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Re: A break for the bees-Geniticly altered flowers for nectar

My guess is that it's bad news. Now that they know how to turn nectaries on and off and since they have already been breeding to turn them off to avoid pests that might be attracted to the nectar and conserve the plants' energy for growing food instead of making nectar. Now they know how to turn it off altogether. I predict that will happen more often than the other way around. There were already plenty of plants that were making plenty of nectar that were hard enough to find. If they make hubam clover that makes three times as much nectar they will probably be coming on my place and testing to make sure I pay them every year for the use of their genes...
 

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Re: A break for the bees-Geniticly altered flowers for nectar

they will probably be coming on my place and testing to make sure I pay them every year for the use of their genes...
If it increases honey yield consistency and output enough, I will gladly compensate them for their research.
 

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Re: A break for the bees-Geniticly altered flowers for nectar

My guess is that it's bad news. Now that they know how to turn nectaries on and off and since they have already been breeding to turn them off to avoid pests that might be attracted to the nectar and conserve the plants' energy for growing food instead of making nectar. Now they know how to turn it off altogether. I predict that will happen more often than the other way around. There were already plenty of plants that were making plenty of nectar that were hard enough to find. If they make hubam clover that makes three times as much nectar they will probably be coming on my place and testing to make sure I pay them every year for the use of their genes...
From my understanding on the article, this isn't about GM plants. Rather, they have found markers that help them identify high nectar yielding individuals, which tremendously aids artificial selection in favor of that trait. Of course, the opposite is true, but how would seed companies produce seeds of nectar-free cultivars for distribution if they can't get any pollination themselves?

As for royalties, sure, if they market a "Triple Nectar Super Bee Clover" cultivar, they can ask for royalties on all "Triple Nectar Super Bee Clover" sales. But after that, you sow them in your apiary, and they'll cross with wild clovers, and thus spread the nectar superproduction genes, on which they won't get royalties. That's how the royalties work in horticulture, it's pretty much only Monsanto with the GM crops that has patents on specific genes. It's really mostly a trademark on the cultivar name.

The main question is whether this will find any commercial outlet at all. The researchers state that increased nectar production would increase pollinator attractiveness and thus generate greater yields. That's quite an assumption. One I'm rather skeptical about. If higher nectar yields would result in greater seed yields, then natural selection would have favored these high-nectar specimen. But it hasn't, and you did raise a valid point: too much nectar production draws too much energy, which thereby threatens the plant's viability. Too much nectar per individual plant also means that pollinators need to visit less plants to satisfy their needs. Is that something that fruit and vegetable growers want? Doubtful. The only obvious market is for beekeepers. Yet, most beekeepers do not work the land to install bee-friendly cultures, they simply move the hives to where the forage is at. Save for the few that have the land, the know-how, and the will to establish bee pastures, who is going to buy these high-nectar varieties? With such a limited market potential, who is going to invest to produce such seeds on a commercial level? There lies the main problem, if you ask me.
 

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Re: A break for the bees-Geniticly altered flowers for nectar

I agree with Michael, this could be bad news. What happens when the mass growing of certain modified plants producing 3 times the nectar leave other less abundant wild nectar sources (less attractive to bees) on their own for pollination purposes. Could that seriously have an effect on successful plant reproduction and survival in these "non modified" species?
 

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Re: A break for the bees-Geniticly altered flowers for nectar

So GMO soy beans = BAD

Frankenflowers = GOOD

You cant have it both ways people.
 

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Re: A break for the bees-Geniticly altered flowers for nectar

If there is more nectar available, and on your own property maybe the bees wont have to range
out as far to gather nectar on someone elses property--Of course if it's monoculture then that
is another mater ,,,,Maybe you can actually "farm bees" by providing your livestock with all the
nutrients required to get the product you want??? It seems we have already let the"GMO"
gene out of tthe bottle, maybe we need to aquire an offencive position in this reguard, rather
then defensive. Bee keepers have really taken a butt kicking in the last 20 years and maybe
this will turn the tide a bit,,,
-If they don't range as far what will that do ffor spreading diseases?
-Will we be able to isolate our bee areas to better control of breeding scenarios?
-Maybe higher consentrations of bees (hives per acre) in the cultivated areas...
Hopefully this will grow across a wide # of flowering varities so we don't have a monoculture.
Just food for thought...

==McBee7==
 

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Re: A break for the bees-Geniticly altered flowers for nectar

Where does it state, in the article, anything about GM plants?
Uh, maybe from the title "A break for the bees-Geniticly altered flowers for nectar"

And of course if you had read the article, there were a few clues

GMO = Genetically Modified Organsim A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques.


