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Reproductive phenology of transgenic Brassica napus cultivars: Effect on intraspecific gene flow

Simard, M.J., Légère, A., Willenborg, C.J. (2009). Reproductive phenology of transgenic Brassica napus cultivars: Effect on intraspecific gene flow, 8(3), 123-131. http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/ebr/2009013

Abstract

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 >l2 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. © 2009 ISBR EDP Sciences.

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