The transfer of genetic material from transgenic plants to other plants in the wild is a key concern of critics of engineered crops. Now, researchers may have found a way not only to enhance the expression of foreign genes in plants, but simultaneously to prevent the release of engineered genes into the wild.

Publishing in Nature Biotechnology, scientists from Auburn University demonstrated that herbicide-resistant transgenic plants can be generated that express high levels of a desired gene in their chloroplasts, but do not transmit the transgene into their pollen.