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Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2012-05-08 14:01 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)
Date of last update
2012-05-25 18:51 UTC (manoela.miranda@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2012-06-01 19:19 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)

General Information
Gene Flow, Invasiveness, and Ecological Impact of Genetically Modified Crops
Suzanne I. Warwick, Hugh J. Beckie, Linda M. Hall
Author’s contact information
Suzanne I. Warwick
Email: warwicks@agr.gc.ca

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Eastern Cereal and Oilseeds Research Centre
K.W. Neatby Bldg., Central Experimental Farm
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada KIA 0C6

Voice: 613-759-1829
fax: 613-759-1701
  • English
Publication date
Summary, abstract or table of contents

The main environmental concerns about genetically modified (GM) crops are the potential weediness or invasiveness in the crop itself or in its wild or weedy relatives as a result of transgene movement. Here we briefly review evidence for pollen- and seed-mediated gene flow from GM crops to non-GM or other GM crops and to wild relatives. The report focuses on the effect of abiotic and biotic stress tolerance traits on plant fitness and their potential to increase weedy or invasive tendencies. An evaluation of weediness and invasive traits that contribute to the success of agricultural weeds and invasive plants was of limited value in predicting the effect of biotic and abiotic stress-tolerance GM traits, suggesting context-specific evaluation rather than generalizations. Fitness data on herbicide, insect, and disease resistance, as well as cold-, drought-, and salinity-tolerance traits, are reviewed. We describe useful ecological models predicting the effects of gene flow and altered fitness in GM crops and wild/weedy relatives, as well as suitable mitigation measures. A better understanding of factors controlling population size, dynamics, and range limits in weedy volunteer GM crop and related host or target weed populations is necessary before the effect of biotic and abiotic stress-tolerance GM traits can be fully assessed.
Thematic areas
  • Scientific and technical issues
    • Risk assessment
Background material to the “Guidance on risk assessment of living modified organisms”
Is this document is recommend as background material for the “Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms”
Section(s) of the “Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms” this background material is relevant
  • 3. Risk assessment of living modified plants with tolerance to abiotic stress
Additional Information
Type of resource
  • Article (journal / magazine / newspaper)
DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04576.x
Publisher and its location
New York Academy of Sciences
© 2009 New York Academy of Sciences
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Keywords and any other relevant information
Keywords: gene flow; genetically modified crops; biotic stress tolerance; abiotic stress tolerance; fitness; invasiveness; risk assessment

Citation: Volume 1168, The Year in Evolutionary Biology 2009 pages 72-99, June 2009