Nature Reviews Genetics 4, 806-817 (October 2003) | doi:10.1038/nrg1179

Subject Category: Genetic modification

Focus on: Genetic Modification

Genetic modification: Transgene introgression from genetically modified crops to their wild relatives

C. Neal Stewart, Jr1, Matthew D. Halfhill1 & Suzanne I. Warwick2  About the authors


Transgenes engineered into annual crops could be unintentionally introduced into the genomes of their free-living wild relatives. The fear is that these transgenes might persist in the environment and have negative ecological consequences. Are some crops or transgenic traits of more concern than others? Are there natural genetic barriers to minimize gene escape? Can the genetic transformation process be exploited to produce new barriers to gene flow? Questions abound, but luckily so do answers.

Author affiliations

  1. Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996, USA.
  2. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Eastern Cereal and Oilseeds Research Centre, K.W. Neatby Bldg., C.E.F., Ottawa, Ontario K1A OC6, Canada.

Correspondence to: C. Neal Stewart, Jr1 Email:

These links to content published by NPG are automatically generated

Evolution during Domestication
Nature Encyclopaedia of Life Sciences
Speciation: Genetics
Nature Encyclopaedia of Life Sciences
See all 4 matches for Reference

Crop genetics: Reducing transgene escape routes
Nature News and Views (16 Apr 1998)

Male fitness of oilseed rape (Brassica napus), weedy B. rapa and their F1 hybrids when pollinating B. rapa seeds
Heredity Original Article (01 Sep 2002)
See all 16 matches for Research