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Agricultural Biotechnology: Background, Regulation, and Policy Issues

Description: This report discusses on going issues regarding biotechnology, which refers primarily to the use of recombinant DNA techniques to genetically modify or bioengineer plants and animals. Ongoing policy issues include the impacts of genetially engineered (GE) crops on the environment (e.g., pest and weed resistance), whether GE foods should be labeled, their potential contamination of conventionally raised and organic plants, and issues of liability.
Date: April 3, 2013
Creator: Cowan, Tadlock
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Food Biotechnology in the United States: Science, Regulation, and Issues

Description: This report discusses the science of food biotechnology, and the federal structure by which it is regulated. Because U.S. farmers are adopting this technology at a rapid rate, some observers advocate a more active role for the federal government to ensure that farmers have equal access to this technology. Others believe that federal officials should play a more active role in protecting the environment, funding more research, and participating in international trade negotiations to ensure that trade continues to expand for genetically engineered crops. Trading partners often label food products that have been genetically modified as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Many of those partners have labeling requirements for GMOs to allow consumers the “right to know” their food content.
Date: January 19, 2001
Creator: Vogt, Donna U. & Parish, Mickey
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Food Biotechnology in the United States: Science, Regulation, and Issues

Description: This report provides basic information on the science of food biotechnology. It discusses regulatory policies and issues of concern about the use of biotechnology to modify foods through genetic engineering. It describes the scientific processes used and current products available. It explains how all three major federal agencies - the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency - regulate these foods.
Date: June 2, 1999
Creator: Vogt, Donna U. & Parish, Mickey
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Biotechnology: Background, Regulation, and Policy Issues

Description: This report discusses on going issues regarding biotechnology, which refers primarily to the use of recombinant DNA techniques to genetically modify or bioengineer plants and animals. Ongoing policy issues include the impacts of genetially engineered (GE) crops on the environment (e.g., pest and weed resistance), whether GE foods should be labeled, their potential contamination of conventionally raised and organic plants, and issues of liability.
Date: July 20, 2015
Creator: Cowan, Tadlock
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Supplementary materials: Improving saccharification efficiency of alfalfa stems through modification of the terminal stages of monolignol biosynthesis

Description: Supplementary materials accompanying an article on improving saccharification efficiency of alfalfa stems through modification of the terminal stages of monolignol biosynthesis.
Date: September 27, 2008
Creator: Jackson, Lisa A.; Shadle, Gail L.; Zhou, Rui; Nakashima, Jin; Chen, Fang & Dixon, R. A.
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

Improved forage digestibility of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) by transgenic down-regulation of cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase

Description: Article on improved forage digestibility of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) by transgenic down-regulation of cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase.
Date: September 19, 2003
Creator: Chen, Lei; Auh, Chung-Kyoon; Dowling, Paul; Bell, Jeremy; Chen, Fang; Hopkins, Andrew et al.
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

The Engineered Phytoremediation of Ionic and Methylmercury Pollution

Description: Our current specific objectives are to use transgenic plants to control the chemical species, electrochemical state, and above ground binding of mercury to (a) prevent methylmercury from entering the food-chain, (b) remove mercury from polluted sites, and (c) hyperaccumulate mercury in above ground tissues for later harvest.
Date: June 24, 2003
Creator: Meagher, Richard; Marshburn, Sarah; Heaton, Andrew; Zimer, Anne Marie & Rahman, Raoufa
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues

Description: Since the first genetically engineered (GE) crops (also called GM [genetically modified] crops, or GMOs, genetically modified organisms) became commercially available in the mid-1990s, U.S. soybean, cotton, and corn farmers have rapidly adopted them. As adoption has spread, there have been policy debates over the costs and benefits of GE products. Issues include the impacts of GE crops on the environment and food safety, and whether GE foods should be specially labeled. Congress generally has been supportive of GE agricultural products, although some Members have expressed wariness about their adoption and regulation. The 109th Congress will likely continue to follow trade developments, particularly the U.S.-EU dispute, as well as U.S. regulatory mechanisms for approving biotech foods.
Date: September 5, 2006
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S. & Cowan, Tadlock
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Structural and compositional modifications in lignin of transgenic alfalfa down-regulated in caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase and caffeoyl coenzyme A 3-O-methyltransferase

Description: Article on the structural and compositional modifications in lignin of transgenic alfalfa down-regulated in caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase and caffeoyl coenzyme A 3-O-methyltransferase.
Date: July 8, 2002
Creator: Marita, Jane M.; Ralph, John; Hatfield, Ronald D.; Guo, Dianjing; Chen, Fang & Dixon, R. A.
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

Controlled production of cellulases in plants for biomass conversion. Annual report, March 11, 1997--March 14, 1998

