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1 August 2013 Biosafety Testing of Genetically Modified Ryegrass (Lolium perenne) using a Model for the Optimum Selection of Test Invertebrates
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Selection of test species for use in biosafety evaluation of genetically modified plants is challenging but important, as regulators in many jurisdictions require tests to determine the potential for adverse environmental impacts before the release of plants into the environment. This contribution provides an example of an evidence-based process whereby species from the receiving environment can be ranked in order of susceptibility to potential impact, and guide test species selection. The case study used for this example was ryegrass, a forage plant, which had been modified to produce elevated levels of the lipid triacylglyceride. The previously described priority ranking of nontarget invertebrates model (PRONTI), designed to rank invertebrates for biosafety testing, has been adapted for use with these plants, which could, potentially, be beneficial to invertebrate populations, and applied to data on 246 known pasture invertebrate species. The output from the model for the top 20 ranked pasture invertebrate species is discussed, the attributes of these are considered along with the level of uncertainty in the information used. Consideration is given to how the model output can be interpreted and used in a biosafety risk assessment. While some subjectivity is involved in establishing the scores, all invertebrate species are subjected to the same analysis, and treated equally. In this way, regulators have a method of a risk assessment that is evidence-based, and transparent in its assumptions thereby avoiding potential for bias.
© 2013 Entomological Society of America
B.I.P. Barratt, J. H. Todd, C. M. Ferguson, K. Crook, E.P.J. Burgess, E. I. Barraclough and L. A. Malone "Biosafety Testing of Genetically Modified Ryegrass (Lolium perenne) using a Model for the Optimum Selection of Test Invertebrates," Environmental Entomology 42(4), (1 August 2013).
Received: 26 February 2013; Accepted: 1 May 2013; Published: 1 August 2013

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