Gene Flow

C. Neal Stewart

in Genetically Modified Planet

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780195157451
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199790388 | DOI:
 Gene Flow

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People are worried about the creation of a “superweed” when transgenes move from crops to wild relatives that might already be weedy. One example of such an interbreeding crop-weed system is canola (a crop) and its wild relative (wild turnip). An insect resistant transgene was purposefully transferred from canola to wild turnip via hybridization, and the effects were observed. The result was not a superweed, but rather a weed that was not quite as competitive as the non-transgenic weed. Population genetics and forces of evolution, and how these might interact in shaping any superweed scenarios are discussed. It is argued that it will be very difficult for one or two transgenes to convert a weed into a superweed.

Keywords: canola; competitive; wild turnip

Chapter.  11084 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biotechnology

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