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Table 3 Examples of unexpected effects in GE plants due to genome x environmental interactions

From: Risk assessment of genetically engineered plants that can persist and propagate in the environment

PlantTraitFindingsReferences
WheatResistance against the fungus powdery mildewIn a field experiment two of four GE lines showed up to 56% yield reduction and a 40-fold increase of infection with ergot disease Claviceps purpurea compared with control lines. These effects were not observed in greenhouse experiments[62]
Oilseed rapeHerbicide tolerancePerennial growth[57]
MaizeInsecticidalChanges in proteome (32 differentially expressed proteins mainly involved in carbohydrate and energy metabolism and stress response)[64]
PotatoSeveral experimental traits (antisense invertase and maize ribosome-inactivating proteins)Altered levels of metabolites (sesquiterpenes and glycoalkaloids) in response to biotic stress[58]
PetuniaColour of flowersAltered DNA methylation in 35S promoter of the A1 gene[59]
MaizeInsecticidalBt content higher or lower due to environmental impact factors such as fertilizer, soil quality, pesticide application and climate[60]
MaizeInsecticidalEnvironmental stress can cause unexpected patterns of expression in the newly introduced DNA[61]
ArabidopsisHerbicide toleranceDrought and heat stress caused increased seed germination ratios[30]
CottonInsecticidalBt content is influenced by environmental conditions and genetic backgrounds[42, 63, 65,66,67,68,69,70]