Gene flow from herbicide-resistant crops: it's not just for transgenes

J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Jun 8;59(11):5813-8. doi: 10.1021/jf103389v. Epub 2010 Nov 8.


Gene flow was raised as one of the first issues related to the development and release of genetically engineered (GE) crops. Gene flow has remained a topic of discussion for more than 20 years and is still used as an argument against the release of transgenic crops. With respect to herbicide-resistant crops, gene flow does not differ whether the herbicide resistance trait is introduced via genetic engineering or via conventional breeding techniques. Conventional breeding and genetic engineering techniques have been used to produce herbicide resistance in many of the same crop species. In addition, conventional breeding has been used to produce a broader range of herbicide-resistant crops than have been genetically engineered for herbicide resistance. Economic, political, and social concerns center on the breeding technique, but the results of gene flow for weed management are the same irrespective of breeding technique. This paper will focus on gene flow from nonGE herbicide-resistant crops in North America.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Crops, Agricultural / drug effects
  • Crops, Agricultural / genetics*
  • Gene Flow*
  • Herbicide Resistance*
  • Herbicides / pharmacology
  • Transgenes*


  • Herbicides