Monitoring the growth and gene flow of genetically modified (GM) rice using multivariate analysis of hyperspectral reflectance and in-situ measurements

Principal Investigator: Prof. Chen Jinsong

Project Ref No: 461907
Start Date: 2007/12/01
End Date: 2009/11/31
Type of Grant: RGC Competitive Earmarked Research Grant 2007/2008

In the foreseeable future transgenic rice will be ready for commercialization, including varieties with higher yields, greater tolerance of biotic and abiotic stresses, resistance to herbicides, improved nutritional quality, and novel pharmaceutical proteins. But GM rice has generated great concerns about transgene movement to landraces and wild relatives in centers of origin or diversity, and its genetic, ecological, and social consequences.

We propose to develop a new approach to monitor the growth and gene flow of genetically modified (GM) rice. The primary objectives of the proposed research are to: 1) measure the hyperspectral reflectance of GM rice plants and analyze its spectral properties; 2) evaluate the ability of hyperspectral data to discriminate between GM rice and non GM rice; and 3) monitor gene flow from GM rice with Green fluorescent protein as a marker through analysis of hyperspectral properties of fluorescent protein.

The deliverables from the project should greatly contribute to establishment of a time and cost effective system for monitoring the growth and possible gene flow of GM rice, and can promote the development of remote sensing and gene biology technology in monitoring genetically engineered crops in the environment.