Gene flow from herbicide-tolerant GM rice and the heterosis of GM rice-weed F2 progeny
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Gene flow from genetically modified (GM) crops to non-GM cultivars or weedy relatives may lead to the development of more aggressive weeds. We quantified the amount of gene flow from herbicide-tolerant GM rice (Protox GM, derived from the cultivar Dongjin) to three cultivars (Dongjin, Aranghyangchal and Hwaseong) and a weedy rice line. Gene flow frequency generally decreased with increasing distance from the pollen donor. At the shortest distance (0.5 m), we observed a maximum frequency (0.039%) of gene flow. We found that the cultivar Dongjin received the greatest amount of gene flow, with the second being weedy rice. Heterosis of F2 inbred progeny was also examined between Protox GM and weedy rice. We compared growth and reproduction between F2 progeny (homozygous or hemizygous for the Protox gene) and parental rice lines (GM and weedy rice). Here, transgene-homozygous F2 progeny was significantly taller and produced more seeds than the transgene-hemizygous F2 progeny and parental lines. Although the gene flow frequency was generally low, our results suggest that F2 progeny between GM and weedy relatives may exhibit heterosis.
KeywordsGenetically modified (GM) Heterosis Hybrid Rice Risk assessment Transgene
We thank Dr. K. W. Kim at the Kyungpook National University for providing weedy rice seeds. This research was supported by grants from the KRIBB Research Initiative Program, the Crop Functional Genomics Center and the future based technology development program of the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Korean government (MEST) (No. 2010-0002033).
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