“Cytoplasmic Male Sterility“ (CMS) is a genetic trait that can be introduced into plants by the technique of proto- or cytoplast fusion. Especially for cabbage (Brassica), but also increasingly for chicory the portion of CMS varieties is quite high.
Among cabbage, e.g. cauliflower and broccoli, one type of CMS is dominating, which has been produced by fusions with Japanese radish cytoplasts. These varieties carry the so called ogura DNAsequence. Forcing chicory CMS have been generated mostly by fusion with sunflower cytoplasts and contain pieces of sunflower DNA.
The organic industry has a skeptical position on CMS and therefore some organic associations have prohibited the use of CMS. It is important to note that the Brassica as well as the chicory CMS varieties are not considered as GM by the EU regulations and are in compliance with the EU organic regulation.
Genetic ID (Europe) GmbH has developed PCR based tests which can detect the ogura sequence in Brassica CMS and sunflower CMS DNA in forcing chicory-CMS varieties.
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