Transgenic Research

, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp 359–362 | Cite as

Environmental risk assessment of releases of transgenic plants containing virus-derived inserts

  • David J. Robinson
Letter to the Editor


Sequences derived from the genomes of plant viruses are being used to provide virus resistance in transgenic crop plants. Although the environmental hazards associated with the release of such plants have been discussed widely, it has not been possible to reach generally acceptable conclusions about their safety. A case-by-case approach to the risk assessment of real examples is recommended as a means of building up confidence and of indicating areas of uncertainty. A logical framework for risk assessment is suggested, a key feature of which is identification of the viruses in the release environment that may infect the transgenic plants. Each of these is considered in relation to each of the three main classes of hazard (transcapsidation, recombination and synergism), and the risk associated with each event is analysed.


virus resistant plants virus-derived inserts transcapsidation recombination synergism environmental risk assessment 


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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Robinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Scottish Crop Research InstituteDundeeUK

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