Hybridisation between oilseed rape (Brassica napus) and tetraploid Brassica rapa under field conditions
|Autotetraploid; B-RAPA; Brassicaceae; Ecology; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Field experiment; FITNESS; FREQUENCY; GENE FLOW; HYBRIDS; INTROGRESSION; L.; Plant Sciences; Polyploidy; Risk assessment; TRANSGENES
Cross-compatible relatives of crop species contribute to the uncertainty regarding the potential risk of transgene escape from genetically modified varieties. The most successful crossing partner of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) is diploid Brassica rapa L Variation of ploidy level among B. rapa cultivars has, until recently, been neglected in the context of gene flow and hybridisation with oilseed rape. We estimated the extent of hybridisation between autotetraploid B. rapa varieties (female) and B. napus (pollen donor) under experimental field conditions. Morphology, variation of relative DNA amount, and microsatellite markers were used to distinguish between intraspecific offspring of tetraploid B. rapa and interspecific hybrids with B. napus. Of 517 seed progenies of tetraploid B. rapa, 45 juvenile plants showed species specific morphological traits of oilseed rape. The detection of putative hybrids based on variation in relative DNA amounts was problematic due to the occurrence of aneuploidy. In total, 84 offspring showed relative DNA amounts deviating from tetraploid B. rapa, four of which were hexaploids. Of the 205 offspring analysed at three microsatellite loci, 67 had oilseed rape alleles. Based on molecular evidence a minimum hybridisation rate of 13.0% was estimated. A few mother plants accounted for the majority of hybrids. The mean pollen viability of hybrids between B. napus and tetraploid B. rapa (80.6%) was high in comparison with mean pollen viability of triploid hybrids between B. napus and diploid B. rapa. Therefore, the occurrence of tetraploid B. rapa should be taken into consideration when estimating the likelihood of gene flow from oilseed rape to close relatives at the landscape level. Tetraploid B. rapa is a common component of several seed mixtures and establishes feral populations in northwest Germany. Assuming a similar abundance of diploid and tetraploid B. rapa, gene flow from B. napus to tetraploid may be more likely than gene flow to diploid B. rapa. (C) 2009 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
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