Genetically modified crops

genetically modifiedtransgenic cropsgenetically modified cropgenetically engineered cropsGM cropsgenetically modified seedsagrifood biotechnologyGE cropsgene modified (GM) seedsgenetic engineering
Genetically modified crops (GM crops or biotech crops) are plants used in agriculture, the DNA of which has been modified using genetic engineering methods.wikipedia
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Genetic engineering

genetically engineeredgenetically modifiedgenetic modification
Genetically modified crops (GM crops or biotech crops) are plants used in agriculture, the DNA of which has been modified using genetic engineering methods.
The rise of commercialised genetically modified crops has provided economic benefit to farmers in many different countries, but has also been the source of most of the controversy surrounding the technology.

Monsanto

Monsanto CompanyCalgeneGenuity
In 1995 canola with modified oil composition (Calgene), Bt maize (Ciba-Geigy), bromoxynil-tolerant cotton (Calgene), Bt cotton (Monsanto), glyphosate-tolerant soybeans (Monsanto), virus-tolerant squash (Asgrow), and additional delayed ripening tomatoes (DNAP, Zeneca/Peto and Monsanto) were approved.
Monsanto was one of four groups to introduce genes into plants in 1983, and was among the first to conduct field trials of genetically modified crops in 1987.

Genetically modified maize

genetically modified cornBt cornBt maize
In 1995 canola with modified oil composition (Calgene), Bt maize (Ciba-Geigy), bromoxynil-tolerant cotton (Calgene), Bt cotton (Monsanto), glyphosate-tolerant soybeans (Monsanto), virus-tolerant squash (Asgrow), and additional delayed ripening tomatoes (DNAP, Zeneca/Peto and Monsanto) were approved.
Genetically modified maize (corn) is a genetically modified crop.

Novartis

CibaSandozCiba-Geigy
In 1995 canola with modified oil composition (Calgene), Bt maize (Ciba-Geigy), bromoxynil-tolerant cotton (Calgene), Bt cotton (Monsanto), glyphosate-tolerant soybeans (Monsanto), virus-tolerant squash (Asgrow), and additional delayed ripening tomatoes (DNAP, Zeneca/Peto and Monsanto) were approved.
Novartis divested its agrochemical and genetically modified crops business in 2000 with the spinout of Syngenta in partnership with AstraZeneca, which also divested its agrochemical business.

Glyphosate

Roundupglycosphateglyphosates
In 1995 canola with modified oil composition (Calgene), Bt maize (Ciba-Geigy), bromoxynil-tolerant cotton (Calgene), Bt cotton (Monsanto), glyphosate-tolerant soybeans (Monsanto), virus-tolerant squash (Asgrow), and additional delayed ripening tomatoes (DNAP, Zeneca/Peto and Monsanto) were approved. In October 2014 the US EPA registered Dow's Enlist Duo maize, which is genetically modified to be resistant to both glyphosate and 2,4-D, in six states.
Farmers quickly adopted glyphosate for agricultural weed control, especially after Monsanto introduced glyphosate-resistant Roundup Ready crops, enabling farmers to kill weeds without killing their crops.

Bacillus thuringiensis

BtB. thuringiensisB . thuringiensis
In 1987, Plant Genetic Systems (Ghent, Belgium), founded by Marc Van Montagu and Jeff Schell, was the first company to genetically engineer insect-resistant (tobacco) plants by incorporating genes that produced insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).
This has led to their use as insecticides, and more recently to genetically modified crops using Bt genes, such as Bt corn.

Canola oil

canolacanola (rapeseed)canola (rapeseed) oil
In 1995 canola with modified oil composition (Calgene), Bt maize (Ciba-Geigy), bromoxynil-tolerant cotton (Calgene), Bt cotton (Monsanto), glyphosate-tolerant soybeans (Monsanto), virus-tolerant squash (Asgrow), and additional delayed ripening tomatoes (DNAP, Zeneca/Peto and Monsanto) were approved.
A genetically engineered rapeseed that is tolerant to herbicide was first introduced to Canada in 1995 (Roundup Ready canola).

Plant disease resistance

resistanceplant immunitydisease resistance
Since then traits including dwarfing genes and rust resistance have been introduced in that manner.
Plants with transgenic/GM disease resistance against insect pests have been extremely successful as commercial products, especially in maize and cotton, and are planted annually on over 20 million hectares in over 20 countries worldwide (see also genetically modified crops).

Pesticide

pesticidescrop sprayingchemical pesticides
A 2014 meta-analysis concluded that GM technology adoption had reduced chemical pesticide use by 37%, increased crop yields by 22%, and increased farmer profits by 68%.
Plant-incorporated protectants (PIPs) have genetic material from other species incorporated into their genetic material (i.e. GM crops). Their use is controversial, especially in many European countries.

CRISPR

CRISPR/Cas9CRISPR/CasCRISPR-Cas9
More recently, CRISPR and TALEN offered much more precise and convenient editing techniques.
The technology had been used to functionally inactivate genes in human cell lines and cells, to study Candida albicans, to modify yeasts used to make biofuels and to genetically modify crop strains.

DNA Plant Technology

DNAP
In 1995 canola with modified oil composition (Calgene), Bt maize (Ciba-Geigy), bromoxynil-tolerant cotton (Calgene), Bt cotton (Monsanto), glyphosate-tolerant soybeans (Monsanto), virus-tolerant squash (Asgrow), and additional delayed ripening tomatoes (DNAP, Zeneca/Peto and Monsanto) were approved.
Via its collaboration with the cigarette company, Brown & Williamson, DNA Plant Technology developed a genetically engineered cultivar of tobacco with a higher nicotine content, based on a high-nicotine strain already owned by Brown & Williamson called Y-1.

