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3.2 gm crops now and future leaver

  1. 1. GM Crops in the Field Now and in the Future Chris Leaver chris.leaver@plants.ox.ac.uk
  2. 2. What Limits Yield in the Field ? TEMPERATURE
  3. 3. The scientific basis of all crop improvement is identification of the genes that encode and regulate specific phenotypic characteristics or traits of use to the farmer. REDUCED STRESSES Biotic and Abiotic • Drought or • Pests and Flooding Diseases • High or low • Weeds Temperature • Saline or . Phyto-remediation acid soils . Increased greenhouse gases- Tolerance to climate change NUTRITION IMPROVED AND HEALTH Quality Traits • Vitamins & Minerals • Biofortification • Post harvest quality • Taste • Proteins • Oils and Fats IMPROVED PLANT PERFORMANCE MORE SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION Environment • Nutrient use efficiency • Water use efficiency • Control of flowering • Plant architecture • Heterosis • Yield Plant Gene Technology NEW INDUSTRIES • Carbohydrates • Fibre & Digestible energy • Bloat Safety CHEMICAL FEEDSTOCKS • Biodegradable Plastics • Biofuels PHARMACEUTICALS • Vaccines • Antibodies • Diagnostics
  4. 4. Plant pests: The biggest threats to food security? • The threat posed to crop production by plant pests and diseases is one the key factors that could lead to "a perfect storm" that threatens to destabilise global food security.Already, the biological threat accounts for about a 40% loss in global production and the problem is forecast to get worse. • By a pest/disease I mean an insect, fungus, virus, bacteria, nematode
  5. 5. “One for the rook, One for the crow One for to rot and one for to grow!” The World Agricultural Cake CROP PROTECTION ESSENTIAL TO MAXIMISE HARVEST
  6. 6. Efficient Pest Control is based on Integrated Pest management (IPM): • Pesticides/Herbicides (Agrichemicals) • Biological control, including the use of natural enemies • Host plant resistance, by plant breeding or making genetically modified/enhanced crops • Moving from Chemical Solutions to Biological Solutions
  7. 7. Large Scale-Prarie Agriculture in USA,South America and Australia The majority of crops are sprayed many times in a growing season to combat weeds and pests. Cotton can receive up to 10 to 12 sprays.Aubergine 30 or 40 sprays in India.
  8. 8. Cavendish Banana with Black Sigatoka Nigeria Courtesy IPGRI Courtesy IPGRI
  9. 9. Genetically Modified Crops in Agriculture Today • Input traits of obvious benefits to producers (agrochemical companies and farmers) but not yet obvious to the consumer • Including resistance to herbicides, insects and viral disease
  10. 10. The first generation of GM traits were designed to complement the use of agrichemicals and provide better pest and weed control and involved the transfer of a single gene from a bacterium. One conferred resistance to a herbicide the other to specific classes of boring insect pests. Stacked traits are becoming the norm and introduced into range of crops including rice
  11. 11. Weeds compete with crops for: Water Nutrients Soil Weeds harbour insect and disease pests Noxious weeds can greatly undermine crop quality Weeds can clog irrigation and drainage systems causing flooding problems Competition from weeds Result: >92% of corn, >95% of soybean acres are treated with herbicides Competition from weeds can reduce yields, harbour pests and contaminate the harvest
  12. 12. ROUNDUP Glyphosate –the most widely used weed-killer (herbicide) in the world N-(Phosphonomethyl) - glycine HERBICIDE RESISTANCE conferred by a single amino acid mutation in the active site of the target enzyme (EPSPS) and insertion of the gene into crops.CP4 gene derived from Agrobacterium sp. Introduction of a bacterial gene from Agrobacterium for EPSPS with an amino acid mutation in the active site which renders the enzyme resistant to glyphosate
