Below is a list of crop biology documents, along with a brief description of each document.

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When viewing crop biology documents, please refer to the OECD’s Revised Points to Consider on Consensus Documents on the Biology of Cultivated Plants, which provides a structured explanatory checklist to be used by authors of consensus documents.

SourceCropScientific NameDescriptioncountry_hfilter
Brinjal (Eggplant)Solanum melongena L.

Brinjal or eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is an important solanaceous crop of sub-tropics and tropics. The name brinjal is popular in Indian subcontinents and is derived from Arabic and Sanskrit whereas the name eggplant has been derived from the shape of the fruit of some varieties, which are white and resemble in shape to chicken eggs. It is also called aubergine (French word) in Europe.

The brinjal is of much importance in the warm areas of Far East, being grown extensively in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China and Philippines. It is also popular in Egypt, France, Italy and United States. In India, it is one of the most common, popular and principal vegetable crops grown throughout the country except higher altitudes. It is a versatile crop adapted to different agro-climatic regions and can be grown throughout the year. It is a perennial but grown commercially as an annual crop. A number of cultivars are grown in India, consumer preference being dependent upon fruit color, size and shape.

The varieties of S. melongena L. display a wide range of fruit shapes and colours, ranging from oval or egg-shaped to long club-shaped; and from white, yellow, green through degrees of purple pigmentation to almost black. Most of the commercially important varieties have been selected from the long established types of the tropical India and China.

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ChickpeaCicer arietinum

Chickpea, Cicer arietinum L. belongs to the family Fabaceae, within the tribe Cicerae. It is a self-pollinated, diploid, annual grain legume crop. The global production of chickpea is nearly 11 million tonnes and India is the major producer accounting for 64% of the total chickpea production (FAOSTAT, 2012). It is a major source of high quality protein in human diet and also provides high quality crop residues for animal feed.

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CottonGossypium spp.

Cotton is a major fibre crop of global importance and has high commercial value. It is grown commercially in the temperate and tropical regions of more than 70 countries. Specific areas of production include countries such as China, USA, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Australia, Greece, Brazil, Egypt etc., where climatic conditions suit the natural growth requirements of cotton. These include periods of hot and dry weather and adequate moisture obtained through irrigation. Cotton is harvested as ‘seed cotton’ which is then ‘ginned’ to separate the seed and lint. The long ‘lint’ fibres are further processed by spinning to produce yarn which is knitted or woven into fabrics.

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Maize (Corn)Zea mays

Maize or corn (Zea mays) is a plant belonging to the family of grasses (Poaceae). It is cultivated globally being one of the most important cereal crops worldwide. Maize is not only an important food crop for human consumption, but also a basic element of animal feed and raw material for manufacturing of many industrial products. The products include corn starch, maltodextrins, corn oil, corn syrup and products of fermentation and distilleries. It is also being recently used in the production of biofuel.

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MustardBrassica juncea

Brassica juncea (L.) Czern & Coss., also known by the name of Indian mustard, belongs to the plant family Brassiceae (Cruciferae) or the mustard family. In the trade, it is commonly referred to as Rapeseed-mustard along with four other closely related cultivated oilseed species viz. B. rapa, B. napus, B.carinata and Eruca sativa. Over the past couple of decades, these crops have become one of the most important sources of vegetable oil in the world. Continuous improvement in rapeseed-mustard has resulted in nutritionally superior edible oil, and meal as an important source of protein in animal feed. Rapeseed mustard crops are commercially cultivated in more than 60 countries and major produces include China, Canada, India, Australia, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, USA and Czech Republic.

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OkraAbelmoschus esculentus

Okra Abelmoschus esculentus L. (Moench), is an economically important vegetable crop grown in tropical and sub-tropical parts of the world. This crop is suitable for cultivation as a garden crop as well as on large commercial farms. It is grown commercially in India, Turkey, Iran, Western Africa,  ugoslavia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma, Japan, Malayasia, Brazil, Ghana, Ethiopia, Cyprus and the Southern United States. India ranks first in the world with 3.5 million tonnes (70% of the total world production) of okra produced from over 0.35 million hectare land (FAOSTAT, 2008).

