This dissertation is divided into two parts. Chapters 1 through 3 are interdisciplinary and focus on legal and scientific perspectives regarding the regulation of genetically engineered crops. Chapters 4 and 5 evaluated the environmental factors that control flowering in Pennsylvania sedge (<italic>Carex pensylvanica</italic> Lam.). The commercial potential of genetically engineered (GE) crops has not been fully realized in the United States due to environmental litigation that dramatically affected the pace of GE crop development and deregulation. The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regulates GE crops. However, litigation initiated by nongovernmental organizations exposed APHIS's vulnerability to lawsuits under the National Environmental Policy Act. We concluded in chapters 1 and 2 that APHIS did not adequately evaluate the environmental risks of novel crops, and thus left itself open to litigation. In Chapter 3, we described how the biotechnology industry is attempting to avoid regulation of GE crops through the creation of a non-plant pest loophole.Pennsylvania sedge is an upland forest sedge with horticultural potential as a low maintenance groundcover. For large plantings, achenes are preferred, but Pennsylvania sedge typically produces few achenes in its native habitat. As a first step in improving achene production, Chapter 4 evaluated the effect of vernalization and photoperiod on floral initiation and development. We concluded that Pennsylvania sedge is an obligate short day plant that does not require vernalization for flowering. Plants flowered when exposed to daylengths of 6 to 12 hours. Flowering was completely inhibited with 14-hour photoperiods. Chapter 5 examined the environmental factors that control floral gender sequence and inflorescence culm heights. Plants were found to be determined and florally initiated in the fall in the northern United States. A post-floral induction chilling treatment (winter) was necessary to produce protogynous flowering and normal inflorescence culm elongation.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2013. Major: Applied Plant Sciences. Advisors: Mary H. Meyer and Alan G. Smith. 1 computer file (PDF); xi, 185 pages.
McGinnis, Esther Ebata.
Analysis of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's regulation of genetically engineered crops and reproductive biology of Carex pensylvanica (Lam.).
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