The myths of gene transfer - a canola case study

P.A. SalisburyA,B

A Institute of Land and Food Resources, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia.

B Agriculture Victoria, Victorian Institute for Dryland Agriculture, Private Bag 260, Horsham, Victoria 3401, Australia.


Canola (Brassica napus) is not a significant weed in managed ecosystems, nor is it invasive of natural ecosystems. Canola incorporating herbicide tolerance (HT) genes has no altered weed or invasiveness potential. The novel trait confers no competitive advantage unless plants are challenged with the specific herbicide. Multiple HT canola volunteers are no more difficult to control in following crops than conventional or single HT canola. They are susceptible to a range of conventional herbicides representing a number of different herbicide groups. There are significant barriers to the introgression of HT genes into the genome of weedy species. However, should introgression occur, any HT weeds, as with HT volunteers, would be controlled using other available herbicides. Enhanced management practices will be required to minimize HT gene flow, either through pollen transfer or seed movement, to non-HT canola, to other HT canola types and to weedy species.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2000) 15 (2) 71-76.