Cisgenesis strongly improves introgression breeding and induced translocation breeding of plants

Trends Biotechnol. 2007 May;25(5):219-23. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2007.03.008. Epub 2007 Mar 23.


There are two ways for genetic improvement in classical plant breeding: crossing and mutation. Plant varieties can also be improved through genetic modification; however, the present GMO regulations are based on risk assessments with the transgenes coming from non-crossable species. Nowadays, DNA sequence information of crop plants facilitates the isolation of cisgenes, which are genes from crop plants themselves or from crossable species. The increasing number of these isolated genes, and the development of transformation protocols that do not leave marker genes behind, provide an opportunity to improve plant breeding while remaining within the gene pool of the classical breeder. Compared with induced translocation and introgression breeding, cisgenesis is an improvement for gene transfer from crossable plants: it is a one-step gene transfer without linkage drag of other genes, whereas induced translocation and introgression breeding are multiple step gene transfer methods with linkage drag. The similarity of the genes used in cisgenesis compared with classical breeding is a compelling argument to treat cisgenic plants as classically bred plants. In the case of the classical breeding method induced translocation breeding, the insertion site of the genes is a priori unknown, as it is in cisgenesis. This provides another argument to treat cisgenic plants as classically bred plants, by exempting cisgenesis of plants from the GMO legislations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breeding / methods*
  • Genetic Enhancement / methods*
  • Hybridization, Genetic / genetics*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics*
  • Translocation, Genetic / genetics*