Researchers develop hybrid corn variety resistant to cross-pollination with GMO varieties

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Although certified organic farms are prohibited from using Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), organic growers have no control over the varieties grown by neighboring farmers, who may choose a GMO corn variety . . .

According to Dennis West, a professor with the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Tennessee, a single GMO corn plant commonly produces more than two million pollen grains, which may be carried more than one-half mile by wind. This long distance cross-pollination can result in “adventitious presence” or GMO contamination of the grain of non-GMO varieties. The result is a loss of market value for the organic farmer.

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In their three-year, Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE)-funded project, researchers at the university crossed white and yellow Tennessee corn lines with genetic stocks containing a cross pollinator inhibitor gene. They developed six corn hybrids that may potentially lessen the risk of GMO contamination.

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. . . . In the SSARE project, “Breeding Organic Corn Varieties to Resist GMO Contamination,” Tennessee elite corn lines were crossed to corn lines obtained from the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) with a cross-sterility allele, Ga1s, which prevents fertilization by pollen of corn varieties that do not carry the allele.

Read full, original post:  New Corn Varieties Bred for Resistance to GMOs

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