[permaculture] FW: Is "maxq tall fescue" a GMO?

Paul Wheaton paul at richsoil.com
Mon Nov 22 18:10:02 EST 2004


Wow!  The answer doesn't get any more rock solid than that!

The nitrogen thing was my own speculation.  I know that there is some sort of symbiotic
relationship between the plant and the endophyte.  Since grass is such a nitrogen pig, I
just assumed (probably errantly) that it was something like the relationship between
legumes and the "innoculant" (a bacteria?)

I'll order some maxq now.  Thanks!


--- Bill McDorman <bm at seedsave.org> wrote:

> I sent the question to some of the best scientists working with Native
> Grasses and DNA in the Intermountain West.  You can follow the response
> below.
> 
> bill
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> Bill W.  McDorman
> Seeds Trust, High Altitude Gardens
> bm at seedsave.org
> http://www.seedstrust.com
> 
> 
> Bill,
>  
> See additional message from Joe Bouton. Joe is one of the codevelopers, and
> now leads the Forage Biotechnology division of the Nobel Foundation. You can
> be absolutely sure that neither the plant nor endophyte are GMO.
>  
> Steven R. Larson
> Research Geneticist
> USDA Agriculture Research Service
> Forage and Range Research Laboratory
> Utah State University
> Logan, UT 84322-6300
> TEL: 435-797-1703
> FAX: 435-797-3075
> 
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Bouton, Joe <mailto:jhbouton at noble.org>
> To: stlarson at cc.usu.edu
> Sent: Monday, November 22, 2004 1:22 PM
> Subject: Re: Is "maxq tall fescue" a GMO?
> 
> 
> Not GMO - it is a  naturally occuring isolate.
> Joe
> --------------------------
> Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld
> 
> 
> ------ Forwarded Message
> From: "Steve Larson" <stlarson at cc.usu.edu>
> Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2004 12:25:53 -0700
> To: "Bill McDorman" <bm at seedsave.org>
> Cc: "Chatterton, N. Jerry" <njchatt at cc.usu.edu>
> Subject: Fw: Is "maxq tall fescue" a GMO?
> 
> Bill,
> 
> See message below from Andy. The answer is NO, neither the plant nor the
> endophyte are GMO.
> 
> Steve
> 
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Hopkins, Andy" <aahopkins at noble.org>
> To: "Steve Larson" <stlarson at cc.usu.edu>
> Sent: Monday, November 22, 2004 11:48 AM
> Subject: RE: Is "maxq tall fescue" a GMO?
> 
> 
> Steve,
>     No, the MaxQ endophyte is not genetically engineered in any fashion.
> This endophyte was found to naturally occur in a tall fescue host plant,
> was isolated, then inoculated into other tall fescue plants, and
> transmitted to the progeny via seed, just like any other strain of tall
> fescue endophyte.  I can't vouch for the comment below about the
> endophyte reducing the plant's need for nitrogen; I have not seen this
> in the literature, and this is the first time I've heard that claim.
>      At present there are no "GMO" tall fescue cultivars approved for
> marketing and use in the USA, or anywhere else in the world for that
> matter.
> 
> Andy Hopkins
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Steve Larson [mailto:stlarson at cc.usu.edu]
> Sent: Monday, November 22, 2004 12:20 PM
> To: Bill McDorman
> Cc: Bouton, Joe; Waldron, Blair; Chatterton, N. Jerry; Hopkins, Andy
> Subject: Re: Is "maxq tall fescue" a GMO?
> 
> Bill,
> 
> I do not work on Tall Fescue, but that is an interesting question. I do
> not think that the plant per se is classified as a GMO, but the
> endophyte may have been genetically modified by recombinant DNA
> technology--I am not absolutely sure. I am referring this question to
> some other scientists (including a codeveloper of this variety, Dr.
> Bouton) who can definitively answer your question.
> 
> Steve
> 
> 
> 
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Bill McDorman" <bm at seedsave.org>
> To: <stlarson at cc.usu.edu>
> Sent: Monday, November 22, 2004 10:37 AM
> Subject: Is "maxq tall fescue" a GMO?
> 
> 
> > Steve:
> >
> > I met you at the Native Plant Summit and talked to you about visiting
> > someday.  Do you know anything about MaxQ tall fescue?
> >
> > bill
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------
> > Bill W.  McDorman
> > Seeds Trust, High Altitude Gardens
> > bm at seedsave.org
> > http://www.seedstrust.com
> >
> >
> > ------ Forwarded Message
> > From: Paul Wheaton <paul at richsoil.com>
> > Subject: [permaculture] Is "maxq tall fescue" a GMO?
> >
> > For years, tall fescue has been a no-no for folks grazing ruminent
> animals
> > because the
> > endophyte growing in tall fescue is toxic.  Then there came endophyte
> free
> > tall fescues
> > which did not perform very well because, well, the endophytes provide
> a
> > symbiotic
> > relationship and help the grass thrive.  Then there was edophyte
> enhanced
> > tall fescues
> > for lawns ....
> >
> > Now, there is "MaxQ", a variety of tall fescue that has a "friendly
> > endophyte."  Not
> > toxic to ruminents and the grass grows great.
> >
> > Tall fescue is famous for having very deep roots and therefore being
> drought
> > tolerant.
> > My impression is that the endophyte somehow reduces the nitrogen needs
> of
> > the grass.
> > Sounds like a great permaculture variety to me.
> >
> > But I wonder if it is a GMO.  I can't find anything anywhere on that.
> And
> I
> > can't help
> > but think that if I call the folks selling it that they will just tell
> me
> > whatever they
> > think I want to hear.
> > _______________________________________________
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> > permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> >
> >
> > ------ End of Forwarded Message
> >
> 
> 
> ------ End of Forwarded Message
> 
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