Revolution in agriculture: get to know the non-transgenic gene modulation via spray!

Estimated reading time: 2 to 3 minutes

Genetic engineering is pretty essential for humanity—no doubt about that. However, transgenic plants remain a persistent fear about their effects on human health. It seems such a concern may be over soon. Agriculture has a new feature: a non-transgenic gene modulation via spray. Read more.

Transgenic crops also prompt public concerns regarding biosafety issues for humans, animals, and the environment.

According to American Magazine, ACS Publications, "The use of conventional transgenic approaches for industrial-scale quality trait improvement in crops is notoriously uneconomical due to high upstream production costs, including the laborious processes of plant regeneration and the subsequent propagation of an elite line."

The new method was developed by Japanese researchers and is a technique that avoids the need to create plants with altered genomes (that could harm their future generations).    

In fact, the non-transgenic gene modulation, via spray, isolates the target gene from the plant not modifying it, as happens with the GMO method, still surrounded by doubts and fears.

That is, this process is quite different from the GMO method that alters the genomes to produce seeds that give rise to genetically modified plants, with unknown consequences to human health in the long-term period.

Non-transgenic gene modulation is a compound of bioactive and specific molecules injected via spray accordingly to the plant species.

In addition, spraying allows for increasing the number of pores on the leaves hence the more pores, the more biomolecules are absorbed by the plant.

According to Chonprakun Thagun, from the Department of Material Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, and his colleagues at the Riken Institute in Tokyo, Japan, "This genetic spraying technology can be used to help crops resist pests or become more drought resistant. All this in less time and at less cost than developing genetically modified plant strains (or transgenic plants).".

So what are transgenic plants?

Transgenic plants are modified by inoculating one or more genes - from another species - into their genome.

Such inoculation via a syringe (or other instruments) is plenty of foreign molecules directly into the plant's DNA, which can be harmful now or later. One of the flags raised by GMO advocates is low-cost crop multiplication.

Traditional spraying can also use be used for gene transgenic gene modulation.

This old way of spraying (aerial or ground) expands the spray's radius of action.

Thus, new pests and unstable weather conditions can be taken care of in one hit. On the other hand GMO production of new genetically modified strains is done in the laboratory.

The new system can also reach some commercially important crops, such as soybeans and tomatoes.

The bottom line

The non-transgenic gene modulation via spray is a good call. It enables the engineering of metabolic traits because it operates without changing a plant's genome, and so preserving its next generations. 

Therefore, as agribusiness has become one of today's biggest industries, it is plausible to foresee a new revolution in agriculture. Farmers who join this technique shall certainly be the upcoming new "agro-influencers"!

After all, Mother Nature loves those who live differently!