Design and analysis of population demographic experiments for use in environmental risk assessments for genetically modified crops

  • Author / Creator
    Alexander, Brendan CS
  • Genetically modified crops with putative fitness-enhancing traits are being field-tested throughout Canada and the world, but robust methods with which to compare their fitness with conventional cultivars are lacking. Additionally, field analyses of GM crops in non-agricultural areas are complicated because novel GM crops have no naturalized populations and creating sufficiently large populations for study under containment is difficult. Using the tools afforded to us by population matrix modeling, we may estimate and compare the fitness of GM crops with conventional (comparator) cultivars. We present methodology to establish populations of GM crops under confinement and develop suggestions for possible assessment endpoints based on the population growth rate of a GM crop and comparator cultivar (assessment endpoint scenarios). Finally, we used assessment endpoint scenarios and stochastic estimates of population growth to determine that the invasiveness of a hybrid canola cultivar was generally no greater than an open-pollinated variety, and, in fact, was less in some environments.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2016
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.