Breeding Organic Corn varieties to resist GMO contamination

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2012: $48,183.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2015
Region: Southern
State: Tennessee
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Dennis West
University of Tennessee

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: corn


  • Production Systems: organic agriculture


    The cross incompatibility allele GA-1S was incorporated into white corn parent lines T175 and T177, and yellow corn parent lines T274 and T276. This genetic system will allow seedsmen or farmers to produce hybrids which cannot be cross pollinated by corn that does not have the GA-1S allele. None of the currently available commercial field corn hybrids have GA-1S. This will prevent adventitious presence of GMO DNA in fields planted to non-GMO corn varieties, which occurs when pollen from GMO varieties is wind-blown into nearby non-GMO fields.

    Project objectives:

    1. Genetically convert yellow and white parent corn lines to cross-sterility, so they cannot be pollinated by GMO varieties.
    2. Produce hybrid seed from lines developed in objective one, and test hybrids on farms of organic corn producers.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.