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Annu Rev Phytopathol. 2002;40:467-91. Epub 2002 Feb 20.

Risk assessment of virus-resistant transgenic plants.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Biologie Cellulaire, INRA-Versailles, F-78026 Versailles cedex, France.


Virus-resistant transgenic plants (VRTPs) hold the promise of enormous benefit for agriculture. However, over the past ten years, questions concerning the potential ecological impact of VRTPs have been raised. In some cases, detailed study of the mode of action of the resistance gene has made it possible to eliminate the source of potential risk, notably the possible effects of heterologous encapsidation on the transmission of viruses by their vectors. In other cases, the means of eliminating likely sources of risk have not yet been developed. When such residual risk still exists, the potential risks associated with the VRTP must be compared with those associated with nontransgenic plants so that risk assessment can fully play its role as part of an overall analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of practicable solutions to the problem solved by the VRTP.

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