A complete online version of the proceedings of a workshop on Transgenic
Virus-resistant Plants and New Plant Viruses can be located on the AIBS
To request a printed version send your name and complete mailing address
to transgenic at aibs.org
Many genes derived from plant RNA viruses expressed in transgenic plants
confer resistance against infection by viruses that were the original
source of the genes and in some cases, by other viruses as well. As of
March 17, 1995, over 240 field tests of virus-resistant transgenic plants
had been conducted in the United States. Recently, the first
virus-resistant transgenic plant (ZW 20 squash developed by Asgrow Seed
Company) was approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for
widespread commercial production. Other virus-resistant plants are likely
to be commercialized by the turn of the century. Although the use of
viral genes for resistance to plant viruses has many potential benefits,
some risk issues associated with the use of these genes have been raised.
The principal issues are associated with the possibility that
recombination between an infecting plant RNA virus and a viral RNA
produced from a transgene will result in a new, problematic virus.
Additional issues include potential synergism, transcapsidation, and other
interactions that might lead to new or more severe disease problems.
To address these issues, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service (APHIS) and the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS)
convened a two-day workshop on April 20-21, 1995, in Beltsville,
Maryland. Workshop participants included virologists and others with
expertise in molecular biology and plant pathology .
Keith L. Cowing - Manager of Planning and Operations
American Institute of Biological Sciences
10700 Parkridge Blvd Suite 380 - Reston, VA, USA 22091
703-758-1212 voice - 703-758-1222 fax
kcowing at aibs.org - gopher://aibs.org