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Direct and reverse pollen-mediated gene flow between GM rice and red rice weed

The potential risks of genetically modified crops must be identified before their commercialisation, as happens with all new technologies. In this context, several studies have reported the transfer of transgenes from transgenic rice to red rice weed.

However, gene flow also occurs in the opposite direction, resulting in transgenic seeds that have incorporated the traits of wild red rice. In a new study inAoB PLANTS, Xavier Serrat at the Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics (IRTA), Spain, and colleagues found that this reverse flow was higher than direct gene flow, but that transgenic seeds carrying wild genes remained in the spike of the plant and were thus mostly removed at harvesting. Nevertheless, this phenomenon must be considered in fields used for elite seed production and in developing countries where there is a risk of increasing GM red rice weed infestation.


(AoB PLANTS, 07/11/2013)