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Hybridization Between Brassica napus and B. rapa on a National Scale in the United Kingdom

Shaw, Michael W.; Wilkinson, Mike J.; Allainguillaume, Joel; Elliott, Luisa J.; Norris, Carol; Welters, Ruth; Alexander, Matthew; Sweet, Jeremy; Mason, David C.


Michael W. Shaw

Mike J. Wilkinson

Luisa J. Elliott

Carol Norris

Ruth Welters

Matthew Alexander

Jeremy Sweet

David C. Mason


Measures blocking hybridization would prevent or reduce biotic or environmental change caused by gene flow from genetically modified (GM) crops to wild relatives. The efficacy of any such measure depends on hybrid numbers within the legislative region over the life-span of the GM cultivar. We present a national assessment of hybridization between rapeseed (Brassica napus) and B. rapa from a combination of sources, including population surveys, remote sensing, pollen dispersal profiles, herbarium data, local Floras, and other floristic databases. Across the United Kingdom, we estimate that 32,000 hybrids form annually in waterside B. rapa populations, whereas the less abundant weedy populations contain 17,000 hybrids. These findings set targets for strategies to eliminate hybridization and represent the first step toward quantitative risk assessment on a national scale.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 17, 2003
Journal Science
Print ISSN 0036-8075
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 302
Issue 5644
Pages 457-459
Keywords hybridization, brassica napus, B. rapa, United Kingdom
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