Author Topic: Potential for Open Source BT Eggplant  (Read 370 times)

Andrew Barney

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Potential for Open Source BT Eggplant
« on: 2019-01-03, 12:45:39 PM »
A new variety of engineered BT eggplant has no restrictions on saving seed or using in plant breeding and is currently considered an open pollinated variety. The potential to use this variety to breed and release an open source version should be possible.

I neither support or discourage anyone from this,  I just wanted to share the possibility. I am not philosophically opposed to bioengineered plants or foods, though i am often highly sceptical of each one individually. I try my best not to judge broadly. But I don't see any inherent mutually exclusive thing about open source and bioengineering.

I don't currently grow eggplant or plan to right now,  so I won't be growing this variety at this time.

http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2018/07/bt-eggplant-improving-lives-bangladesh

https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cudGFsa2luZ2Jpb3RlY2hwb2RjYXN0LmNvbS9mZWVkL3BvZGNhc3Qv&episode=aHR0cDovL3d3dy50YWxraW5nYmlvdGVjaHBvZGNhc3QuY29tLz9wPTE0MjM

https://www.talkingbiotechpodcast.com/ episode 166

166 – Two Critical Updates – Brinjals and Chestnuts

Quote
This week’s podcast features and update on two critical technologies– the Bt Brinjal (eggplant) in Bangladesh and the blight resistant American Chestnut. Both of these were covered in earlier episodes, and an update on...
« Last Edit: 2019-01-03, 03:07:44 PM by Andrew Barney »

William S.

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Re: Potential for Open Source BT Eggplant
« Reply #1 on: 2019-01-03, 01:28:36 PM »
I wonder if BT Eggplant isn't too simple of a trick though. If the pests become resistant than back to square one.
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Andrew Barney

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Re: Potential for Open Source BT Eggplant
« Reply #2 on: 2019-01-03, 03:05:58 PM »
I wonder if BT Eggplant isn't too simple of a trick though. If the pests become resistant than back to square one.

True.  I imagine it will happen sooner or later. Especially with how many other BT Crops are out there. In fact I thought the might already be BT resistant corn borers already... maybe?..

Raymondo

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Re: Potential for Open Source BT Eggplant
« Reply #3 on: 2019-01-04, 02:36:52 AM »
Yes, resistance won’t be far off, though to slow the evolutionary push that Bt eggplant engenders the farmers planting them are encouraged to plant a perimeter of non-Bt eggplant. They may get a good number of years of relatively hassle free growing, a chance to earn a bit more and to reduce exposure to pesticides. In that time, perhaps they should be encouraged to develop farming practices that reduce insect pressure without the use of such technology. Just a thought.
Ray
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Andrew Barney

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Re: Potential for Open Source BT Eggplant
« Reply #4 on: 2019-01-04, 05:37:14 AM »
Yes, I would probably agree. Maybe if the pests are so bad you can't grow any at without it, then maybe.  But I don't necessarily think one should grow it just because. And while this particular trait may be safer than i originally thought,  i do wonder about environment leaching and whether other insects or organisms are affected without intention.

Carol Deppe

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Re: Potential for Open Source BT Eggplant
« Reply #5 on: 2019-01-05, 12:04:37 AM »
I wonder whether there are really no restrictions or only none in 3rd world countries or some such. Is it patented? Do you have a patent number?

As of right now, OSSI does not consider GE varieties for Pledging. This is more a political decision than a philosophical one. Too large a fraction of our constituency is anti GE. GE varieties are also not acceptable for organic certification.

My understanding is that Bt resistant insects are already showing up in USA. So its likely that the Bt gene incorporated into plant genomes will at best be a temporary fix.


nathanp

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Re: Potential for Open Source BT Eggplant
« Reply #6 on: 2019-01-05, 06:18:44 AM »
Yes, resistanct to Bt for corn pests is was already present less than 3 years after first deployment.  Now there is pyramid stacking of multiple genes involved in the current GMO corn products. 

Even Monsanto claims this was expected.  It is inevitable, and their model is that farmers would keep needing to purchase newer seed lots with additional genes to combat the threat of resistant insects.

https://monsanto.com/company/media/statements/insect-resistance-bt/

https://academic.oup.com/jipm/article/4/3/D1/910249

William S.

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Re: Potential for Open Source BT Eggplant
« Reply #7 on: 2019-01-06, 10:03:13 PM »
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190103142306.htm

This is research done in tobacco but will be extended to food crops and will be royalty free in subSaharan Africa. This sort of thing gives me some actual hope for the save the world through GE crowd. However if it's not royalty free here and the patent lasts fifty years. That's a long time before we can work with it.
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