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Are there any GM peach trees?

are there any gm peach trees?

Submitted by: IsaacJonesGMO


Expert response from Ksenija Gasic

Clemson University

Tuesday, 08/09/2015 14:11

First let us get one thing straight – there are no genetically engineered/modified (GMO) peaches of commercial value. Although some scientific reports of successful peach transformation have been published and web searches produce claims from some private companies that they are capable of producing transformed peaches, reliable and reproducible transformation and regeneration system from peach somatic tissue has yet to be developed. 


Traditional breeding takes a long time and may never achieve the combination of traits that are desired by consumers. So biotechnology is viewed as a tool to add a “missing” trait to already existing cultivar. Plant genetic transformation generally involves the transfer of the DNA with the desired gene(s) into cells and the regeneration of transgenic plants from the transformed cells through tissue culture. 


The regeneration of transgenic plants from the transformed cells through tissue culture is what is preventing scientist to successfully transform peach. For transformation to be effective one would want to keep the existing cultivar and just add one trait, e.g. disease resistance such as in Roundup® ready corn resistance to herbicides. For it to have the commercial value scientist must preserve the original cultivar by using somatic tissue for transformation. Once the transformation of the somatic tissue is successful and confirmed the whole plant needs to be regenerated in tissue culture. While in many crops of commercial importance that is a routine process it is far from it in peach. Inability to regenerate peach plant from single somatic cell is the major road block to developing GMO peaches. Peach is not unique in the Prunus family in its recalcitrance to transformation and regeneration. There a few reports of successful production of transgenic plants in Prunus species, such as in apricot, sweet cherry, and European plum, and for most of them only a single report of development of a few transgenic plants exists. Development of an efficient and reliable transformation system is a goal for peach to allow for faster improvement via gene transfer.