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Gene flow of oilseed rape (Brassica napus)according to isolation distance and buffer zone

Damgaard, Christian and Kjellsson, Gösta (2005) Gene flow of oilseed rape (Brassica napus)according to isolation distance and buffer zone. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment (108), pp. 291-301.

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Summary

The introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops in the EU has raised questions concerning gene dispersal and co-existence with non-GM farming. Quantitative estimates of the gene dispersal from fields with GM crops to fields with conspecific non-GM crops (conventional or organic) are therefore needed in order to suggest isolation distances and other management strategies to keep GM-pollination below acceptable threshold values. A meta-analysis of available gene-flow data for oilseed rape (Brassica napus) was performed. The probability distribution that seeds of non-GM oilseed rape are fertilised by foreign pollen grains from a neighbouring field of GM oilseed rape is modelled as functions of the width of the recipient (i.e. pollen receiving) field and the distance to the pollen donor fields. Furthermore, the significance of using a buffer zone (removal of a 1-5 m border of a recipient field parallel to the pollen donor field) to reduce GM-pollination of the crop, is quantified and discussed. The predicted median and 95% credibility level of the probability of foreign pollination is calculated as a function of the width of the recipient field and the buffer zone, as well as the distance between fields. Analysis of different management strategies shows that an increasing isolation distance is more effective to reduce GM pollen dispersal than the use of a buffer zone, especially for small recipient fields. The analysis shows that increasing the width of a recipient oilseed rape field, relative to the pollen donor field, will have a large effect on reducing the average level of fertilisation by foreign pollen within the recipient field. The results indicate that a GM-pollination percentage < 0.1% will be possible if the isolation distance exceeds 100 m and the width of the non-GM field is larger than 200 m. If a threshold value of 0.3% is acceptable, an isolation distance of 50 m should be sufficient even for smaller fields. The use of a 5 m discarded buffer zone surrounding the non-GM field is expected to reduce GM pollination by about a third. The implications of the results for field management in conventional and organic farming are discussed.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:co-existence, GMO, pollen dispersal, farm management
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Values, standards and certification > Consumer issues
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > VI.3 (TOPRO) Tool for protection against contamination by GMO
Deposited By: Kjellsson, Senior Adviser, PhD Gösta
ID Code:4849
Deposited On:31 May 2005
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:30
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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