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Old 02-28-2008, 12:00 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: 'Doomsday' Seed Bank to open in Norway.

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Suppose you want to introduce a genetic marker that is not present in a subsection of the genetics (rRNA subsection) of the target plant. However, you find an otherwise identical subsection in another organism. You then use tools (proteins, really) that will perform this replacement surgery for you.

One variety of very sweet, high-protein white corn that has been a lifesaver in 3rd world countries was produced this way by "borrowing" subsections from the genetics of a wheat variety and another sweet corn variety.
Richard, I have had this conversation Frank(bigdog) and others before. I didn't say all GMO's are bad, I have no proof of that, but I do not condone them. That's my opinion and it's based on common sense.

Cross pollination from GMO crops is indisputable period.

Just remember that all seeds that are being modified with what ever have you were once heirloom seeds. I can't stress enough the importance of saving the heirloom strains for the future, whether it be for more GMO testing or to correct the damage that GMO may cause to the human food chain.

And I'll say this again, if we need GMO crops to support human life then we just have to many people here. It's pretty simple!
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:19 AM   #22 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 'Doomsday' Seed Bank to open in Norway.

Richard - are you sure that this "sweet high protein" corn has been the lifesaver that it is supposed to be? So often the downsides are ignored in the interests of corporate publicity.
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:24 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: 'Doomsday' Seed Bank to open in Norway.

Mitchel, you are misunderstanding me.

Cross-pollination from sterile crops does not occur, but I agree that cross-pollination from non-sterile GM plants is occurring and in some cases harmful.

I disagree that all seeds being modified were once heirloom seeds, certainly some of them were. Of the over 200 plants I am growing, about 1/2 are heirloom, the other 1/2 still on patents, 100% of them are hybrids, and 0% are GM. I do eat GM corn on a monthly basis though.

I agree that there are too many people on the planet. I don't think that implies anything one way or the other about GM.

I don't think there will be adequate safe-guards in place for GM until the unbridled fears have all but gone away and we can focus on specific, tangible problem areas.
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:27 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: 'Doomsday' Seed Bank to open in Norway.

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Richard - are you sure that this "sweet high protein" corn has been the lifesaver that it is supposed to be? So often the downsides are ignored in the interests of corporate publicity.
It was not developed by a corporation, and there were no corporate stakeholders in that project last I read (~fall 2004).
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:36 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: 'Doomsday' Seed Bank to open in Norway.

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I disagree that all seeds being modified were once heirloom seeds, certainly some of them were.
They all have roots that date back to Heirloom varieties. You can't have Hybrid seeds without first having heirlooms. This is not the chicken or the egg first question!
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:16 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: 'Doomsday' Seed Bank to open in Norway.

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That scenario is very experimental! I am more familiar with very specific crossing at the molecular level of one crop plant with known genetic markers, and the rRNA (molecular) section of another with desirable markers missing in the first.
That makes sense,
what really pops into in my mind when I think of genetic manipulation is the really wild experiments that I heard are going on with different animal species, and animals and plants.
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:24 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: 'Doomsday' Seed Bank to open in Norway.

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They all have roots that date back to Heirloom varieties. You can't have Hybrid seeds without first having heirlooms. This is not the chicken or the egg first question!
Heirloom is a marketing term used to distinguish hybrids that are both
1. stable -- they reproduce true from their own seed
2. no longer proprietary

Hybridization is a natural process and occurs quite frequently unattended in the wild. Consider the natural seedless hybrid papaya relative, the Babaco. Several seedless banana varieties have occurred the same way.

Some fruiting species hybridize so easily and often in the wild that what might be considered the original is long gone. Tomatoes and peppers fall into this category.
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:26 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: 'Doomsday' Seed Bank to open in Norway.

Perhaps I'm mixing up my terminology, but I think you know what I mean.

You forgot to mention that Heirlooms are always open pollinated, usually regional, and almost always isolated. The same heirloom variety will differ from place to place depending on which seeds were saved, local climates, soil, etc. I think 50 years old is generally the rule for age.

My point of this discussion is that we need to save Heirloom seeds for future generations. If we have to save 1 variety of Heirloom seed from a 100 locations than so be it.

It would nice to know that if something catastrophic were to happen there would be some good seed saved.
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:51 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: 'Doomsday' Seed Bank to open in Norway.

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Perhaps I'm mixing up my terminology, but I think you know what I mean.
I'm getting closer to understanding I really appreciate your patience.

I believe the terminologies you are looking for are synthetic vs. non-synthetic generation.

Examples of synthetic generation are:
1. exposure of plant material (often seeds) to radioactive sources - beyond what occurs at natural outcrops of radioactive rocks (e.g., in Africa and NE Canada).
2. genetic modification via micro-biological intervention.

Did you know that there are plant cultivars originally produced by radiative treatment that are now considered heirlooms? This is because the patents have expired (all plant patents do) and they are now in the public domain. Ten years from now there will also be some plants produced by GM that are sold as heirlooms.

There is no rule for the pollination method or age of an heirloom -- other than patent expiration and it self-reproduce true-to-type.

"Open pollination in isolation" has always struck me as an odd concept. I'm trying to imagine the labor involved in escorting bees straight from the hive in the morning into the isolated area, then getting them all out again. Or do they just kill the bees? Hand pollination in an isolated environment is far less costly and labor intensive. A 10 x 12 greenhouse of tomato plants will can produce anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 viable seeds depending on type. With many wildflowers, 4 plants in a cloque can yield 500,000 seeds.
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