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Unintended Effects of Genetic Manipulation

Intended Effect: Herbicide Resistant Plants (with resistance to the following herbicides:)

Various bleaching herbicides

Transgenic tobacco with resistance to bleaching herbicides had altered composition of carotenoids.


Unintended changes in gene expression were observed in Arabidopsis plants engineered for resistance to the herbicide glufosinate.

A group of transgenic barley plants expressing the bar selectable marker gene did not produce viable offspring.

Experimental crosspollination between transgenic herbicide-resistant canola and wild field mustard led to highly fertile, herbicide-resistant wild field mustard.

Conventional, certified canola seedlots were contaminated with genetically engineered seeds.

Herbicide-resistant canola volunteers were still detected after ten years of stringent control.

Genes escaped from cultivated GM rice to its weedy and wild relatives.

Glyphosate (Roundup)

Glyphosate-resistant GM soybeans differ compositionally from non-GM soybeans and contain high residues of the herbicide glyphosate.

Spread of herbicide-resistance from genetically modified creeping bentgrass into the wild.

Transgenes that have escaped from glyphosate-resistant canola can persist in the wild.

Conventional, certified canola seedlots were contaminated with genetically engineered seeds.

Fewer wild bees were observed in glyphosate-resistant canola fields.

Glyphosate-resistant cotton showed abnormal reproductive development when sprayed with glyphosate.

Fruiting morphology was altered when glyphosate-resistant cotton was sprayed with glyphosate.

Western corn rootworms were found feeding on volunteer corn plants expressing a Bt toxin specific to that pest.

Long-term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize.

Herbicide-resistant soybean plants were shorter, with less chlorophyll, lower weight, and increased susceptibility to stem-splitting at high temperatures.

Diet containing glyphosate-resistant soybeans affected the nuclei of liver cells in mice.

Glyphosate-resistant soybeans had lower yields.

Root colonization of glyphosate-resistant soybeans by pathogenic Fusarium fungi increased with glyphosate application.

Glyphosate-resistant soybeans have altered root nodules when sprayed with glyphosate.

Transgenic DNA from glyphosate-resistant soybeans was detected in the intestinal flora of humans.

Glyphosate-resistant sugar beet production alters population densities of some arthropods, significantly reducing the number of bees and butterflies in beet fields.

Glyphosate-resistant sugar beets became more susceptible to root rot when sprayed with glyphosate.

Increased planting of glyphosate-resistant crops and application of glyphosate causes increase in glyphosate-resistant weed species.

GM Maize Differs from Non-GM Maize at Molecular Level In Unintended Ways, Including in Response to Drought Stress

Herbicide Resistance in General

Unintended Effects of Herbicide-Resistance Genes on Crop Yield.

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