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Botanical and rotational implications of genetically modified herbicide tolerance in winter oilseed rape and sugar beet (BRIGHT Project)


HGCA PROJECT REPORT 353

Botanical and rotational implications of genetically modified herbicide tolerance in winter oilseed rape and sugar beet (BRIGHT Project)


by
J. Sweet1, E. Simpson1, J. Law1, P. Lutman2, K. Berry2,
R. Payne2, G.Champion3, M. May3, K. Walker4,
P. Wightman4and M. Lainsbury5

1NIAB (Formerly National Institute of Agricultural Botany), Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CB3 0LE.
2Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ
3Broom's Barn Research Station, Higham, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP28 6NP
4Scottish Agricultural College, (Aberdeen), Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3JG
5 The Arable Group (Formerly Morley Research Centre), Norfolk Agricultural Research Station, Morley St. Botolph, Wymondham, Norfolk, NR18 9DB

correspondence to jeremysweet303@aol.com


November 2004

Abstract

The four year BRIGHT project was initiated in autumn 1998 and the research was conducted by NIAB, Broom's Barn, Rothamsted Research, Morley Research Centre and the Scottish Agricultural College (Aberdeen) in a consortium with Agrovista, BASF, Bayer, BBRO, HGCA and Monsanto sponsored by Defra and SEERAD through the Sustainable Arable LINK programme.

The BRIGHT project had the objective of determining the implications of growing HT crops both for agriculture and the environment by simulating different rotational scenarios, at a number of sites. In the BRIGHT project herbicide tolerant (HT) winter oilseed rape (WOSR) and sugar beet were grown in four year arable rotations with cereals and other crops.  Cultivars of sugar beet and WOSR genetically modified to be tolerant to glyphosate and glufosinate were compared to conventional cultivars. 

Additionally, in years 1 and 2 a cultivar of WOSR resistant to the imidazolinone herbicides, bred by conventional breeding techniques, was compared to the other three.   The research programme encompassed whole crop rotations, studying weed control in the non-HT crops as well as the HT crops.

The programme included rotations that were perceived to be best practice and worst case scenarios (where potential impact of the use of HT cultivars might be expected to be highest).  Thus, two included only oilseed rape or only sugar beet and one was based on a sequence of rape and sugar beet.  HT crops were mainly grown twice in each rotation and all possible sequences of HT and conventional cultivars were compared.

 

 

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