Ci

Africa

Asia

Latin America

Europe £IT) Region

Figure 13-4. Regional status of GM crops in developing countries Source: FAO-BioDec (2003).

Near East high in Latin America, its magnitude is lower in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. Not surprisingly, insect pest and pathogen resistance is high on Asia and Latin America's research agendas as well as product quality traits, with Asia leading in numbers. Asia is also leading in the amount of GM crop research for abiotic stresses. In Eastern European countries in transition, research on product quality is highest; whereas tolerance to abiotic stress and herbicide research is comparatively lower (Fig. 13-5).

Cohen et al. (2003) reported that the genes used are mainly "off the shelf," i.e., genes or genetic elements that are already available in commercial products, or that are the property of public research institutes and universities. These are not locally isolated genes, some already being developed by developing countries public sector institutes. Surprisingly, the number of successful projects involving public and private sectors is very low. National work includes many exciting developments, e.g., Chinese public sector researchers isolated 20 new Bt genes, Malaysian researchers isolated a tissue-specific promoter for rubber, Egypgian researchers at the Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute (AGERI) collaborated with Pioneer Hybrid to isolate four corn promoters, and the Egyptian researchers also developed new transformation protocols and regeneration systems for wheat (Cohen et al., 2003). Except for China, no public sector product is close to commercialization. Closest is Egypt with squash and potato, whereas South Africa's GM sugarcane and potato are three to four years away (Cohen et al., 2003).

Herbicide Tolerance

Insect Pest Resistance

Pathogen Resistance

Tolerance to Abiotic Stresses v Traits Multiple Traits

Figure 13-5. Regional distribution of trait groups being researched for GM crops in the pipeline

Source: FAO-BioDec (2003).

6. PRODUCTS IN THE PIPELINE 6.1 Crops

As described above, a diverse range of traits and crops are being studied in developing countries. These include staple food such as rice, banana and plantain, fruit crops such as mango and papaya, and tropical industrial crops such as palm oil and coconut. The traits engineered are abiotic stress tolerance such as for drought, salinity, freezing, and aluminum toxicity, important for marginal and small holder farmers (Table 13-2).

Table 13-2. Some examples of GM crops in the pipeline with traits important for developing country/resource-poor farmers

Country

Crop(s)

Traits

Argentina

Brazil

Bulgaria

China

China, India, Philippines Egypt

India

Indonesia

Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam

Indonesia, Kenya,

Zimbabwe

Malaysia

Malaysia and Indonesia

Mexico

Philippines

South Africa Zimbabwe

Wheat

Corn

Bean

Grape

Corn

Rice

Rice

Wheat

Wheat

Squash and melon

Cabbage

Potato

Mustard Ground nut Papaya

Sweet potato

Rice Palm oil Corn

Bananas and plantains

Coconut

Mango

Papaya

Rice

Rice

Potato

Cowpea

Corn

Baking quality (high molecular weight gluten)

Oil composition

Golden mosaic virus resistance

Freezing tolerance

High lysine

Salt tolerance

Resistance to bacterial blight Drought tolerance Salinity tolerance

Zucchini yellow mosaic virus resistance

Insect resistance (black diamond moth)

High protein with gene Amal from

Amaranthus

High vitamin A

Virus resistance

Papaya ringspot virus resistance

Virus resistance

Tungro virus resistance Modified oil composition Aluminum tolerance

Virus resistance (banana bunchy top virus, banana bract mosaic virus) Improved fatty acid content Delay ripening

Resistance to papaya ringspot virus Drought tolerance Salinity tolerance Drought and heat tolerance Cowpea mosaic virus Insect resistance

Sources: FAO-BioDeC (2003) and Next Harvest© databases.

Table 13-3. GM trees in research and/or in field trials

Country

Species

Traits

Canada

Black Spruce, tamarack, white

Disease tolerance, insect

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