Environmental biosafety of genetically engineered camelina [Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz.] for use as a bio-product crop

  • Author / Creator
    Walsh, Kimberly Dawn
  • Camelina is currently being evaluated as bioindustrial platform crop on the Canadian Prairies. Prior to unconfined release of genetically engineered (GE) camelina, an environmental risk assessment must be conducted. Camelina pollen-mediated gene flow (PMGF) was assessed using a dominant DsRed seed-expressed transgene in small and large plot experiments. Intraspecific small plot PMGF examined approximately 8 M seeds. Outcrossing was low, ranging from 0.09 to 0.28% at up to 0.6 m distance. Large plot assessment screened over 19 M seeds and detected a maximum PMGF of 0.78% immediately adjacent to the pollen source. However, PMGF rapidly declined by 99% at 9.99 m (± 0.18 m) from the pollen source with rare events (≤ 0.001%) at 20 m. Interspecific PMGF to weedy relative shepherd’s purse was examined under greenhouse and small plot conditions. Zero hybrids were detected in 103,000 and 30,000 seeds respectively which corresponds to PMGF at or below 0.1 and 0.025%. Camelina is self-fertile with a low propensity for interspecific gene flow that should not constrain novel cultivar development. A study of camelina seed-mediated gene flow quantified seed bank inputs, longevity, and emergence in growers fields. Seed losses incurred at harvest were high and variable (1,202 to 43,430 viable seeds m-2). Seed banks became 99% depleted within 15 months. In the year following production, camelina volunteer populations were initially high (1,208 plants m-2) but declined to nearly extinct (0.6 plants m-2) by two years post-production. While seed bank inputs can be high, camelina’s brief persistence limits weediness in agricultural areas.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • 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.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Linda Hill, Department of Agri Food and Nutr Sci - Supervisor
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Maxwell, Bruce D. (External Examiner, Montana State University)
    • Weselake, Randall (Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Science)
    • Hill, Melissa J. (Adjunct, Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Science/Grant McEwan University)
    • Deyholos, Michael (Department of Biological Sciences)