Environ. Biosafety Res.
Volume 1, Number 1, October 2002
|Page(s)||39 - 47|
|Published online||15 October 2002|
Fitness effects of Alternaria dauci on wild carrot in The Netherlands
Plant Research International, Wageningen University and Research Centre,
P.O. Box 16, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
Corresponding author: email@example.com
In a field experiment with a susceptible population of annual wild carrot (Daucus carota) from Iran, artificial inoculations with the fungal pathogen A. dauci led to a strong and very significant increase of the diseased leaf area. The pathogen caused a very significant decrease in fecundity and seed survival of the host. This considerable fitness reduction by A. dauci would suggest that introgression of disease resistance from cultivated (transgenic) carrot cultivars into wild carrot populations could strongly increase the fitness of wild carrot. In spite of the potential ability of A. dauci to lower the fitness of the host considerably, wild carrot is very common in The Netherlands. Disease levels of wild carrot were estimated in 26 natural populations in 1998. No A. dauci could be detected on the leaves, and only 0.4% of the seeds were contaminated with A. dauci, in spite of the conducive weather for A. dauci. Resistance tests showed that all 26 monitored populations were highly resistant to A. dauci strains from The Netherlands. It is probable that the strong potential fitness reduction by A. dauci led to a high selection pressure towards resistance in The Netherlands. In conclusion, our results suggest that transgenic resistance to A. dauci would not be beneficial to wild carrot populations in The Netherlands because they are already resistant to this pathogen.
Key words: biosafety / carrot leaf blight / Daucus carota / fecundity / fitness / natural vegetation / resistance / seed survival / transgene
© ISBR, EDP Sciences, 2002