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Detection of feral GT73 transgenic oilseed rape (Brassica napus) along railway lines on entry routes to oilseed factories in Switzerland

Hecht, Mirco, Oehen, Bernadette, Schulze, Jürg, Brodmann, Peter, Bagutti, Claudia
Environmental science and pollution research international 2014 v.21 no.2 pp. 1455-1465
Brassica napus var. napus, factories, glyphosate, hybridization, monitoring, oilseeds, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, risk, sampling, seeds, transgenes, transgenic plants, transportation, France, Italy, Switzerland
To obtain a reference status prior to cultivation of genetically modified oilseed rape (OSR, Brassica napus L.) in Switzerland, the occurrence of feral OSR was monitored along transportation routes and at processing sites. The focus was set on the detection of (transgenic) OSR along railway lines from the Swiss borders with Italy and France to the respective oilseed processing factories in Southern and Northern Switzerland (Ticino and region of Basel). A monitoring concept was developed to identify sites of largest risk of escape of genetically modified plants into the environment in Switzerland. Transport spillage of OSR seeds from railway goods cars particularly at risk hot spots such as switch yards and (un)loading points but also incidental and continuous spillage were considered. All OSR plants, including their hybridization partners which were collected at the respective monitoring sites were analyzed for the presence of transgenes by real-time PCR. On sampling lengths each of 4.2 and 5.7 km, respectively, 461 and 1,574 plants were sampled in Ticino and the region of Basel. OSR plants were found most frequently along the routes to the oilseed facilities, and in larger amounts on risk hot spots compared to sites of random sampling. At three locations in both monitored regions, transgenic B. napus line GT73 carrying the glyphosate resistance transgenes gox and CP4 epsps were detected (Ticino, 22 plants; in the region of Basel, 159).