Seed Biotechnology Center
Seed Biotechnology Center
Seed Biotechnology Center
University of California
Seed Biotechnology Center


The publications referenced below provide a good starting point for learning about how agricultural biotechnology affects sustainability. While this is by no means a complete list, it is our intent to provide information that is factual and presents an overview of the industry.


Hoffman, W. (2016) Ecosystems, food crops, and bioscience: a symbiosis for the Anthropocene. Asian Biotechnology and Development Review 18: 39-68.


Bajzelj B, Richards KS, Allwood JM, Smith P, Dennis JS, Curmi E, Gilligan CA (2014) Importance of food-demand management for climate mitigation. Nature Clim. Change 4: 924-929.

Pittelkow CM, Liang X, Linquist BA, van Groenigen KJ, Lee J, Lundy ME, van Gestel N, Six J, Venterea RT, van Kessel C (2014) Productivity limits and potentials of the principles of conservation agriculture. Nature advance online publication.

Searchinger T, Hanson C, Lacape J-M (2014) Crop Breeding- Renewing the Global Commitment. In Installment 7 of "Creating a Sustainable Food Future". World Resources Institute.


Capper JL, Bauman DE (2013) The Role of Productivity in Improving the Environmental Sustainability of Ruminant Production Systems. Annual Review of Animal Biosciences 1: 469-489.

Demont, M. and Stein, A.J. (2013) Global value of GM rice: a review of expected agronomic and consumer benefits. New Biotechnology,30, 426-436.

Garnett, T., Appleby, M.C., Balmford, A., Bateman, I.J., Benton, T.G., Bloomer, P., Burlingame, B., Dawkins, M., Dolan, L., Fraser, D., Herrero, M., Hoffmann, I., Smith, P., Thornton, P.K., Toulmin, C., Vermeulen, S.J., and Godfray, H.C.J. (2013). Sustainable Intensification in Agriculture: Premises and Policies. Science 34133-34.

Giddings, V., Stepp, M., and Caine, E. (2013) Feeding the planet in a warming world. The Information Technology Innovation Foundation and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Nicolia A, Manzo A, Veronesi F, Rosellini D (2013) An overview of the last 10 years of genetically engineered crop safety research. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
DOI: 10.3109/07388551.2013.82359

Shelton AM, Olmstead DL, Burkness EC, Hutchison WD, Dively G, Welty C, Sparks AN (2013) Multi-State Trials of Bt Sweet Corn Varieties for Control of the Corn Earworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 106: 2151-2159


Bleeker, P.M., Mirabella, R., Diergaarde, P.J., VanDoorn, A., Tissier, A., Kant, M.R., Prins, M., de Vos, M., Haring, M.A., and Schuurink, R.C. (2012). Improved herbivore resistance in cultivated tomato with the sesquiterpene biosynthetic pathway from a wild relative. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10920124-20129.

Bruce TJA (2012) GM as a route for delivery of sustainable crop protection. Journal of Experimental Botany 63: 537-541.

Field to Market (2012). Environmental and Socioeconomic Indicators for Measuring
Outcomes of On-Farm Agricultural Production in the United States: Second Report,
July 2012. Available at:

GM in Agricultural Development. 2012. The Houses of Parliament, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, United Kingdom.

Gutiérrez, R.A. (2012). Systems Biology for Enhanced Plant Nitrogen Nutrition. Science 336, 1673-1675.

Leifeld J (2012) How sustainable is organic farming? Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 150: 121-122.

McAllister, C.H., Beatty, P.H., and Good, A.G. (2012). Engineering nitrogen use efficient crop plants: the current status. Plant Biotech. J.101011-1025.von Caemmerer, S., Quick, W.P., and Furbank, R.T. (2012). The Development of C4 Rice: Current Progress and Future Challenges. Science 3361671-1672.


Beatty, P.H., and Good, A.G. (2011). Future prospects for cereals that fix nitrogen. Science 333416-417.

Park, J.R., McFarlane, I., Phipps, R.H., & Ceddia, G. The role of transgenic crops in sustainable development. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 2011. 9: p. 2-21.

Tait, J., and Barker, G. (2011). Global food security and the governance of modern biotechnologies. EMBO Reports 12763-768.


Bagla, P., India After Acrimonious Debate, India Rejects GM Eggplant. Science, 2010. 327(5967): p. 767-767.

Ervin, D. and Welsh, R., eds. Genetically engineered crops and U.S. agricultural sustainability. Choices, 2010. 25(2).

Fedoroff, N.V., et al., Radically Rethinking Agriculture for the 21st Century. Science, 2010. 327: p. 833-834.
Glover, J.D. et al. Increased food and ecosystem security via perennial grains. Science, 2010. 328: p. 1638-1639

Hutchison, W.D. et al. Areawide suppression of European corn borer with Bt maize reaps savings to non-Bt maize growersScience, 2010.330: p. 222-225

McGinnis, E.E., Meyer, M.H., and Smith, A.G. Sweet and sour: A scientific and legal look at herbicide-tolerant sugar beet. Plant Cell, 2010.22: p. 1653-1657.

