The global cultivation area of genetically modified plants (GMPs) includ-ing soybean, maize, cotton, canola (oilseed rape) and sugar beet has been increasing consistently since they were first cultivated commercially in 1996, reaching 160 million hectares (ha) in 2011 . By 2011, the global area of planted insect-resistant crops was 66 million ha. The rapid adoption of insect-resistant crops indicates that they have become a primary tool for managing lepidopteran and coleopteran target pest species in cotton and maize . Herbicide-resistant GMPs have changed weed management practices and made an important contribution to the global production of commodity crops . Yet, most of these GMPs were created by using first-generation transgenic technologies: particle bombardment or Agrobacterium-mediated genetic engineering techniques. As such, they typically carry recombinant DNA from organisms including bacteria and viruses, as well as other plants, to provide resistance against pests or herbicides.