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Denneal Jamison-McClung, Ph.D.

Associate Director, UC Davis Biotechnology Program

Expert Bio

Dr. Denneal Jamison-McClung earned her Ph.D. in Genetics with a Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology from UC Davis. She is now Director of the UC Davis Biotechnology Program and coordinates the Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology (DEB) doctoral program.

As an educator, her primary focus is interdisciplinary training in the life sciences and engineering, with emphasis on biotech-related regulatory, policy, ethics, entrepreneurship and IP paradigms. Dr. Jamison-McClung is also Director of the BioTech SYSTEM, a regional consortium promoting K-14 biotech education.

Studies, Articles and Answers

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Q: When you create a plant that is herbicide resistant, are there actually pesticides in the plant genetically ?

Answered By Denneal Jamison-McClung, Ph.D. - Jan 14, 2019

A: All plants naturally contain thousands of active biomolecules for defense against pests, herbivores and crowding by other plants (allelochemicals, which are somewhat like herbicides).  An example of a common allelochemical is juglone, a molecule exuded by the roots of walnut trees that keeps competing plants clear of the tree's root zone. In the case of agricultural plants that are herbicide resistant, whether through evolutionary means or by genetic engineering, they have changes to their metabolism that make agricultural herbicides ineffective. These plants do not produce herbicides, bu [...]