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Monsanto/Forage Genetics seek low lignin alfalfa OK

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has invited public comment on a deregulation petition from Monsanto and Forage Genetics International for their alfalfa event KK179, which is genetically modified for reduced lignin content. The alteration is achieved through the introduction of a dsRNA sequence encoding a fragment of an alfalfa caffeoyl CoA 3-O-methyltransferase (CCOMT) gene that suppresses expression of endogenous CCOMT, a key enzyme in lignin biosynthesis. As a result, guaiacyl lignin content is inhibited and total lignin content reduced, improving forage quality. The deadline for submission of comments is June 21st.

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