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Analysis of geneflow from crop to wild forms in lettuce and chicory and its population-ecological consequences in the context of gm-crop biosafety


The anticipated risk of escape of transgenes from genetically modified crops to wild allies has revealed a serious lack in knowledge about gene flow from cultivated to wild forms of crop plants and its possible consequences for the environment, such as increased weediness. Therefore, this proposal aims at developing molecular tools dedicated to assessing gene flow in two model crops, one basically out-crossing, chicory, and one basically selfing lettuce. Consequences of gene flow for fitness will be studied by demographic monitoring of natural and experimental hybrid populations. Wild lettuce, L. serriola also will serve as a model species for invasive behaviour and its recent expansion into Northwestern Europe will be studied biogeographically with the aid of molecular markers. The results will be integrated into a model from which recommendations will come for assessing GM-crop biosafety.

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