Tobacco

snufftobacco leavestobacco dryers
In 1987, Plant Genetic Systems (Ghent, Belgium), founded by Marc Van Montagu and Jeff Schell, was the first company to genetically engineer insect-resistant (tobacco) plants by incorporating genes that produced insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).
This research laid the groundwork for all genetically modified crops.

Biotechnology

biotechbiotechnologicalbiotechnologies
The term genetic engineering is applied to genetic modifications made using biotechnology.
Genetically modified crops ("GM crops", or "biotech crops") are plants used in agriculture, the DNA of which has been modified with genetic engineering techniques.

Enlist Weed Control System

In October 2014 the US EPA registered Dow's Enlist Duo maize, which is genetically modified to be resistant to both glyphosate and 2,4-D, in six states.
The Enlist Weed Control System is an agricultural system that includes seeds for genetically modified crops that are resistant to Enlist (a broadleaf herbicide with two active agents, 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and glyphosate) and the Enlist herbicide; spraying the herbicide will kill weeds but not the resulting crop.

Cowpea

cowpeascow peaV. unguiculata
Recently, research and development has been targeted to enhancement of crops that are locally important in developing countries, such as insect-resistant cowpea for Africa and insect-resistant brinjal (eggplant).
Genetically modified cowpeas are being developed to express the cry protein from Bacillus thuringiensis, which is toxic to lepidopteran species including the Maruca.

Genetically modified canola

Canola
Genetically modified canola is a genetically modified crop.

World Food Prize

World Food Prize FoundationThe World Food Prize FoundationWorld Food Prize Laureate
In 2013 the leaders of the three research teams that first applied genetic engineering to crops, Robert Fraley, Marc Van Montagu and Mary-Dell Chilton, were awarded the World Food Prize for improving the "quality, quantity or availability" of food in the world.
The 2013 award to the seed biotechnology industry (Monsanto, Syngenta and European Federation of Biotechnology) has drawn criticism from opponents of genetically modified crops.

EPSP synthase

5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase3-phosphoshikimate 1-carboxyvinyltransferase5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate
More specifically, glyphosate inhibits the enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS).
It is the biological target of the herbicide glyphosate, and a glyphosate-resistant version of this gene has been used in genetically modified crops.

Genetically modified tree

Genetically Modified Treesgenetically modifiedmodified trees
Some trees have been genetically modified to either have less lignin, or to express lignin with chemically labile bonds.
The development, testing and use of GM trees remains at an early stage in comparison to GM crops.

Genetically modified food controversies

controversiescontroversy over GMOsdebate over genetically modified foods
See Genetically modified food controversies article for information.
Genetically modified food controversies are disputes over the use of foods and other goods derived from genetically modified crops instead of conventional crops, and other uses of genetic engineering in food production.

International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications

ISAAA
According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), in 2014 approximately 18 million farmers grew biotech crops in 28 countries; about 94% of the farmers were resource-poor in developing countries.
The organization releases an annual publication on the global status of commercially approved genetically engineered crops.

Plant breeding

breedingplant breederplant biotechnology
Recently, research and development has been targeted to enhancement of crops that are locally important in developing countries, such as insect-resistant cowpea for Africa and insect-resistant brinjal (eggplant). Cisgenic plants are made using genes found within the same species or a closely related one, where conventional plant breeding can occur. These traits include improved shelf life, disease resistance, stress resistance, herbicide resistance, pest resistance, production of useful goods such as biofuel or drugs, and ability to absorb toxins and for use in bioremediation of pollution.
The debate surrounding genetically modified food during the 1990s peaked in 1999 in terms of media coverage and risk perception, and continues today – for example, "Germany has thrown its weight behind a growing European mutiny over genetically modified crops by banning the planting of a widely grown pest-resistant corn variety." The debate encompasses the ecological impact of genetically modified plants, the safety of genetically modified food and concepts used for safety evaluation like substantial equivalence.

Soybean

soysoybeanssoya
This CP4 EPSPS gene was cloned and transfected into soybeans.
In 1995, Monsanto company introduced glyphosate-tolerant soybeans that have been genetically modified to be resistant to Monsanto's glyphosate herbicides through substitution of the Agrobacterium sp. (strain CP4) gene EPSP (5-enolpyruvyl shikimic acid-3-phosphate) synthase.

Pesticide resistance

insecticide resistanceresistanceherbicide resistance
These traits include improved shelf life, disease resistance, stress resistance, herbicide resistance, pest resistance, production of useful goods such as biofuel or drugs, and ability to absorb toxins and for use in bioremediation of pollution.
Glyphosate-tolerant transgenic crops are not affected.

Center for Food Safety

The Center for Food Safety
Advocacy groups such as Center for Food Safety, Union of Concerned Scientists, Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund claim that risks related to GM food have not been adequately examined and managed, that GM crops are not sufficiently tested and should be labelled, and that regulatory authorities and scientific bodies are too closely tied to industry.
The CFS has participated in legal actions against manufacturers of genetically modified crops, such as GE alfalfa, wheat, rice, beets, and claims to have successfully stopped the commercialization of at least seven of these in the US. This includes the introduction of controversial Pharming plants (GE plants which produce biopharmaceuticals).