Plant Biotechnology: current and potential impact for improving pest management in U.S. agriculture. An analysis of 40 case studies.

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Abstract or Summary

Advances in genetics and molecular biology have made it possible to identify genes coding for specific traits in one organism, isolate and clone them, and incorporate them into the genome of another organism, regardless of relatedness of the source and donor species. Myriad crop species are being experimentally transformed for protection against insects, pathogens, and herbicides, for improved management of pests that plague modern agriculture.

Several transgenic cultivars have full regulatory approval and are commercially available for planting by U.S. growers. Adoption of these transgenic cultivars has been rapid in some cases. In other cases, adoption has been minimal. The limited adoption of some transgenic varieties stems from growers’ uncertainty of finding a market for their harvested product rather than from poor agronomic or pest management performance. Despite inconsistent adoption, however, research continues to improve and expand the application of biotechnology in agriculture.

An understanding of the contributions, both realized and potentially forthcoming, of agricultural biotechnology for crop pest management is critical to the unfolding public discussion that surrounds it and, ultimately, will determine its future. This report provides descriptions of traits transferred to crop plants for resistance to insects, pathogens and herbicides, and discusses current adoption levels and farm level impacts of available transgenic cultivars. Also reviewed are several transgenic crops under development, the agronomic pests they target, and projected farm level impacts of their commercialization and adoption.

Paper reproduced by permission of NCFAP

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Plant Biotechnology: current and potential impact for improving pest management in U.S. agriculture. An analysis of 40 case studies. (held on an external server, and so may require additional authentication details)

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