After identifying those genes, the scientists turned off some of them to study their effects.
So, in one of these experiments, typically you'll get a list of maybe 15,000 genes and we'll get expression levels for those 15,000 genes, so it's a lot of data to sift through," said UMD Assoc. Prof. of Math & Statistics Marshall Hampton. "The raw data would fill maybe 100,000 books."
You can identify which genes are turned on in the nectaries and so we identified a whole lot of genes that are turned on in the nectaries,"
The research has led to the ability to create plants that produce up to three times more nectar than those in the wild.
 

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Re: A break for the bees-Geniticly altered flowers for nectar

While this video and article don't specificly call out "Geneticly Altered" it does talk about
geneticly activating (my term) necteries in the plant--starting at about the 30 second mark
in the video...I'm not a scientist, I just call it as I see (hear) it. I'm not sure of the diferentiation
that your addressing,,Is this about picking out productive (3X) indivdual plants and developing
their offspring-OR- about the tweeking of flowering plant genitecs??
Either way , I'd like about 5 acres of it for my bees--

==McBee7==
 

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Re: A break for the bees-Geniticly altered flowers for nectar

Uh, maybe from the title "A break for the bees-Geniticly altered flowers for nectar"

And of course if you had read the article, there were a few clues

GMO = Genetically Modified Organsim A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques.










The article does not state an intent to create genetically altered organisms anywhere. Only one person who posted it on these forums. Did this person conduct the research? No.

Identifying genes does not imply an intent to create transgenetic organisms. We identified a ton of human genes, do we have GMO humans walking around? No.

Activating and deactivating genes does not require DNA alteration.

The verb "creating" has nothing to do with playing with an organism's DNA. People use that verb all the time for standard artificial selection.

Maybe GMO is their end goal, but if so, they haven't shared it. And even if it was: there's a word of difference between making a plant grow foreign toxins in the parts that you eat, and making a plant do more of what it already does. And I stand by my earlier comments: I seriously doubt that there is a market big enough to justify marketing these seeds (especially if GMOs are involved!), and I doubt that these plants will be competitive towards wild flaura in terms of reproductive success.
 

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Re: A break for the bees-Geniticly altered flowers for nectar

I have been looking through various studies that characterize flowering, yield, etc., in soybeans.

In fact, I've ordered Wayne, Clark, Harosoy, Corsoy, etc., and I've chased down there pedigree and researched their putative preference by foraging Honeybees in the literature.

I think that this kind of research is important in being able to determine which varieties can provide the best forage for bees.

While some of you think that this will lead to a negative impact for Honeybees via the selection for nectarless varieties of crops, I think that varieties whose yields can be increased by pollination will benefit.

Here's a link to the abstract: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature13082.html?WT.ec_id=NATURE-20140320

If you are interested in SWEET9, here's the coding sequence...

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nuccore/KC790460

When I BLASTn'd the sequence, Glycine max (soybean) came up as a hit. :)
 

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Re: A break for the bees-Geniticly altered flowers for nectar

If I had to guess, the probably used Rnai to knockout selected genes or forced point mutations
 

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Re: A break for the bees-Geniticly altered flowers for nectar

There will definately be a carbon cost for plants to produce more nectar. This could cost yield/production of the main product of plants and result in these genes being turned off.

It is unlikey there is a big enough market to warrent 'super nectar' plants be developed just for honey bees.

How do you turn genes on and off (activate/deactivate) without modifying them?

Tom
 

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Re: A break for the bees-Geniticly altered flowers for nectar

How do you turn genes on and off (activate/deactivate) without modifying them?

Tom
The little switch on the bottom.
 

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Re: A break for the bees-Geniticly altered flowers for nectar

Yes turning "on and off" genes is genetic modification. It is done through Transcription which is modifying the organism on a genetic level, the RNA gets unzipped splitting the helix and rendering the gene useless... "Off" Zip it back up and it is back "On" again.

I could spend an hour writing a detailed explanation, but I suspect that would be a waste of my time:cool: Google it or something.

And yes Saltbee... you get kudos for being the funny one :D
 

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Re: A break for the bees-Geniticly altered flowers for nectar

Here's a paper identifying a knockdown target that might allow for early flowering: "GmFT4, a Homolog of FLOWERING LOCUS T, Is Positively Regulated by E1 and Functions as a Flowering Repressor in Soybean".

Nowadays, CRISPR is the new way of knocking out genes.
 

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Re: A break for the bees-Geniticly altered flowers for nectar

How do you turn genes on and off (activate/deactivate) without modifying them?
By use of certain chemicals at certain points during the embroy's development.

There was a story a while back about a scientist that successfully identified the unused genetic code for dinosaur parts inside the chicken's DNA and how he successfully activated them in order to have the chicken embryos start developing teeth, tails, scales, whole nine yards. For ethical reasons he was not allowed to bring one to full term and hatch, however, but the ones he grew and terminated definitely had the altered body plans.

So yes, you can modify the expression of genes without technically modifying an organism's genetic structure.
 
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