Potential for gene flow from genetically modified Brassica napus on the territory of Russia

  • Elena V. MikhaylovaEmail author
  • Bulat R. Kuluev


Gene flow from genetically modified crops has been studied for more than 20 years, but public concern still remains. A lot of data on this matter is obtained on the territory of EU and the USA, but in the majority of countries, such experiments were never carried out. Here, we present the first study of interspecific and intraspecific hybridization of transgenic Brassica napus on the territory of Russia. The experiment was conducted using two different models of coexistence. Cross-pollination with related species was more frequent in mixed than that in separated populations. We observed maximum 4.1% of transgenic seeds in the progeny of Brassica rapa and 0.6% in the progeny of Brassica juncea. The highest intraspecific hybridization rate of 0.67% was observed in separated populations. DNA fragments, typical to both parents, were present in the genome of the hybrids. The risk of gene flow in Russia is relatively low, but it will be problematic to do environmental monitoring on such a big territory. However, instead of banning the cultivation of genetically modified crops, some new varieties with visually detectable selective traits could be designed and approved for cultivation.


Brassicaceae Brassica rapa Brassica juncea Oilseed rape Hybridization Transgenic 



Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analyzed during the current study. Transgenic plants and genetic constructions are stored in the shared knowledge center “Collection of transgenic plants of IBG UFRC RAS” in Ufa, Russia.

Funding information

The reported study was funded by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research according to the research project no. 16-34-00404.

Compliance with ethical standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Bioengineering of plants and microorganismsInstitute of Biochemistry and Genetics UFRC RASUfaRussian Federation

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