  13. 13. GM Example: Herbicide resistance Plants compete with other plants for sunlight and nutrients. Many farmers use herbicides to eliminate weeds (undesired plants) from their fields. Left – corn rows sprayed with herbicide to eliminate competing plants Right – corn being choked by giant foxtail (Setaria faberi) Photo credit: Doug Buhler, Bugwood.org
  15. 15. Conservation Tillage • Maize crop planted 4 weeks before the picture • Less labour/energy • Residue from previous crop will be 90% degraded by end of summer with increase in soil organic matter (CO2 sink) and reduced erosion
  16. 16. Environmental Conservation: Less inputs • Lower inputs of pesticides (fewer applications)¹ • Conservation tillage/zero till systems soil preservation/carbon sink water retention increased weed cover less tractor/fuel use reduced run-off² • Improved biodiversity fauna and flora³ ‘Roundup’ tolerant soybeans can be planted with no-till procedures,which eliminate plowing (saving fuel), saves water and use a biodegradable herbicide
  17. 17. Insect Resistant Crops Insects not only kill crops and reduce crop yield they also spread other diseases such as viruses, bacteria and fungi from plant to plant
  18. 18. Insects/ Aphids spread Aphids fungal, bacterial and viral diseases Aphids act as vectors for Potato aphids Viruses and Bacterial and Fungal Spores Damage in Storage and In Transit Due to Insect Infestation
  19. 19. Also called a protein toxin because it kills insects Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) a naturally occuring bacteria that lives in the soil
  20. 20. The Bt protein is a Natural Bacterial Insecticide The Gene is Easily Isolated Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) produces an insecticidal protein WIDELY USED BY ORGANIC FARMERS FOR OVER 50 Years and has no affect on any animals including humans
  21. 21. Bt Proteins Have a Long History of Safe Consumption • Derived from naturally occurring Bacillus thuringiensis • Microbial products contain mixtures of Bt proteins • CryIAb protein has > 50 year history of safe use • Dipel® and other commercial microbial products • Subjected to extensive safety testing around the world, used by Soil Association • • • • Acute (LD50: >3 to >5 g/kg) Subchronic (NOELs: 0.5 to >8.4 g/kg/day) Chronic (NOEL = 8.4 g/kg/day) Humans (no effect at 1 g/day for up to 5 days)
  22. 22. GM Example: Insect resistance through introduction of the Bt gene Wild-type peanut plant Peanut plant expressing the Bt gene Photo by Herb Pilcher USDA
  23. 23. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacteria produce insecticidal proteins Bacillus thuringiensis Bacillus thuringiensis expressing Bt toxin expressing insecticidal Bt toxin can be sprayed onto plants Plant cell expressing Bt toxin Or the plants can be engineered to express the Bt gene coding for Bt toxin
  24. 24. The effect of Bt toxin is highly specific Intestine Bacillus thuringiensis expressing Bt toxin Processing Plant cell expressing Bt toxin Receptor binding Intestinal lumen The Bt toxin affects only some insects because to be effective it has to be processed and bind to a specific receptor protein
  25. 25. The effect of Bt toxin is highly specific Intestine Bacillus thuringiensis expressing Bt toxin Plant cell expressing Bt toxin After binding, the insecticidal proteins assemble to form a pore in the lining of the insect intestine which kills the insect Pore assembly
  26. 26. Conventional cotton Unprotected Bt-Protected Bt Protected Cotton
  27. 27. Bt cotton gives 15% yield increase under low to moderate pest infestation; insecticide use reduced by 2/3 in Burkina Faso SOURCE: Vitale, J., Glick, H., Greenplate, J., Abdennadher, M. and Traoré, O. 2008. Second-Generation Bt Cotton Field Trials in Burkina Faso: Analyzing the Potential Benefits to West African Farmers. Crop Science 48: 1958-1966.
