Friday, April 16, 2021

Modified genes can distort wild cotton’s interactions with insects


    In Mexico, acquired herbicide resistance and insecticide genes can disrupt cotton’s ecosystem. Operations created to modified genes can have a big impact on how they can affect an ecosystem, specifically, Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula cotton plants. These plant genes in Mexico that originated from genetically modified crops have been discovered to affect other native plants around them. For example, their newfound biology has a gene that can cause cotton to exclude less nectar. This essentially prohibits the plant’s ability to attract ants to protect it from plant-eaters, allowing them to be eaten. This is only one example of an escaped gene. Another example includes plants producing excessive amounts of nectar, allowing more ants to protect it and repel pollinators. Discovering altered genes in wild plants is important because many ecosystems can be drastically altered if plant genes continue to become modified. It's important to observe these changes to see if it’s beneficial or harmful to the environment. It is very controversial whether or not to allow genetic modification in plants and I find it interesting the impact that the modification caused to these wild cotton. 




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