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Modelling gene flow between oilseed rape and wild radish. I. Evolution of chromosome structure

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The assessment of gene flow from crop species to weeds has found a new emphasis over the last years because of the marketing of transgenic crops and the possible selective advantage that crop (trans)gene may confer to the weeds. Several studies focused on the F1 interspecific hybrid production but few data are available on the factors affecting the genetic structure of advanced generations. It depends on the genomic structure of the species concerned as well as on the degree of their genome homology that affect the occurrence of intergenomic recombination. Oilseed rape (Brassica napus, AACC, 2n = 38)-wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum, RrRr, 2n = 18), a distantly related weed, is a good model to address such questions. From seven male sterile oilseed rape lines carrying an herbicide tolerance transgene, F1 interspecific hybrids and four advanced generations were produced under field conditions with wild radish as pollinator. Observation of hybrid chromosome numbers across four generations revealed a high variability, especially in the “BC1” generation. A regression model was fitted in order to describe the relationship between parent and offspring chromosome numbers. The effects of generation, transgenic line and selection pressure on the mean relationship were investigated. The first two factors had an influence on the rate of decrease of chromosome numbers, whereas selection pressure resulted in the presence of an additional chromosome in the herbicide treated plants. The model provided a convenient framework for analysing how chromosome numbers evolve over successive hybridization events and it may prove useful as a basis for simulation-based approaches.

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We thank Bayer Crop Science for providing the original transgenic lines. Our colleagues at the INRA experimental farm (Le Rheu, France) are gratefully acknowledged for their technical assistance and Dr M. Barbetti (University of Western Australia) for his critical reading of the manuscript. This work was supported by a grant of the French Research Ministry (ACI OGM).

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Correspondence to A. M. Chèvre.

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Communicated by G. Wenzel.

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Chèvre, A.M., Adamczyk, K., Eber, F. et al. Modelling gene flow between oilseed rape and wild radish. I. Evolution of chromosome structure. Theor Appl Genet 114, 209–221 (2007).

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  • Transgenic Line
  • Chromosome Number
  • Oilseed Rape
  • Unreduced Gamete
  • Wild Radish