- February 16, 2022
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN Topics
TOPIC: Science & Tech
Context- On Thursday, the pro-GM crop movement will be re-launched in Maharashtra once again.
- Since 2019, thousands of farmers have been openly sowing and cultivating herbicide-tolerant Bt (HTBt) cotton and Bt brinjal.
- To date, the Centre has approved only GM cotton for commercial cultivation in India.
- Under Section 22 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, GM foods are not allowed to be manufactured, imported or sold in India unless approved under the Act.
- Legally, sale, storage, transportation and usage of unapproved GM seeds is a punishable offence under the Rules of Environmental Protection Act 1989.
- Also, sale of unapproved seeds can attract action under the Seed Act of 1966 and the Cotton Act of 1957.
- Bt brinjal was developed by Mahyco (Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company) in collaboration with the Dharwad University of Agricultural Sciences and the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.
- Bt Brinjal is a transgenic brinjal created by inserting a gene cry1Ac from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis into Brinjal.
- This genetically modified brinjal gives resistance against insects such as the Brinjal Fruit and Shoot Borer (Leucinodes orbonalis)
- Developed by US giant Bayer-Monsanto, it involves insertion of two genes viz‘Cry1Ab’ and ‘Cry2Bc’ from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis into cotton seeds.
- This modification codes the plant to produce protein toxic to Heliothis bollworm (pink bollworm) thus making it resistant to their attack.
Herbicide Tolerant Bt (HTBt) Cotton:
- The HTBt cotton variant adds another layer of modification to Bt Cotton, making the plant resistant to the herbicide glyphosate.
- HtBt Cotton involves the addition of another gene, ‘Cp4-Epsps’ from another soil bacterium, Agrobacterium tumefaciens to make it herbicide resistant.