve heard about weeds and crops that farmers do n’t like. There is a case in which a weed helped create a resistant crop.

The story begins in a field. The soybeans in this field were able to tolerate weedkillers. This line of soybeans was created throughmutation breeding.

Thousands of seeds are exposed to chemicals that cause genetic changes. The resulting soybean plant was able to tolerate the herbicides. Similar kinds of wheat, rice, and other crops have been created using the same method.

A few weeds survived after the farmers sprayed their herbicide. The wild relatives of the sunflowers that farmers grow as a crop were the weeds. sunflowers are one of a few crops that originated in our part of the world.

The farmer contacted a weed expert. Al-Khatib collected some of the weeds from the field, did some tests on them, and confirmed that the sunflowers were resistant to the herbicides.

A few months later, through a chance encounter at a scientific meeting, word of this discovery reached Jerry Miller, a sunflower breeder at the U. The Department of Agriculture has a research unit in Fargo. I could n’t believe it. Miller recalls calling Kassim right away. He saw the possibility of a commercial crop that could be resistant to pesticides.

It took some heroic efforts to get the wild and cultivated sunflowers to exchange pollen and produce viable offspring, but Miller did manage to create a sunflowers.

Miller broke the news to the growers at a big meeting. He told the farmers that they might be able to kill a lot of problematic weeds with a single spray over their sunflowers. The room was completely quiet.

Today, commercial sunflowers from North Dakota to Turkey contain this genetic trait.

What is the lesson from this story ?

It does n’t take genetic engineering to create resistance to a weed or a crop. It ‘s a reminder that our food crops are descended from plants that once grew wild, and the line that separates a despised weed from a valuable crop is sometimes a very fuzzy one. It ‘s porous enough that genes can find their way through it.

Source: https://shopdothang.com
Category: Flower

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