Chapter 15: Invasive plants and GMOs

Although the discovery of DNA as the genetic material seems like a long time ago (~1928), plant genetic modification has been going on for thousands of years as farmers make selections of individuals to tailor crops to their needs. We continue manipulating plants in the discipline of plant breeding. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are very recent, but offer a new way to improve plants. Although GMO technology is controversial, it has been rapidly adopted by farmers.

A short lesson on invasive plants introduces this issue and discusses how plant propagators can help. As consumers we must be aware of potential risks some plants pose to the environment.


Learning objectives

  • Define what GMO technology is and how it is applied to plant improvement.
  • Discuss why GMO technology is controversial and develop an informed opinion about it.
  • Know several examples of non-native invasive plants and their impact on the environment.




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