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phasthound
12-31-2008, 09:26 AM
I'm getting bored with the current conversations.
Comments on the following?

http://www.landscapeonline.com/research/article/11486

ICT Bill
12-31-2008, 02:36 PM
I'm getting bored with the current conversations.
Comments on the following?

http://www.landscapeonline.com/research/article/11486

They don't mention it in the article but I believe the resultant plant is considered "Genetically Modified Organisms" or GMO, which causes a big problem when trying to export wheat, corn, whatever that is "Bt" modified.

I do believe europe will not accept GMO products

I have a fun conversation with farmers often, the conversation goes something like this. I am usually the one talking about beneficial microorganisms and how supporting these guys in the soil will allow nutrient cycling and a reduction, if not the elemination, of fertilizers. The comment back has something to do with tree huggers or such.

My next question is, "do you use Bt Corn", the answer is always "yes, we have for years" and I ask " so what do you think? has it allowed you to reduce pesticide usage? and they always say yes.

I explain this is an excellent example of a certain bacteria, out of how many gadzillion that are in the soil, that is beneficial to crop production, we happen to have several dozen more that we package to help with a reduction in pathogen, increased yield, healthier plants and REDUCED fertilizer usage. But we do not use GMO beneficials

Ding Ding, the light goes on, or I get the glazed look of, you lost me at nutrient cycling

BTW, come on spring 2009, Happy New Year

Kiril
01-01-2009, 09:13 AM
This is walking down a very dangerous path IMHO. Just because we can doesn't mean we should.

Smallaxe
01-01-2009, 11:09 AM
I think we should figure out what genes do in the natural genetic pool of corn and see what they can do to increase yields and deter bugs. Once we have a clear understanding of how things work then we 'may' have the wisdom to make better choices as to what bacterial gene to splice onto a corn stalk.

70% of our food supply is GMO so in a couple of generations we may know what the ramifications to health are. Personally I am with Europe, in this one instance.

growingdeeprootsorganicly
01-01-2009, 11:42 AM
smallaxe,

if im reading correctly your absolutely right! there need to be more money put into research for SELECTIVE BREADING not Frankenstein plants,

from the looks of it there is PLENTY of genetic diversity in corn? if they grow out enough plants and over time "select" the best traits they will move closer to better yielding/drought,disease and insect resistant plants,

if i understand it correctly too none of these frankin plants have been made to increase yield or drought resistance?

look at the companies behind these plants? they are the same one's making the chem's

we have no idea what the future impact to humans will be from these type of plants entering our food chain or what they can do the the environment around them?

i applaud Europe for showing some balls to big money!:clapping:

if these big companies have their way, they will control the world food supply"SEEDS" and how they are made?:nono:

growingdeeprootsorganicly
01-01-2009, 11:46 AM
smallaxe,

after rereading your post i see i read you wrong?

"just say no to gene splicing"

Kiril
01-01-2009, 11:52 AM
from the looks of it there is PLENTY of genetic diversity in corn?

:nono::nono:

Smallaxe
01-01-2009, 11:56 AM
smallaxe,

after rereading your post i see i read you wrong?

"just say no to gene splicing"

I meant that one might experiment with it after understanding what is in the genetic code now.

you know - In the year 2525. :)

growingdeeprootsorganicly
01-01-2009, 12:29 PM
:nono::nono:

there's not?

growingdeeprootsorganicly
01-01-2009, 12:32 PM
kiril,
how many different verities is there?

growingdeeprootsorganicly
01-01-2009, 12:33 PM
and has it not been selectivly breed to what it is today?

Kiril
01-01-2009, 12:33 PM
there's not?

