EPA Science Inventory

LONG DISTANCE POLLEN-MEDIATED GENE FLOW FROM CREEPING BENTGRASS

Citation:

Watrud, L S. LONG DISTANCE POLLEN-MEDIATED GENE FLOW FROM CREEPING BENTGRASS. ISB NEWS REPORT January:1-3, (2005).

Description:

Researchers from USEPA WED have measured gene flow from experimental fields of Roundup? herbicide resistant genetically modified (GM) creeping bentgrass a grass used primarily on golf courses, to compatible non-crop relatives. Using a sampling design based on the estimated time of pollen viability and prevailing wind information at the time of day when pollen shed was expected to occur, WED researchers demonstrated movement of viable pollen to both experimentally placed sentinel plants and to wild resident plants. Evidence for gene flow was based on greenhouse tests for resistance of seedlings to Roundup? herbicide and confirmatory laboratory tests for the presence of the specific engineered gene and protein associated with herbicide resistance. Most viable pollen movement was observed within 2-4 km; however, some viable pollen movement occurred as far as 21 km away in sentinel plants and as far as 14 km away in resident plants.

Development of methods to determine the extent of gene flow from genetically engineered crops to compatible relatives is an essential part of the environmental risk assessment of GM crops. Knowledge about the extent of hybridization can provide an important measure of the estimated environmental exposure to specific engineered traits expressed in specific crops. In the research that is highlighted in the attached article (an invited short paper for the ISB biotechnology newsletter) based on our 2004 publication in PNAS 101:14533-14538, information is presented on the unique sampling design and methods that were used to demonstrate that gene flow may occur and can be measured on a landscape level. Occurrence of gene flow to considerable distances (km) is described to both experimentally placed sentinel plants and to wild resident plants. The methods and information in the longer primary article upon which it was based have been made available to USDA APHIS and also to the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 01/01/2005
Completion Date: 01/01/2005
Record Last Revised: 12/21/2005
Record Created: 12/08/2004
Record Released: 12/08/2004
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 104642

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION

RISK CHARACTERIZATION BRANCH