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Roundup affects reproductive system and may be cause of Autism

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Guest Dusty

 

David Murphy of Food Democracy Now interviews Dr. Don Huber, Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology, Purdue University on discovery of new organism and crop disease, livestock infertility and threats to U.S.

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Steroidogenesis is the formation of steroids, as by the adrenal cortex, testes, and ovaries.

 

The steroidogenic acute regulatory protein, commonly referred to as StAR (STARD1), is a transport protein that regulates cholesterol transfer within the mitochondria, which is the rate-limiting step in the production of steroid hormones. It is primarily present in steroid-producing cells, including theca cells and luteal cells in the ovary, Leydig cells in the testis and cell types in the adrenal cortex.

 

A steroid is a type of organic compound that contains a specific arrangement of four cycloalkane rings that are joined to each other.

 

Hundreds of distinct steroids are found in plants, animals, and fungi. All steroids are made in cells either from the sterols lanosterol (animals and fungi) or from cycloartenol (plants).

 

Lanosterol is one of the substances formed during the synthesis of cholesterol.

Cycloartenol is a sterol precursor in photosynthetic organisms and plants.

 

Xenobiotics are understood as substances foreign to an entire biological system, i.e. artificial substances, which did not exist in nature before their synthesis by humans.

 

Xenobiotic is a chemical which is found in an organism but which is not normally produced or expected to be present in it. It can also cover substances which are present in much higher concentrations than are usual. Specifically, drugs such as antibiotics are xenobiotics in humans because the human body does not produce them itself, nor are they part of a normal diet.

 

Glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine) is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide used to kill weeds, especially annual broadleaf weeds and grasses known to compete with crops grown widely across the Midwest of the United States.

 

Glyphosate kills plants by interfering with the synthesis of the amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan. It does this by inhibiting the enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS), which catalyzes the reaction of shikimate-3-phosphate (S3P) and phosphoenolpyruvate to form 5-enolpyruvyl-shikimate-3-phosphate (ESP).

 

EPSPS protein comprises a polypeptide sequence GX4X1X2RX3, where X1 and X2 are any amino acid, X4 is isoleucine or leucine, and X3 is selected from the group consisting of threonine, glycine, cysteine, alanine, and isoleucine.

 

EPSPSs have been isolated from bacteria that are naturally resistant to glyphosate and when the enzyme is expressed as a transgene in plants provides glyphosate tolerance to the plants.

 

Transgene describes a segment of DNA containing a gene sequence that has been isolated from one organism and is introduced into a different organism. This non-native segment of DNA may retain the ability to produce RNA or protein in the transgenic organism, or it may alter the normal function of the transgenic organism's genetic code. In general, the DNA is incorporated into the organism's germ line.

 

Agrobacterium is a genus of Gram-negative bacteria established by H. J. Conn that uses horizontal gene transfer to cause tumors in plants. Agrobacterium tumefaciens is the most commonly studied species in this genus. Agrobacterium is well known for its ability to transfer DNA between itself and plants, and for this reason it has become an important tool for genetic engineering.

 

Some crops have been genetically engineered to be resistant to glyphosate (i.e. Roundup Ready, also created by Monsanto Company). Such crops allow farmers to use glyphosate as a post-emergence herbicide against both broadleaf and cereal weeds, but the development of similar resistance in some weed species is emerging as a costly problem.

 

Plants that can be made to have enhanced glyphosate tolerance include, but are not limited to, Acacia, alfalfa, aneth, apple, apricot, artichoke, arugula, asparagus, avocado, banana, barley, beans, beet, blackberry, blueberry, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, canola, cantaloupe, carrot, cassava, cauliflower, celery, cherry, cilantro, citrus, clementines, coffee, corn, cotton, cucumber, Douglas fir, eggplant, endive, escarole, eucalyptus, fennel, figs, forest trees, gourd, grape, grapefruit, honey dew, jicama, kiwifruit, lettuce, leeks, lemon, lime, Loblolly pine, mango, melon, mushroom, nut, oat, okra, onion, orange, an ornamental plant, papaya, parsley, pea, peach, peanut, pear, pepper, persimmon, pine, pineapple, plantain, plum, pomegranate, poplar, potato, pumpkin, quince, radiata pine, radicchio, radish, raspberry, rice, rye, sorghum, Southern pine, soybean, spinach, squash, strawberry, sugarbeet, sugarcane, sunflower, sweet potato, sweetgum, tangerine, tea, tobacco, tomato, turf, a vine, watermelon, wheat, yams, and zucchini.

 

Current Roundup Ready crops include soy, maize (corn), sorghum, canola, alfalfa, and cotton, with wheat still under development. These cultivars greatly improved conventional farmers' ability to control weeds, since glyphosate could be sprayed on fields without damaging the crop. As of 2005, 87% of U.S. soybean fields were planted with glyphosate-resistant varieties.

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