Transgenic Crops: Status, Potential, and Challenges

  • Tejinder MallEmail author
  • Lei Han
  • Laura Tagliani
  • Cory Christensen


Since the commercialization of the first GM crop in mid-1990s, agricultural biotechnology has enjoyed remarkable growth in product development, commercialization, and global adoption. Areas planted with GM crops in the last 20 years have increased more than 100-fold, making crop biotechnology one of the fastest adopted agricultural technologies. World population is 7.3 billion today and is expected to reach 9.5 billion in 2050. To sustain this ever-growing population, we will be required to produce 70% more food than what we produce today (Headrick Res Technol Manag 59:3, 2016). Agricultural biotechnology has been and will continue to play an important role in meeting the challenge. This chapter covers a brief overview of agricultural biotechnology, starting with the development of Agrobacterium and gene gun-mediated transformation technologies. Input, output, and agronomic biotechnology traits are discussed with emphasis on the major crops being cultivated around the world. A brief overview of the next generation of precision transformation technologies is given with emphasis on site-specific nucleases, i.e., meganucleases, ZFNs (zinc finger nucleases), TALENs (transcription activator-like effector nucleases), and CRISPR/Cas (clustered regulatory interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated). Specific examples of the use of these technologies resulting in commercially important traits are discussed. Lastly, challenges associated with further adoption of GM crops are discussed with an emphasis on risk assessment of GM crops and food, perception of risk and benefits, regulation of GM products and policy development, international trade concerns and policy decisions, and social concerns.


Transgenic crops Transgenic traits Agrobacterium Gene gun Risk assessment GM regulation 



The views and opinions expressed in this article are drawn from scientific literature and the author’s professional experience. These are views of the authors and do not reflect the official views or policy of Dow AgroSciences or any other organization.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tejinder Mall
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lei Han
    • 2
  • Laura Tagliani
    • 2
  • Cory Christensen
    • 1
  1. 1.Dow AgroSciences LLC, 1281 Win Hentschel Blvd.West LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Dow AgroSciences LLC, 9330 Zionsville RoadIndianapolisUSA

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