Concerns over the commercial release of genetically modified (GM), Bt brinjal, also called aubergine or talong, relate to biosafety. One major concern is the potential for transgene flow from Bt brinjal to wild, weedy and cultivated relatives. As a consequence, selective advantage gained by the Bt pest resistance gene could enable these relatives to become aggressive weeds. The potential for disruption of ecological balance and plant biodiversity is therefore considerable.
Our knowledge of the diversity and taxonomy of species related to the brinjal eggplant in South and South-East Asia is limited. This includes areas where the Bt eggplant is being considered for cultivation: India, Philippines and Bangladesh. Difficulties over identification and nomenclature of brinjal relatives have caused problems with the interpretation of experimental data.
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Genetically engineered Bt brinjal and the implications for plant biodiversity - revisited