Reproductive phenology of transgenic Brassica napus cultivars: Effect on intraspecific gene flow
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Soils and Crops Research and Development Centre, Québec, QC, G1V 2J3, Canada
2 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Saskatoon Research Centre, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 0X2, Canada
3 Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Dept. Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science 410 Agriculture/Forestry Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2P5, Canada
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pollen-mediated gene flow in space is well documented and isolation distances are recommended to ensure genetic purity of Brassica napus seed crops. Isolation in time could also contribute to gene flow management but has been little investigated. We assessed the effects of asynchronous and synchronous flowering on intraspecific B. napus gene flow by seeding adjacent plots of transgenic spring canola cultivars, either resistant to glyphosate or glufosinate, over a 0–4 week interval and measuring outcrossing rates and seed-set. Outcrossing rates, evaluated in the center of the first adjacent row, were reduced to the lowest level in plots flowering first when the seeding interval > 2 weeks. Increasing the time gap increased outcrossing rates in plots flowering second up to a seeding interval of two weeks. Flowers that opened during the last week of the flowering period produced fewer seed (< 10% of total seed production) and a smaller fraction of outcrossed seed (–25%). Observed time gap effects were likely caused by extraneous pollen load during the receptivity of productive seed-setting early flowers. Clearly, manipulation of B. napus flowering development through staggered planting dates can contribute to gene flow management. The approach will need to be validated by additional site-years and increased isolation distances.
Key words: assortative mating / canola / genetic purity / genetically modified organisms / herbicide resistant crops / oilseed rape / pollen-mediated gene flow / transgenic contamination
© ISBR, EDP Sciences, 2009