Genetically Modified Crops with Drought Tolerance: Achievements, Challenges, and Perspectives

  • Chanjuan LiangEmail author


Drought stress is a major cause of reduction in crop yield. In the past 10 years, global food insecurity has been aggravated by human population growth, environmental deterioration, and climate change. Hence, developing drought-tolerant crops by modern biotechnology may contribute to global food security because drought-tolerant crops may become a factor to maintain plant growth and productivity, and to increase the area of arable land worldwide. Recently, studies have started to bear fruit on the molecular mechanisms of drought stress responses and, in parallel, genetically modified crops (GM crops) with drought tolerance have also shown promising results that can be ultimately applied to agriculture. However, broad adoption of GM crops, including crops with drought tolerance, will depend on adequate safety assessment and related public acceptance. Thus, a food and environmental safety assessment is generally required by different jurisdictions prior to introducing GM crops with drought tolerance to the market. Although worldwide harmonized approaches are currently provided, risk assessors still face challenges to apply the comparative approach to assess food and environmental safety of GM crops with drought tolerance. In this chapter, we discuss current developments in the field of crops with drought tolerance as well as issues concerning the food and environmental safety assessment of these crops, including achievements, challenges, and perspectives.


Genetically modified crops Drought tolerance Biotechnology Crop breeding Food safety assessment Environmental safety assessment 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Anaerobic Biotechnology, School of Environmental and Civil EngineeringJiangnan UniversityWuxiChina

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