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Crop Science Abstract - Genomics, Molecular Genetics & Biotechnology

Pollen-Mediated Gene Flow in Triticale


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 52 No. 5, p. 2293-2303
    Received: Aug 27, 2011

    * Corresponding author(s): linda.hall@ualberta.ca
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  1. Vanessa B. Kavanagha,
  2. Melissa J. Hillsb,
  3. Francois Eudesc,
  4. Keith Topinkaa,
  5. Rong-Cai Yanga and
  6. Linda M. Hall *a
  1. a Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada T6G 2R3
    b Grant MacEwan University, Edmonton, Canada T5J 4S2
    c Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge, Canada T1J 4B1


Triticale (×Triticosecale Wittm. ex A. Camus) is primarily an animal feed crop with promising qualities for a bioindustrial crop. Development of genetically modified (GM) triticale is in progress and before release of GM cultivars, the potential for pollen-mediated gene flow (PMGF) needs to be assessed to determine if it can coexist with conventional cultivars without causing market harm. Small and large plot experiments were conducted to quantify PMGF using an experimental blue aleurone triticale line as pollen donor and ‘AC Alta’ as pollen receptor. Small plot experiments were conducted at two locations in both 2007 and 2009 in Alberta, Canada. There were no site or year differences. Average PMGF from 0.2 to 1.4 m was 0.76%. Large plot experiments were conducted at two locations in both 2008 and 2009 using a concentric donor (20 by 20 m) and receptor (120 by 120 m) design. Over 17 million seeds were screened. There were no significant differences between sites or years. Pollen-mediated gene flow best fit an exponential decay model in which the highest average PMGF (3.4%) occurred adjacent to the donor crop and rapidly declined to 0.09% by 50 m. Directional differences were detected with highest PMGF corresponding to prevailing wind directions at flowering. The estimated adventitious presence of GM triticale after harvest blending within a 50-m conventional field was 0.22%. Pollen-mediated gene flow in triticale is similar to spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and should not prevent the coexistence of GM and conventional triticale using the 0.9% threshold established by the European Union.

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