Environmental risk assessment of transgenic plants is a prerequisite to their release into the target environment for commercial use. Risk assessment of the first generation transgenic plants with simple monogenic traits has been carried out with principles and guidelines enlisted in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. For more complex traits such as abiotic stress tolerance, there is a growing need to examine for additional considerations in the risk assessment process based on the different nature of this trait. The salt tolerance-inducingcodA gene is a representative of many abiotic stress tolerance genes that confer salt stress tolerance in transgenic plants. In comparison with simple monogenic Bt trait, the future challenge to environmental release of abiotic stress tolerance genes lies in the question whether these genes such as the salt tolerance-inducing codA will need additional considerations in the risk assessment process?. In the present work, we discussed the nature of abiotic stress tolerance trait, environmental risk assessment issues and comparison of the risk assessment elements on Bt and salt tolerance-inducing codA genes to examine needs for additional considerations in the risk assessment process. We concluded and recommended that the use of abiotic stress tolerance genes such as the salt tolerance-inducing codA gene in transgenic plants does not need additional considerations in risk assessment.
Key words: Transgenic plants, abiotic stress tolerance, environmental risk assessment, salt tolerance-inducing codA.
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