Crops are specifically selected to reduce variability, not increase.

growingdeeprootsorganicly
01-01-2009, 12:45 PM
Crops are specifically selected to reduce variability, not increase.

yes, with inbreds, but within that gene pool there is potential for drift,
if you grow enough of the seeds out there will be differences?


and if you cross inbreeds, there is more chances for changes.

why i said there is plenty of diversity in corn? many varieties?
many more line's in the gene code for changes?

greater the diversity in genes, the more likely mutations will occur

growingdeeprootsorganicly
01-01-2009, 12:52 PM
kiril,

it's not my rules.it's mother nature's design, plant will find away to best survive their environment, by changing, we as man can help speed that process along?

but selective breeding is the only proper way IMHO to do that, not by splicing other organisms genes in to the mix

JDUtah
01-01-2009, 01:06 PM
not by splicing other organisms genes in to the mix

Could you imagine my genes spread around Deeproots? 'Bet that scares the crap out of ya. :laugh:

Kiril
01-01-2009, 01:16 PM
http://www.idrc.ca/fr/ev-114870-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html

http://www.scialert.net/qredirect.php?doi=pjbs.2001.117.120&linkid=pdf

Smallaxe
01-01-2009, 03:57 PM
The original corn had all the possible variations in it.

When we found the combination we liked we crossed them 2 offsprings. [leaving the rest of the gene pool behind]

From those 2 we get 2 more that are even better because the active genes are the ones we want here. [again culling the herd]

The next step - hybridization - is like leaving all other genes behind except the ones we like. [not really but you get the picture]

So that is why today's corn feilds are uniform and large with fewer genetic vatiations. Are they full of more carbohydrates than their ancestors? Obviously.
Are they as nutritious and healthy as their ancestors? Probably not.

The belief that mutations do anything more than destroy perfectly good genetic information is 'optomistic' to say the least. :)
And - say the least - I shall.

growingdeeprootsorganicly
01-01-2009, 04:46 PM
http://www.idrc.ca/fr/ev-114870-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html

http://www.scialert.net/qredirect.php?doi=pjbs.2001.117.120&linkid=pdf


kiril, you da man, thanks for the first link.

any time you domesticate anything you are diminishing gene diversity?
but that being said when it comes to corn's gene diversity pool
at least there's more then one "type" of cultivar being grown all over the world, at the moment any way as long as the chem companies don't have their ways:dizzy:

if you grow a plant in one particular environment over time, as long as the full available gene pool can be expressed to ALL environmental pressers, that over many generations the plant will find away to adapt to those pressers?
evolving if you will, problem is it takes a long time for that to happen,:cry:

now man, if he does it right?, he can help speed that along to find the most desirable traits he finds useful for that particular issue, whether it's for disease or yield, or both

problems occur because no one plant can tolerate all different environmental pressers that might affect it across the world?, you can't take one cultivar and grow it every where and expect it to defend it's self from new threats


a breeding program needs to be site specific and always evolving.
while some plants with selected traits from the gene pool can then be breed to become true breeders for seeds or clones taken to grow uniform crops. the whole time in the back ground the breding program keeps a larger pool of plants climatizing and evolving to environmental pressers to further all the possible traits that can be expressed in that environment, and selecting traits/seeds accordingly throughout the process to be used in further breding, reasons like back crossing perhaps

we should never just take one cultivar and think we can grow it every where.

but over a long time at one site the plant will always find away to survive
if given the space to express it's self to the REAL environment with out any interventions like pesticide use to mitigate the real presser it would encounter?

hope that made some sense?:laugh:

growingdeeprootsorganicly
01-01-2009, 04:52 PM
The belief that mutations do anything more than destroy perfectly good genetic information is 'optomistic' to say the least. :)
And - say the least - I shall.

would you not consider today's corn a mutant from it's ancestors?

i'm far from a corn expert, i just know plants find ways to survive/ change to their environments or they die.
problem it's takes a long time from our point of view

Kiril
01-01-2009, 05:32 PM
i'm far from a corn expert, i just know plants find ways to survive/ change to their environments or they die.
problem it's takes a long time from our point of view

Perhaps the problem here is you are trying to compare a cropping system to a natural one. You cannot reasonably make that comparison.

JDUtah
01-01-2009, 05:35 PM
i just know plants find ways to survive/ change to their environments or they die.
problem it's takes a long time from our point of view

I agree but would substitute the word "plants" with "species" and add that the plant doesn't change its survivability, but natural selection over time changes the species survivability in a given environment. Having said that...

