California Agriculture Online
California Agriculture Home  >   Volume 66   >   Number 2  >   Viewing Expanded Abstract

peer-reviewed research article

Research and adoption of biotechnology strategies could improve California fruit and nut crops

authors

Victor M. Haroldsen, Morrison and Foerster
Gabriel Paulino, SPRIM, San Francisco
Cecilia Chi-ham, PIPRA, Davis
Alan B. Bennett, UC Davis, and Executive Director, PIPRA

publication information

California Agriculture 66(2):62-69. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v066n02p62. April-June 2012.

NALT Keywords

agronomy, biotechnology, crop management, genetic engineering, pest management, Plant Products

abstract

California's fruit and nut tree crops represent one-third of the state's cash farm receipts and 70% of U.S. fruit and nut production. Advances in crop biotechnology and genetic engineering could help protect these valuable crops from pests and diseases and improve productivity. However, due to the difficulty of genetically engineering woody tree crops, as well as intellectual property concerns, regulatory hurdles and public perceptions about genetic engineering, biotechnology has not gained a foothold in this area of agriculture. Our survey of published genetic engineering research and issued field trial permits between 2000 and 2011 revealed that citrus and grape are the focus of most current work, and that walnut — not the more widely planted almond — is the focus among nut crops. Matching publicly funded genetic engineering research projects to a survey of the industry's top needs, we found that far less than half of the funded research has focused on the top-identified pest and disease threats. The most promising genetic engineering technology for fruit and nut tree crops may be transgrafting, which could address consumer concerns and benefit growers.

author affiliations

V.M. Haroldsen is Scientific Analyst, Morrison and Foerster, San Francisco; G. Paulino is Manager of Business Development, SPRIM, San Francisco; C.L. Chi-Ham is Director of Biotechnology Resources, PIPRA, Davis; A.B. Bennett is Professor, Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis, and Executive Director, PIPRA;

author notes

A Plant Sciences Departmental GSR award and the Rockefeller Foundation supported work performed at UC Davis. Specific information on individual fruit and nut crops is available from the authors upon request.

References

Aguero CB, Uratsu SL, Greve C, et al. Evaluation of tolerance to Pierce's disease and Botrytis in transgenic plants of Vitis vinifera L. expressing the pear PGIP gene. Mol Plant Pathol. 2005. 6(1):43-51. DOI: 10.1111/j.1364-3703.2004.00262.x [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Astrid D. The dispersion and development of consumer preferences for genetically modified food — a meta-analysis. Ecol Econ. 2009. 68(8-9):2182-92. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2009.03.008 [CrossRef]

Atkinson RC, Beachy RN, Conway G, et al. Intellectual property rights. Public sector collaboration for agricultural IP management. Science. 2003. 301(5630):174-5. DOI: 10.1126/science.1085553 [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Bernard JC, Gifford K, Santora K, Bernard DJ. Willingness to pay for foods with varying production traits and levels of genetically modified content. J Food Distribution Res. 2009. 40(2):1-11.

[CDFA] California Department of Food and Agriculture. Pierce's Disease/Glassy Winged Sharpshooter Research Scientific Review Final Report, August 2007. Pierce's Disease Research Scientific Advisory Panel

COGEM. New Techniques in Biotechnology 2006. CO-GEM Report CGM/061024-02. www.cogem.net/index.cfm/en/publications/publicatie/new-techniques-in-plant-biotechnology (accessed Oct. 21, 2011)

Escobar MA, Civerolo EL, Summerfelt KR, Dandekar AM. RNAi-mediated oncogene silencing confers resistance to crown gall tumorigenesis. PNAS USA. 2001. 98(23):13437-42. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.241276898 [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Escobar MA, Leslie CA, McGranahan GH, Dandekar AM. Silencing crown gall disease in walnut (Juglans regia L.). Plant Sci. 2002. 163(3):591-7. DOI: 10.1016/S0168-9452(02)00164-4 [CrossRef]

Gonsalves D. Virus-resistant transgenic papaya helps save Hawaiian industry. Cal Ag. 2004. 58(2):92-3. http://californiaagriculture.ucanr.org/landingpage.cfm?article=ca.v058n02p92

Graff GD, Wright BD, Bennett AB, Zilberman D. Access to intellectual property is a major obstacle to developing transgenic horticultural crops. Cal Ag. 2004. 58(2):120-6. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v058n02p120 [CrossRef]

Haroldsen V, Szczerba MW, Aktas H, et al. Mobility of transgenic nucleic acids and proteins within grafted rootstocks for agricultural improvement. Frontiers Plant Sci. 2012. 3:39- DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2012.00039 [CrossRef]

Heselmans M. Legal uncertainties obstruct breeders. Prophyta. 2011. 52:16-21.

Huffman W, Rousu M. Just RE. Alston JM. Zilberman D. Consumer attitudes and market resistance to biotech products. Regulating Agricultural Biotechnology: Economics and Policy 2006. New York, NY:Springer Sci Bus Media. p. 201-25. DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-36953-2_10 [CrossRef]

James C. Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2010 2010. ISAAA Brief No 42. International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications. Ithaca, NY

Kalaitzandonakes N, Alston JM, Bradford KJ. Just RE. Alston JM. Zilberman D. Compliance costs for regulatory approval of new biotech crops. Regulating Agricultural Biotechnology: Economics and Policy 2006. New York, NY:Springer Sci Bus Media. p. 37-57.

Lev-Yadun S, Sederoff R. Grafting for transgene containment. Nat Biotech. 2001. 19(12):1104- DOI: 10.1038/nbt1201-1104 [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Lusk JL, House LO, Valli C, et al. Effect of information about benefits of biotechnology on consumer acceptance of genetically modified food: Evidence from experimental auctions in the United States, England, and France. Eur Rev Agric Econ. 2004. 31(2):179-204. DOI: 10.1093/erae/31.2.179 [CrossRef]

Miller JK, Bradford KJ. The regulatory bottleneck for biotech specialty crops. Nat Biotechnol. 2010. 28(10):1012-4. DOI: 10.1038/nbt1010-1012 [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Mou B. Scorza R. Transgenic Horticultural Crops: Challenges and Opportunities 2010. Oxon, Eng.:Taylor Francis. 354p. DOI: 10.1201/b10952 [CrossRef]

Mulvaney DR, Krupnik TJ, Koffler KB. Transgenic rice evaluated for risks to marketability. Cal Ag. 2011. 65(3):161-7. DOI: 10.3733/ca.E.v065n03p161 [CrossRef]

Oerke EC, Dehne HW. Safeguarding production — losses in major crops and the role of crop protection. Crop Prot. 2004. 23(4):275-85. DOI: 10.1016/j.cropro.2003.10.001 [CrossRef]

[USDA APHIS] US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. USDA Announces Quarantine to Prevent Spread of Citrus Disease. 2010. www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/content/2010/06/citrus_disease.shtml (accessed Jan. 4, 2012)

USDA APHIS. Biotechnology Permits, Notifications, and Petitions. Biotechnology Regulatory Services 2011. www.aphis.usda.gov/biotechnology/brs_main.shtml (accessed Mar. 15, 2011)

[USDA ERS] USDA Economic Research Service. Value of Production for Selected Fruit and Tree Nuts, by State, 2007 to Date 2011. www.ers.usda.gov/publications/fts/Yearbook11/FTS2011.pdf (accessed Jan. 4, 2012)

[USDA NASS] USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Crop Value Summary 2011 2011. http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1050 (accessed Feb. 4, 2012)