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Study in Royal Society journal on managing GM crops for environmental benefit

Proceedings of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Management of genetically modified herbicide tolerant sugar beet for spring and autumn environmental benefit by Dr M May, Dr G Champion, Dr A Dewar, Dr A Qi and Dr J Pidgeon
This research provides conclusive evidence that environmental benefits can be obtained from GM herbicide tolerant (GMHT) sugar beet crops. Previous work, including the government's Farm Scale Evaluation trials, suggested that GMHT sugar beet, whilst providing environmental benefits early in the season, will reduce weed seed numbers in late season, depriving birds of autumn food sources. Our new work on herbicide timing shows that single glyphosate applications can increase yields, and enhance weed seed production up to sixteen fold compared to conventional systems. These changes to GM crop management enable farmers to reduce herbicide use and costs, whilst satisfying public demands for increasing benefits to wildlife.
Contact: Dr Mike May, Rothamstead Research, Broom's Barn, Higham, SUFFOLK, IP28 6NP, United Kingdom

Cellular fine structures and histochemical reactions in the tissue of a cypress twig preserved in Baltic amber by Dr B Koller, Dr JM Schmitt and Dr G Tischendorf
Plants and insects, enshrined in Baltic amber for 40-50 million years, often display a remarkable degree of structural conservation on the surface. In this study the preservation of the inside of an amber inclusion was examined. Sections of a Cypress twig were analysed by light and electron microscopy. An almost intact tissue was revealed, comparable to related extant plants. The fine structures of cells are preserved and intact chloroplasts and mitochondria are visible. The ultrastructure of membranes and cell walls can be recognized. Interaction of the tissue with cytological stains is comparable with those of living plants. The cuticle displays a strong autofluorescence under UV light.
Contact: D
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Contact: Tim Watson
tim.watson@royalsoc.ac.uk
44- 207-451-2508
Royal Society
18-Jan-2005


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