Scientists currently are developing genetically modified plants that are unable to spread to other conventional or wild plants. Such “biological containment” measures promise considerable facilitation of co-existence of GM plants and conventional plants in the field situation, while simultaneously reducing the potential flow of transgenes to wild relatives or weeds. How does this technically work? What are the benefits of this strategy? And what exactly does this mean for farmers?
Co-Extra spoke with Piet Schenkelaars, one of the scientists in the EU “Transcontainer” research programme. In the interview, he explains how biologically contained GM plants work, and outlines the strategies followed by the researchers. Providing intriguing insights into this project, Schenkelaars also describes possible benefits for farmers.
The “Transcontainer” project is supplemented by a Co-Extra research component, which develops biological containment strategies preventing gene flow in maize, sunflower and tomato plants.
The internet portal gmo-safety.eu provides up-to-date, clear and intelligible information about current and past biosafety research into genetically modified plants in Germany and on the international level. Also, interesting aspects of coexistence research are covered.