Statement on Bar Gene in GM Mustard by agriculture scientists

From: soma marla <>
Date: Sat, Dec 10, 2022 at 3:28 PM
Subject: Open Statement on Bar Gene in GM Mustard from scientists: Request for publication
Open Statement on Bar Gene in GM Mustard
Date: 10th Dec., 2022
We introduce ourselves as scientists, having expertise in the various advanced
disciplines of biology, plant breeding and environmental science and who have been
following the arguments unfolding in the Hon’ble Supreme Court on the matter of
Genetically Modified Mustard. There, the question has come up as to whether or not
GM mustard hybrid DMH-11 is an herbicide tolerant crop.
In Bar-Barnase-Barstar system, the Bar gene, which confers tolerance to herbicide
Phosphinothricin (also known as Glufosinate) is used in both the parents with specific
purpose. In female parent it is used for maintenance of a female pure line as well as to
screen in required female plants for hybrid seed production of DMH-11; while in male
parent it is used to ease hybrid seed production.
Technically, it is the presence of the gene construct with Bar gene which defines
whether a crop is Herbicide Tolerant (HT) or not. Given that both parents of DMH-11
carry gene constructs containing Bar, which confers herbicide tolerance towards
glufosinate, any offspring from such parents including DMH-11 shall carry the HT trait.
Therefore not only parental lines, but DMH-11 is also tolerant to herbicide without any
We would like to emphasise that, the presence of the Bar gene in DMH-11 from both
the parents as described, is sufficient for the crop to tolerate herbicide application in
farmers’ fields. It would be technically unsound to preclude the possibility that it will be
grown with herbicide application as an herbicide tolerant (HT) crop by Indian farmers.
We believe that a correct understanding of the scientific facts would help to inform the
public and policy makers so as to guide decision-making.

(Dr. Soma Sundar Marla)
Former Principal Scientist,
Crop Bioinformatics & Genomics,
ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), New Delhi.
Email:; Cell: 98116 93750
Other Signatories:
1. Dr. A.R. Pathak, Former Rice Breeder; Former VC, Navasari Agril. Uni.; Former
VC, Junagadh Agril. Uni.; Former Director of Research, Anand Agril. Uni.
2. Dr Dhiraj Singh, Former Director, Directorate of Research on Mustard and
Rapeseed (DRMR), Bharatpur
3. Dr Sharad Pawar, Former Scientist, Nuclear Agriculture and Biotechnology
Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai, Former Consultant,
Dhara Mustard Hybrid Project, RTM University, Nagpur.
4. Dr. Aniket Aga, Asso. Prof. Environmental Studies, Ashoka University, New Delhi
5. Dr. Satyaprasad, Former Researcher in Molecular Plant Pathology, Osmania
University, Hyderabad
6. Dr K. B. Wanjari, Former Pulse Breeder, Associate Dean, PDVK, Akola
7. Dr. B.N. Reddy, Former Head, Dept. of Botany, Osmania University, Hyderabad

Letters in English and Hindi attached here

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