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Durham University

Department of Biosciences

Academic Staff

Publication details for Professor John A. Gatehouse

Gatehouse, J.A. (2013). Genetic Engineering of Crops for Insect Resistance. In Sustainable Food Production. Christou, P., Savin, R., Costa-Pierce, B.A. & Whitelaw, C.B.A. New York: Springer. 808-845.

Author(s) from Durham


Definition of the Subject
Genetic engineering of crops for insect resistance is the introduction of specific DNA sequences into crop plants to enhance their resistance to insect pests. The DNA sequences used usually encode proteins with insecticidal activity, so that in plants which contain introduced DNA, an insecticidal protein is present. However, other strategies to improve plant defenses against insects have been explored. Genetically engineered crops that are protected against major insect pests by production of insecticidal proteins from a soil bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis, have become widely used in global agriculture since their introduction in 1996.
Twenty years have elapsed since the first publications describing transgenic plants, which showed enhanced resistance to insect herbivores, as a result of the expression of a foreign gene encoding Bacillus thu ...