Genetically Engineering Plants for Crop Improvement

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Science  16 Jun 1989:
Vol. 244, Issue 4910, pp. 1293-1299
DOI: 10.1126/science.244.4910.1293


Dramatic progress has been made in the development of gene transfer systems for higher plants. The ability to introduce foreign genes into plant cells and tissues and to regenerate viable, fertile plants has allowed for explosive expansion of our understanding of plant biology and has provided an unparalleled opportunity to modify and improve crop plants. Genetic engineering of plants offers significant potential for seed, agrichemical, food processing, specialty chemical, and pharmaceutical industries to develop new products and manufacturing processes. The extent to which genetically engineered plants will have an impact on key industries will be determined both by continued technical progress and by issues such as regulatory approval, proprietary protection, and public perception.

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