Management Strategies for Preventing Gene Flow from Transgenic Wheat - a Model System
The development of transgenic crops offers great promise for improving productivity and profitability for the nation's farmers, but also has raised concerns for the potential for gene flow from the crop to weedy relatives. The availability of transgenic wheats with herbicide resistance genes on the three genomes (A, B, and D) of wheat and the presence of a weedy relative, jointed goatgrass, that shares one genome (D) and naturally hybridizes with wheat in the field, offers the opportunity to produce the data to develop management strategies for the prevention of gene flow in a major crop species. This project will examine: evidence of gene flow between the two species in the past by developing a molecular map of jointed goatgrass, the effect of genome location on transfer of a transgene to a weedy relative, the effect of seed dormancy and plant
vernalization requirements of hybrid and backcross generations on management strategies to reducing gene flow in the field, and the development of management strategies from this data to aid producers in the United States in minimizing or preventing the transfer of genes from crops to weeds. The information from this research will be assembled and packaged for easy distribution and presentation to producers and regulatory agencies. The data generated in this study will aid in developing strategies for minimizing gene flow in other polyploid crops such as rapeseed/canola. The strategies developed by this research would aid in the minimization of negative impacts of transgenic crops on agricultural systems in the United States.