The trade name of a glycophosphate herbicide (produced by the Monsanto Company) that kills most plants. When sprayed on weeds, the glycophosphate is absorbed by the leaves, enters the cells, and inactivates a critical enzyme. Plants cannot synthesize certain essential amino acids without this enzyme. The target enzyme does not occur in animals, so Roundup is not toxic to humans. The herbicide is rapidly degraded in the soil. Monsanto next produced crops that were genetically engineered to carry resistance genes for glycophosphate. Seeds for these crops are sold under the trade names Roundup Ready corn, Roundup Ready cotton, Roundup Ready potatoes, Roundup Ready soy beans, etc. See GMO, transgenic plants.
Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.