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Author Topic: Transgenic salmon can pass genes to wild species  (Read 464 times)

troutbreath

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Transgenic salmon can pass genes to wild species
« on: July 15, 2011, 07:48:59 PM »

Transgenic salmon can pass genes to wild species
 Effects of cross-breeding uncertain, researcher says
 By Beatrice Fantoni, Postmedia NewsJuly 15, 2011
  Canadian researchers have found that the new transgenic Atlantic salmon can pass their genes to wild salmon if they escape.

"It is possible for the genetic modification to enter wild populations through natural sexual reproduction," Darek Moreau, a researcher in evolutionary ecology at Memorial University in St. John's said.

Moreau and his colleagues monitored the breeding behaviour of wild and transgenic male Atlantic salmon in a lab setting over two years. They found that wild male salmon were more successful at breeding, but the genetically modified males managed to spawn naturally even though they tended to show less interest in female salmon and bred less frequently.

The ecological and genetic effects of the cross-breeding are still uncertain, he said, but the findings underscore the importance of keeping transgenic salmon from escaping.

The research was published in the July online edition of the journal Evolutionary Applications.

Genetically modified Atlantic salmon is among the first species of GM fish to be considered for commercial farming in North America and Europe, Moreau said.

Moreau said his study is the first to empirically observe the breeding behaviour of genetically modified Atlantic salmon that contain the same gene as AquAdvantage salmon, a transgenic fish being developed by AquaBounty Technologies Inc.

Earlier this year, federal scientists in Canada suggested there was a risk of contaminating Canada's fish stocks if genetically modified salmon were introduced into the wild.

Internal records obtained by Postmedia News in February indicate senior scientists in biotechnology and aquaculture at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans were concerned about "limited" and possibly "constrained" regulatory powers around the approvals for AquAdvantage salmon.

AquaBounty cleared an important hurdle in 2010, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's preliminary analysis concluded that its salmon, modified in Atlantic Canada to grow twice as fast as normal, are safe to eat and are not expected to have a significant effect on the environment.

At the time, Ronald Stotish, CEO of AquaBounty, said concerns about contamination are unfounded, arguing it's safer than traditional aquaculture because AquaBounty will only provide farms with genetically engineered salmon that are female and sterile.

Matthew Abbott, coordinator of Fundy Baykeeper conservation group in Saint Andrews, N.B., said it is common for farmed Atlantic salmon to escape ocean-based farming pens. It is not likely a fish can escape an inland farm, he said, but if transgenic Atlantic salmon were approved for production in Canada, he would not be surprised if producers would eventually begin farming it in open nets where escapes are almost inevitable.

The AquAdvantage salmon contain a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon and a genetic on-switch from ocean pout, an eel-like species present in the Northwest Atlantic, resulting in the continuous production of the hormone.

The salmon grow to market size in 16 to 18 months instead of three years, but does not grow any bigger than conventional salmon.

Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
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Male GM salmon can breed with wild species, researchers find
  By Beatrice Fantoni, Postmedia NewsJuly 14, 2011
 
 This handout photo, released August 30, 2010, compares the size of its genetically engineered AquAdvantage Salmon in the background to an Atlantic salmon of the same age (foreground).
Photograph by: Barrett & McKay Photo/AquaBounty Technologies/handout, NPOn the heels of a new international guideline encouraging the labelling of genetically modified foods, Canadian researchers have found that transgenic Atlantic salmon can pass their genes on to wild salmon if they escape into the wild.


"It is possible for the genetic modification to enter wild populations through natural sexual reproduction," Darek Moreau, a researcher in evolutionary ecology at Memorial University in St. John's told Postmedia News.


Moreau and his colleagues monitored the breeding behaviour of wild and transgenic male Atlantic salmon in a lab setting over two years. They found that wild male salmon were more successful at breeding, but the genetically modified males still managed to spawn naturally even if they tended to show less interest in female salmon and bred less frequently.


The resulting ecological and genetic effects are still uncertain, he said, but the findings underscore the importance of keeping transgenic salmon from escaping into the wild.


The research was published in the July online edition of the journal Evolutionary Applications.


Genetically modified Atlantic salmon is among the first species of GM fish to be considered for commercial farming in North America and Europe, Moreau said, but not much is known about the potential impact on wild salmon populations if a transgenic species escapes captivity.


Moreau said the study is the first to empirically observe the breeding behaviour of genetically modified Atlantic salmon that contain the same gene as AquAdvantage salmon, a transgenic fish being developed by AquaBounty Technologies Inc.


Earlier this year, federal scientists in Canada suggested there was a risk of contaminating Canada's fish stocks if genetically modified salmon were introduced into the wild.


Internal records obtained by Postmedia News in February indicate senior scientists in biotechnology and aquaculture from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans were concerned about "limited" and possibly "constrained" regulatory powers around the approvals for AquAdvantage salmon.


AquaBounty cleared an important hurdle in August 2010, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's preliminary analysis concluded that its salmon, modified in Atlantic Canada to grow twice as fast as normal fish, are safe to eat and not expected to have a significant impact on the environment.


At the time, Ronald Stotish, CEO of AquaBounty, said concerns about contamination are unfounded, arguing it's actually safer than traditional aquaculture because AquaBounty's genetically engineered salmon are female and sterile. They would be bred in confined pools where the potential for escape would be very low.


Matthew Abbott, the co-ordinator of Fundy Baykeeper conservation group in Saint Andrews, N.B., said it is common for farmed Atlantic salmon to escape ocean-based farming pens. It is not likely a fish can escape an inland farm, he said, but if transgenic Atlantic salmon were approved for production in Canada, he would not be surprised if producers would eventually begin farming it in open nets in the ocean where escapes are almost inevitable.


The AquAdvantage salmon contain a growth hormone gene from the Chinook salmon and a genetic on-switch from ocean pout, an eel-like species present in the Northwest Atlantic, resulting in the continuous production of the hormone.


The salmon grow to market size in 16 to 18 months instead of three years, but does not grow any bigger than conventional salmon.


bfantoni@postmedia.com


Twitter.com/bfantoni

Copyright (c) Postmedia News
   This handout photo, released August 30, 2010, compares the size of its genetically engineered AquAdvantage Salmon in the background to an Atlantic salmon of the same age (foreground).Photograph by: Barrett & McKay Photo/AquaBounty Technologies/handout, NP 
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another SLICE of dirty fish perhaps?

skaha

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Re: Transgenic salmon can pass genes to wild species
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2011, 11:30:44 PM »

-Put in my own garden this year and if I can believe the labels tried to buy non GM seed... but its a struggle... also the Bees don't know the difference so get cross contamination any way.
-This Frankenstein experimentation has got to stop.
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