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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 37 No. 1, p. 207-218
    Received: Mar 13, 2007

    * Corresponding author(s): pssong@cheju.ac.kr
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Environmental Risk Assessment of Genetically Engineered Herbicide-Tolerant Zoysia japonica

  1. T. W. Baea,
  2. E. Vanjildorjb,
  3. S. Y. Songb,
  4. S. Nishiguchia,
  5. S. S. Yangc,
  6. I. J. Songa,
  7. T. Chandrasekhara,
  8. T. W. Kangd,
  9. J. I. Kimc,
  10. Y. J. Kohe,
  11. S. Y. Parkf,
  12. J. Leeg,
  13. Y.-E. Leeh,
  14. K. H. Ryui,
  15. K. Z. Riua,
  16. P.-S. Song *a and
  17. H. Y. Leea
  1. a Faculty of Biotechnology, Cheju National Univ., Jeju 690-756, Korea
    b Dep. of Horticulture, Chungnam National Univ., Daejeon 305-764, Korea
    c Dep. of Biotechnology (BK21 Program) and Kumho Life Science Lab., Chonnam National Univ., Gwangju 500-757, Korea
    d Applied Radiological Science Research Inst., Cheju National Univ., Jeju 690-756, Korea
    e School of Environmental and Agricultural Science, Sunchon National Univ., Sunchon 540-742, Korea
    f Dep. of Clinical Pathology, Cheju Halla College, Jeju 690-708, Korea
    g School of Medicine, Cheju National Univ., Jeju 690-756, Korea
    h Dep. of Biotechnology, Dongguk Univ., Kyungju, Kyongbuk 780-714, Korea
    i Division of Environmental and Life Sciences, Seoul Women's Univ., Seoul 139-774, Korea


Herbicide-tolerant Zoysia grass (Zoysia japonica Steud.) has been generated previously through Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. The genetically modified (GM) Zoysia grass survived Basta spraying and grew to maturity normally while the wild-type (WT) grass stopped growing and died. GM Zoysia grass will permit more efficient weed control for various turf grass plantings such as home lawns, golf courses, and parks. We examined the environmental/biodiversity risks of herbicide-tolerant GM Zoysia before applying to regulatory agencies for approval for commercial release. The GM and WT Zoysia grass' substantial trait equivalence, ability to cross-pollinate, and gene flow in confined and unconfined test fields were selectively analyzed for environmental/biodiversity effects. No difference between GM and WT Zoysia grass in substantial traits was found. To assess the potential for cross-pollination and gene flow, a non-selective herbicide, Basta, was used. Results showed that unintended cross-pollination with and gene flow from GM Zoysia grass were not detected in neighboring weed species examined, but were observed in WT Zoysia grass (on average, 6% at proximity, 1.2% at a distance of 0.5 m and 0.12% at a radius of 3 m, and 0% at distances over 3 m). On the basis of these initial studies, we conclude that the GM Zoysia grass generated in our laboratory and tested in the Nam Jeju County field does not appear to pose a significant risk when cultivated outside of test fields.

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Copyright © 2008. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyAmerican Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America