Assessing environmental impacts of genetically modified plants on non-target organisms: The relevance of in planta studies

Salvatore Arpaia, A. Nicholas E. Birch, Jozsef Kiss, Joop J.A. van Loon, Antoine Mess�an, Marco Nuti, Joe N. Perry, Jeremy B. Sweet, Christoph C. Tebbe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In legal frameworks worldwide, genetically modified plants (GMPs) are subjected to pre-market environmental risk assessment (ERA) with the aim of identifying potential effects on the environment. In the European Union, the EFSA Guidance Document introduces the rationale that GMPs, as well as their newly produced metabolites, represent the potential stressor to be evaluated during ERA. As a consequence, during several phases of ERA for cultivation purposes, it is considered necessary to use whole plants or plant parts in experimental protocols. The importance of in planta studies as a strategy to address impacts of GMPs on non-target organisms is demonstrated, to evaluate both effects due to the intended modification in plant phenotype (e.g. expression of Cry proteins) and effects due to unintended modifications in plant phenotype resulting from the transformation process (e.g. due to somaclonal variations or pleiotropic effects). In planta tests are also necessary for GMPs in which newly expressed metabolites cannot easily be studied in vitro. This paper reviews the scientific literature supporting the choice of in planta studies as a fundamental tool in ERA of GMPs in cultivation dossiers; the evidence indicates they can realistically mimic the ecological relationships occurring in their receiving environments and provide important insights into the biology and sustainable management of GMPs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123 - 132
Number of pages10
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume583
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

Cite this

Arpaia, S., Birch, A. N. E., Kiss, J., van Loon, J. J. A., Mess�an, A., Nuti, M., Perry, J. N., Sweet, J. B., & Tebbe, C. C. (2017). Assessing environmental impacts of genetically modified plants on non-target organisms: The relevance of in planta studies. Science of the Total Environment, 583, 123 - 132. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.01.039