- Elgar original reference
Edited by Stuart J. Smyth, Peter W.B. Phillips and David Castle
We are currently immersed in the new age of agricultural biotechnology, having consumed trillions of servings of food developed with the aid of molecular technologies unheard of less than half a century ago. This astronomical number was highlighted by Miller (2011), who reported that in the area of North America alone, over three trillion servings of food containing genetically modified (GM) ingredients have been consumed. Billions of dollars and countless hours have been spent in research and development of new and improved agricultural products. Hundreds of millions of acres of genetically modified agronomic food crops such as canola, corn and soybean are being grown and sold in the market place. Horticultural food crops lag behind in acreage, with only papaya, sweet corn and squash available to consumers, while other beneficial products, many of which have already been developed and tested, have yet to be commercialized (Clark et al., 2004). Searching for a clear understanding of how a genetically modified product can make it to market can be a perplexing journey as we navigate through uncharted territory in the cosmos of a biotech universe. In this chapter we aim to present a clear picture of the process of agricultural biotechnology that was used to transform papayas from those that could not survive an attack by papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) to those that thrive due to engineered resistance to that virus.
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