Glufosinate Tolerant Bt Corn CBH-351

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Glufosinate Tolerant Bt Corn CBH-351 is a variety of glufosinate tolerant Bt Corn made by AgrEvo (Bayer CropScience). It was deregulated in the United States in 1998. CBH-351 is genetically engineered for European Corn Borer resistance. It produce 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. CBH-351 was also genetically engineered to make it able to withstand the herbicide glufosinate. A farmer can spray an entire field of CBH-351 with glufosinate and only the weeds will die but the crop will live. Bt crops, glufosinate tolerant crops, and genetically modified organisms are controversial around the world.

Deregulation

AgrEvo USA Company petitioned the USDA to deregulate its corn line CBH-351 on September 22, 1997. The corn was genetically engineered for glufosinate tolerance and to produce a Bt protein toxic to lepidopteran insects like the European Corn Borer. The USDA published a notice on the Federal Register on February 23, 1998, soliciting public comments, which were due by April 24, 1998. The USDA conducted an environmental assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and issued a "finding of no significant impact" (FONSI). CBH-351 was deregulated on May 8, 1998.

The USDA wrote in the Federal Register:

"Corn event CBH-351 has been genetically engineered to express a Cry9C insect control protein derived from the common soil bacterium Bacillus thurigiensis subsp. toiworthi (Bt tolworthi). The petitioner stated that the Cry9C protein is effective in protecting the subject corn line from damage caused by ECB larvae throughout the growing season. The subject corn line also expresses the bar gene derived from the bacterium Streptomyces hygroscopicus. The bar gene encodes the phosphinothricin acetyltransferase (PAT) enzyme, which, when introduced into the plant cell, confers tolerance to the herbicide glufosinate. The particle bombardment method was used to transfer the added genes into the recipient inbred corn line (PA91 x H99) x H99 and their expression is controlled in part by gene sequences derived from the plant pathogens Agrobacterium tumefaciens and cauliflower mosaic virus. While the subject corn line contains the bla selectable marker gene, which is normally expressed in bacteria, tests indicate that this gene is not expressed in the plant."[1]

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References

  1. Federal Register, Vol. 63, No. 94, May 15, 1998.

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