  28. 28. Insect-Protected Corn ®) Targets (YieldGard Field •European Corn Borer •Pink Borer Larvae •Asian Corn Borer •Fall Army Worm Adult Stored Grain •Indian Mealmoth •Angoumois Grain Moth Advantages • Reduction in pesticide use • Improved insect control • Increased yield • Up to 90% reduction in mycotoxin content
  29. 29. Insect damage & fumonisins Conventional Inset photo: NPR Bt Transgenic
  30. 30. IMPROVING QUALITY - The toxicity of Fusarium mycotoxins • Fusarium mycotoxins decrease grain quality and can potentially be the source of toxicity to animals • Productivity is reduced • Carcinogenic rats & mice (NTP) • Epidemiology; esophageal cancer in humans (Africa, China) • Fatal brain damage in horses at 10 ppm, liver damage in other animals • FDA proposed fumonisin limits of 2-4 ppm (humans), 5 ppm (horse), 20 ppm (swine), 100 ppm (poultry) • Switzerland limit of 1 ppm
  31. 31. Benefits of Transgenic Insect-Resistant Crops-1 • Season long protection • Insects are always treated at the most sensitive stage • Protection is independent of the weather • Protection of plant tissues which are difficult to treat using insecticides • Only crop-eating insects are exposed • Material confined to plant tissue • Active factor is biodegradable and non-toxic to man and animals • Avoids use of broad spectrum insecticides which kill all insects
  32. 32. Benefits of Transgenic Insect-Resistant Crops-2 • Promotes sustainability of natural resources by reducing use of energy and chemicals ( more target use of pesticides and reduction in use of fossil fuels) • Reduction in land/water contamination through reduced pesticide usage • Preserving natural habitats for biodiversity(more efficient use of land) • Reduced impact on non-target organisms, including beneficials • Enhancing safety of food crops by reducing mycotoxin contamination • Increased yield
  33. 33. Transgenic rice plants harboring a modified CpTI (Cowpea Trypsin Inhibitor) grown in a trial field in the Fujian province of China in 2002. (a) Before pest burst, no apparent difference could be observed between the transgenic plants and the nontransgenic control. (b) After pest burst, the transgenic plants (green) showed a high level of resistance to rice stem borer, whereas the non-transgenic control was seriously damaged (yellow). Photographs courtesy of Zhen Zhu (Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences).
  34. 34. Genetically Modified Crops in Agriculture Today The first generation of GM traits were designed to complement the use of agrichemicals and provide better insect and weed control These input traits were of obvious benefits to producers (agrochemical companies and farmers) but not obvious to the consumer. These traits are now being introduced together (stacked) in Corn ,Soybean,Cotton,Canola and now Rice and other crops----- Input traits Cotton and Soybean: Insect resistance Corn Glyphosate tolerance • Foliar insect control • Corn root worm Glyphosate tolerance How many more traits in one crop? Virus control Canola (Oil Seed Rape) Sugar Beet Papaya Glyphosate tolerance
  35. 35. Stacked GM traits in the Field Above ground Corn borer (CB) Weed control Glyphosate tolerance (GT) Below ground Rootworm (RW) Soon up to 12 stacked traits. • Triple Stacked traits protection against: Corn borer Rootworm Glyphosate tolerance Now being introduced into a wider range of crops including rice
  36. 36. Environmental benefits of gene technology already include • reduced need for pesticides, especially insecticides – so far, after 10 years of use, no resistant insects have appeared in the field; this means enormous benefits for non-pest insects and for farmers in poor countries using back-pack spraying equipment with inadequate protection • a move to more benign, non-persistent weedkillers – but, the incidence of weeds resistant to the weedkillers is increasing • major opportunities exist for increasing no-till farming, reducing both the damage to soil caused by ploughing as well as wear and tear on machinery, and tractor fuel MOVING FROM CHEMICAL SOLUTIONS TO BIOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS
  37. 37. Environmental & Sustainability Benefits of 1st Generation GM Crops No-till allows: Fuel savings Labor savings Herbicide savings Smaller tractors Narrow row planting Increased yields And helps to: Reduce soil erosion Keep carbon & nutrients in soil Increase birdlife Increase beneficial insects Increase in organic matter (carbon) in the topsoil Improve water infiltratand moisture retention– which increases resistance to drought Simple traits have brought huge benefits including the more cost effective use of more benign modern chemicals MOVING FROM CHEMICAL SOLUTIONS TO BIOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS
