Swap Meet from Heck

C. Neal Stewart

in Genetically Modified Planet

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780195157451
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199790388 | DOI:
 Swap Meet from Heck

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One success story in plant biotechnology is the production of virus-resistant papaya, which saved the papaya industry in Hawaii. The virus-resistant plants contain a piece of viral DNA that protects against ring-spot virus. However, people have worried that wild virus sequence might interact and recombine with virus-derived transgenes, with the worst-case scenario being the creation of new and more virulent viruses. A forced exchange of sequence has been produced in lab settings under artificial selection conditions, but viral recombination with transgenes have never been observed in the field. In addition, several prevalent conditions do not favor viral recombination of this sort. The biggest reasons are that the transgenic sequence adds no novel information into the system, and the virus-resistant plants decrease viral load in the plant, which decreases opportunity for recombination.

Keywords: DNA; recombination; sequence; transgenes; virus resistance

Chapter.  3130 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biotechnology

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