| | english | español | français |
Go to record ID

  Home|Finding Information|Record details   Printer-friendly version

Information Resource
Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2007-09-02 12:51 UTC (UNEP-GEF)
Date of last update
2012-05-25 18:49 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2012-07-27 21:14 UTC (manoela.miranda@cbd.int)

General Information
Problems in monitoring horizontal gene transfer in field trials of transgenic plants
Heinemann, Jack A.; Sparrow; Traavik, Terje
Author’s contact information
Jack A. Heinemann

New Zealand Institute of Gene Ecology, University of Canterbury
8020 Private Bag 4800
Christchurch, New Zealand

E-mail: jack.heinemann@canterbury.ac.nz.
  • English
Publication date
Summary, abstract or table of contents

Transgenic crops are approved for release in some countries, while many more countries are wrestling with the issue of how to conduct risk assessments. Controls on field trials often include monitoring of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from crops to surrounding soil microorganisms. Our analysis of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and of the sensitivity of current techniques for monitoring HGT from transgenic plants to soil microorganisms has two major implications for field trial assessments of transgenic crops: first, HGT from transgenic plants to microbes could still have an environmental impact at a frequency approximately a trillion times lower than the current risk assessment literature estimates the frequency to be; and second, current methods of environmental sampling to capture genes or traits in a recombinant are too insensitive for monitoring evolution by HGT. A model for HGT involving iterative short-patch events explains how HGT can occur at high frequencies but be detected at extremely low frequencies.
Thematic areas
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
  • 6. Monitoring of Living Modified Organisms Released into the Environment
Additional Information
Type of resource
  • Article (journal / magazine / newspaper)
Publisher and its location
Nature Publishing Group
2005 Nature Publishing Group
Adobe Acrobat Reader (6 pages)
Nature Biotechnology
Keywords and any other relevant information
Citation: Nature Biotechnology  22, 1105 - 1109;