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PapayaCarica papaya

Papaya (Carica papaya) is a fruit crop that is grown both commercially as well as in the kitchen garden of many households all over India. Ripe papaya is a favorite fruit all over India. It is used to make fruit salads, refreshing drinks, jam, jelly, and candies. Green fruits are cooked as vegetable and are also used in the preparation of tutti-frutti. It is rich in a number of nutrients (Table 1) and antioxidants and has a high medicinal value. Papain is tapped from green fruits which has industrial use.

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Pigeon PeaCajanus cajan

Pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.] belongs to the genus-Cajanus, subtribe-Cajaninae, tribe- Phaseoleae, order-Fabales,family-Fabaceae and sub-family Faboideae. Several edible beans like Lablab, Dolichos, Phaseolus, Vigna and Cajanus come under tribe Phaseoleae but in the sub-tribe Cajaninae, only one species, Cajanus cajan has been domesticated and cultivated. The species belonging to Cajaninae have peculiar vesicular glands on the leaves, calyx and pods which deposit asticky substance on their surface. It is the second most important pulse crop grown in India.

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PotatoSolanum tuberosum

Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is the most important non-grain food crop in the world, ranking 3rd in terms of total production with over 365 million tonnes per year (FAOSTAT, 2013), after rice and wheat. It is grown in around 150 countries spread across both temperate and tropical regions and at elevations from sea level to 4,000 m (Paul et al. 2012).

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RiceOryza sativa L.

Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is a plant belonging to the family of grasses, Gramineae (Poaceae). It is one of the three major food crops of the world and forms the staple diet of about half of the world’s population. The global production of rice has been estimated to be at the level of 650 million tones and the area under rice cultivation is estimated at 156 million hectares (FAOSTAT, 2008). Asia is the leader in rice production accounting for about 90% of the world’s production. Over 75% of the world supply is consumed by people in Asian countries and thus rice is of immense importance to food security of Asia. The demand for rice is expected to increase further in view of expected increase in the population.

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RubberHevea brasiliensis

H. brasiliensisis a sturdy, quick-growing, erect tree with a straight trunk and an open leafy crown. The bark is usually grey and fairly smooth. The bark of the trunk is the part from where rubber is harvested (Fig.1). In the wild, the trees may grow to over 40 m with a life span of more than 100 years. However, cultivated plants rarely grow beyond 25- 30 m in height because of the growth reduction due to harvesting of latex by tapping (Webster and Paardekooper, 1989).

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SorghumSorghum bicolor

Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) is a plant belonging to the family of grasses (Poaceae). Sorghum, a C4 grass that diverged from maize around 15 million years ago, is the fifth most important cereal grown worldwide (Dogget,1988). Sorghum is well adapted to tropical and subtropical climates, but the greater part of the area of the crop falls in drought-prone, semi-arid tropical regions of the world.

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TomatoSolanum lycoperscicum

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is an important vegetable crop. At present, about 160 million tonnes of fresh tomatoes are produced from 4.7 million ha (FAOSTAT, 2011).Tomatoes are native to South America, but were brought to Europe sometime in the 15th century, where they soon became popular and were exported around the world. For a long time tomatoes were known by the name Lycopersicon esculentum, but recent work has shown that they are part of the genus Solanum – as Linnaeus recognized when he first described the species.

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BananaMusa L.

This document describes the biology of Musa L. with particular reference to the Australian environment, cultivation and use. Information included relates to the taxonomy and origins of cultivated Musa spp., general descriptions of their morphology, reproductive biology, biochemistry, and biotic and abiotic interactions. This document also addresses the potential for gene transfer to occur to closely related species The purpose of this document is to provide baseline information about the parent organisms for use in risk assessments of genetically modified (GM) Musa spp. that may be released into the Australian environment.

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BarleyHordeum vulgare L.

