Transgenics, pest management, and the environment uri icon

abstract

  • Genetic engineering of crop plants to confer resistanceto insect pests offers an environmental friendlymethod of crop protection. Impressive results havebeen obtained with the expression of Bacillus thuringiensis(Bt) and other toxin genes in several crops.However, both exotic and plant-derived genes havesome performance limitations, and there have beensome failures in insect control through transgeniccrops. The production and deployment of transgeniccrops for pest control need to address the issues relatedto impact of the transgenic crops on the insectpests, ecological cost of resistance development,effects on the nontarget organisms, availability anddistribution of the alternate host plants, and thepotential for introgression of genes into the wildrelatives of crops. There is a need for a more responsiblepublic debate and better presentation of thebenefits for a rational deployment of the geneticallytransformedplants for sustainable crop production

publication date

  • 2000