Transgenic Research

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 91–97 | Cite as

Assays of the production of harmful substances by genetically modified oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) plants in accordance with regulations for evaluating the impact on biodiversity in Japan

  • Yoko Asanuma
  • Tomoe Jinkawa
  • Hidenori Tanaka
  • Takahiro Gondo
  • Norihiro Zaita
  • Ryo AkashiEmail author
Original Paper


Environmental risk assessment of transgenic crops is implemented under the Cartagena Protocol domestic law in accordance with guidelines for implementing the assessment established by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and the Ministry of Environment (MOE) in Japan. Environmental risk assessments of transgenic crops are implemented based on the concept of ‘substantial equivalence’ to conventional crops. A unique requirement in Japan to monitor the production of harmful substances, or allelochemicals, is unparalleled in other countries. The potential for allelochemicals to be secreted from the roots of transgenic crops to affect other plants or soil microflora or for substances in the plant body to affect other plants after dying out must be evaluated. We evaluated the allelopathic potential of seven transgenic oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) lines that express glufosinate tolerance in terms of substantial equivalence to conventional oilseed rape lines, and established evaluation methods. Our results indicate no potential production of allelochemicals for any of the seven transgenic oilseed rape lines compared with conventional oilseed rape lines.


Transgenic oilseed rape Brassica napus L. Harmful substances Allelopathy 



The authors wish to thank Dr. Shoji Miyazaki for advice and support concerning assay design and data analysis.


  1. Beck E, Ludwig G, Auerswald EA, Reiss B, Schaller H (1982) Nucleotide sequence and exact localization of the neomycin phosphotransferase gene from transposon Tn5. Gene 19:327–336CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Eckes P, Vijtewaal B, Donn G (1989) Synthetic gene confers resistance to the broad spectrum herbicide L-phosphinothricin in plants. J Cell Biochem Suppl 13:334Google Scholar
  3. Fujii Y, Shibuya T (1991a) A new bioassay for allelopathy with agar medium I. Assessment of allelopathy from litter leacheate by sandwich method. Weed Res Jpn 36(Sup.):150–151 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  4. Fujii Y, Shibuya T (1991b) A new bioassay for allelopathy with agar medium II. Mixed culture of allelopathic candidates with acceptor plants in agar medium. Weed Res Jpn 36(sup):152–153 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  5. Fujii Y, Furubayashi A, Hiradate S (2005) Rhizosphere soil method: a new bioassay to evaluate allelopathy in the field. In: Proceedings of the 4th world congress on allelopathy, pp 490–492Google Scholar
  6. Furubayashi A, Hiradate S, Araya H, Fujii Y (2003) Method for bioassay to evaluate the allelopathic activity in rhizoshere soil. J Weed Sci Tech 48(Sup):142–143 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  7. Götz W, Dorn E, Ebert E, Leist KH, Köcher H (1983) Hoe 39866, a new non-selective herbicide: Chemical and toxicological properties—mode of action and metabolism. Asia Pacific Weed Science Society, 9th conference, Manila, S. pp 401–404Google Scholar
  8. Hartley RW (1988) Barnase and barstar. Expression of its cloned inhibitor permits expression of a clonedribonuclease. J Mol Biol 202:913–915CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Hong NH, Xuan TD, Tuzuki E, Terao H, Matsuo M, Khanh TD (2003) Screening for allelopathic potential of higher plants from Southeast Asia. Crop Prot 22:829–836CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Itani T, Hirai K, Fujii Y, Kohda H, Tamaki M (1998) Screening for allelopathic activity among weeds and medicinal plants using the “Sandwich Method”. J Weed Sci Tech 43:258–266 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  11. Kobayashi K, Itaya D, Mahatamnuchoke P, Tosapon P (2008) PornpromAllelopathic potential of itchgrass (Rottboellia exaltata L.f.) powder incorporated into soil. Weed Biol Manag 8:64–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Mariani C, De Beuckeleer M, Truettner J, Leemans J, Goldberg RB (1990) Induction of male sterility in plants by a chimaericribonuclease gene. Nature 347:737–741CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mariani C, Gossele V, De Beuckeleer M, De Block M, Goldberg RB, De Greef W, Leemans J (1992) A chimaericribonuclease-inhibitor gene restores fertility to male sterile plants. Nature 357:384–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ministry of Agriculture, forestry and fisheries (MAFF) and Ministry of Environment (MOE) (2004) Concerning the Application for Approval of Type 1 Use Regulations with regard to the genetically modified plants, the production or circulation of which falls within the jurisdiction of the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
  15. Nakahisa K, Tsuzuki E, Terao H, Kosemura S (1994) Study on the allelopathy of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). II. Isolation and identification of allelopathic substances in alfalfa. Jpn J Crop Sci 63:278–284Google Scholar
  16. Reiss B, Sprengel R, Schaller H (1984) Protein fusions with the kanamycin resistance gene from transposon Tn5. The EMBO J 3:3317–3322Google Scholar
  17. Seurinck J, Truettner J, Goldberg RB (1990) The nucleotide sequence of an anther-specific gene. Nucleic Acids Res 18:3403CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Thompson C, Van Montagu M, Leemans J (1987) Engineering herbicide resistance in plants by expression of a detoxifying enzyme. The EMBO J 6:2513–2518Google Scholar
  19. Tongma S, Kobayashi K, Usui K (2001) Allelopathic activity of Mexican sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A. Gray) in soil under natural field conditions and different moisture conditions. Weed Biol Manag 1:115–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Xuan TD, Tawata S, Hong NH, Khanh TD, Min CI (2004) Assessment of phytotoxic action of Ageratum conyzoides L. (billy goat weed) on weeds. Crop Prot 23:915–922CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoko Asanuma
    • 1
  • Tomoe Jinkawa
    • 2
  • Hidenori Tanaka
    • 2
  • Takahiro Gondo
    • 2
  • Norihiro Zaita
    • 1
  • Ryo Akashi
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Bayer CropScience K.K.Chiyoda-kuJapan
  2. 2.Division of BioResorce, Frontier Science Research CenterUniversity of MiyazakiMiyazakiJapan

Personalised recommendations