This document describes the biology of Hordeum vulgare L., with particular reference to the Australian environment, cultivation and use. Information included relates to the taxonomy and origins of cultivated H. vulgare, general descriptions of its morphology, reproductive biology, biochemistry, and biotic and abiotic interactions This document also addresses the potential for gene transfer to occur to closely related species. The purpose of this document is to provide baseline information about the parent organism in risk assessments of genetically modified H. vulgare that may be released into the Australian environment.

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CanolaBrassica napus L.

This document describes the biology of canola (Brassica napus L.) with particular reference to the Australian environment, cultivation and use. Information included relates to the taxonomy and origins of cultivated B. napus, general descriptions of its morphology, reproductive biology, biochemistry, and biotic and abiotic interactions. This document also addresses the potential for gene transfer to occur to closely related species. The purpose of this document is to provide baseline information about the parent organism for use in risk assessments of genetically modified canola that may be released into the Australian environment.

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CarnationDianthus caryophyllus L.

This document addresses the biology of Dianthus caryophyllus (carnation), with particular reference to the Australian environment, production and use. Information included relates to the taxonomy and origins of cultivated carnation, general descriptions of its morphology, reproductive biology, physiology, biochemistry, biotic interactions, toxicity, allergenic potential, and weediness. This document also addresses the potential for gene transfer to occur to closely related species. The purpose of this document is to provide baseline information about the parent organism for use in risk analysis of genetically modified carnation that may be released into the Australian environment.

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CottonGossypium hirsutum L., Gossypium barbadense L.

This document describes the biology of Gossypium hirsutum (upland cotton) and Gossypium barbadense (pima cotton), with particular reference to the Australian environment, cultivation and use. Information included relates to the taxonomy and origins of cultivated G. hirsutum and G. barbadense, general descriptions of their morphology, reproductive biology, development, biochemistry, biotic and abiotic interactions. This document also addresses the potential for gene transfer to occur to closely related species. The purpose of this document is to provide baseline information about the parent organism in risk assessments of genetically modified G. hirsutum or G. barbadense that may be released into the Australian environment.

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Lupin (Lupine)Lupinus L.

This document describes the biology of Lupinus L., with particular reference to the Australian environment, cultivation and use. Information included relates to the taxonomy and origins of cultivated Lupinus species, general descriptions of their morphology, reproductive biology, biochemistry, and biotic and abiotic interactions. This document also addresses the potential for gene transfer to closely related species. The purpose of this document is to provide baseline information about the parent organism for use in risk assessments of genetically modified (GM) Lupinus species that may be released into the Australian environment.

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Maize (Corn)Zea mays L. spp. mays

This document describes the biology of Zea mays L. subspecies (ssp.) mays, with particular reference to the Australian environment, cultivation and use. Information included relates to the taxonomy and origins of cultivated Z. mays ssp. mays, general descriptions of its morphology, reproductive biology, biochemistry, and biotic and abiotic interactions. This document also addresses the potential for gene transfer to occur to closely related species. The purpose of this document is to provide baseline information about the parent organism in risk assessments of genetically modified Z. mays spp. mays that may be released into the Australian environment.

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Papaya (Papaw, Paw paw)Carica papaya L.

This document describes the biology of Carica papaya L. with particular reference to the Australian environment, cultivation and use. Information included relates to the taxonomy and origins of cultivated C. papaya, general descriptions of its morphology, reproductive biology, biochemistry, and biotic and abiotic interactions. This document also addresses the potential for gene transfer to occur to closely related species. The purpose of this document is to provide baseline information about the parent organisms in risk assessments of genetically modified C. papaya that may be released into the Australian environment.

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PineappleAnanas comosus var. comosus

This document describes the biology of Ananas comosus var. comosus (pineapple), with particular reference to the Australian environment, cultivation and use. Information included relates to the taxonomy and origins of cultivated A. comosus var. comosus (A. comosus), general descriptions of its morphology, reproductive biology, biochemistry, biotic and abiotic interactions. This document also addresses the potential for gene transfer to occur to closely related species. The purpose of this document is to provide baseline information about the parent organisms for use in risk assessments of genetically modified (GM) A. comosus that may be released into the Australian environment.

