Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Analyze Seed Dispersal Patterns of Soybeans for Vegetation Mgt around GM Soybean Fields

January 13, 2012

Yasuyuki Yoshimura of the National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, Japan, and colleagues developed a simple technique that would prevent transfer of pollen between wild soybean population and biotech soybeans. They placed white sheets on the ground with concentric circles drawn around the parent plants then counted the number of dispersed seeds within each 0.5 m-wide zone.

Results showed that about 40% of the produced seeds were dispersed and the number of dispersed seeds decreased as the distance from the parent plant increased. More than 95, 99, and 99.9 percent of the produced seeds stayed within 3.5, 5.0, and 6.5 m after natural opening of the soybean pods due to maturity. These values could be used in evaluating the risk of mechanical seed dispersal. Thus, the authors recommend proper vegetation management such as weeding and setting up of specific-width buffer zones to prevent the occurrence of hybridization between wild and GM crops.

Read the abstract at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1445-6664.2011.00422.x/full.