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Drought stress response on genetically engineered Maize: is it farmers’ nightmare?

Maize is the most extensively grown grain crop throughout the Americas, with 332 million metric tons grown annually in the United States alone. It is also one of the world’s major profitable food crops and is grown in many countries around the world. Genetically modified maize made up 85% of the maize planted in the United States in 2009.

The maize growth cycle is limited to spring and summer, and characterized by a high water demand. Therefore, any reduction of water availability, together with exacerbation of other ecosystem factors and stresses that may occur as a consequence of climate changes, could affect negatively maize growth and its productivity. The development of an improved maize through engineered modifications (GM maize) has the potential to offset some of the predicted climate change-related crop yield losses.

A group of international scientists investigated the effect of drought stress response and gene expression between GM maize and non-GM varieties using ENZO BioArray High Yield® RNA Transcript Labeling Kit. GM maize demonstrated to have a greater sensitivity to stress in the early phase when compared to non-GM varieties. Their results called for a better assessment of the ecological behavior of GM plants under different levels of environmental stress, in comparison to their non-GM varieties.

Could the differences seen be because of the transgenic event that may have unintended effects on plant gene networking, potentially affecting plant-environment interaction in the field?

What do you think?

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Enzo Life Sciences offers a comprehensive product portfolio for advancing your research in genomics through comparative genomic hybridization with the CGH labeling kit, and gene expression with the BioArray™ RNA amplification and labeling kits.

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