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RiceOryza sativa L.

This document addresses the biology and ecology of the species Oryza sativa L. (cultivated rice). Information included relates to the taxonomy, genetics and origins of cultivated rice, general descriptions of its morphology, development, reproductive biology, pests and diseases, toxicity, allergenicity and its general ecology. This document also addresses the potential for gene transfer to occur to closely related Oryza species.

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Hybrid Tea RoseRosa x hybrida

This document describes the biology of Rosa spp. with emphasis on the Hybrid Tea rose (Rosa x hybrida), and particular reference to the Australian environment, and cultivation for cut-flowers. Information included relates to the taxonomy and origins of cultivated roses, general descriptions of their morphology, reproductive biology, development, biochemistry, biotic and abiotic interactions, toxicity, allergenicity and weediness. This document also addresses the potential for gene transfer to occur to closely related species. The purpose of this document is to inform risk assessment of genetically modified Hybrid Tea roses that may be released into the Australian environment.

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Italian Ryegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, Tall FescueLolium multiflorum Lam., Lolium perenne L., Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) Darbysh This document describes the biology of Lolium multiflorum Lam. (Italian ryegrass), Lolium perenne L. (perennial ryegrass) and Lolium arundinaceum Schreb. (tall fescue)

This document describes the biology of Lolium multiflorum Lam. (Italian ryegrass), Lolium perenne L. (perennial ryegrass) and Lolium arundinaceum Schreb. (tall fescue), with particular reference to the Australian environment, cultivation and use. Information included relates to the taxonomy and origins of cultivated L. multiflorumL. perenne and L. arundinaceum, general descriptions of their morphology, reproductive biology, biochemistry, and biotic and abiotic interaction. This document also address the potential for gene transfer to occur to closely related species. The purpose of this document is to provide baseline information about the parent organism in risk assessment of genetically modified L. multiflorumL. perenne and L. arundinaceum that may be released into the Australian environment.

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SafflowerCarthamus tinctorius L.

This document describes the biology of Carthamus tinctorius L., with particular reference to the Australian environment, cultivation and use. Information included relates to the taxonomy and origins of cultivated C. tinctorius, general descriptions of its morphology, reproductive biology, biochemistry, and biotic and abiotic interactions. This document also addresses the potential for gene transfer to occur to closely related species. The purpose of this document is to provide baseline information about the parent organisms for use in risk assessments of genetically modified (GM) C. tinctorius that may be released into the Australian environment.

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SugarcaneSaccharum spp.

This document addresses the biology of the Saccharum spp. hybrid which is grown as commercial sugarcane, with particular reference to the Australian environment, cultivation and use. Information included relates to the taxonomy and origins of Saccharum spp. hybrid, general descriptions of its morphology, reproductive biology and biochemistry, biotic and abiotic interactions. This document also addresses the potential for gene transfer to occur to closely related species. The purpose of this document is to provide baseline information about the non-genetically modified (GM) parent organism for use in risk assessments of GM Saccharum spp. that may be released into the Australian environment.

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ToreniaTorenia spp.

This document describes the biology of Torenia spp. with particular reference to the Australian environment, cultivation and use. Information included relates to the taxonomy and origins of cultivated Torenia spp., general descriptions of their morphology, reproductive biology, biochemistry, and biotic and abiotic interactions. This document also addresses the potential for gene transfer to occur to closely related species. The purpose of this document is to provide baseline information about the parent organism for use in risk assessments of genetically modified (GM) torenia that may be released into the Australian environment.

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Bread WheatTriticum aestivum

This document describes the biology of Triticum aestivum L. em Thell. (bread wheat), with particular reference to the Australian environment, cultivation and use. Information included relates to the taxonomy and origins of cultivated T. aestivum, general descriptions of its morphology, reproductive biology, development, biochemistry, biotic and abiotic interactions. This document also addresses the potential for gene transfer to occur to closely related species. The purpose of this document is to provide baseline information about the parent organism in risk assessments of genetically modified T. aestivum that may be released into the Australian environment.

