Molecular Strategies for Gene Containment in Transgenic Crops

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Departmental Papers (Dental)
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Dentistry
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Daniell, Henry
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The potential of genetically modified (GM) crops to transfer foreign genes through pollen to related plant species has been cited as an environmental concern. Until more is known concerning the environmental impact of novel genes on indigenous crops and weeds, practical and regulatory considerations will likely require the adoption of gene-containment approaches for future generations of GM crops. Most molecular approaches with potential for controlling gene flow among crops and weeds have thus far focused on maternal inheritance, male sterility, and seed sterility. Several other containment strategies may also prove useful in restricting gene flow, including apomixis (vegetative propagation and asexual seed formation), cleistogamy (self-fertilization without opening of the flower), genome incompatibility, chemical induction/deletion of transgenes, fruit-specific excision of transgenes, and transgenic mitigation (transgenes that compromise fitness in the hybrid). As yet, however, no strategy has proved broadly applicable to all crop species, and a combination of approaches may prove most effective for engineering the next generation of GM crops.

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2002-10-15
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Nat Biotechnol
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<p>At the time of publication, author Henry Daniell was affiliated with University of Central Florida. Currently, he is a faculty member at the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.</p>
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