Food safety assessment of crops engineered with RNA interference and other methods to modulate expression of endogenous and plant pest genes

Gijs A. Kleter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Genetically modified crops have been grown commercially for more than two decades. Some of these crops have been modified with genetic constructs that induce gene silencing through RNA interference (RNAi). The targets for this silencing action are genes, either specific endogenous ones of the host plant or those of particular pests or pathogens infesting these plants.Recently emerging new genetic tools enable precise DNA edits with the same silencing effect and have also increased our knowledge and insights into the mechanisms of RNAi. For the assessment of the safety of foodstuffs from crops modified with RNAi, internationally harmonized principles for risk assessment of foods derived from genetically modified crops can be fol-lowed. Special considerations may apply to the newly expressed silencing RNA molecules, such as their possible uptake by consumers and interference with expression of host genes, which, however, would need to overcome many barriers. Bioinformatics tools aid the prediction of possible interference by a given RNA molecule with the expression of genes with homologous sequences in the host crop and in other organisms, or possible off-target edits in gene-edited crops.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3333-3339
JournalPest Management Science
Volume76
Issue number10
Early online date4 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

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