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Crop Biotech Update

Team of Researchers Study the Ecology of a New GM Crop

July 13, 2016

A team of researchers led by University of Connecticut (UConn) plant scientist Carol Auer is studying the interactions between Camelina sativa, a new genetically modified crop and the environment. Auer and her team have been gathering information about Camelina, an oilseed crop that has never been grown commercially in Connecticut. Camelina has been subject to genetic modification to make products such as biofuels, dietary supplements, and bioplastics, and could become popular with farmers in the U.S.

The study's main goal is to understand gene flow, the movement of genes between individual plants within a species or between closely related plant species. Gene flow between plants depends upon the movement of pollen by wind or insects, and the fields at UConn have clearly shown that Camelina attracts pollinators such as honey bees, native bumble bees, and flies.

Over the next few years, the research team will share information they have gathered about Camelina gene flow and weed dynamics with farmers and other stakeholders.

More details are available at UConn Today.