Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists find the first evidence of genetically modified plants in the wild

06.08.2010
Research on invasive species, pollution and environmental disasters at ESA's Annual Meeting

Research is continually emerging on the impacts of invasive species, pollution and environmental disasters on ecosystems and communities. Ecological scientists will discuss widespread environmental changes—from the recent discovery of genetically modified plants in the wild to the implications of mercury found in bottlenose dolphin skin, and even exploring society's reactive mode toward environmental disasters in the U.S.—at the Ecological Society of America's 95th Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh from August 1-6, 2010. Below is a sampling of some of the research to be presented on a wide array of environmental issues:

Genetically modified canola plants in the wild

Scientists currently performing field research in North Dakota have discovered the first evidence of established populations of genetically modified plants in the wild. Meredith G. Schafer from the University of Arkansas and colleagues from North Dakota State University, California State University, Fresno and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established transects of land along 5,400 km of interstate, state and county roads in North Dakota from which they collected, photographed and tested 406 canola plants.

The results—which were recorded in early July and are set to be presented at ESA's Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh—provide strong evidence that transgenic plants have established populations outside of agricultural fields in the U.S. Of the 406 plants collected, 347 (86%) tested positive for CP4 EPSPS protein (confers tolerance to glyphosate herbicide) or PAT protein (confers tolerance to glufosinate herbicide).

"There were also two instances of multiple transgenes in single individuals," said one of the study's coauthors Cynthia Sagers, University of Arkansas. "Varieties with multiple transgenic traits have not yet been released commercially, so this finding suggests that feral populations are reproducing and have become established outside of cultivation. These observations have important implications for the ecology and management of native and weedy species, as well as for the management of biotech products in the U.S."

The poster session "Evidence for the establishment and persistence of genetically modified canola populations in the U.S.," led by Meredith G. Schafer from the University of Arkansas, will be held Friday, August 6, 2010.

Other sessions on invasive species include:

The contributed oral session "Bioeconomic approach to risk assessment for invasive animals in trade in the United States" led by Reuben P. Keller, University of Chicago; the poster session "Hurricane Katrina and the potential replacement of one ecosystem engineer by another on two Mississippi barrier islands" by Christine A. Bertz and J. Stephen Brewer, University of Mississippi; and the poster session "Early detection of invasive plant species: linking management needs with invasive species science" led by Daniel A. Sarr, Klamath Network-National Park Service.

Detecting mercury in bottlenose dolphins

Since 1997, researchers have been collecting skin biopsies from the Sarasota Bay, Florida bottlenose dolphin population as part of an ongoing health monitoring program. Debra L. Miller from the University of Georgia and colleagues performed the first histopathological examination of the biopsies to determine the possible adverse effects and mechanisms of tissue distribution of mercury in the bottlenose dolphin population.

In their upcoming presentation at ESA's Annual Meeting, the scientists will report, among other findings, that mercury concentrations increased in dolphin biopsy samples as the dolphins aged. Results also suggest greater binding of mercury in the skin during the winter season and a possible link between mercury concentration and keratin production. Miller will discuss implications for the conservation of dolphins and other animals and for future knowledge on mercury and human health.

The contributed oral session "Investigating mercury in bottlenose dolphin skin: what we have learned and where we go from here" by Debra L. Miller, University of Georgia, will be held Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 8:20 am.

Other sessions on pollution and toxicity include:

The poster session "The effects of salt on anti-predator escape behaviors and size in green frog tadpoles (Rana clamitans)" led by George A. Samra, Pennsylvania State University; the organized oral session "Ozone pollution compromises plant defense responses to insect herbivory" led by Joshua R. Herr, Pennsylvania State University; and the contributed oral session "Mechanisms of cadmium toxicity and tolerance in Populus" led by Brahma Reddy Induri, West Virginia University.

Environmental disasters in the U.S.

During the Opening Plenary Panel at ESA's Annual Meeting, a panel of experts will discuss several case studies from prominent environmental disasters, including the discovery of Asian carp in the Great Lakes and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig accident, and will address the ways in which society assesses risk and reacts to, instead of prevents, grave outcomes.

Robert Twilley from Louisiana State University, an expert in wetlands on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, will highlight how wetland degradation exacerbated the impact of hurricanes in the region and will discuss the recent oil disaster in the Gulf. David Lodge from the University of Notre Dame, an invasive species expert, will showcase past invasions and discuss the risk of similar disasters in the future, such as the spread of Asian Carp to the Great Lakes.

David Dzombak from Carnegie Mellon University, an expert in water quality engineering and contaminated site remediation, will discuss contaminated sediment and public health in New Orleans following the flooding from Hurricane Katrina. Baruch Fischhoff, an expert in risk analysis and decision science from Carnegie Mellon University, will address the communication of risk between experts and non-experts, particularly in areas such as human health, climate change and the environment.

The Opening Plenary Panel "Environmental disasters in the US: exploring our reactive mode" will be held Sunday, August 1, 2010 from 5:15-6:30 pm.

Other sessions on environmental disasters include:

The symposium "Ecological responses to abrupt climate changes: looking back to see ahead" co-organized by Stephen T. Jackson, University of Wyoming; the contributed oral session "Ocean acidification disrupts the innate ability of fish to detect predator olfactory cues" led by Danielle L. Dixson, James Cook University; and the poster session "How global extinctions impact local biodiversity" led by Shan Huang, University of Georgia.

ESA's 95th Annual Meeting will be held August 1-6, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The meeting will include more than 3,000 scientists, students and educators and will center on the theme "Global Warming: The legacy of our past, the challenge for our future."

The meeting program is available online in searchable format at eco.confex.com/eco/2010/techprogram/. All abstracts are embargoed until 12:00 am EST the day of their presentation. Contact Katie Kline at katie@esa.org (or during the Meeting at 412-325-6060) for details or to register as a member of the press.

The Ecological Society of America is the world's largest professional organization of ecologists, representing 10,000 scientists in the United States and around the globe. Since its founding in 1915, ESA has promoted the responsible application of ecological principles to the solution of environmental problems through ESA reports, journals, research, and expert testimony to Congress. ESA publishes four journals and convenes an annual scientific conference. Visit the ESA website at http://www.esa.org or find experts in ecological science at http://www.esa.org/pao/rrt/.

Katie Kline | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.esa.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>