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Assessing the value of imperfect biocontainment nationally: Rapeseed in the United Kingdom as an exemplar

Ford, Caroline S.; Allainguillaume, Jo�l; Fu, Tzu-Yu Richard; Mitchley, Jonathan; Wilkinson, Mike J.


Caroline S. Ford

Tzu-Yu Richard Fu

Jonathan Mitchley

Mike J. Wilkinson


© 2014 New Phytologist Trust. Paternal biocontainment methods (PBMs) act by preventing pollen-mediated transgene flow. They are compromised by transgene escape via the crop-maternal line. We therefore assess the efficacy of PBMs for transgenic rapeseed (Brassica napus) biocontainment across the United Kingdom by estimating crop-maternal hybridization with its two progenitor species. We used remote sensing, field surveys, agricultural statistics, and meta-analysis to determine the extent of sympatry between the crop and populations of riparian and weedy B. rapa and B. oleracea. We then estimated the incidence of crop-maternal hybridization across all settings to predict the efficacy of PBMs. Evidence of crop chloroplast capture by the progenitors was expanded to a national scale, revealing that crop-maternal gene flow occurs at widely variable rates and is dependent on both the recipient and setting. We use these data to explore the value that this kind of biocontainment can bring to genetic modification (GM) risk management in terms of reducing the impact that hybrids have on the environment rather than preventing or reducing hybrid abundance per se.


Ford, C. S., Allainguillaume, J., Fu, T. R., Mitchley, J., & Wilkinson, M. J. (2015). Assessing the value of imperfect biocontainment nationally: Rapeseed in the United Kingdom as an exemplar. New Phytologist, 205(3), 1342-1349.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 21, 2014
Online Publication Date Nov 3, 2014
Publication Date Feb 1, 2015
Deposit Date Jul 28, 2015
Journal New Phytologist
Print ISSN 0028-646X
Electronic ISSN 1469-8137
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 205
Issue 3
Pages 1342-1349
Keywords Brassica napus, Brassica oleracea, Brassica rapa, chloroplast capture, gene flow, genetic modification, GM, paternal biocontainment methods, PBMs, rapeseed
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