A new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society has found that transgenic Atlantic salmon can cross-breed with a closely related species – the brown trout.
Once the two species breed the GE Salmon passes these traits to the hybrid offspring. The study evaluated the number of transgene occurrences and determined that approximately 40% of the hybrids carried the modified genes.
The researchers found that in the laboratory, the genetically modified salmon could breed with the brown trout. Of the 363 fish analyzed at the start of the experiment, about 40% of the hybrids carried the modified genes and that these young fish developed extremely quickly.
Dr Darek Moreau, from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, said: “[Under hatchery conditions] the transgenic hybrids grew faster than the wild salmon, wild trout and wild-type hybrids. The GM hybrids also outgrew the GM salmon.”