Description: The goal of this project is to facilitate conversion of plant biomass to usable energy by developing transgenic plants that express genes for microbial cellulases, which can be activated after harvest of the plants. In particular, the feasibility of targeting an endoglucanase and a cellobiohydrolase to the plant apoplast (cell wall milieu) is to be determined. To avoid detrimental effects of cellulose expression in plants, enzymes with high temperature optima were chosen; the genes for these enzymes are from thermophilic organisms that can use cellulose as a sole energy source. During the past year (year 2 of the grant), efforts have been focused on testing expression of endoglucanase E{sub 1}, from Acidothermus cellulolyticus, in the apoplast of both tobacco suspension cells and Arabidopsis thaliana plants. Using the plasmids constructed during the first year, transgenic cells and plants that contain the gene for the E{sub 1} catalytic domain fused to a signal peptide sequence were obtained. This gene was constructed so that the fusion protein will be secreted into the apoplast. The enzyme is made in large quantities and is secreted into the apoplast. More importantly, it is enzymatically active when placed under optimal reaction conditions (high temperature). Moreover, the plant cells and intact plants exhibit no obvious problems with growth and development under laboratory conditions. Work has also continued to improve binary vectors for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation, to determine activity of E{sub 1} at various temperatures, and to investigate the activity of the 35S Cauliflower Mosaic Virus promoter in E. coli. 9 figs.
Date: June 1, 1998
Creator: Danna, K.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The engineered phytoremediation of ionic and methylmercury pollution 70054yr.2001.doc

Description: Our long-term objective is to enable highly productive plant species to extract, resist, detoxify, and/or sequester toxic organic and heavy metal pollutants (Meagher, 2000) applying scientific strategies and technologies from a rapidly developing field called phytoremediation. The phytoremediation of toxic elemental and organic pollutants requires the use relatively different approaches (Meagher, 2000). Our current specific objectives are to use transgenic plants to control the chemical species, electrochemical state, and aboveground binding of mercury to (a) prevent methylmercury from entering the food-chain, (b) remove mercury from polluted sites, and (c) hyperaccumulate mercury in aboveground tissues for later harvest. Various parts of this strategy are being critically tested by examining different genes in model plants and field species and comparing the results to control plants as recently reviewed (Meagher et al., 2000; Rugh et al., 2000).
Date: June 1, 2001
Creator: Meagher, Richard B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Genetically Engineered Soybeans: Acceptance and Intellectual Property Rights Issues in South America

Description: This report discusses issues regarding genetically engineered soybeans in South America. U.S. soybean growers and trade officials charge that Argentina and Brazil–the United States’ two major export competitors in international soybean markets–gain an unfair trade advantage by routinely saving genetically-engineered (GE), Roundup Ready (RR) soybean seeds from the previous harvest (a practice prohibited in the United States) for planting in subsequent years.
Date: October 17, 2003
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Phytoremediation of ionic and methylmercury pollution

Description: Our long-term objective is to enable highly productive plant species to extract, resist, detoxify, and/or sequester toxic organic and heavy metal pollutants (Meagher, 2000) applying scientific strategies and technologies from a rapidly developing field called phytoremediation. The phytoremediation of toxic elemental and organic pollutants requires the use relatively different approaches (Meagher, 2000). Our current specific objectives are to use transgenic plants to control the chemical species, electrochemical state, and aboveground binding of mercury to (a) prevent methylmercury from entering the food-chain, (b) remove mercury from polluted sites, and (c) hyperaccumulate mercury in aboveground tissues for later harvest. Various parts of this strategy are being critically tested by examining different genes in model plants and field species and comparing the results to control plants as we recently reviewed (Meagher et al., 2000; Rugh et al., 2000). A positive spin-off from this work on mercury has been a strategy for the phytoremediation of arsenic (Dhankher et al., 2002) and cadmium.
Date: June 1, 2002
Creator: Meagher, Richard B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Phytoremediation of ionic and methylmercury pollution

Description: Our long-term objective is to enable highly productive plant species to extract, resist, detoxify, and/or sequester toxic organic and heavy metal pollutants (Meagher, 2000) applying scientific strategies and technologies from a rapidly developing field called phytoremediation. The phytoremediation of toxic elemental and organic pollutants requires the use relatively different approaches (Meagher, 2000). Our current specific objectives are to use transgenic plants to control the chemical species, electrochemical state, and aboveground binding of mercury to (a) prevent methylmercury from entering the food-chain, (b) remove mercury from polluted sites, and (c) hyperaccumulate mercury in aboveground tissues for later harvest. Various parts of this strategy are being critically tested by examining different genes in model plants and field species and comparing the results to control plants as we recently reviewed (Meagher et al., 2000; Rugh et al., 2000). A positive spin-off from this work on mercury has been a strategy for the phytoremediation of arsenic (Dhankher et al., 2002) and cadmium.
Date: June 1, 2003
Creator: Meagher, Richard B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Transgenic Plants Lower the Costs of Cellulosic Biofuels (Fact Sheet)

