Transgenesis vs breeding – one case study

October 11, 2008

ResearchBlogging.orgOne mantra that is repeated by anti-GMO advocates is that genetic engineering – the process of introducing foreign genes into a plant genome – has the potential to dramatically alter gene expression in the transgenic plant, and thus may lead to unanticipated and harmful changes in the plant.  The response from the scientist is that traditional breeding is logically expected to lead to much larger genome-wide changes, and that we actually will have less control over these.  With the advent of genome-wide transcription assays, it is now possible to test this directly (as opposed to trying to reason through the matter.  An example of such a study is that recently published by Baudo et al.  The bottom line of this study – gene expression is much less affected by the insertion of a transgene than by the process of traditional crop breeding.  The abstract of the study is after the fold.  As always, enjoy. Read the rest of this entry »