Ongoing research project

Introgression from cultivated plants to wild relatives

Outcrossing of genetically modified (GM) plants to wild relatives and thus the spread of transgenes in nature, is one of the main elements in the environmental risk assessment of experiments with GM plants and crops. Introgression of genes from agricultural crops to wild relatives is a well-known phenomenon and has been demonstrated for various crops. Partly because the cultivation of GM crops has never taken place in the Netherlands, attention to introgression and its possible risks has faded somewhat. COGEM is therefore conducting a broad literature study into the latest scientific insights and findings regarding introgression. This examines in which crops or plants introgression occurs most often, as well as the underlying mechanisms and the consequences of introgression for wild relatives. This knowledge can be used as base-line information in any future risk analyses.