Efficacy of strategies for biological containment of transgenic crops

Research reports | 11.03.2010 | CGM 2010-01

Biological containment (or biocontainment) of transgenic plants and transgenes is the prevention or reduction of the spread of transgenic plants or the transgenes they contain outside the areas or species of their intended use by using and/or modifying the plant’s innate characteristics, particularly its reproductive characteristics. Such containment strategies may complement or replace other measures for transgene containment such as physical barriers and harvesting and processing practices. Biological containment strategies, barring a few exceptions, target the plant’s sexual reproduction at the level of flowering, pollen production, seed production or fertility, or a combination thereof. Numerous literature reviews are available describing possible biological containment strategies, many of which are still in their theoretical conception phase or only have a proof of concept in a model plant species of little or no value as a crop. This report reviews the various biological containment strategies proposed or studied and focuses on the discussion of reports of their efficacy in one or more plants species, if such information is available. Containment strategies that were reviewed and the conclusion about their utility and
efficiency are listed here.

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