Barriers and paths to market for genetically engineered crops
News Apr 19, 2010
Each year, billions of dollars are invested in efforts to improve crops through genetic engineering (GE). These activities have resulted in a surge of publications and patents on technologies and genes: a momentum in basic research that, unfortunately, is not sustained throughout the subsequent phases of product development. After more than two decades of intensive research, the market for transgenic crops is still dominated by applications of just a handful of methods and genes. This discrepancy between research and development reflects difficulties in understanding and overcoming seven main barriers-to-entry: (1) trait efficacy in the field, (2) critical product concepts, (3) freedom-to-operate, (4) industry support, (5) identity preservation and stewardship, (6) regulatory approval and (7) retail and consumer acceptance. In this review, I describe the various roadblocks to market for transgenic crops and also discuss methods and approaches on how to overcome these, especially in the United States.
Hidden underground networks of plant roots snake through the earth foraging for nutrients and water, similar to a worm searching for food. Yet, the genetic and molecular mechanisms that govern which parts of the soil roots explore remain largely unknown. Now, researchers have discovered a gene that determines whether roots grow deep or shallow in the soil.READ MORE