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GeneSys-Beet: A model of the effects of cropping systems on gene flow between sugar beet and weed beet

Sester M., Tricault Y., Darmency H., Colbach N.. 2008. Field Crops Research, 107 (3) : p. 245-256.

A weedy form of the genus Beta, i.e. Beta vulgaris ssp. vulgaris (hence ''weed beet'') frequently found in sugar beet is impossible to eliminate with herbicides because of its genetic proximity to the crop. It is presumed to be the progeny of accidental hybrids between sugar beet (ssp. vulgaris) and wild beet (ssp. maritima), or of sugar beet varieties sensitive to vernalization and sown early in years with late cold spells. In this context, genetically modified (GM) sugar beet varieties tolerant to non-selective herbicides would be interesting to manage weed beet. However, because of the proximity of the weed to the crop, it is highly probable that the herbicide-tolerance transgene would be transmitted to the weed. To evaluate the likelihood of gene flow from GM varieties to weed beet and to propose cropping systems that reduce this likelihood, a model of the effects of cropping systems on population dynamics and gene flow in weed beet was developed, based on the existing spatio-temporal framework GENESYS and on field experiments for parametrising the life-cycle of weed beet. The resulting GENESYS-Beet model consists in simulating every year the life-cycle of weed and crop beet in each field of a given region. During flowering, the various life-cycles connect, leading to pollen exchanges which depend on field areas, shapes and distances. The life-cycle consists of a succession of life-stages for which both densities and genotype proportions are calculated. The relationships between the various stages depend on the crop grown in the field, the stage and genotype of the modelled crop relative, as well as the cultivation techniques (tillage tools and dates, sowing date and density, herbicides,mechanical and manual weeding, harvest date) used to manage the crop. Simulations of GM spread in different farms and regions and of the effects of weed management on the advent of GM beet were carried out to illustrate the possible uses of the model and the consequences of co-existing GM and non-GM crops. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : organisme génétiquement modifié; pratique culturale; modélisation des cultures; mauvaise herbe; flux de gènes; beta vulgaris

Thématique : Mauvaises herbes et désherbage; Méthodes mathématiques et statistiques; Génétique et amélioration des plantes

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