Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Selection against hybrids in mixed populations of Brassica rapa and Brassica napus: model and synthesis.

Abstract

Pollen of the crop oilseed rape (Brassica napus, AACC) can cross-fertilize ovules of Brassica rapa (AA), which leads to an influx of unpaired C-chromosomes into wild B. rapa populations. The presence of such extra chromosomes is thought to be an indicator of introgression. Backcrosses and F1 hybrids were found in Danish populations but, surprisingly, only F1 hybrids were found in the UK and the Netherlands. Here, a model tests how the level of selection and biased vs unbiased transmission affect the population frequency of C-chromosomes. In the biased-transmission scenario the experimental results of the first backcross are extrapolated to estimate survival of gametes with different numbers of C-chromosomes from all crosses in the population. With biased transmission, the frequency of C-chromosomes always rapidly declines to zero. With unbiased transmission, the continued presence of plants with extra C-chromosomes depends on selection in the adult stage and we argue that this is the most realistic option for modeling populations. We suggest that selection in the field against plants with unpaired C-chromosomes is strong in Dutch and UK populations. The model highlights what we do not know and makes suggestions for further research on introgression.