Escape and hybridization of a genetically modified invasive plant

Back in 2002 Scotts Company planted Roundup resistant Agrostis stolonifera (creeping bentgrass) in a trial field in Oregon.  The genes moved in pollen carried by the wind to wild Agrostis stolonifera and A. gigantea plants up to 21 km away.  Scotts failed to kill all the transgenic plants found outside the field boundaries and populations of transgenic plants were found in 2006. Now scientists have found a wild creeping bentgrass plant hybridized with pollen contribution from a grass in another genera, Polypogon monspeliensis, to create a transgenic hybrid grass.  A decision about deregulating transgenic Agrostis stolonifera is still pending.  Let’s hope this new data gets taken into consideration!

 

Snow, A. A. 2012. Illegal gene flow from transgenic creeping bentgrass: the saga continues. Molecular Ecology, 21: 4663–4664. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012

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