Developing Transgenic Agronomic Traits for Crops: Targets, Methods, and Challenges

  • John P. DaviesEmail author
  • Cory A. Christensen
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1864)


The last two decades have witnessed a surge of investment by the agricultural biotechnology industry in the development of transgenic agronomic traits. These are traits that improve yield performance by modifying endogenous physiological processes such as energy capture, nutrient utilization, and stress tolerance. In this chapter we provide a foundation for understanding these fundamental processes and then outline approaches that have been taken to use this knowledge for yield improvement. We characterize the current status of product development pipelines in the industry and illustrate the trait discovery process with three important examples—bacterial cold-shock proteins, alanine aminotransferase, and auxin-regulated genes. The challenges with developing and commercializing an agronomic trait product are discussed.

Key words

Transgenic traits Agronomic traits Yield Nitrogen-use efficiency Stress tolerance 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Corteva Agriscience™Agriculture Division of DowDuPont™IndianapolisUSA

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