The global pipeline of GM crops out to 2020

Journal name:
Nature Biotechnology
Volume:
34,
Pages:
31–36
Year published:
DOI:
doi:10.1038/nbt.3449
Published online

Although a few arable crops and agronomic traits will likely dominate commercial varieties for the foreseeable future, with many being stacked together, more quality traits and specialty crops are being introduced into the pipeline.

At a glance

Figures

  1. GM crop events in the market and at the precommercial, regulatory and advanced R&D stages in 2008 and 2014, illustrated by crop.
    Figure 1: GM crop events in the market and at the precommercial, regulatory and advanced R&D stages in 2008 and 2014, illustrated by crop.

    Commercial cultivation corresponds to commercialized GM events (those currently marketed in at least one country); precommercial stage refers to GM events authorized in at least one country, but not yet commercialized (commercialization depends only on the decision by the developer); regulatory stage corresponds to GM events already in the regulatory process to be marketed in at least one country; and advanced R&D stage corresponds to GM events not yet in the regulatory process but at late stages of development (large-scale, multilocation field trials, generation of data for the authorization dossier).

  2. Distribution of traits among GM crop transformation events in commercial cultivation in 2008 and in 2014, and at the precommercial and regulatory stages in 2014.
    Figure 2: Distribution of traits among GM crop transformation events in commercial cultivation in 2008 and in 2014, and at the precommercial and regulatory stages in 2014.

    For a more detailed description of the traits present in different stages of the GM pipeline, see Supplementary Table 1.

  3. Distribution of GM crop events per developer type and development phase.
    Figure 3: Distribution of GM crop events per developer type and development phase.

    'Main GM developers' include BASF, Bayer CropScience, Cargill, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Pioneer, Monsanto and Syngenta. Data for the advanced R&D stage in 2008 were not included in the former review of the pipeline5.

  4. Distribution of GM crop developers per development phase and geographic origin.
    Figure 4: Distribution of GM crop developers per development phase and geographic origin.
  5. Distribution of type of GM crops developed at different stages in industrialized and developing countries.
    Figure 5: Distribution of type of GM crops developed at different stages in industrialized and developing countries.

    'Other crops' includes, among others, banana, bean, cassava, eggplant, papaya, sugarcane and tomato. (The definition of 'developing countries' used here is that of the United Nations Development Program.)

  6. Number of commercial stacks identified per crop.
    Figure 6: Number of commercial stacks identified per crop.

    The figure describes the data obtained in our search for multiple stacked events in the following phases: commercial cultivation, precommercial stage and regulatory stage. As explained in the Supplementary Note, the data mainly come from the databases of single countries' regulatory bodies and private companies' information. Because commercial stacks are regulated differently in different countries and do not need regulation in certain countries, the list is not exhaustive.

