Biotech Updates

Scientists Evaluate Production of Allelochemicals by GE Oilseed Rape

February 18, 2011

With the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety in Japan, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF) and the Ministry of Environment (MOE) established the guidleines for the environmental risk assessment (ERA) of transgenic crops. The concept behind this assessment is based on the "substantial equivalence" of the genetically engineered (GE) crops with the conventional crops. Monitoring of allelochemical production of  GE crops is unique to Japan's ERA. Allelochemicals pertain to harmful substances released by a certain species that may affect the growth and development of other species.

Scientist Yoko Asanuma of Bayer CropScience, Japan, and colleagues monitored the allelochemical production of seven transgenic oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) lines with trait that confers tolerance to herbicide glufosinate in comparison with the conventional lines. Results of their study showed that all the GE lines studied did not secrete any allelochemical compared to the conventional oilseed rape lines.

Read the abstract in the current issue of Transgenic Research journal available at