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Weediness potential of AVP1 GM sugarcane

By: Farheen Bhatti, Shaheen Asad, Muhammad Asif

Key Words: GM AVP1 Sugarcane, Weediness, Weeds, Rumex obtusifolius, Cyperus rotundus, Chenopodium album.

J. Bio. Env. Sci. 13(6), 89-98, December 2018.

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The era of transgenic crops has set both unprecedented improvements in crop productivity and raised concerns about their adoption of GM crops. Assessment of weediness potential is a significant aspect of GM crop biosafety evaluations prior to commercialization as GM plants with novel traits might increase competitiveness/weediness. GM sugarcane plants over-expressing the AVP1 gene which confers drought tolerance were tested under controlled conditions. A field experiment comparing GM and non-GM sugarcane cultivars under normal irrigated conditions were conducted to assess growth as a measure of the potential weediness of GM AVP1 sugarcane. Different biological parameters were evaluated such as fresh and dry biomass of leaves and roots, plant height, leaf area, Brix content, cane length, number of canes, leaves and tillers. Data collected at both the tillering stage and at maturity didn’t show any significant variation related to weediness attributes due to genetic modification of AVP1 sugarcane. Parallel to this experiment the competitiveness of AVP1 GM sugarcane against the most prevalent naturally occurring weeds were assessed at the tillering stage of the crop. Crop growth was measured under weed infestation and weed-free conditions. Weed infestation in the sugarcane field significantly reduced the no. of tillers up to 27.9%, the plant height by 18.9% and fresh and dry above-ground biomass up to 12.3 and 12.0% respectively but there was no significant difference between GM AVP1 and non-GM sugarcane. In conclusion, AVP1 GM sugarcane didn’t behave differently to its non-GM comparator in both experimental situations indicating no evidence of an increase in weediness potential.

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Weediness potential of AVP1 GM sugarcane

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Farheen Bhatti, Shaheen Asad, Muhammad Asif.
Weediness potential of AVP1 GM sugarcane.
J. Bio. Env. Sci. 13(6), 89-98, December 2018.
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