Assessing non-target risks of RNAi-based insecticidal transgenic plants


Abstract: Genetically engineered (GE) crops can be protected from insect attack by producing dsRNA that lead to RNA interference (RNAi). This leads to the downregulation of essential gene products in a herbivorous insect and represents a powerful new technology for pest control. The use of such GE plants, however, has raised concerns about their effects on valued non-target organisms. This risk is thus evaluated prior to the release of any RNAi-based transgenic plant into the environment. While the risk assessment follows the principles that have been shown to be effective for plants producing insecticidal proteins, e.g., Bt-transgenic plants, there are particularities about RNAi-based insecticidal plants that need to be considered.

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