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Biological containment

Biological containment (or biocontainment) describes measures aimed at preventing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their transgenes from spreading into the environment (for containment methods in closed research environments, see Biosafety level).

In agriculture, biocontainment is helpful in protecting conventional and organic fields from admixture with GM crops growing on neighbouring fields. With the end of the de-facto moratorium on genetically modified plants in Europe, several research programmes (e.g. Co-Extra, Transcontainer) have begun investigating biological containment strategies for GMOs. Among the techniques under consideration are three major strategies based on cleistogamous plants, male-sterile plants and transplastomic plants.

Biocontainment strategies

  • In cleistogamous plants, flowers do not open, and thus release no pollen.
  • In male-sterile plants, no pollen is produced.
  • In transplastomic plants, the genetic modification has been integrated in the DNA of chloroplasts, and the cell nucleus contains no transgenes; in some plant species, the pollen contains no chloroplasts and thus no transgenes.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Biological_containment". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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