Dicamba is a broad spectrum herbicide, which is absorbed through leaves and enters all parts of the plants causing disruptions of balance in hormones needed for cell division, respiration and protein synthesis. The plant dies within ten days.
The DI-6 strain of the bacterium Pseudomonas maltophila which normally resides in the soil metabolizes the dicamba molecule to 3,6-dichlorosalicylic acid (3,6-DCSA) which does not possess herbicide properties. There are few toxicology studies for 3,6-DCSA to humans.
Monsanto incorporated the genes from P. maltophila (containing the enzyme complex that metabilozes dicamba) into soy thus creating dicamba resistant GM soy. On 15. January 2015, the USDA approved the sale and planting of Monsanto’s genetically engineered dicamba tolerant soybeans and cotton.
Thus we are witnessing the development of the second generation of genetically modified crops resistant to herbicides which coincides with a rapidly evolving weed resistance to glyphosate.
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