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Bees and the spread of pollen grains from GM field trials

09 June 11


Ameco has been selected by the Dutch Commission for Genetic Modification (COGEM) to implement a research on various aspects regarding honeybees and pollen; more in specific, the role of bees in disseminating pollen grains from field trials.

In field trials with genetically modified (GM) plants that are visited by honeybees, these bees can be a factor in spreading pollen grains stemming from these plants. This could lead to cross-pollination of wild relatives, or pollen grains can end-up in the honey of these bees.

The extent to which this can happen depends on many factors, including the type of crop being grown, the distance over which bees can fly and the time that pollen grains are viable. These factors may be important for risk assessments of GM plants, for example, if a crop is visited by bees and wild relatives of this crop exist in The Netherlands, these wild relatives could cross-pollinate with the GM plants or if the newly produced protein has a toxic or allergenic effect that is expressed in the pollen as well.

Want to know more about this research, which is being executed in cooperation with Wageningen University (Plant Research International/bijen@wur)? Send an e-mail or fill out the contact form.





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