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Introduction . Fungus Resistant Transgenic Plant Production. Topics of Concern in GM Crops Related to Biosafety.

Genetic Modified Organism are plants whose DNA is modified using genetic engineering techniques.

Biosafety in Agriculture (reducing the risk of alien viral or transgenic genes, or prions such as BSE/"MadCow", reducing the risk of food bacterial contamination).

Fungus and their effects on plant Plants diseases cause approximately 12 % yield loss at the field level, to which are added 9 - 20 % during post-harvest stages (Agrios 1997). Among the culprits causing this huge loss, the most devastating pathogens are fungi (Pennisi 2001). .

Fungus Resistant Transgenic Plant Production

1. Toxic pathogens or reduce their growth e.g. pathogenesis-related proteins (PR proteins) and phytoalexins, . 2. Destroy or neutralize the components of pathogen arsenal e.g. polygalacturonase, oxalic acid. 3. Enhance structural defense in the plants e.g. peroxidase and lignin.

4. Regulate signals to control plant defenses. e.g. hydrogen peroxidase (H2O2), salicylic acid (SA) and ethylene (C2H4). 5. Expression of the resistance gene (R) products involved in hypersensitive response (HR). 6. Binding or inactivation of fungal toxins thus stopping invasion of fungus by expression of R gene. 7. Production of RNAi, RNase and lysozyme .

Fungus Resistant Transgenic Plant Production

Risks for animal and human health Risks for the environment Horizontal gene transfer Risks for agriculture General concerns

- toxicity & food/feed quality/safety; allergies; - pathogen drug resistance (antibiotic resistance).

- Persistency of gene or transgene or of transgene products (accumulative effects). - Susceptibility of non-target organisms. - Change in use of chemicals in agriculture. - Unpredictable gene expression or transgene instability. - Environmentally-induced (abiotic) changes in transgene expression. - Ecological fitness. - Changes to biodiversity. - Impact on soil fertility, soil degradation of organic material

- Genetic pollution through pollen or seed dispersal. - Transfer of foreign gene to microorganisms (DNA uptake) or generation of new live viruses by recombination (transcapsidation, complementation, etc.)

- Resistance/tolerance of target organisms. - Weeds or superweeds. - Alteration of nutritional value (attractiveness of the organism to pests). - Change in cost of agriculture. - Unpredictable variation in active product availability. - Loss of familiarity/changes in agricultural practice.

Detection and analytical methods. Ethical issues (eg. labelling). Risk assessment/ risk management; General biosafety. Public attitudes. Legislation (incl. liability & redress). Monitoring; socio-economics. IPR (Intellectual Property Rights);

- Agrios GN (1997) . Plant Pathology. Academic Press, California, pp. 635.Pennisi E (2001).The push to pit genomics against fungal pathogens. Science 292: 22732274. - Pennisi E (2001).The push to pit genomics against fungal pathogens. Science 292: 2273-2274. - Clausen M, Kruter R, Schachermayr G, Potrykus I and Sautter C (2000) Antifungal activity of virally encoded gene in transgenic wheat. Nature Biotechnology 18: 446-449. - Takaichi M and Oeda K (2000) Transgenic carrots with enhanced resistance against two major pathogens, Erysiphe heraclei and Alternaria dauci. Plant Sci. 153: 135144. - Lorito M and Scala F (1999) Microbial genes expressed in transgenic plants to improve disease resistance. J. Plant Pathol. 81: 73-88.