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Abstract Detail


Population Genetics

Auer, Carol [1], Ahrens, Collin [1].

When hybrids go wrong: Assessing potential environmental risk from the release of herbicide-resistant creeping bentgrass (Agrostis).

Creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) is a common, non-native turfgrass that inhabits a myriad of environments, shows weedy characteristics, and hybridizes with other closely related species in the Agrostis genus. At present, the USDA is considering an application to allow commercialization of genetically-engineered herbicide-resistant (HR) creeping bentgrass. If approved, the likelihood of the transgenic HR trait entering feral populations is high and this could create environmental hazards over various temporal and spatial scales. Gene flow of the HR trait into feral populations coupled with herbicide selection pressure could mean increased abundance and/or spread into new habitats. The HR trait could also interfere with land management and removal of invasive species. Five types of experiments are being conducted to assess this potential ecological risk: 1) gap colonization studies in natural and agricultural sites to understand fitness under herbicide selection pressure, 2) habitat suitability modeling to predict the presence of bentgrasses at the landscape scale, 3) stress tolerance studies in bentgrasses to understand distribution and weediness, 4) genetic studies to understand hybridization between cultivated and feral bentgrass populations, and 5) transects to characterize distribution of bentgrasses. Results from these on-going, multi-year projects will be presented.


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1 - University of Connecticut, Plant Science, Box U-4163, Storrs, Connecticut, 06269, United States

Keywords:
gene flow
ecological risk assessment.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Ball Room & Party Room/SUB
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 12:30 PM
Number: PPO003
Abstract ID:244


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