Survival and flowering of hybrids between cultivated and wild carrots (Daucus carota) in Danish grasslands
Plant Research Department, Risø National Laboratory, P.O. Box 49, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
2 Division of Plant Resources and Environment, Gyeongsang National University, Chinju, 660-701, Korea
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Many crop species are able to hybridize with related weedy or wild relatives, which could lead to transfer of cultivar genes, and among them transgenes, into wild populations. It is not clear, however, whether the hybrids and their descendants are able to survive and reproduce in natural habitats, as inherited cultivar traits may be maladaptive under such conditions. To test this, we produced hybrid (F1) seeds by controlled crosses between wild and cultivated carrots (Daucus carota ssp. carota and ssp. sativa, respectively) and sowed them into three Danish grasslands of different age, in parallel with seeds of wild carrots. Replicate plots were sown in fall and spring. Survival and flowering of the emerging plants were monitored for the following three years. Both hybrid and wild carrots survived and flowered in highest frequency at a recently disturbed site, and much less at two older sites. Hybrids emerged in higher proportions than wild carrots in the first year and survived to similar or slightly lower frequencies at the end of the experiment. Hybrids flowered as frequently or slightly less frequently than wild plants, and developed fewer and smaller umbels. Despite a somewhat lower reproductive potential compared to wild carrots, first generation hybrids between cultivated and wild carrots are likely to survive and produce offspring in natural grasslands in Denmark. This, together with other studies, suggests that cultivar genes may transfer relatively easily into wild carrot populations.
Key words: hybridization / crop / wild / emergence / survival / flowering
© ISBR, EDP Sciences, 2007