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Emergence and development of volunteer oilseed rape in winter oilseed rape stands

Emergence and development of volunteer oilseed rape in winter oilseed rape stands

Journal of Plant Diseases and Protection: 303-308

ISSN/ISBN: 1861-3829

With the cultivation of transgenic oilseed rape, volunteer rape plants are in the focus of the coexistence discussion. it is well-known that seed losses during harvest are high and that rape seeds remain viable in the soil for long time. If volunteer rape plants occur in an oilseed rape stand, it is usually not possible to control these plants. If the volunteers are able to bloom and set ripe seeds, it is to be suspected that unwanted traits are transferred via pollen to non-transgenic rape plants or that the yield is contaminated by transgenic seeds. In order to measure this hazard potential, the question has to be clarified how volunteer oilseed rape plants will develop within an oilseed rape stand. It is often postulated that volunteer rape plants emerge later than the crop plants and therefore are subject to competition. As a consequence, their development would be slower, their seed production would be low, and their contribution to the transfer of genes and traits to the cultivated plant as well. An orienting field experiment to this question was laid out in autumn 2006. The emergence dynamics and the growth process of volunteer rape in an oilseed rape stand were continuously measured in artificial gaps in the crop from emergence until blooming stage under field conditions. The investigation showed that volunteer infestation depended on the seed rain and on the duration of the cultivation break in the crop rotation. While 1 to 2 volunteer rape plants per m(2) emerged under practice-usual growing conditions, about 10 plants per m(2) were found after an uncommonly high seed rain (total harvest remained on the field). After a very long cultivation break of more than 10 years only 0.1 plants per m(2) were found. Most of volunteer rape plants emerged approximately simultaneously to the oilseed rape plants. Since no considerable dying of the volunteer plants could be observed and since both groups developed more or less similar, it has to be assumed that volunteer plants can contribute to an admixture of GMO to conventional oilseed rape.

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Accession: 066210085

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