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CloverTrifolium repens L.

This document addresses the biology of Trifolium repens L. (referred to as white clover) with particular reference to the Australian environment, cultivation and use. Information included relates to the taxonomy and origin of white clover, general descriptions of its morphology, reproductive biology, biochemistry, and biotic and abiotic interactions. This document also addresses the potential for white clover to transfer genes via pollen and seed movement and for weediness. It should be noted that due to the large number of white clover cultivars as well as the highly heterozygous nature of white clover populations which results in many genotypes, it has been necessary to generalise much of the information provided in this document, and exceptions may be common. The purpose of this document is to provide baseline information about the parent organism for use in risk assessments of genetically modified (GM) Trifolium repens L. that may be released into the Australian environment.

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Canola/MustardBrassica juncea

The present document is a companion document to the Dir94-08. It is intended to provide background information on the biology of Brassica juncea, its centres of origin, its related species and the potential for gene introgression from Brassica juncea into relatives, and details of the life forms with which it may interact.

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Canola/RapeseedBrassica napus L.

The present document represents a companion document to the Directive 9408 (Dir94-08), entitled “Directive 9408 (Dir94-08) Assessment Criteria for Determining Environmental Safety of  Plants with Novel Traits”. It is intended to provide background information on the biology of Brassica napus (L.), its centres of origin, its related species and the potential for gene introgression from B. napus into relatives, and details of the life forms with which it interacts.

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Brassica CropsBrassica rapa L.

The present document represents a companion document to Dir94-08. It is intended to provide background information on the biology of Brassica rapa L., its centres of origin and related species. Emphasis has been placed on detailing potential hybridization events between B. rapa and its close relatives. Discussion is limited to hybridization events that can occur in nature and result in fertile offspring.

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CamelinaCamelina sativa

This document is intended to provide background information on the biology of Camelina sativa, its identity, geographical distribution, reproductive biology, related species, the potential for gene introgression from C. sativa into relatives, and details of the life forms with which it interacts.

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SoybeanGlycine max (L.) Merr.

The present document is a companion document to Dir94-08. It is intended to provide background information on the biology of Glycine max (L.) Merrill, its centres of origin, its related species and the potential for gene introgression from G. max into relatives, and details of the life forms with which it may interact.

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SunflowerHelianthus annuus L.

The present document is a companion document to Dir94-08. It is intended to provide background information on the biology of Helianthus annuus L., its centre of origin, its related species, the potential for gene introgression from H. annuus into relatives, and details of the life forms with which it may interact.

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LentilLens culinaris Medikus

The present document is a companion document to Dir94-08. It is intended to provide background information on the biology of Lens culinaris, its centre of origin, its related species and the potential for gene introgression from L. culinaris into relatives, and details of the life forms with which it may interact. Such species specific information will serve as a guide for addressing some of the information requirements of Part D of Dir94-08. Specifically, it will be used to determine if significantly different/altered interactions occur with other life forms resulting from the PNT’s novel gene products, which could potentially cause the PNT to become a weed of agriculture, become invasive of natural habitats, or be otherwise harmful to the environment.

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FlaxLinum usitatissimum L.

The present document is a companion document to Dir94-08. It is intended to provide background information on the biology of Linum usitatissimum L., its centres of origin, its related species, and the potential for gene introgression from L. usitatissimum into relatives, and details of the life forms with which it interacts.

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AppleMalus domestica Borkh.

This document is intended to provide background information on the biology of Malus domestica, its identity, geographical distribution, reproductive biology, related species, the potential for gene introgression from M. domestica into relatives, and details of the life forms with which it interacts.

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AlfalfaMedicago sativa L.

