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Table 1 Overview of case studies of uncontrolled spread of genetically engineered plants (n.i. = not investigated)

From: Cultivation-independent establishment of genetically engineered plants in natural populations: current evidence and implications for EU regulation

Plant species Country Commercial cultivation Cases in field sites Cases beyond field sites State of research Likelihood of persistence and invasiveness in the regions concerned References
Creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) USA No n.i. Yes Confirmed by several publications Very likely to persist and invade because bentgrass shows invasive potential [59]
Black poplar (Populus nigra) China Yes Yes n.i. Conclusive studies still missing Only very few investigations about potential gene flow into wild poplar [50, 51], overview in [52]
Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) Mexico Yes n.i. Yes Pilot study Very likely to persist because of gene flow into wild relatives [16]
Maize/corn (Zea mays) Mexico No Yes n.i. Confirmed by several publications Persistence very likely because of informal seed exchange and the gene flow between fields [3, 4, 3841]
Oilseed rape (Brassica napus) Australia Yes Yes Yes Conclusive studies still missing No conclusive publications [43, 44]
Oilseed rape (Brassica napus) Canada Yes Yes Yes Confirmed by several publications Persistence and further spread very likely because of confirmed gene flow to related species [2326, 3032]
Oilseed rape (Brassica napus) Europe No n.i. Yes Relevant studies are mostly missing No information about crosses into wild relatives yet [4547]
Oilseed rape (Brassica napus) Japan No No Yes Confirmed in several publications Gene flow into related species likely to have occurred [2729, 3436]
Oilseed rape (Brassica napus) USA Yes Yes Yes Pilot study No information about crosses into wild relatives. Unnoticed gene flow with wild species is likely. [42]
Papaya (Carica papaya) Thailand No Yes n.i. Conclusive studies still missing Gene flow into de-domesticated papaya could cause persistence [53]
Rice (Oryza sativa) China No Yes n.i. Conclusive studies still missing Persistence is likely due to informal seed exchange and gene flow with weedy rice [48, 49]