Is it good to domesticate a species? Maybe for production, but there might be something to learn from German Shephards hip problems and Pugs breathing problems.

My brother breeds out rare mutations in snakes, no genetic engineering. Although the snakes survive fine in captivity the mutations would be harmful to the snake in the wild. Is this a good thing? If you are going to reintroduce the snake to the wild, no. If the snake is going to stay captive, it is irrelevant...

Now to crops...
Do you even want the mutated species to survive in the wild? (Not always) Do you want heightened production? obviously...

Is there any less threat in waiting for nature to make a helpful mistake (mutation) than to help it along by doing it yourself?

My answer.. maybe, maybe not. I believe there are way to many things to consider than can be discussed here. Not to mention the answer would change per situation/plant/goal...

I agree with Kiril, when talking about this "issue" you must remember the different systems and goals of each.

Just my .02

growingdeeprootsorganicly
01-02-2009, 03:01 AM
so there's no light at the end of the tunnel for breeding? better just make do with what we got? and keep spraying chems? or do nothing at all?

DNA testing will show us the genes that are needed to pass on to do it right?

domesticated animals can never go wild again? if given the right course to that

domesticated plants that need man to propagate them can never adapt to a particular region over many generations as long as there's enough different off spring being planted? their off spring can never adapt if given a true natural setting as possible?

or are these survival genes lost for ever from poor breeding?


i never said it would take a day, month, years, plants and animals didn't get that way over night

Smallaxe
01-02-2009, 05:49 AM
would you not consider today's corn a mutant from it's ancestors?

i'm far from a corn expert, i just know plants find ways to survive/ change to their environments or they die.
problem it's takes a long time from our point of view

To keep this all in perspective it may be good to know that if you typed out the information of you DNA it would create enough books to fill the Grand Canyon 40 times.
Not sure what corn has but, it a lot too.

Mutations are always bad in the sense they represent a 'loss' of information, thus reducing the variability of the subsequent gene pool. So to be a 'mutant' of it's ancestor in the sense of new and different corn, then, no.
I had heard that the copying errors are mutating 2 genes every generation on average now. So am I more of a mutant than my ancestors? Possibly yes. So my kids have 2 less genes to begin with and they may have lost 2 more at conception.

Toss all the kernals from one corncob onto the ground and of the ones that germinate some will survive and some will thrive. Those that thrive will reproduce because they thrived. They are carrying the genes that made it thrive in this environment - so will most of its offspring.

Smallaxe
01-02-2009, 06:18 AM
...
DNA testing will show us the genes that are needed to pass on to do it right?

domesticated animals can never go wild again? if given the right course to that
...

We have wild dogs running around in wolf packs now. [Only they are not wolves :)]

There are no pugs, chiwawas, or minerature poodles running with pack but as these survivers interbreed they would likely have a generic looking wild dog in a few generations. In a sense recombining the genes pool.

JDUtah
01-02-2009, 06:19 AM
so there's no light at the end of the tunnel for breeding? better just make do with what we got? and keep spraying chems? or do nothing at all?

DNA testing will show us the genes that are needed to pass on to do it right?

domesticated animals can never go wild again? if given the right course to that

domesticated plants that need man to propagate them can never adapt to a particular region over many generations as long as there's enough different off spring being planted? their off spring can never adapt if given a true natural setting as possible?

or are these survival genes lost for ever from poor breeding?


Maybe, Maybe not

growingdeeprootsorganicly
01-02-2009, 06:33 AM
or are these survival genes lost for ever from poor breeding?

let me rephrase that, are the genes responsible for adapting to a particular environment lost from poor breeding over time or reduction of ones gene pool?

can't those traits be influenced more over time from different environmental pressers and selected if a plant can produce a large pool of off spring over many generations to choose from

simple things like back crossing can bring some what new genetic influences
to the bred, one way to bring out hybrid vigor out of a inbreed cultivar

Smallaxe
01-02-2009, 07:06 AM
It sounds like you are refering to Pan-genesis.
Giraffes get longer necks every generation because they have to stretch for food in this environment.

