Landscapes, Genomics and Transgenic Conifers
Edited by Claire G. Williams
What is the future of genetically modified (or transgenic) conifer plantations? The content of this edited volume
Landscapes, Genomics and Transgenic Conifers addresses this question directly - and indirectly - using language
drawn from policy, forest history, genomics, metabolism, pollen dispersal and gene flow, landscape ecology,
evolution, economics, technology transfer and regulatory oversight. Although the book takes its title from a Nicholas
School Leadership forum held November 17-19, 2004 at Duke University, its de novo contents move past the forum€s
deliberations. The result is a trans-disciplinary book composed of 14 chapters written by a total of 31 authors
working in North America, South America, Europe and Africa.
Hardcover VIII, 261 p. ISBN 9781402038686
The book is written for policy experts, life scientists, government and business leaders, biotechnology writers and
activists. Few decision-makers realize the unprecedented degree to which transgenic technology is now possible for
forests on a commercial scale. Only a handful of the 550 living conifer species is used for commodity value and even
fewer species are being developed for transgenic plantations. Transgenic field trials started within the last decade but
no transgenic pine plantations exist in 2005. But emergence of transgenic forest trees is still so recent that dialogue
about the pros and cons is confined to the scientific community. And dialogue must move out into the public domain.
So little opportunity remains for opening public dialogue. The pursuit of transgenic research for forest trees is
principally corporate so novel forest tree phenotypes are created as a means to increase shareholder value for
investor companies. And while potential benefits will accrue to shareholders, ecological risks for certain transgenic
traits are likely to be shared due to long-distance gene flow and inadequate bioconfinement measures. So this is a
question riddled with tension. Without public deliberation, we should expect alienation of several interest groups.
Alienation will lead to heightened clashes in the public policy arena or even radical environmental action. But how to
move dialogue on transgenic forests forward? One must re-frame the issues behind transgenic conifer plantations.
The goal of this volume is to provide content for public deliberations about the genetic composition of future forests.
Its Section I is composed of provocative and opposing views on the question of transgenic conifer plantations. Sections
II and III follow with research advances on relevant conifer genomics and ecology research, respectively. Section IV
forecasts rates of technology adoption for different case studies. Finally, Section V compares the status of regulatory
oversight of transgenic forest trees between Canada and the United States. But will the book fulfil its goal? The burden
of the answer lies with its readers. Will readers act € or will transgenic forests be seen as too remote or simply too rural
to bother with the angst of public deliberation?
Written for: R&D/technology policymakers, biotechnology firm investment due-diligence experts, conservation
leadership, natural resource leadership, natural resources, ecology and conservation university administration,
forest management economists, international trade experts, forestry extension, environmental non-governmental
organizations, political aides, government regulatory agencies
Introduction; C.G. Williams.
Section I: Pros and Cons for Transgenic Conifer Plantations.
Section II: Genomics Methods, Resources and Alternative Applications.
- Foresters and DNA; J. Ausubel et al.
- Questioning Commercial Use of Transgenic Conifers;
- It€s Just A Crop: Public Perception and Transgenic Trees; S. Anderson.
Section III: Viewing Transgenic Conifer Plantations on A Landscape Scale.
- Genomics Resources for Conifers; J. Dean.
- A New Direction for Conifer Genomics;
K. Ritland et al.
- Using Genomics to Study Evolutionary Origins of Seeds; E. Brenner, D. Stevenson.
Metabolic Profiling for Transgenic Forest Trees; H. Häggmann, R. Julkunen-Tiitto.
Section IV: Economics of Transgenic Technology Adoption.
- Dispersal of Transgenic Conifer Pollen; G. Katul et al.
Gene Flow in Conifers; J. Mitton, C.G. Williams.
Pines as Invasive Aliens: Outlook for Transgenic Conifers in the Southern Hemisphere; D. Richardson, R. Petit.
Section V: Government Regulations and Biosafety.
- Economic Prospects and Policy Framework for Forest Biotechnology for the Southern United
States and South America; F. Cubbage et al.
Transgenic Forest Trees and Private Forests; M. Megalos.
To find similar publications, click on a keyword below:
- Canada€s Regulatory Approach; A.-C. Bonfils.
- Biosafety of Transgenic Forests in the United States; R. Irwin, P. Jones.
: agriculture & forestry
: genetically modified organisms
: plant genetics
: trees and timber