Biotech Updates

Researchers Develop Model to Predict Pollen-Mediated Gene Flow in Rice

March 5, 2010

Researchers at the Fuidan University in China and University of Leiden in the Netherlands have developed a model that can effectively predict pollen-mediated gene flow (PMGF) in rice. Such model can play an essential role for assessing and managing risks from transgene escape.

Jun Rong and colleagues constructed the model based on the pollen dispersal pattern in rice, taking outcrossing rates of recipients and cross-compatibility between rice and its wild relatives into consideration. The researchers used published rice gene flow data to evaluate their model. Model simulation showed that:

  • Pollen density decreased in a simple exponential pattern with distances to the rice field.
  • High relative humidity reduced pollen dispersal distances.
  • PMGF frequency increases with the increase of pollen source size (the area of a rice field), but this effect levelled off with a large pollen-source size.

The researchers said that the model can predict PMGF in rice, as well as other wind-pollinated plant species like barley and wheat, under diverse conditions therefore facilitating the determination of isolation distances to minimize transgene escape.

Download the article published by Plant Biotechnology Journal at