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31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Gene flow from oilseed rape to its weeds

Gene flow from oilseed repe to its weeds


Context and Issues

Because of the development of herbicide tolerant oilseed rape varieties, the assessment of gene flow from oilseed rape to the weeds you want to destroy with the herbicide is a crucial question. Several weeds of the same botanical family are present in oilseed rape field and flower at the same time. We performed researches on three main weeds and detected that hybridization under natural conditions is possible with wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum, RrRr, 2n=18). There are two strategies to assess this gene flow: (1) either to assess the rate of F1 hybrid production between the two species and the fertility of the following generations in order to check, from parents known, if oilseed rape genes can be in wild radish genome, (2) or to analyze wild radish populations growing for long period of time close to oilseed rape in order to detect putative introgression from oilseed rape to wild radish. This last method is more difficult because both species derived from a common anscestor and because the unknown origin of the parents. For the first strategy, we showed as other colleagues that the hybridization rate under field conditions is very low but exists (Chèvre et al. 2000) and that it is possible to produce after pollination with wild radish under optimal conditions wild radish populations carrying one additional oilseed rape chromosome. Until now, we didn’t demonstrate a stable oilseed rape gene introduction within the wild radish genome. 


1. To assess if stable introduction of oilseed rape genes into wild radish genome is possible and if there is an effect of the initial location of the oilseed rape genes. 

2. To check if it is possible to detect oilseed rape genes into wild radish populations having different time of co-cultivation with oilseed rape 


  • Production of large populations from herbicide tolerant oilseed rape varieties pollinated without selective pressure during 4 generations by wild radish under field conditions and analysis of the fifth generation with molecular marker and cytogenetic characterization
  • Collect of wild radish populations in different French regions after an historical analysis of oilseed rape cultivation 

Main Results

For the first approach, we have detected molecular markers present in oilseed rape variety used and absent in the wild radish population used as pollinator and plants of the fifth generation are understudy.

Wild radish populations were collected in different French regions and their analysis is in progress


  • UMR IJPB Versailles
  • UMR MIA INRAE Jouy en Josas
  • UMR Agro-Ecologie Dijon
  • Université Orsay

Funding and Support

  • ANR OGM NATORA (2008-2011) (Resp. AM Chèvre): Flux de gènes du colza vers la ravenelle
  • ANR COBINA (2007-2009) (Resp : P.B.Joly) : Connaissances biologiques et normes d’action publique
  • IA Genius (2012-2020) (PI : P. Rogowski) Genome Engineering Improvment for Useful plants of a Sustainable agriculture


Chevre A.M., Adamczyk K., Eber F., Huteau V., Coriton O., Letanneur J.C., Laredo C., Jenczewski E., Monod H., 2007. Modelling gene flow between oilseed rape and wild radish. 1. Evolution of chromosome structure. Theor. Appl. Genet. 114: 209-221

Chevre A.M., Adamczyk K., Eber F., Huteau V., Coriton O., Letanneur J.C., Laredo C., Jenczewski E., Monod H., 2007. Modelling gene flow between oilseed rape and wild radish. 1. Evolution of chromosome structure. Theor. Appl. Genet. 114: 209-221 DOI 10.1007/s00122-006-0424-x 

Chevre A.M., Ammitzbøll H., Breckling B., Dietz-Pfeilstetter A., Eber F., Fargue A., Gomez-Campo C., Jenczewski E., Jørgensen R., Lavigne C., Meier M.S., Den Nijs H., Pascher K., Seguin-Swartz G., Sweet J., C. N. Stewart Jr., Warwick S., 2004. A review on interspecific gene flow from oilseed rape to wild relatives. In: Introgression from Genetically Modified Plants into wild relatives. Edts H.C.M. den Nijs, D. Bartsch, J. Sweet. CABI Publishing, Cambridge, pp 235-251

Chevre A.M., Eber F., Baranger A., Renard M., 1997. Gene flow from transgenic crops. Nature 389 : 924

Chevre A.M., Eber F., Darmency H., Fleury A., Picault H., Letanneur J.C., Renard M., 2000. Assessment of interspecific hybridization between transgenic oilseed rape and wild radish under normal agronomic conditions. Theor. Appl. Genet. 100 :1233-1239. 

Garnier A,  Darmency H., Tricault Y., Chèvre A.M., Lecomte J., 2014. A stochastic cellular model with uncertainty analysis to assess the risk of transgene invasion after crop-wild hybridization: oilseed rape and wild radish as a case study. Ecological Modelling 276: 85-94 

Jenczewski E., Ronfort J., Chevre A.M., 2003. Crop-to-wild gene flow, introgression and possible fitness effects of transgenes. Environmental Biosafety Research 2: 9-24

Prieto J.L., Pouilly N., Jenczewski E., Deragon J. M., Chevre A. M., 2005. Development of crop-specific transposable element (SINE) markers to study gene flow from oilseed rape to wild radish. Theor. Appl. Genet. 111: 446-455