916321 Transgenic organisms in pest management

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Stauffer, Christian
Offered in
Sommersemester 2022
Languages of instruction


Since 1996 genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have changed the production in agriculture and forestry. By inserting a gene construct into an organism, this organism e.g. plant obstains a new character e.g. insect resistance. In Europe this technique is still under discussion in agriculture and forestry but it is a matter of time till this technique will find a broader application. This lecture offers PhD students the possibility to obtain an overview on this subject.

In the US most of the corn, soy, cotton fields are already planted with Bt-crops. Through the insertion of a Bacillus thuringienses (B.t.) toxin gene into the plant the plant has a higher resistance towards some pest insects and thus a lower use of insecticides is proposed. In the first part of the lecture we will discuss the most commonly used genes and their mode of action in the natural organism and in the transformed plant. By releasing such transformed organisms, several risks e.g. gene transfer resistance of the insect against the toxin, fitness effects might occur which will be discussed in the second part.

Previous knowledge expected

Knowledge in molecuar biology is benefical.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

1) History of plant breeding and gene technology
2) Some technologies and legistlation 2001/18/EG
3) Methods of transformation
4) Genes used and emphasis on endo toxin genes of von Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)
5) Risk Assessment
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.