Roundup Ready Soybean

Roundup Ready Soybean, GTS 40-3-2, is a genetically engineered variety of glyphosate-resistant soybeans created by Monsanto.

Glyphosate kills plants by obstructing the synthesis of the essential amino acids phenylaline, tyrosine, and tryptophan. These amino acids are referred to as “essential” due to the fact that animals cannot make them; only plants and micro-organisms can make them and animals acquire them by consuming plants.

Plants and microorganisms make these amino acids with an enzyme that only plants and lower organisms contain, called 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS). EPSPS isn’t present in animals, which instead acquire aromatic amino acids from their diet.

Roundup Ready Soybeans express a version of EPSPS from the CP4 strain of the bacteria, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, expression of which is regulated via an enhanced 35S promoter (E35S) from cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV), a chloroplast transit peptide (CTP4) coding sequence from Petunia hybrida, and a nopaline synthase (nos 3’) transcriptional termination element from Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The plasmid with EPSPS and the other genetic elements that were mentioned above was inserted into soybean germplasm via a gene gun by scientists at Monsanto and Asgrow.

It was initially approved commercially within the United States during 1994. It was then introduced in Canada in 1995, Japan and Argentina in 1996, Uruguay in 1997, Mexico and Brazil in 1998, and South Africa in 2001.

GTS 40-3-2 can be identified utilizing both nucleic acid and protein analysis techniques.

At least one of Monsanto’s Vistive varieties has been crossbred with the Roundup Ready Soybean.

The regulation of genetically modified crops such as Roundup Ready Soybeans affect the approaches taken by governments to measure and manage the risks that are associated with the development and release of genetically modified crops. There are differences in the regulation of GM crops between countries, with some of the most marked differences taking place between the USA and Europe. Regulation varies in a given country depending on the deliberated usage of the products of the genetic engineering. For instance, a crop that is not intended for food use is generally not reviewed by authorities that are responsible for food safety.

Critics have opposed the usage of GM crops such as Roundup Ready Soybeans on several grounds, including ethical concerns, ecological concerns, and economic concerns raised by the fact GM methods and GM organisms are subject to intellectual property law. GMOs are also involved in controversies over GM food with respect to whether food produced from GM crops is safe, whether it should be labeled, and whether GM crops are required to address the world’s food needs. See the genetically modified food controversies article for discussion of problems regarding GM crops and GM food. These controversies have led to litigation, protests, international trade disputes, and to restrictive regulation of commercial products in most countries.

Image Caption: Soybean, Credit: Wikipedia