  38. 38. Traits benefit growers & value chain Yields Increasing, Supply More Secure Next Generation Output traits Advanced input traits Corn Yield Bushels per acre 2nd Generation Insect resistance Herbicide tolerance 1st Generation Insect resistance Herbicide tolerance Biotechnology Momentum Building % of acres • Agronomic – 2nd Generation Insect Control – 2nd Generation Herbicide Tolerance – Disease resistance • Output – Ethanol productivity – Improved feeds • Advanced % of acres planted to traits 1 Agricultural – – – – Drought (water optimization) Yield Nitrogen utilization Nutraceuticals and Biofortified Crops Resources and Environmental Indictors, 2006 Editions, ERS / USDA July 2006 – all traits approved for testing until mid 200 5 Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indictors, 2006 Editions, ERS / USDA July 2006 3 ProExporter Network® yield forecasts 2
  39. 39. Genetically modified crops in the USA… GM maize GM sugarbeet 86% of total production area in 2010 95% of total production area in 2010 ( GM canola 90% of total production area in 2010 GM soybean GM cotton 93% of total production area in 2010 88% of total production area in 2010 SOURCE: NCFAP; USDA
  40. 40. Biotech Crop Countries and Mega-countries 2011
  41. 41. Global Areas of Biotech Crops 1996-2011
  42. 42. Global Areas of Biotech Crops, 1996-2011 by Trait
  43. 43. Global Area of Biotech Crops, 1996-2011 by Crop
  44. 44. Global Adoption Rates (%) Principal Biotech Crops 2011 49
  45. 45. The figures released today show that:• 90 percent of farmers worldwide growing biotech crops are small resource-poor farmers in developing countries – 15 million - up 8 percent or 1.3 million since 2010 
• Growth rates of biotech crops in developing countries were twice as fast as developed countries in 2011 
• Out of the top ten countries growing biotech crops, eight were in the developing world 
• India planted 10.6 million hectares of biotech cotton during 2011
• Brazil increased its area planted with biotech crops by 20 percent in 2011 
• Africa planted 2.5 million hectares of biotech crops, and is making advancements with field trials in the regulatory process for additional biotech crop countries and crops 
• In Europe, plantings of biotech maize in 2011 were a record 114,490 hectares. This represents an increase of more than 25 percent on 2010, but is only a small fraction of the 51million hectares grown worldwide.
  46. 46. Viral Diseases Economic Importance Disease/ Virus Crops Vector Yield reduction TMV Tomato, tobacco Aphids 30-60% ACMD/ACMV Cassava Whitefly 11-69% BYDV Cereals Aphids 25-60% Tungro/RTBV, RTSV Zucchini Yellows/ZYMV Rice Leafhopper 1-100% Melon, zucchini, cucumber Citrus fruit Aphids 40-50% Aphids Potato, tobacco Plum Aphids 10 000 trees 2-18% Aphids 83% Apple Mechanical 30-60% Banana Aphid 5000 Ac Tristeza/CTV PVY Plum pox/PPV Apple mosaics/AMV Bunchy top/BBTV BYDV on wheat Source: Hadidi et al. Plant Virus Disease Control. 1998
  47. 47. Saving the Papaya Industry in Hawaii Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) spoils flavor and reduces vigor and fruit set. Phenotypic symptoms are concentric rings, spots and C-shaped markings on the fruit. ‘UH Rainbow’ papaya plants that are resistant to PSRV were made by Dr. Dennis Gonsalves and colleagues, who used the PRSV coat protein gene in a ‘pathogen-derived resistance’ strategy. Papaya plants inoculated with PRSV. The transgenic plant (left) is resistant while From: http://www.apsnet.org/education/ the nontransgenic plant (right) is not. feature/papaya/Top.htm
  48. 48. Papaya Ring Spot Virus PRSV
  49. 49. Papaya Ringspot Virus PRSV • Herbacious tree (3 years in production) • PRSV causes stunted growth and deformed fruit in papaya and cucurbits • Transmitted by 2 aphid species • No effective treatment • Multigenic conventional resistance unsatisfactory • Was leading to the end of Papaya Production • Coat Protein mediated resistance very effective • Commercial transgenic cvs in Hawaii since 1998
  50. 50. PRSV and Rainbow papaya
  51. 51. Papaya ring spot virus in Hawaii (aphid transmitted virus; no known resistance) Nov 1996, 13 months after plantings May 1997, 19 months after planting
  52. 52. Two fungal diseases threatening the world’s food supply •Phytophthora infestans, cause of potato late blight which lad to the Irish Famine, has re-emerged as a threat. •Puccinia graminis tritici, the wheat stem rust fungus (Ug99), has developed into a highly aggressive form.Little natural resistance Photo credits: www.news.cornell.edu; www.fao.org
