Genetically Modified Plants

1st Edition

Assessing Safety and Managing Risk

Authors: Roger Hull G. Tzotzos Graham Head
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123741066
eBook ISBN: 9780080920764
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 24th July 2009
Page Count: 256
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A transgenic organism is a plant, animal, bacterium, or other living organism that has had a foreign gene added to it by means of genetic engineering. Transgenic plants can arise by natural movement of genes between species, by cross-pollination based hybridization between different plant species (which is a common event in flowering plant evolution), or by laboratory manipulations by artificial insertion of genes from another species. Methods used in traditional breeding that generate transgenic plants by non-recombinant methods are widely familiar to professional plant scientists, and serve important roles in securing a sustainable future for agriculture by protecting crops from pest and helping land and water to be used more efficiently.

There is worldwide interest in the biosafety issues related to transgenic crops because of issues such as increased pesticide use, increased crop and weed resistance to pesticides, gene flow to related plant species, negative effects on nontarget organisms, and reduced crop and ecosystem diversity. This book is intended to provide the basic information for a wide range of people involved in the release of transgenic crops. These will include scientists and researchers in the initial stage of developing transgenic products, industrialists, and decision makers. It will be of particular interest to plant scientists taking up biotechnological approaches to agricultural improvement for developing nations.

Key Features

  • Discusses traditional and future technology for genetic modification
  • Compares conventional non-GM approaches and genetic modification
  • Presents a risk assessment methodology for GM techniques
  • Details mitigation techniques for human and environmental effects


plant scientists studying genetically modified crops; agricultural engineers; agronomists; researchers; industrialists; lawyers; students; regulators

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. INTRODUCTION Conventional Approach Improvement Effects Risk Assessment Methodologies Technology

Chapter 2. RISK SOURCE CHARACTERISATION Properties of donor organism Properties of recipient organism DNA Selectable Markers

Chapter 3. EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT Release sites Performance Biological Properties Impact on Human Health Impact on Animals Impact on the Environment Case Studies

Chapter 4. RISK ASSESSMENT & RISK MANAGEMENT ? HUMAN HEALTH Allergies Unintentional Toxins Resistance of Microbes to Antibiotics Mitigation and Containment Approaches Case Studies

Chapter 5. RISK ASSESSMENT & RISK MANAGEMENT ? ENVIRONMENT Agricultural Environment Peri-agricultural and ?natural? environment Spread of Transgenes to non-GM crops Gene Flow to Weeds and Feral Crop Species Impact on Biodiversity of Crop Species and Wild Flora and Fauna Generation of ?Superweeds? Case Studies Stewardship Procedures Co-existence of GM and non-GM crops Testing for GM Modifying Agronomic Practices

Chapter 6. REGULATORY SYSTEMS Current framework of GM regulation International Conventions and Agreements Major Regulatory Systems Major Sources of Information.

Chapter 7 THE POLITICS OF GM TECHNOLOGY Development of Regulation of GM Crops Risk Perception Understanding the Scientific Process Bioethical Aspects <BR id="CRL


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© Academic Press 2009
Academic Press
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About the Author

Roger Hull

Roger Hull graduated in Botany from Cambridge University in 1960, and subsequently studied plant virus epidemiology at London University’s Wye College, gaining a PhD in 1964. He lectured on agricultural botany there between 1960 and 1965. He was seconded to Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda in 1964 where he taught, and learnt tropical agricultural botany and studied the epidemiology of groundnut rosette disease. By watching aphids land on groundnut plants he gained an understanding of the edge effect of spread of virus into the field. In 1965 Roger Hull joined Roy Markham at the ARC Virus Research Unit in Cambridge, UK where he worked on biophysical and biochemical characterization of a range of viruses, especially Alfalfa mosaic virus. This work continued when he moved to the John Innes Institute, Norwich with Roy Markham in 1968. There Dr Hull became a project leader and deputy head of the Virus Research Department. In 1974 he spent a sabbatical year with Bob Shepherd in the University of California, Davis where he worked on the characterization of cauliflower mosaic virus. There he was introduced to the early stages of molecular biology which changed the direction of his research. On returning to the John Innes Institute he applied a molecular biological approach to the study of cauliflower mosaic virus elucidating that it replicated by reverse transcription, the first plant virus being shown to do so. Involvement with the Rockefeller Rice Biotechnology Program reawakened his interest in tropical agricultural problems and he led a large group studying the viruses of the rice tungro disease complex. He also promoted the use of transgenic technology to the control of virus diseases and was in the forefront in discussing biosafety issues associated with this approach. Moving from rice to bananas (plantains) his group was among those who discovered that the genome of banana streak badnavirus was integrated into the host genome and in certain cultivars was act

Affiliations and Expertise

John Innes Center, Norwich, UK

G. Tzotzos

Affiliations and Expertise

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Austria

Graham Head

Affiliations and Expertise

Monsanto LLC, St. Louis, MO, USA


"Overall, the authors have done a highly commendable job of compiling, organizing, and explaining in clear, unbiased language what is involved in getting a GM product through the current national and international regulatory schemes."     -- Professor Kent J. Bradford, Seed Biotechnology Center, University of California, Davis, CA, USA