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Stephen Moose

Professor of Plant Functional Genomics, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois

Expert Bio

Stephen Moose is a Professor of Plant Functional Genomics in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. He received his B.S. degree in Biology from Case Western Reserve University and obtained his Ph.D. in Genetics from North Carolina State University. His Ph.D. studies focused on genes controlling developmental timing in maize. Dr. Moose then investigated transcriptional regulation of maize seed proteins as a postdoctoral researcher with Bob Schmidt at the University of California-San Diego. Steve next worked at Dekalb Genetics Corporation as a Project Leader to enhance the nutritional quality of corn grain. Dr. Moose joined the University of Illinois in 1999, where his research program focuses on understanding regulatory variation controlling economically important traits in corn and related bioenergy grasses. Dr. Moose teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the topics of biotechnology, genome science, and their application to crop improvement.

Studies, Articles and Answers

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Showing 7 out of 7 results

Question

Q: What is the quantity of Cry1Ab toxin in one corn plant? Does it exist in the corn pollen?It would appear there are problems for measuring the quantity of Cry1Ab toxin produced according toFood and Agricultural Immunology - FOOD AGRIC IMMUNOL 01/2012; 23(

Answered By Stephen Moose - Apr 25, 2014

A: Q1: What is quantity of Cry1Ab toxin in one corn plant?  The short answer is, it depends on what specific corn variety or plant part is tested and the environment the plant was grown in, but in all cases, the levels of Cry1Ab are considered low enough to have a very low probability of causing any health risk upon ingestion by people or animals or to negatively impact other organisms, such as beneficial insects. The longer answer is that there are 47 different maize events (independent versions) producing Cry1Ab that have been sold commercially since 1996, by at least three diff [...]

GMO Basics How GMOs Are Made

Question

Q: According to this study by the University of Illinois, non GMO crops are producing greater yields than your GMO corn. Can you confirm or deny these findings? http://www.spectrumseed.com/sites/default/files/performance-trials/pdf/2013%20University%20of%20

Answered By Stephen Moose - Dec 20, 2013

A: It is quite possible to have a high yielding variety that isn't GM. In the absence of insects, weeds, drought or some other environmental challenge, GM varieties don't necessarily yield any better, and if overall genetics are better in a non-GM variety, it will produce a higher yield. One therefore needs to know how the test was done.  For example if there were no corn borers, no weeds, and no root worms there would be no need for GM corn.  If there was a drought and they didn't water then a non-GM drought resistant type would easily win.  As is the case with all research, [...]

Environment

Question

Q: Has there ever been a study analyzing GMOs and electrons and free radicals? In other words, does the process of genetic manipulation influence or affect electrons, or create free radicals in any way?

Answered By Stephen Moose - Apr 01, 2014

A: I am not aware of a study that has specifically analyzed GMOs and electrons or free radicals, probably because there is no good reason to investigate this. Electron emission (e.g., ionization such as that caused by radioactive isotopes) or free radicals are typically damaging to all cells and thus life. This is why low doses of radiation are effective in sterilizing food products. Because GMOs are living and typically function just as effectively as their non-GM counterparts, they are not likely to create free radicals or induce ionization. [...]

GMO Basics How GMOs Are Made

Question

Q: I am under the impression that monocropping and not specifically GMOmonocropping is responsible for agricultures threat to the environment. My impression is that land management practices such as beneficial insect attractors, crop biodiversity and erosion

Answered By Stephen Moose - Aug 01, 2014

A: Your question reflects a common view that “monocropping” and the use of agrichemicals damage the environment, and that alternative diversified cropping systems can reduce these threats. This is clearly an over simplification of the reality, as all agricultural production systems are complex and balance a number of trade-offs between economic productivity and environmental sustainability. Very few agricultural systems are true “monocrops,” except for perhaps at scale of individual fields, due to common use of crop rotations. Studies that document the relative environmental damage and bene [...]

Answered By Stephen Moose - Aug 01, 2014

A: Your question reflects a common view that “monocropping” and the use of agrichemicals damage the environment, and that alternative diversified cropping systems can reduce these threats. This is clearly an over simplification of the reality, as all agricultural production systems are complex and balance a number of trade-offs between economic productivity and environmental sustainability. Very few agricultural systems are true “monocrops,” except for perhaps at scale of individual fields, due to common use of crop rotations. Studies that document the relative environmental damage and bene [...]

Environment Crop protectants

Question

Q: I am under the impression that monocropping and not specifically GMOmonocropping is responsible for agricultures threat to the environment. My impression is that land management practices such as beneficial insect attractors, crop biodiversity and erosion

Answered By Stephen Moose - Aug 01, 2014

A: Your question reflects a common view that “monocropping” and the use of agrichemicals damage the environment, and that alternative diversified cropping systems can reduce these threats. This is clearly an over simplification of the reality, as all agricultural production systems are complex and balance a number of trade-offs between economic productivity and environmental sustainability. Very few agricultural systems are true “monocrops,” except for perhaps at scale of individual fields, due to common use of crop rotations. Studies that document the relative environmental damage and bene [...]

Answered By Stephen Moose - Aug 01, 2014

A: Your question reflects a common view that “monocropping” and the use of agrichemicals damage the environment, and that alternative diversified cropping systems can reduce these threats. This is clearly an over simplification of the reality, as all agricultural production systems are complex and balance a number of trade-offs between economic productivity and environmental sustainability. Very few agricultural systems are true “monocrops,” except for perhaps at scale of individual fields, due to common use of crop rotations. Studies that document the relative environmental damage and bene [...]

Environment Crop protectants

Question

Q: Where did the genetic material that is injected into GM corn come from? What are the genetic traits that are injected into GM corn, and what do they do for that plant?

Answered By Stephen Moose - Jun 05, 2015

A: The genetic material that is used to produce GM corn comes from other genes found in nature that have been shown to program desirable traits. There are many genetic traits that have been introduced into GM corn, but the two most common ones are production of a protein toxic to certain insect pests, and resistance to certain herbicides.   For the insect toxins, the genes come from a common soil bacterium named Bacillus thuringiensis, nicknamed Bt. These bacteria were initially discovered to cause sickness in silkworm caterpillar colonies, and cultures of these bacteria have been sprayed [...]

GMO Basics How GMOs Are Made

Question

Q: I am doing a research assignment on Should the production of genetically modified corn to be disease resistant Anthracnose leaf blight in the Midwestern region of North America be banned? and I wanted to make it more specific. What is the most common type

Answered By Stephen Moose - Oct 01, 2018

A: I am not aware of any genetically modified corn resistant to Anthracnose leaf blight. So, nothing to ban. And for the second part, this disease is common throughout the Midwest, but most corn hybrids (whether GM or not) already have some natural genetic resistance bred into them. The combination of genetic resistance, crop rotation, and spraying fungicides means anthracnose is not typically a problem. [...]

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