  53. 53. Building Productivity and Sustainability into the Seed. What’s under Development? • Counter existing and new pest and disease outbreaks • Increase water (‘more crop per drop’) and nitrogen use efficiency • Increase drought and flooding tolerance • Increase nutrient (fertilisers) uptake efficiency • Improve nutritive value
  54. 54. Breeding for drought tolerance Water use efficiency is a complex trait that involves hundreds of genes Photo credit: J.S. Quick, Bugwood.org
  55. 55. In 2011 seed companies released water-optimized corn Both of these varieties were developed using modern molecular breeding methods without the use of recombinant DNA
  56. 56. Water optimization : Combining GM and non-GM technology • Drought during pollination leads to poor kernel set • New technology would protect during drought conditions • Multiple complementary approaches: native trait and functional genomics, transgenics • Multiple new trait constructs are currently under evaluation in field trials • Promising gene candidates with excellent drought tolerance in field trials
  57. 57. Mankind depends on a few crop species for food The application of marker assisted breeding and GM technology has primarily been used to improve food production in the major world crops such as corn (maize) and soybean with cotton,canola and rice following behind. They should now be adapted to improving orphan crops which can address food security and nutrition and provide economic benefits to poor farmers in the developing world-sorghum,cowpea,sweet potato,groundnut,cassava
  58. 58. The Seeds of the Future Molecular Approaches have the potential to Speed Up Plant Breeding and domestication in orphan crops Agricultural biotechnology enabling breeding systems to be more efficient in producing improved local crop varieties. …..adapted to local soil and environmental conditions and need ‘A group of crops that are vital to the economy of developing countries due to their suitability to the agro-ecology and socio-economic conditions, but remain largely unimproved’. Africa Technology Development Forum 2009, Vol 6: 3&4. Orphan Food Crops:Tef Cereal for Ethiopia Orphan Industrial/Medicinal Crops. Artemesia Orphan Fuel Crops.Jatropha
  59. 59. Plant breeding can support African agriculture African farmers need access to high yielding, drought tolerant, disease resistant plants. Most food is grown by smallscale farmers with little mechanization. Cassava, cowpea and banana are important crops and the focus of intensive breeding programs by marker assisted breeding and GM. Photos courtesy if IITA
  60. 60. The Crop •Cultivated on more than 100 million ha per annum in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) •Starchy storage roots is the major source of dietary energy for over 200 million people in the sub-region •95% of all cassava in sub-Saharan Africa is grown by resource-poor, subsistence farmers •Increasingly more important not only as food but as feedstock, substrate for biofuel and source of industrial starch •Many countries of SSA have special Presidential Initiatives on boosting the economic returns on the crop •Rambo crop: Elevated levels of CO2 led to 100% increase in root DM CIAT
  61. 61. Cassava as a food crop is becoming increasingly important worldwide
  62. 62. Any nutritional and yield improvements in cassava must be in virus-resistant farmer-preferred cultivars The battle against plant viruses Tyler Hicks/The New York Times
  63. 63. Severe Cassava Virus Infections Affect Food Security Healthy Cassava Plant Cassava plant after virus infection
  64. 64. Virus outbreaks severely affect cassava production in Africa The African Cassava Mosaic Virus (CMV) originated in Uganda and is transmitted by the whitefly, which reproduces every month and can travel 10 km during the lifespan
  65. 65. Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) is a serious threat to food security in Africa Africa-wide losses due to Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) : 24% of total production Estimated losses for Africa in 2005 : 35 million tonnes Legg et al., 2006 Legg and Thresh, 2004
  66. 66. Constraints being addressed Biotic stresses • Diseases: Viruses -- ACMD, brown streak virus; CBB • Pests: CGM; whitefly; stem scale; African root and tuber scale Abiotic stresses, including climate change • Drought, heat CIAT
  67. 67. Constraints being addressed Quality • Low contents of protein; Low bioavailability of zinc, iron, calcium and copper • Toxic cyanogenic glucoside • Starch content and quality • DM content • Postharvest Physiological Deterioration CIAT