Description: A new transgenic maize was observed to be less recalcitrant than wild-type biomass, as manifested through lower severity requirements to achieve comparable levels of conversion. Expression of a single gene derived from bacteria in plants has resulted in transgenic plants that are easier and cheaper to convert into biofuels. Part of the high production cost of cellulosic biofuels is the relatively poor accessibility of substrates to enzymes due to the strong associations between plant cell wall components. This biomass recalcitrance makes costly thermochemical pretreatment necessary. Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have created transgenic maize expressing an active glycosyl hydrolase enzyme, E1 endoglucanase, originally isolated from a thermophilic bacterium, Acidothermus cellulolyticus. This engineered feedstock was observed to be less recalcitrant than wild-type biomass when subjected to reduced severity pretreatments and post-pretreatment enzymatic hydrolysis. This reduction in recalcitrance was manifested through lower severity requirements to achieve comparable levels of conversion of wild-type biomass. The improvements observed are significant enough to positively affect the economics of the conversion process through decreased capital construction costs and decreased degradation products and inhibitor formation.
Date: November 1, 2011
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

ASM News Volume 71 Number 9, 2005

Description: Genetic exchanges among prokaryotes, formerly considered only a marginal phenomenon, increasingly are being viewed as profoundly affecting evolution. Indeed, some researchers argue for utterly revamping our concept of microbial speciation and phylogeny by replacing the traditional ''tree'' with a newer ''net'' to account for these horizontal transfers of genes. This conceptual ferment is occurring while molecular biologists reveal how horizontal gene transfers occur even as microbes protect the integrity of their genomes. Other studies reveal the number and diversity and abundance of genetic elements that mediate horizontal gene transfers (HGTs) or facilitate genome rearrangements, deletions, and insertions. Taken together, this information suggests that microbial communities collectively possess a dynamic gene pool, where novel genetic combinations act as a driving force in genomic innovation, compensating individual microbial species for their inability to reproduce sexually. These microbial genomic dynamics can present both environmental threats and promise to humans. One major threat, for example, comes from the spread of antibiotic resistance and virulence genes among pathogenic microbes. Another less-documented issue involves transgenic plants and animals, whose uses are being restricted because of concerns that genes may be transferred to untargeted organisms where they might cause harm. A possible benefit from HGT comes from its potential to enhance the functional diversity of microbial communities and to improve their performance in changing or extreme environments. Such changes might be exploited, for example, as part of efforts to manage environmental pollution and might be achieved by spreading genes into resident microbes to confer specific biochemical activities.
Date: January 1, 2005
Creator: Smets, Tamar Barkay and Barth F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Investigations of the in Planta Expression of Active Cellobiohydrolase I: Cooperative Research and Development Final Report, CRADA Number CRD-07-219

Description: It was the purpose of this project to determine if cellulases produced in transgenic plants could effectively be utilized in the production of ethanol and other feedstock chemicals from lignocellulosic substrates.
Date: February 1, 2011
Creator: Himmel, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final Report on Regulation of Guaiacyl and Syringyl Monolignol Biosynthesis

Description: The focus of this research is to understand syringyl monolignol biosynthesis that leads to the formation of syringyl lignin, a type of lignin that can be easily removed during biomass conversion. We have achieved the three originally proposed goals for this project. (1) SAD and CAD genes (enzyme catalytic and kinetic properties) and their functional relevance to CAld5H/AldOMT pathway, (2) spatiotemporal expression patterns of Cald5H, AldOMT, SAD and CAD genes, and (3) functions of CAld5H, AldOMT, and SAD genes in vivo using transgenic aspen. Furthermore, we also found that microRNA might be involved in the upstream regulatory network of lignin biosynthesis and wood formation. The achievements are as below. (1) Based on biochemical and molecular studies, we discovered a novel syringyl-specific alcohol dehydrogenase (SAD) involved in monolignol biosynthesis in angiosperm trees. Through CAld5H/OMT/SAD mediation, syringyl monolignol biosynthesis branches out from guaiacyl pathway at coniferaldehyde; (2) The function of CAld5H gene in this syringyl monolignol biosynthesis pathway also was confirmed in vivo in transgenic Populus; (3) The proposed major monolignol biosynthesis pathways were further supported by the involving biochemical functions of CCR based on a detailed kinetic study; (4) Gene promoter activity analysis also supported the cell-type specific expression of SAD and CAD genes in xylem tissue, consistent with the cell-specific locations of SAD and CAD proteins and with the proposed pathways; (5) We have developed a novel small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated stable gene-silencing system in transgenic plants; (6) Using the siRNA and P. trichocarpa transformation/regeneration systems we are currently producing transgenic P. trichocarpa to investigate the interactive functions of CAD and SAD in regulating guaiacyl and syringyl lignin biosynthesis; (7) We have cloned for the first time from a tree species, P. trichocarpa, small regulatory RNAs termed microRNAs (miRNAs) with likely effector roles in regulating the expression of genes involved ...
Date: March 9, 2006
Creator: Chiang, Vincent L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department