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Literature review of the dispersal of transgenes from genetically modified maize

by Agnès Ricroch, Jean Baptiste Bergé, Antoine Messéan
Comptes rendus biologies ()

Abstract

This article aims at reviewing the theoretical and experimental data published in 562 publications referring to genetically modified (GM) maize dispersal. Our choice was limited to this since in the European Union (EU), GM maize is the only GM crop currently grown commercially. The pollen dispersal of transgenic maize is due to two factors: (i) pollen-mediated gene flow; (ii) seed admixture during harvest and post-harvest processes. The pollen dispersal decreases rapidly with the distance from GM plots. Climatic and topographic factors and factors of relative density between GM and non-GM maize plots impact on the pollen dispersal. The combination of both isolation distance and flowering date between source plots and sink plots limits the adventitious presence of transgenes in non-GM plots. All publications we reviewed demonstrate that the EU 0.9% threshold is technically manageable if the measures of isolation distances as well as harvesting and post harvesting processes and fully synchronous flowering are implemented.

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