Thursday, July 28, 2005


Possible transgenic weed hybrid?

Conincidently, this post is somewhat relevant to my last post. Nature news reports that a couple of British researchers have found a couple of plants that appear to be hybrids between a weed species and a transgenic plant. The researches examined weeds found in a plot of transgenic Rapeseed and weeds found in plots of non-transgenic rapeseed. The transgenic rapeseed contained the gene conferring resistance to Liberty herbicide. DNA from the weeds was sampled using PCR. One fertile weed tested positive for the tolerance gene along with one infertile weed from a non-transgenic crop. Here is a link to the original research article. My thoughts: PCR is a funny thing. It only takes one molecule of contaminating DNA to create a false positive. Could this hybridization and gene transfer with Charlock occur? probably. Will this have an environmental impact? It will when other plants evolve to produce Liberty.

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