  68. 68. “The Worst drought in 60 years has affected the Horn of Africa and other parts of Sub Saharan Africa in recent years”
  69. 69. As a consequence of climate changes, droughts are expected to increase In some African countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture, which is important for the poorest farmers, could be reduced by up to 50% by 2020. -(FAO 2010) Image credit: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, 2008 Africa Review Report on Drought and Desertification
  70. 70. Maize is a staple crop in Africa but very sensitive to drought damage Less than 10% of crop land in sub-Saharan Africa is irrigated, making agriculture production highly susceptible to drought Irrigation as percentage of cultivated area Photo credit: Anne Wangalachi/CIMMYT Map Source – FAO Aquastat 2005
  71. 71. Drought necessitates “more crop per drop” Increased water use efficiency Solutions – Harness natural genetic variation • Identify genes in crops that improve water use efficiency (and thereby drought tolerance) and maintain yield • Improve tolerance through breeding • “Forward Genetics”: from trait to gene – Utilize genetic engineering • Engineer genes and transfer them into the crop to enhance water use efficiency while maintaining yield • “Reverse Genetics”: from gene to trait • Multiple complementary approaches: native trait and functional genomics, transgenics • Multiple new trait constructs are currently under evaluation in field trials
  72. 72. Water Efficient Maize for Africa was developed through a public-private partnership Water-efficient maize optimized for growth in subSaharan Africa has been developed through a combination of breeding and GM methods WEMA is being developed as a publicprivate partnership that includes international and regional plant breeding institutes, philanthropic groups and Monsanto Photo credits: Anne Wangalachi/CIMMYT
  73. 73. Bold plans that succeeded - Drought tolerant maize varieties (UK climate week award 2012) Varieties ZM309 ZM401 ZM423 ZM523 ZM623 ZM625 ZM721 WS103 Melkassa 4 KDV1 KDV4 KDV6 Countries ZW, MW, SZ ZW, TZ (Tan250) AO, ZA, ZM, ZW MW, ZA, ZW CD, LS, MW, TZ, ZW ZM (Kamano) CD, TZ (Tan254), ZM KE ET KE (Dryland) KE (Dryland) KE (Dryland) Hybrid PAN53 Longe H7 MH26 WH403 WH504 Pris601 CAP9001 TAN H600 KAM601 PGS61 WH502 ZMS402 ZMS737 Countries ZW, MW, ZM, GH, ZA, SZ UG MW KE KE ZW SZ, ZA, MW TZ ZM ZW, ZM KE ZM ZM
  74. 74. Ugandan researchers successfully transferred genes from green pepper to bananas to enable wilt resistance SOURCE: http://greenbio.checkbiotech.org/news/genes_sweet_pepper_arm_banana_against_deadly_wilt_disease
  75. 75. GM Example: Disease resistant banana by introduction of a gene from pepper Resistant Susceptible Banana bacterial wilt is destroying plants in eastern Africa. Transgenic plants carrying a resistance gene from pepper are resistant to the disease Tripathi, L., Mwaka, H., Tripathi, J.N., and Tushemereirwe, W.K. (2010). Expression of sweet pepper Hrap gene in banana enhances resistance to Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum. Molecular Plant Pathology 11: 721-731.
  76. 76. Eliminating Nutrient Deficiencies “Modifying the nutritional composition of plant foods is an urgent worldwide health issue as basic nutritional needs for much of the world’s population are still unmet.” DellaPenna, 1999 1. Enhancing health promoting substances 2. Vitamin and micronutrients fortification 3. Lower bad fats/anti-nutrients/allergens
  77. 77. The Link Between Diet and Health Developing World (Poor) Millions of deaths due to under nutrition Developed World (Rich) Millions of deaths due to over nutrition Many of our common food crops are not perfect with respect to the nutritional requirements of humans or animals. Protein, starch, and oil composition and content as well as vitamin and micronutrient content can all be improved to make foods more nutritious. Using GM to produce biofortified crop containing increased Vitamins and Fe. Zn etc
  78. 78. Micronutrient Deficiency Vitamin A deficiencies affect over 400 million people worldwide (ca. 7% world population), causing blindness, night blindness and vulnerability to disease. An estimated 250 million pre-school children are Vitamin A deficient. Each year two million children die and 250,000 - 500,000 go blind from lack of Vitamin A. Iron deficiencies affect up to 1.4 billion people worldwide (ca 22% world population), particularly women, causing anaemia and complications during childbirth, and affecting body growth, mental and motor development.
