Home pagePress monitoringNatural Selection on Not-So-Natural Plant

Natural Selection on Not-So-Natural Plant

Date: 25.11.2010 


Research by Andrew Stephenson and his colleagues at Penn State shows that while a genetically modified squash plant may be resistant to common virus transmitted by aphids, it's no match for bacteria transmitted by beetles.

Stephenson's field experiments, that the transgene does help plants resist the target virus. When aphids that carry the virus arrive in experimental fields in the spring, wild plants without the transgene tend to become infected while transgenic plants stay healthy. Good health, however, makes the transgenic squash look tasty to beetles. Beetles preferentially attack transgenic squash, infecting many with devastating bacteria. The beetle attack neutralizes nearly all of the fitness advantage the transgenic squash may have enjoyed by being resistant to viral infection. So in this case, natural selection kept the genetically modified plants in check.

Original Paper:

Miruna A. Sasu, Matthew J. Ferrari, Andrew G. Stephenson. Interrelationships among a Virus-Resistance Transgene, Herbivory, and a Bacterial Disease in a Wild Cucurbita. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 2010; 171 (9): 1048 DOI: 10.1086/656531







  • BC AV CR
  • Budvar
  • CAVD
  • CZBA
  • Eco Tend
  • Envisan Gem
  • Gentrend
  • JAIP
  • Jihočeská univerzita
  • Madeta
  • Forestina