The presence of Bt-transgenic oilseed rape in wild mustard populations affects plant growth.
Transgenic Res. 2015 Dec ;24(6):1043-53. Epub 2015 Sep 3. PMID: 26338267
The adventitious presence of transgenic plants in wild plant populations is of ecological and regulatory concern, but the consequences of adventitious presence are not well understood. Here, we introduced Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac (Bt)-transgenic oilseed rape (Bt OSR, Brassica napus) with various frequencies into wild mustard (Brassica juncea) populations. We sought to better understand the adventitious presence of this transgenic insecticidal crop in a wild-relative plant population. We assessed the factors of competition, resource availability and diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) infestation on plant population dynamics. As expected, Bt OSR performed better than wild mustard in mixed populations under herbivore attack in habitats with enough resources, whereas wild mustard had higher fitness when Bt OSR was rarer in habitats with limited resources. Results suggest that the presence of insect-resistant transgenic plants could decrease the growth of wild mustard and Bt OSR plants and their populations, especially under high herbivore pressure.