  79. 79. Biofortified plants are improving nutrition for many The non-profit organization HarvestPlus focuses on the development of biofortified crops for the developing world, including a provitamin A enriched sweet potato that is currently being grown by half a million families. Other biofortification projects are underway to increase levels of protein, iron, zinc, antioxidants and other beneficial components in food. Sources: HarvestPlus; CIMMYT
  80. 80. Golden Rice - Public - Private partnerships • Milled rice has no beta-carotene-provitamin A • Globally, approximately 670,000 children die every year because they are vitamin A–deficient. • Another 350,000 children go blind • More than 90 million children in Southeast Asia suffer from vitamin A deficiency, more than in any other region • Golden Rice may provide one of the solutions GM to improve provitamin A accumulation
  81. 81. Golden Rice ….represents a first example of a biofortified staple crop made possible by the application of recombinant DNA technologies Conventional breeding approaches not possible in rice-GM the only answer
  82. 82. Breeding plants for β-carotene (pro-vitamin A) enrichment Vitamin A deficiency is a leading cause of blindness Image sources: Petaholmes based on WHO data;
  83. 83. The challenges to food production in Africa are immense • Lack of infrastructure, especially irrigation and access to transportation networks • High incidence of diseases • Lack of available fertilizers • Lack of government and industry support for research and translation into the field • Lack of education and support for farmers • Lack of economic supports and market stability • Agricultural subsidies in other countries affect market value
  84. 84. If Future Agriculture is to Support Everyone Sustainably on the Planet a combination of Improved and Appropriate Technologies will be Required • Integrated pest management • Reduction of chemical use and energy • Agroecology • Water conservation • No-till practices • Precision agriculture where appropriate • Conserving genetic diversity • Orphan Crops and Specialized (biofuel?) crops • Genetic modification by marker assisted breeding and GM technology where appropriate • GM is not a Silver Bullet!!
  85. 85. How Do We Move Forward? • Given present trends in population, food production, trade, and the environment, the necessary increases in production and income generation in rural areas cannot be achieved simply by expanding cultivated land and using current technologies • We must strive to attain global sustainability as a precondition for human progress. The only realistic option is to invest in the science and technology necessary to increase the efficiency of agriculture and attempt to reverse the impact of man-made climate changeSUSTAINABLE INTENSIFICATION • We must address population, affluence, and technology simultaneously to move towards sustainability • While agricultural production must be intensified to meet projected demands for food, feed, fibre and biofuels, intensification strategies must also change to avoid adverse environmental impacts and to reverse the effects of past practices We must use all safe, appropriate, socially responsible and sustainable opportunities to increase food supplies. This can be achieved by combining the best of conventional plant breeding with the new biotechnologies including marker assisted breeding and genetic modification of crop plants
  86. 86. A Way Forward • We must encourage a more participatory, multi-stakeholder approach towards setting priorities for food security and nutrition crises that are already upon us. • This must be led by political wisdom drawn by joint consensus from the relevant ministries of health, agriculture, finance, environment, and trade. • Radical changes in the way science is done on an international basis, the way in which biosafety regulations are implemented, and a new spirit of co-operation is required if the benefits of science are to reach those who need them the most. • Public Good Plant Breeding and private-public partnerships.
  87. 87. Future Challenges:good science alone is not enough……….. . • There is an urgent need to link food and agriculture policy to wider global governance agendas such as climate change mitigation, biodiversity and international development. Without this link a decision in one area could compromise important objectives in another. Policy makers need to understand that the food system is more than just about feeding people: a failing food system impairs the life chances of children and can fuel social tensions; civil unrest, conflict and economic and environmental migration; and cause the degradation of the environment. If we get the food system wrong, the effects will spill over far beyond food and the hungry. They will affect us all. • The solution is not just to produce more food, or change diets, or eliminate waste. The potential threats are so great that they cannot be met by making changes piecemeal to parts of the food system. What is needed is radical change across a wide front. Balancing the competing demands of food production, climate change mitigation and the environment will be a major challenge for policy makers. • Equally, meeting the future challenges cannot be accomplished just by change within the food system. Food and food production needs to be integrated into decisions in much wider agendas – e.g. water, land use and energy, and climate change mitigation. • Taken together all this amounts to a considerable challenge to policy makers – and the vital need for food and food production to move up the political agenda.
