The release of GM organisms into the environment and marketing of GM crops have resulted in public debate in many parts of the world. This debate is likely to continue, probably in the broader context of plant biotechnology and consequences for human societies. The general issues under debate include cost–benefit analysis and safety issues, but might exhibit regional differences and crop-specific nuances. This chapter addresses an in-depth understanding of events involved in transgene insertion, but also the unintended effects of transformation following the production of genetically enhanced plants. In order to dissect this topic, a foundational overview is given on biolistic- and Agrobacterium-based techniques. Background information of possible transformation-induced unintended alterations to transgenic plant genomes is reviewed and aspects that collectively constitute possible unintended transformation - and post-transformation events are described. This is followed by an overview of molecular techniques to study gene insertion and – expression with special focus on differential gene expression analysis techniques to investigate unintended effects of genetic transformation. Historical and current safety assessment guidelines and requirements are also briefly discussed.
Part of the book: Transgenic Crops