The present document is a companion document to Dir94-08: Assessment Criteria for Determining Environmental Safety of Plants with Novel Traits. It is intended to provide background information on the biology of Medicago sativa L., its centre of origin, its related species and the potential for gene introgression from M. sativa L. into relatives, and details of the life forms with which it may interact. Such species specific information will serve as a guide for addressing some of the information requirements of Part D of Dir94-08. Specifically, it will be used to determine if significantly different/altered interactions occur with other life forms resulting from the PNT’s novel gene products, which could potentially cause the PNT to become a weed of agriculture, become invasive of natural habitats, or be otherwise harmful to the environment.

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PotatoSolanum tuberosum L.

This document is intended to provide background information on the biology of Solanum tuberosum, its identity, geographical distribution, reproductive biology, related species, the potential for gene introgression from S. tuberosum into relatives, and details of the life forms with which it interacts.

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Sugar BeetBeta vulgaris L.

The present document is a companion document to Dir94-08: Assessment Criteria for Determining Environmental Safety of Plants with Novel Traits. It is intended to provide background information on the biology of Beta vulgaris L., its centres of origin, its related species, the potential for gene introgression from B. vulgaris into relatives, and details of the life forms with which it interacts.

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Bread WheatTriticum aestivum

The present document is a companion document to the Dir94-08. It is intended to provide background information on the biology of Triticum aestivum, its centres of origin, its related species and the potential for gene introgression from T. aestivum into relatives, and details of the life forms with which it may interact.

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Durum WheatTriticum turgidum ssp. durum

The present document is a companion document to the Dir94-08 Assessment Criteria for Determining Environmental Safety of Plants with Novel Traits. It is intended to provide background information on the biology of Triticum turgidum spp. durum, its centers of origin, its related species and the potential for gene introgression into relatives, and details of the life forms with which it interacts. Such species specific information will serve as a guide for addressing some of the information requirements found in Dir94-08. Specifically, it will be used to determine if there are significantly different/altered interactions with other life forms resulting from the PNT’s novel gene products, which could potentially cause the PNT to become a weed of agriculture, become invasive in natural habitats, or be otherwise harmful to the environment.

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Maize (Corn)Zea mays L.

The present document is a companion document to Dir94-08 and is intended to provide background information on the biology of Zea mays L., its centres of origin, its related species, and the potential for gene introgression from Z. mays into relatives, and details of the life forms with which it interacts.

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Banana/PlantainMusa spp.

Edible bananas and plantains belong primarily to Musa section Musa (traditionally Eumusa). Within this section, the originally Asian species Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana have provided the sources for domestication and development of the great majority of edible fruit. Dessert and cooking bananas and plantains are major foods worldwide, cultivated in over 130 countries throughout tropical regions and in some subtropical regions, in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Pacific. Global production is difficult to determine because the plants are so often grown locally in small plots (e.g. household gardens) and consumed locally. The reported area cultivated worldwide in 2006 was 4.2 million hectares of bananas and 5.4 Mha of plantains, with a world production of 70.8 million metric tonnes of bananas and 34.0 Mmt of plantains (FAO, 2008). The international trade, which involves just a few varieties of fruit, accounts for 15% of production. In addition to the edible species, Musa textilis (abacá, Manila hemp) is important for fibre production, and there are several ornamental species (Häkkinen, 2007).

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Brassica CropsBrassica spp.

The plants within the family Brassicaceae constitute one of the world’s most economically important plant groups. They range from noxious weeds to leaf and root vegetables to oilseed and condiment crops. The cole vegetables are perhaps the best known group. Indeed the Brassica vegetables are a dietary staple in every part of the world with the possible exception of the tropics.

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Chili Pepper, Hot Pepper, and Sweet PepperCapsicum annuum L.

