A biological technology
developed by Monsanto
weed-killer. Roundup (glyphosate
) is a semi-biodegradable herbicide
which works by inhibiting plant enolpyruvylshikimate-phosphate synthase
(EPSPS). This enzyme
is involved in aromatic amino acid
, and tryptophan
pathways and is thus crucial for normal protein
synthesis in cells
Roundup Ready plants have been genetically engineered to contain a bacterial EPSPS gene as well as their original one. The bacterial enzyme is not inhibited by glyphosate. As a result, the engineered plants are resistant to Roundup.
As with many GMO's and related technologies, Roundup Ready has been the subject of much heated debate between Monsanto, scientists, and anti-GMO groups such as Greenpeace. Some of the issues include economic exploitation of farmers, the human health effects of Roundup, and the danger of the gene "escaping" to wild relatives of crop plants.