Would faster-growing GM plants be weaker?

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Paul Anderson

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Would faster-growing GM plants be weaker?
« on: 12/08/2008 22:49:38 »
Paul Anderson  asked the Naked Scientists:

Hi Chris and team,

If two saplings are planted alongside each other and are both supplied with the same amount of nutrient but one is genetically modified (G) to grow faster than the regular sapling (R) alongside, will not the cells of G be longer vertically and therefore weaker than the cells of R? If the cells are the same size in both saplings, then there must be more cells in G for it to be faster growing and taller, but if there were more cells, that means more cells walls between cells, which would require more nutrient.


What do you think?


Offline stevewillie

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Would faster-growing GM plants be weaker?
« Reply #1 on: 12/09/2008 03:55:51 »

I'm making a habit of trying to answer good questions that get ignored. Unfortunately, there is no general answer to your question. Growth rates in plants are governed by a number of factors. Growth rates may effect certain parts of the plant and not others. It also involves the rate of maturation as to when the plant will bear flowers, seeds, ect. I don't know what the regulatory situation is in NZ, but the manufacturer is responsible for assuring that GM organisms are well tested and behave as advertised. Your question relates to whether height related plant mass increases by hypertrophy (cells get bigger), or hyperplasia (more cells of normal size.) It all depends on the specificss of the genetic modification.