Miller, J.K. & Bradford, K.J. The regulatory bottleneck for biotech specialty crops. Nature Biotechnology, 2010. 28: p. 1012-1014.

National Research Council, The impact of genetically engineered crops on farm sustainability in the United States, 2010, The National Academies Press.

Schenk, M.F., et al., Consumer attitudes toward hypoallergenic apples that alleviate mild apple allergy. Food Quality and Preference, 2010. Article in press.

Strauss, S.H. et al. Far-reaching deleterious impacts of regulations on research and enviromental studies of recombinant DNA-modified perennial biofuel crops in the United States. Bioscience, 2010. 60: p. 729-741.


[Anon], The cup half empty. Nature Genetics, 2009. 41(6): p. 635-635.

Barach, J., Clay, J., Raquet, B., Steiner, J., Tolman, R., Field to Market: The Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture. 2009.

Brookes, G. and P. Barfoot, Global Impact of Biotech Crops: Income and Production Effects, 1996-2007. AgBioForum, 2009. 12(2): p. 184-208.

Graff, G.D., D. Zilberman, and A.B. Bennett, The contraction of agbiotech product quality innovation. Nature Biotechnology, 2009. 27(8): p. 702-704.

James, C., Global status of commercialized biotech/GM crops: 2008 International Service for the Acquision of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), 2009. Brief 39.

Lemaux, P.G., Genetically engineered plants and foods: A scientist's analysis of the issues (Part II). Annual Review of Plant Biology, 2009. 60(1): p. 511-559.

Lichtfouse, E., et al., Agronomy for sustainable agriculture. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 2009. 29(1): p. 1-6.

McWilliams, J.E. Just food: where locavores get it wrong and how we can truly eat responsibly. 2009; Little, Brown and Company.

Qaim, M., The Economics of Genetically Modified Crops. Annu Rev Resour Econ, 2009. 1: p. 665-93.

Stein, A.J. and E. Rodriguez-Cerezo, The global pipeline of new GM crops: Implications of asynchronous approval for international trade. 2009: p. JRC Scientific and Technical Reports.


Alston, J.M. and P.G. Pardey, Public funding for research into specialty crops. Hortscience, 2008. 43(5): p. 1461-1470.

Anderson, W.A., College Students' View of Biotechnology Products and Practices in Sustainable Agriculture Systems. Journal of National Resources & Life Sciences Education, 2008. 37: p. 69-74.

Francis, C.A., et al., Transdisciplinary research for a sustainable agriculture and food sector. Agronomy Journal, 2008. 100(3): p. 771-776.

Hobbs, P.R., K. Sayre, and R. Gupta, The role of conservation agriculture in sustainable agriculture. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 2008. 363(1491): p. 543-555.

Lal, R., Soils and sustainable agriculture. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 2008. 28(1): p. 57-64.

Lemaux, P.G., Genetically engineered plants and foods: A scientist's analysis of the issues (Part I). Annual Review of Plant Biology, 2008.59: p. 771-812.

Paarlberg, R. Starved for science: how biotechnology is being kept out of Africa. 2008; Harvard University Press.

Pollock, C., et al., Introduction. Sustainable agriculture II. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 2008.363(1492): p. 683-683.

Pollock, C., et al., Introduction. Sustainable agriculture. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 2008.363(1491): p. 445-446.

Ronald, P.C. and R.W. Adamchak, Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food. 2008, New York: Oxford University Press.

Rivera-Ferre, M.G., The future of agriculture Agricultural knowledge for economically, socially and environmentally sustainable development. Embo Reports, 2008. 9(11): p. 1061-1066.

Witcombe, J.R., et al., Breeding for abiotic stresses for sustainable agriculture. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 2008. 363(1492): p. 703-716.


Fuchs, M. and D. Gonsalves, Safety of virus-resistant transgenic plants two decades after their introduction: Lessons from realistic field risk assessment studies. Annual Review of Phytopathology, 2007. 45: p. 173-202.

Kalaitzandonakes, N., J.M. Alston, and K.J. Bradford, Compliance costs for regulatory approval of new biotech crops. Nature Biotechnology, 2007. 25(5): p. 509-511.

Zhang, Q. (2007). Strategies for developing Green Super Rice. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 16402-16409


Bradford, K.J., J.M. Alston, and N. Kalaitzandonakes, Regulation of biotechnology for specialty crops, in Regulating Agricultural Biotechnology: Economics and Policy, R. Just, J.M. Alston, and D. Zilberman, Editors. 2006, Springer Publishers: New York. p. 683-697.


Federoff, N.V. and N.M. Brown, Mendel in the kitchen: a scientist's view of genetically modified food. 2004; Joseph Henry Press.

Miller, H.I. and G. Conko, The Frankenfood myth: how protest and politics threaten the biotech revolution. 2004; Praeger.


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