References

  1. James, C. Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2014. ISAAA Brief 49. http://www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/briefs/49/default.asp (International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications, Ithaca, NY, 2014).
  2. Miller, J.K. & Bradford, K.J. The regulatory bottleneck for biotech specialty crops. Nat. Biotechnol. 28, 10121014 (2010).
  3. Graff, G.D., Zilberman, D. & Bennett, A.B. The contraction of agbiotech product quality innovation. Nat. Biotechnol. 27, 702704 (2009).
  4. Stein, A.J. & Rodriguez-Cerezo, E. The Global Pipeline of New GM Crops. Implications of Asynchronous Approval for International Trade (European Commission, Joint Research Centre, 2009).
  5. Stein, A.J. & Rodríguez-Cerezo, E. International trade and the global pipeline of new GM crops. Nat. Biotechnol. 28, 2325 (2010).
  6. Kalaitzandonakes, N., Alston, J.M. & Bradford, K.J. Compliance costs for regulatory approval of new biotech crops. Nat. Biotechnol. 25, 509511 (2007).
  7. Waltz, E. Monsanto adds dicamba to its cache to counter weed threat. Nat. Biotechnol. 33, 328 (2015).
  8. Cockburn, A. Commercial plant breeding: What is in the biotech pipeline? J. Commer. Biotechnol. 10, 209223 (2004).
  9. De Steur, H. et al. Status and market potential of transgenic biofortified crops. Nat. Biotechnol. 33, 2529 (2015).
  10. Wolt, J.D. & Karaman, S. Estimated environmental loads of alpha-amylase from transgenic high-amylase maize. Biomass Bioenergy 31, 831835 (2007).
  11. Harwood, J.L. et al. Regulation and enhancement of lipid accumulation in oil crops: The use of metabolic control analysis for informed genetic manipulation. Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 115, 12391246 (2013).
  12. Falck-Zepeda, J., Gruère, G. & Sithole-Niang, I. Genetically Modified Crops in Africa. Economic and Policy Lessons from Countries South of the Sahara (International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC, 2013).
  13. Huang, J., Rozelle, S., Pray, C. & Wang, Q. Plant biotechnology in China. Science 295, 674676 (2002).
  14. Atanassov, A. et al. To Reach the Poor: Results from the ISNAR-IFPRI Next Harvest Study on Genetically Modified Crops, Public Research, and Policy Implications (Environment and Production Technology Division, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC, 2004).
  15. ISAAA. Pocket K No. 42: Stacked Traits in Biotech Crops. http://isaaa.org/resources/publications/pocketk/42/default.asp (International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications, Ithaca, NY, 2013).
  16. European Commission. CO-EXTRA: GM and Non-GM Supply Chains: Their CO-EXistence and TRAceability. Deliverable D6.4. http://bch.cbd.int/database/attachment/?id=10373 (EC, Sixth Framework Programme, 2008).
  17. De Schrijver, A. et al. Risk assessment of GM stacked events obtained from crosses between GM events. Trends Food Sci. Technol. 18, 101109 (2007).
  18. EuropaBio. Approvals of GMOs in the European Union (European Association of Bioindustries, Brussels; 2011).
  19. Kalaitzandonakes, N., Kaufman, J. & Miller, D. Potential economic impacts of zero thresholds for unapproved GMOs: the EU case. Food Policy 45, 146157 (2014).
  20. FAO. Technical Consultation on Low Levels of GM Crops in International Food and Feed Trade. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rome, Italy, 20–21 March 2014. http://www.fao.org/food/food-safety-quality/a-z-index/biotechnology/LLP/en/
  21. Grushkin, D. Threat to global GM soybean access as patent nears expiry. Nat. Biotechnol. 31, 1011 (2013).
  22. Conko, G. Is There a Future for generic Biotech Crops? Regulatory Reform is Needed for a Viable Post-Patent Industry. Issue Analysis 2012 No. 7. (Competitive Enterprise Institute, 2012).
  23. Koch, A. et al. Host-induced gene silencing of cytochrome P450 lanosterol C14a-demethylase-encoding genes confers strong resistance to Fusarium species. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 110, 1932419329 (2013).
  24. Mao, Y.-B., Tao, X.-Y., Xue, X.-Y., Wang, L.-J. & Chen, X.-Y. Cotton plants expressing CYP6AE14 double-stranded RNA show enhanced resistance to bollworms. Transgenic Res. 20, 665673 (2011).
  25. Gil-Humanes, J., Pistón, F., Tollefsen, S., Sollid, L.M. & Barro, F. Effective shutdown in the expression of celiac disease-related wheat gliadin T-cell epitopes by RNA interference. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107, 1702317028 (2010).
  26. Dodo, H.W., Konan, K.N., Chen, F.C., Egnin, M. & Viquez, O.M. Alleviating peanut allergy using genetic engineering: the silencing of the immunodominant allergen Ara h 2 leads to its significant reduction and a decrease in peanut allergenicity. Plant Biotechnol. J. 6, 135145 (2008).
  27. Lusser, M., Parisi, C., Plan, D. & Rodríguez-Cerezo, E. Deployment of new biotechnologies in plant breeding. Nat. Biotechnol. 30, 231239 (2012).
  28. Lusser, M., Parisi, C., Plan, D. & Rodríguez-Cerezo, E. New Plant Breeding Techniques. State-of-the-Art and Prospects for Commercial Development. JRC Technical Report EUR 24760 EN. (European Commission. Joint Research Centre, 2011).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Seville, Spain.

    • Claudia Parisi,
    • Pascal Tillie &
    • Emilio Rodríguez-Cerezo

Competing financial interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to:

Author details

Supplementary information

Additional data