Pangenesis was the first evolution mechanism but was cast aside, beneficial mutation is the current mechanism and is being cast aside.

Gregor Mendel showed in quite simple terms how genetics work. Microbiology is showing the extent of the intricacies of how it works.
Keep it simple. Mendel had it right.

treegal1
01-05-2009, 06:11 PM
GMO's giving pollution a life of its own:hammerhead:

ICT Bill
01-05-2009, 07:37 PM
let me rephrase that, are the genes responsible for adapting to a particular environment lost from poor breeding over time or reduction of ones gene pool?

can't those traits be influenced more over time from different environmental pressers and selected if a plant can produce a large pool of off spring over many generations to choose from

simple things like back crossing can bring some what new genetic influences
to the bred, one way to bring out hybrid vigor out of a inbreed cultivar

Yes, in your general thrust of the question. This is also true in soils, you are able to select for certain traits in soils and tweak them for the plant that resides there.

Mulching for instance is excellent for perennials, shrubs and trees. Why? because you are selecting (or giving food to sustain a certain group over another) for a fungal dominated soil. The fungi are the decomposers, they like a cellulose rich environment and the shrubs like a more fungal environment. It also protects the root system, stashes water for later, reduces soil erosion, etc.

What if you select for auxin generating bacteria and fungi when overseeding, better root growth

Treegal got a taste of chitinase producing bacteria, it wiped out 10,000+ worms by mistake, worm snot is the term used, I do believe. I 'm still sorry about that

Nurse a basic loving PH plant to health and long term growth in an acid soil and you will probably breed plants that can tolerate acid PH's. Bring arid plants into a semi arid environment and you will probably have success.

Kiril
01-05-2009, 09:16 PM
Le me be the devils advocate. If tweaking a soil to raise/lower pH is a lost cause, then would not tweaking microbes also be a lost cause? Both are transitory in nature, no?

ICT Bill
01-05-2009, 10:31 PM
Le me be the devils advocate. If tweaking a soil to raise/lower pH is a lost cause, then would not tweaking microbes also be a lost cause? Both are transitory in nature, no?

The rhizosphere (area next to the root) is the area that matters to any individual plant, where its roots are is where it is bringing/exuding macro/micro nutrients, enzymes, hormones, etc. What happens 10 feet away has no material difference to a plant, as long as its root are not there.

the root/shoot/plant, in most cases, decides which microorganisms to attract by exuding substances. The area around the root of a plant is covered with bacteria, fungi and others. This is the most fertile place in the soil, this is where the exchange of nutrients happens.

If I go out and take 10 soil samples from a site and get a PH reading back that says 7.3. (as we have already discussed, it is simply a snap shot so lets not go there) it has no relationship to the rhizosphere of the root

The biology covering the root (and the foliage BTW) determines the PH that the plant lives in.

JDUtah
01-05-2009, 10:50 PM
Plant transpiration and soil solution diffusion rates MUST be considered when making statements like that (about pH in the rhizosphere)...

The rhizosphere is what 1-5mm thick? I find it very hard to believe that the rate at which water passes through the rhizosphere is slow enough for any significant pH alteration to take place...

If that were the case you could sucessfully transplant acid loving plants to alkaline soils with zero problems...

Unless anyone knows of any studies that prove me wrong?

Kiril
01-05-2009, 10:54 PM
The rhizosphere (area next to the root) is the area that matters to any individual plant, where its roots are is where it is bringing/exuding macro/micro nutrients, enzymes, hormones, etc. What happens 10 feet away has no material difference to a plant, as long as its root are not there.

Not true, and you should know better. :nono:

If I go out and take 10 soil samples from a site and get a PH reading back that says 7.3. (as we have already discussed, it is simply a snap shot so lets not go there) it has no relationship to the rhizosphere of the root

Not really a snap shot with respect to pH (varies with soil type) and once again, you should know better. :nono: and a :hammerhead:

The biology covering the root (and the foliage BTW) determines the PH that the plant lives in.

