University of California

Despite benefits, commercialization of transgenic horticultural crops lags


David Clark
Harry Klee
Abhaya Dandekar

Authors Affiliations

D. Clark is Associate Professor, Environmental Horticulture Department,; H. Klee is Eminent Scholar, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, Gainesville; A. Dandekar is Professor, Department of Pomology, UC Davis.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 58(2):89-98. DOI:10.3733/ca.v058n02p89. April 2004.

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The acreage of agronomic crops (soybean, cotton, corn and canola) developed using recombinant DNA technology has expanded dramatically since their introduction in 1996, while the commercialization of biotech horticultural crops (vegetables, fruits, nuts and ornamentals) has languished. This is not due to a lack of both current and potential traits that could be utilized in horticultural crops, as ongoing research is identifying a diverse array of applications. However, commercialization is stalled by market reluctance to accept biotech products, particularly in the absence of clear benefits to consumers. High regulatory costs and restricted access to intellectual property create additional hurdles for specialty crops. These challenges are causing the horticultural industry to forego a number of current benefits. New products with clear advantages for producers, marketers and consumers may be required before the potential of biotechnology can be realized.

Clark D, Klee H, Dandekar A. 2004. Despite benefits, commercialization of transgenic horticultural crops lags. Hilgardia 58(2):89-98. DOI:10.3733/ca.v058n02p89

Also in this issue:

Life history of the incense cedar scale, Xylococculus macrocarpae (Homoptera: Margarodidae), on incense cedar in California with a description of the larvae of one of its common predators, Eronyxa expansus Van Dyke (Coleoptera: Trogositidae)

Challenges and opportunities for horticultural biotechnology

Transgenic acreage grows amid changing regulation

Conventionally bred papaya still possible, even in California

UC researchers evaluating genetically engineered alfalfa

World trade rules affect horticultural biotechnology


Horticultural biotechnology faces significant economic and market barriers

Sidebar: Transgenic produce slow to enter evolving global marketplace

Sidebar: Diversity of horticultural biotech crops contributes to market hurdles

Sidebar: Virus-resistant transgenic papaya helps save Hawaiian industry

Sidebar: Biotechnology expands pest-management options for horticulture

Sidebar: Transgenic trap crops and rootstocks show potential

Consumer knowledge and acceptance of agricultural biotechnology vary

Sidebar: Words matter

Sidebar: Consumers purchase Bt sweet corn

Regulatory challenges reduce opportunities for horticultural biotechnology

Sidebar: IR-4 Project targets specialty crops

Sidebar: China aggressively pursuing horticulture and plant biotechnology

Public-private partnerships needed in horticultural research and development

Access to intellectual property is a major obstacle to developing transgenic horticultural crops

Sidebar: Nonprofit institutions form intellectual-property resource for agriculture

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