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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Fostering Coexistence: Pollinator Investigations in GE Alfalfa

Location: Plant and Animal Genetic Resources Preservation

Project Number: 3012-21000-013-13-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jan 1, 2013
End Date: Aug 31, 2016

With the deregulation of genetically engineered Round Up Ready alfalfa (RRA) in February 2011, there is an urgent need to complete and implement coexistence strategies to protect the export seed market and other alfalfa markets that are sensitive to the adventitious presence (AP) of transgenic traits. Extended conversations with alfalfa producers and breeding companies have led to the following objective: to examine how leaf cutter and alkali bees transmit RRA across commercial seed fields and how that will impact proposed harvest strategies that separate seed for non AP- and AP- sensitive markets and to examine the persistence of RRA pollen in honeybee hives.

This project will focus on the Walla Walla valley in Washington. We will be tracking the flight of leaf cutter amd alkali bees across RRA seed and hay fields and using the RRA trait as a marker to determine flight distance. Honey bee hives will be placed in RRA fields then removed and hives sampled for the presence of RRA pollen over time. This work will be done in Othello, WA.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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