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Glufosinate Tolerant Bt Corn line DBT418

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Glufosinate Tolerant Bt Corn line DBT418 is a variety of glufosinate tolerant Bt Corn, originally made by DeKalb Genetics Corporation and deregulated in the U.S. in 1997. (Monsanto has since acquired DeKalb.) DBT418 has been genetically engineered for European Corn Borer resistance. It produces an insecticidal protein that is naturally made by a bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), in every cell of the plant. The Bt protein the corn produces kills lepidopteran insects, including the European corn borer. However, by 2011, pests evolved resistance to Bt.[1] Bt crops and genetically modified organisms are controversial around the world.

1997: U.S. Deregulates DBT418

On October 17, 1996, DeKalb Genetics Corporation petitioned the USDA to deregulate its Bt corn line DBT418. The USDA published a notice in the Federal Register on November 27, 1996, soliciting public comments, due by January 27, 1997. The USDA conducted an environmental assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and issued a "finding of no significant impact" (FONSI). DBT418 was deregulated on March 28, 1997.

Upon deregulating DBT418, APHIS wrote in the Federal Register:

"Corn line DBT418 has been genetically engineered to express a CryIA(c) insect control protein derived from the common soil bacterium Bacillus thurigiensis subsp. kurstaki (Bt) (sic). The petitioner states that the Bt delta-endotoxin protein is effective in controlling the European corn borer throughout the growing season. The subject corn line also exrpesses the bar gene derived from Streptomyces hygroscopicus that encodes the enzyme phosphinothricin-N-acetyltransferase (PAT), which, when introduced into the pant cell, confers tolerance to the herbicide glufosinate. The microprojectile bombardment method was used to transfer the added genes into the parental corn line, and their expression is controlled in part by the gene sequences from the plant pathogens Agrobacterium tumefaciens and cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV)."[2]

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References

  1. Clay Dillow, "Pests Are Developing Resistance to Monsanto's Engineered Supercorn," Popular Science, August 30, 2011, Accessed September 1, 2011.
  2. Federal Register, Vol. 62, No. 68, April 9, 1997.

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