Capsicum annuum L. is a dicotyledonous flowering plant commonly grown worldwide, with many general names in English, such as hot pepper, chili, chilli or chile pepper, and as well sweet pepper and bell pepper. Sometimes the plant is just called pepper, which however is often reserved for the earlier known Asian Piper nigrum (black pepper, white pepper) in the family Piperaceae. The pre-Columbian, indigenous Nahua (Aztec) Amerindian name for the plant was transcribed as chilli or chili, and the usual name in Spanish is chile, which results in the plurals of chillies, chilies, and chiles (Bosland, 1996). Other broad names for C. annuum relate more to particular varieties or strains, culinary uses, and ripeness, such as jalapeño, Cayenne, pimento (pimiento), paprika, red, and green peppers. Furthermore, four other less commonly cultivated Capsicum species are also considered chile peppers, and two of these species are similar and closely related to C. annuum.

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CassavaManihot esculenta Crantz

Three subspecies of cassava have been recognized: Manihot esculenta ssp. esculenta is the cultivated strain, and M. esculenta ssp. flabellifolia and M. esculenta ssp. peruviana are wild forms (Allem, 1999, 2002). In this document, “cassava” will be used to refer to the cultivated strain, M. esculenta ssp. esculenta. Common synonyms in other languages are manioc (French), mandioca, macaxeira, and aipim (Portuguese), yuca (Spanish), and manioca (Italian).

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Common BeanPhaseolus vulgaris L.

The genus Phaseolus is large, including approximately 80 cultivated and wild species, but P. vulgaris is the most widely cultivated species (Purseglove, 1968; Freytag and Debouck, 2002; Bailey, 1975; Porch et al., 2013). The most closely related species to P. vulgaris are P. albescens, P. coccineus, P costaricensis, P. dumosus, P. parvifolius, and P. persistentus (Table 1.) (Chacón et al., 2007; Broughton et al., 2003; Bellucci et al., 2014; Delgado-Salinas et al, 2006). In addition to P. vulgaris, four other Phaseolus species are cultivated: P. dumosus (year bean), P. coccineus (scarlet runner), P. acutifolius (tepary bean), and P. lunatus (lima bean) (Bellucci et al., 2014; Lioi and Piergiovanni, 2013).

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CottonGossypium spp.

Generally cotton refers to four species of the genus Gossypium L. apparently domesticated
independently in four separate regions, in both the Old World and the New World (Sauer, 1993; Brubaker et al., 1999c). The word is derived from the Arabic “quotn”, “kutum” or “gutum” and refers to the crop that produces spinnable fibres on the seed coat (Lee, 1984; Smith, 1995). Gossypium (cotton) comprises approximately 50 species worldwide in the arid to semi-arid tropics and subtropics (Fryxell, 1992; Wendel and Cronn, 2003).

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CowpeaVigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.

Cowpea Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) is grown in tropical Africa, Asia, North and South America mostly as a grain, but also as a vegetable and fodder crop. It is favoured because of its wide adaptation and tolerance to several stresses. It is an important food source and is estimated to be the major protein source for more than 200 million people in sub-Saharan Africa and is in the top ten fresh vegetables in China.

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Maize (Corn)Zea mays

Maize, or corn, is a member of the Maydeae tribe of the grass family, Poaceae. It is a robust
monoecious annual plant, which requires the help of man to disperse its seeds for propagation and survival. Corn is the most efficient plant for capturing the energy of the sun and converting it into food, it has a great plasticity adapting to extreme and different conditions of humidity, sunlight, altitude, and temperature. It can only be crossed experimentally with the genus Tripsacum, however member species of its own genus (teosinte) easily hybridise with it under natural conditions.

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PapayaCarica papaya

Papaya, Carica papaya L., is an almost herbaceous (succulently soft-wooded), typically
unbranched small tree in the family Caricaceae. Europeans first encountered papaya in the Western Hemisphere tropics by at least the early 1500s (Sauer, 1966), and various interests were soon disseminating it widely (Ferrão, 1992). Papaya is now cultivated worldwide in tropical and subtropical climates mainly for its melon-like fruit.

