Type of Unintended Effect: Physiological (Animals)
Atlantic salmon expressing transgenic growth hormone experienced
numerous changes to their cardiorespiratory system.
Transgenic expression of growth hormone in coho salmon led to a narrower
body, more red muscle mass, and smaller white muscle fibers.
Transgenic coho salmon expressing growth hormone had enlarged heads,
reduced viability, and accelerated development of their life cycle.
Transgenic goats engineered to secrete the human protein cholinesterase
into their milk produced less milk, with lower fat and lactose levels
and unusually high white blood cell counts.
Transgenic pigs expressing bovine growth hormone had lower appetites,
enlarged organs, gastric ulcers, and other health problems.
Sheep growth hormone expression was highly variable in transgenic pigs,
whose bodies had more protein and water and less fat.
Transgenic pigs with elevated levels of growth hormone were
infertile, pre-diabetic, and experienced joint problems.
Transgenic expression of a mouse milk protein impaired mammary
development and function in pigs.
Transgenic expression of sheep growth hormone in sheep increased
the incidence of reproductive problems and premature death.
Transgenic sheep had unusually high morbidity and expressed a
milk-specific protein in their spleen, liver, and other organs.
Tilapia fish engineered for transgenic expression of growth hormone
had deformed heads and backs, atrophied gonads, and lower mineral content.
Type of Unintended Effect: Physiological (Plants)
Alfalfa with corn transgenes for anthocyanin (red-purple pigment)
production was not visibly altered or changed dependent on different
light and temperature conditions.
Plant height and flowering were altered in alfalfa genetically
engineered to reduce lignin content.
Apples over-expressing a fruit-ripening enzyme lacked flowers and had
malformed stomata and altered composition of cell walls.
Plants producing a biodegradable polyester were smaller, never produced
seeds and showed severe changes in metabolism.
Suppression of DHS enzyme in Arabidopsis (a mustard plant)
was associated with enlarged leaves, greater root mass, and enhanced
Overexpression of phytoene synthase gene in Arabidopsis resulted
in delayed germination, increased levels of chlorophyll, and changes in
relative levels of carotenoids.
Unintended changes in gene expression were observed in Arabidopsis
plants engineered for resistance to the herbicide glufosinate.
Innate Immunity is Affected in Insect-Resistant GM Aspens
Barley expressing a heat-stable enzyme showed highly variable expression
of the enzyme, an anomalous distribution of expression in the grain,
and dramatically reduced weight of individual grains.
Transgenic barley plants over-expressing a zinc transport protein
had smaller seeds and did not accumulate more zinc when grown in
Difficulties were encountered when trying to express human collagen
A group of transgenic barley plants expressing the bar selectable
marker gene did not produce viable offspring.
Transgenic birch trees expressing an antifungal enzyme from sugarbeets
showed increased susceptibility to leaf spot disease in the field.
Canola plants over-expressing a bacterial phytoene synthase gene also
had a reduced level of chlorophyll, changed structure of plastids,
changed composition of fatty acids, and delayed germination.
Bt cotton showed decreased ability to kill cotton bollworm larvae
during flower development and flowering.
Bt cotton had altered protein metabolism and produced less
insecticidal toxin in leaves when subjected to high temperatures during
Glyphosate-resistant cotton showed abnormal reproductive development when
sprayed with glyphosate.
Insect-resistant, transgenic cotton was more susceptible to fungal disease
than its parent line.
Bt maize has higher lignin content.
Bt maize varieties matured more slowly and had on average lower
grain yield and higher grain moisture content than conventional varieties.
Bt maize had changed lipid composition in stems; also, lipid
composition in soil was altered, and soil respiration was reduced.
Transgene in corn, intended to raise iron availability, also changed
levels of other minerals and proteins.
Peas engineered to be weevil-resistant elicited immune reactions in mice.
Pineapple plants with transgenes for fungus and herbicide resistance
had altered biochemical make-up.
Potatoes with altered sugar metabolism had changed levels of many
metabolites, some not thought to be associated with sugar metabolism.
Inulin-storing potatoes had higher alkaloid content and pigs fed on them
had reduced daily weight gain.
Potatoes genetically modified to store more starch stored less starch.
Insect-resistant transgenic potatoes had less foliage and altered levels
Potatoes with transgene for virus resistance were variably resistant, and
some lines without the target gene nevertheless became highly resistant.
Bt rice showed signs of dwarfism and other abnormalities.
Transgenic expression of a disease-resistance gene activated the
oxidative-stress response in rice.
root nodule bacteria
Root nodule bacteria with Bt transgene tended to displace non-manipulated
bacteria in legume root nodules.
Herbicide-resistant soybean plants were shorter, with less chlorophyll,
lower weight, and increased susceptibility to stem-splitting at high
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-resistant sugar beets became more susceptible to root rot when
sprayed with glyphosate.
Sugarcane engineered to reduce polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity had
greater PPO activity, even without the transgene.
Transgenic tobacco with resistance to bleaching herbicides had altered
composition of carotenoids.
Tomato plants overexpressing phytoene synthase gene were stunted in growth.
Flavonol-enriched tomatoes had altered levels of at least fifteen other
Suppression of DHS gene in tomatoes was associated with lack of
fruiting, altered leaf morphology, higher rate of photosynthesis and
Transgenic tomatoes altered with a marker gene construct showed
significant changes in morphological and physiological characteristics.
Wheat transformed with a high-molecular-weight glutenin gene showed
irregular expression of glutenin and changed its expression levels over
Wheat with transgene for low-molecular-weight glutenin showed anomalies
in glutenin production and some plants had reduced levels of other
Spring wheat with scab-resistance transgene was not scab resistant and
showed localized death of leaf tissue.
Wheat expressing transgenic glutenin shows reduction in yield, varying
production of glutenin, and altered morphology.
GM wheat outcrosses more often than unmodified wheat of the same