  88. 88. GM Technology and Activism • In Europe and in many African countries agricultural biotechnology has been one of the big success stories of activism by the NGOs -Not because it stopped something unsafe but it demonstrated the power of emotions over facts in policy making and innovation -it has frozen policy and regulatory attitudes • Agric biotech is a tale of great achievement & constant controversy. As long as this scenario remains its potential will remain unused and the victims will be farmers in Africa and other developing economies who may be condemned to poverty and food insecurity
  89. 89. FINAL THOUGHT…… We have already surpassed the sustainable carrying capacity of the planet and unless we can stabilise or reduce our population those of us fortunate enough to live in the ‘so called’ developed world will have to take a significant cut in our standard of living. • The call for Asia to emulate the Western economic model – which defines success as consumption-driven economic growth – must be challenged. How we can live in a constrained planet now that billions of Asians are being told to consume as the West does? The result would be catastrophic. Yet this is what Asians are told to aspire to as the population and expectations increase. The 2 billion Asians now at the margins of the consumption economy will radically transform global demand and supply, not only for non-renewable commodities such as oil and coal (with their respective carbon emissions), but also for renewables such as food (think meat consumption) and put a strain on water and land for production. Our current model of consumption-led economic growth thrives on under-pricing ecological, environmental and social externalities. We in the North must all shrink and share .
  90. 90. Thank you for listening I hope I have given you some food for thought Swift’s dictum: ‘And he gave it for his opinion that whoever could make two ears of corn or two blades of grass to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country than the whole race of politicians put together’ Johnathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels,1726
  91. 91. Future Challenges Photo credit: IRRI
  92. 92. Plant Gene Technology SOME BENEFITS ? RISKS ? • More sustainable production • Threat to biodiversity • Lower carbon footprint • Super weeds and pollen transfer • Resistance to biotic and abiotic environmental stresses • Healthier nutritional foods • Higher quality food and feed • Increased yields/hectare • Increased food production to feed increasing population • Drought tolerance • Plants as bio- refineries for pharmaceuticals and biofuels • Toxins or allergens • Multi-national company control –ownership and patents • Increased chemical use • Trade Barriers • Globalisation • Being Denied Access to the Technology • The cost of regulation
  93. 93. What risk assessments are performed on GM crops? Before release into the environment, GM crops are subject to riskassessment and risk-management measures to evaluate: •Risks to human health (including toxicity and allergenicity) •Risks of evolution of resistance in target pathogens or pests •Risks to non-target organisms •Risks from movement of transgenes
  94. 94. Will genes from GMOs contaminate wild populations? When Pandora opened the forbidden box she released evil into the world Pollen can move DNA between plants. To minimize this possibility, GM crops have to be grown prescribed distances away from closely related plants. Technological methods to reduce this risk John William Waterhouse: Pandora - 1896 are being developed.
  95. 95. Will anti-insecticidal genes harm unintended targets? The evidence shows that the planting of GE crops has largely resulted in less adverse or equivalent effects on the farm environment compared with the conventional non-GE systems that GE crops replaced (National Academies 2010) Image credit jons2
  96. 96. Will GMOs take away choice and exploit small farmers? > 45% of corn yields are often lost to insects Partnerships including national agricultural research institutions, non-government and communitybased organizations, regional research networks, and private companies work together to develop seeds that are suited to local conditions and are affordable for local farmers Photo credit: CIMMYT.
  97. 97. Are GM crops safe to eat? All GM plants are subject to extensive testing and regulatory oversight and no detrimental health effects have been identified Bt corn is less prone contamination by fungi which produce toxins linked to cancer and birth defects YES GM biofortification can ensure that all children get adequate levels of protein, vitamins and mineral nutrients. GM is a safe and beneficial tool in the quest to sustainably feed the growing population Photo credit: Neil Palmer/ CIAT
  98. 98. Since 15 years, most food is produced with starch, oils and syrup from genetically modifed crops Estimates are that >75 % of all processed food in the US contains ingredients from GM crops
  99. 99. Scientific official reports on transgenic crops safety and benefits : World Health Organization “…in those countries “…in those countries where transgenic where transgenic crops have been crops have been grown, there have grown, there have been no verifiable been no verifiable reports of… health or reports of… health or environmental harm.” environmental harm.” - FAO - FAO Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations National Academy of Sciences (USA) Royal Society (UK) American Medical Association (USA) French Academy of Medicine European Commission U.S. Food & Drug Administration Society of Toxicology Institute of Food Technologists Source: FAO, 2001.