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PotatoSolanum tuberosum subsp. tuberosum

This consensus document addresses the biology of the potato (Solanum tuberosum subsp. tuberosum). It contains general information on the taxonomy, morphology, and centre of diversity of the species which can be of importance during a risk assessment (for example, information on reproductive biology, the possibility of crosses, and ecology). In regard to intra- and interspecific crosses, emphasis has been given to the conditions which make a cross possible rather than listing all successful crosses. Such a list would be very long and subject to frequent changes. Only hybridisation events not requiring human intervention are considered.

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RiceOryza sativa

Rice is grown worldwide and is a staple food for about a half of the world’s population. It is a nutritious grain crop which contains carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, minerals, etc. Rice straw is an important animal feed in many countries.

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SoybeanGlycine max (L.) Merr.

Cultivated soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr., is a diploidized tetraploid (2n=40), in the family Leguminosae, the subfamily Papilionoideae, the tribe Phaseoleae, the genus Glycine Willd. and the subgenus Soja (Moench). It is an erect, bushy herbaceous annual that can reach a height of 1.5 metres. Three types of growth habit can be found amongst soybean cultivars: determinate, semi-determinate and indeterminate (Bernard and Weiss, 1973). Determinate growth is characterised by the cessation of vegetative activity of the terminal bud when it becomes an inflorescence at both axillary and terminal racemes. Determinate genotypes are primarily grown in the southern United States (Maturity Groups V to X). Indeterminate genotypes continue vegetative activity throughout the flowering period and are grown primarily in central and northern regions of North America (Maturity Groups 000 to IV). Semideterminate types have indeterminate stems that terminate vegetative growth abruptly after the flowering period. None of the soybean varieties are frost tolerant, and they do not survive freezing winter conditions.

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Sugar BeetBeta Vulgaris L.

Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L. ssp. vulgaris var. altissima) belongs to the family Chenopodiaceae and the genus B. vulgaris comprises several cultivated forms of B. vulgaris subsp. vulgaris. Cultivars include leaf beet (var. cicla) and beetroot (root beet USA).

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SugarcaneSaccharum spp.

Sugar is commercially produced from either sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) or sugarcane (Saccharum spp.). Sugarcane is a tall-growing monocotyledonous crop that is cultivated in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, primarily for its ability to store high concentrations of sucrose, or sugar, in the stem. Modern sugarcane cultivars that are cultivated for sugar production are founded on interspecific hybrids between Saccharum spontaneum and S. officinarum (Saccharum spp.) that were then subjected to repeated backcrosses to S. officinarum. Commercial varieties in use today are typically generated by crosses between other commercial or pre-commercial hybrids. Sugarcane is an ancient crop and its use as a garden crop dates back to around 2500 BC. The centres of origin for the ancestral species giving rise to sugarcane are thought to be Papua New Guinea, China and India. At present sugarcane is grown as a commercial crop primarily in South America (e.g. Brazil, Colombia and Argentina), North/Central America (e.g. Mexico, USA, and Guatemala), Asia (e.g. India, China and Thailand), Africa (e.g. South Africa, Zimbabwe and Egypt), Australia and the Pacific islands. Cultivation practices vary throughout the world, but this document aims to outline the main features of sugarcane cultivation. Sugarcane in this document refers to the Saccharum spp. hybrids as described above. The information presented is that which is available for each country after a comprehensive literature review.

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SunflowerHelianthus annuus L.

The sunflower belongs to the genus Helianthus in the Composite family (Asterales order), which includes species with very diverse morphologies (herbs, shrubs, lianas, etc.). The genus Helianthus belongs to the Heliantheae tribe. This includes approximately 50 species originating in North and Central America.

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Bread WheatTriticum aestivum

Triticum aestivum, bread wheat, belongs to the order Poales (Glumiflorae), family Poaceae (Gramineae), tribe Triticeae, genus Triticum. The tribe Triticeae consists of 18 genera which are divided into two sub-groups, the Triticinae and the Hordeinae. The major genera in the sub-group Triticinae are TriticumAegilopsSecaleAgropyron and Haynaldia (Odenbach 1985, Zeller 1985, Körber-Grohne 1988).

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