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Plant characterization of Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean, MON 89788, for use in ecological risk assessment

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During the development of a genetically modified (GM) crop product, extensive phenotypic and agronomic data are collected to characterize the plant in comparison to a conventional control with a similar genetic background. The data are evaluated for potential differences resulting from the genetic modification process or the GM trait, and the differences—if any—are subsequently considered in the context of contributing to the pest potential of the GM crop. Ultimately, these study results and those of other studies are used in an ecological risk assessment of the GM crop. In the studies reported here, seed germination, vegetative and reproductive growth, and pollen morphology of Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean, MON 89788, were compared to those of A3244, a conventional control soybean variety with the same genetic background. Any statistically significant differences were considered in the context of the genetic variation known to occur in soybean and were evaluated as indicators of an effect of the genetic modification process and assessed for impact on plant pest (weed) characteristics and adverse ecological impact (ecological risk). The results of these studies revealed no effects attributable to the genetic modification process or to the GM trait in the plant that would result in increased pest potential or adverse ecological impact of MON 89788 compared with A3244. These results and the associated risk assessments obtained from diverse geographic and environmental conditions in the United States and Argentina can be used by regulators in other countries to inform various assessments of ecological risk.

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The authors acknowledge the assistance of Virginia M. Peschke of Oakside Editorial Services in the preparation of this paper. The authors also acknowledge the support of Tom Armstrong and James Colyer of the Monsanto Regulatory Agronomy team for providing supporting data sets.

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Correspondence to Michael J. Horak.

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Roundup Ready®, Roundup Ready 2 Yield®, Roundup Ready® Flex cotton, Roundup Ready® corn, Roundup Ready® alfalfa, Roundup Ready® cotton, Roundup Ready® canola, Roundup Ready® sugarbeets, and Roundup® are registered trademarks of Monsanto Technology, LLC, St. Louis, MO.

SAS® is a registered trademark of SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, NC.

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Horak, M.J., Rosenbaum, E.W., Kendrick, D.L. et al. Plant characterization of Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean, MON 89788, for use in ecological risk assessment. Transgenic Res 24, 213–225 (2015).

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