Types of GMOs

GMO varieties exist for crops such as alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, papaya, rice, soybean, sugar beet, summer squash, and tobacco.  Currently, 95% of U.S. soybean and 90% of U.S. corn is genetically modified.  The two most common traits genetically engineered into plants are herbicide tolerance (glyphosate or glufosinate ammonium herbicide) and insect resistance (i.e. to insects such as European corn borer, corn rootworm, black cutworm and fall armyworm), although work on developing other traits such as drought tolerance have received equivalent emphasis in recent years.

The table below lists genetically modified corn and soybean events that are currently commercialized in the United States.  Each event is characterized by random insertion of a genetic element into the plant genome.  GMO varieties of each crop may contain one or more of these events through a process known as gene stacking. GMO testing involves identification of a defined portion of the relevant genetic element (transgene) inserted in order to confer a new trait on the plant.

 
Crop Relevant genetic element(s) Characteristic Event
    Herbicide tolerance Insect resistance Drought
tolerance
 
Corn
    Cry1Ab, pat
      Bt11
      modified epsps         GA21
      Modified Cry3A         MIR604
      Cry1Ab         MON810
      Cry3Bb1         MON863
      CP4 epsps         NK603
       pat         T25
       Cry1f, pat       TC1507
        vip3A         MIR162
       Cry34/35Ab1, pat       DAS59122-7
       Cry3Bb1, CP4 epsps       MON88017
       Cry1A.105, Cry2Ab2         MON89034
       CspB               √     MON87460
Soybean      CP4 epsps        GTS(MON) 40-3-2
       pat        A2704-12
       CP4 epsps        MON89788
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