Come on Bill. Certainly microbes do affect pH to some extent, but they are not the ONLY thing that does. :nono:

Now back to the question. Microbe manipulation is not any different than pH manipulation given both are transitory. So if one is futile, why not the other?

Smallaxe
01-06-2009, 07:32 AM
... Now back to the question. Microbe manipulation is not any different than pH manipulation given both are transitory. So if one is futile, why not the other?

That is an interesting thought. To me - if the proper environment for beneficials was created then they would naturally thrive, while the pathogenic organisms would eventually be out competed.

Are you indicating that CT is necessary to get the beneficials every few weeks? If the beneficials in the tea do not propagate on their own then I would venture to say that they don't belong there. Something to think about I suppose.

Mr. Nice
01-06-2009, 08:42 AM
a soil's pH is driven by a few things, mostly biology depending on how active and diverse the community is, and food/O2 supply to thrive, aerobic bacteria RISE it to 7 +/- anaerobic bacteria can lower it below 5, aerobic fungi's 5-7,

2. the chemical makeup of parent materials of the soil, can be acidic or more alkaline based, contributing to pH

3. the amount of water the soil receives,... more water wash's cations out replaced by H+, more moisture can stimulate OM break down lowering O2 and pH,.... less water, less of a drop of pH

4. combine the above variables with the buffering capacity of the soil and you can see
how pH can swing.

only time to not worry about adjusting soil pH is in a chemically balanced soil with good structure and physical makeup with perfect conditions for microbes to regulate appropriately for the plant.

if you have lots of rain,a majority of acidic parent material in the soils, low buffering capacity, compaction/low o2 in soil you can expect a lower pH, so to say you only need to add bacterial foods or you don't need to even worry about it because of the area around the root is ALL that matters with out taking every thing else in consideration, well....

all sites are different, to say do nothing is optimistic and that approach could take awhile to correct it's self.

GMO are just a way for the chem companies to make up for their failed approach,


promotion and patronage of small local farms and personal victory gardens,
a never ending practice of proper breeding of regionally appropriate variety's, planting non monoculture's of mixed and alternating crops, introduction of beneficial biological predators, a increased general focus on improving soil and overall soil nutrient content to provide the best nutrition to the growing plant to help it achieve maximum health and resistant's to environmental pressures from larger farming practice's is IMHO a far safer, commonsense approach to our pollution and food supply issue's then chem's or bioengineering.

I am open to other idea's/points of view's, clarification or corrections to anything i have stated.

Kiril
01-06-2009, 09:44 AM
That is an interesting thought. To me - if the proper environment for beneficials was created then they would naturally thrive, while the pathogenic organisms would eventually be out competed.

In an ideal world, yes, unfortunately nature is anything but ideal, and the creation of the "proper" environment is out of your hands.

If the beneficials in the tea do not propagate on their own then I would venture to say that they don't belong there.

I would agree. I see CT good for two things with respect to soil.

1) Inoculant
2) Increased nutrient turnover with some nutrients supplied.

As far as item 2 is concerned, any quick source of energy will stimulate microbial activity and therefore nutrient turnover, so is CT really needed when a soil is already biologically active? I am not convinced it is.

My devils advocate position for microbial "pesticides" is based on several things. Consider the following possibilities (not exhaustive):


The organism(s) do not survive at all due to environment
The organism(s) do not survive due to predation
The organism(s) survive and do what they were intended to do, then die out
The organism(s) survive and do what they were intended to do, and become a natural part of the system
The organism(s) survive and do what they were intended to do, and become a dominant part of the system and are now a "pest" that needs to be controlled

In a naturally balanced system, one might expect item 4 to be the norm, and therefore an application of the control microbe is probably not really needed. Provide a diverse food source (compost), manage your resources as best you can to promote a naturally healthy soil environment, and let the system find it's own balance. If the plants don't survive, then you need to rethink your choice in plants.