J Syst Evol ›› 2013, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (3): 245-262.doi: 10.1111/jse.12011

• Reviews • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Introgression of transgenic crop alleles: its evolutionary impacts on conserving genetic diversity of crop wild relatives

Bao-Rong LU*   

  1. (Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity and Ecological Engineering, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China)
  • Received:2012-12-03 Online:2013-01-14 Published:2013-05-21

Abstract: Effective conservation of crop wild relative (CWR) species is essential for the sustainable use and genetic improvement of crop varieties, which offers greater opportunities for world food security, particularly in modern agroecosystems where CWR diversity is under severe threat. Factors such as habitat fragmentation, human disturbances, global climate change, and invasion of harmful alien species have been identified to be responsible for losses and threats to CWR diversity. However, a neglected factor, gene introgression from domesticated species through repeated outcrossing, may have a significant impact on CWR diversity. Introgression can influence genetic diversity and evolutionary processes of CWR populations through effects such as demographic swarming, genetic assimilation, and selective sweep. When largely enhancing or reducing fitness of wild plants, the introgression of crop genes will impose more significant genetic and evolutionary impacts on CWR populations, leading to undesired consequences for conserved CWR populations and species. This situation is particularly true when genetically engineered (GE) crops are deployed for commercial cultivation. It is argued that a GE crop usually contains transgenes with strong natural selection advantages, and such transgenes introgressed into CWR populations may have strong impacts on their genetic diversity and evolutionary processes, threatening their conservation. This article reviews the challenge of crop–wild gene flow, and particularly transgene introgression from GE crops, for the in situ conservation of wild relative species. The design of effective management strategies for conserving CWR species under the scenario of extensive cultivation of GE crops is also discussed.

Key words: gene flow, genetic diversity, germplasm, natural hybridization, transgene, wild population.

[1] Joseph A. Kleinkopf, Wade R. Roberts, Warren L. Wagner, and Eric H. Roalson. Diversification of Hawaiian Cyrtandra (Gesneriaceae) under the influence of incomplete lineage sorting and hybridization . J Syst Evol, 2019, 57(6): 561-578.
[2] Érica Mangaravite, Thamyres C. da Silveira, Alexander Huamán-Mera, Luiz O. de Oliveira, Alexandra N. Muellner-Riehl, and Jan Schnitzler. Genetic diversity of Cedrela fissilis (Meliaceae) in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest reveals a complex phylogeographic history driven by Quaternary climatic fluctuations . J Syst Evol, 2019, 57(6): 655-669.
[3] Tian-Jing Wang, Da-Fu Ru, Dan-Zhang, and Quan-Jun Hu. Analyses of genome‐scale variation reveal divergence of two Sinalliaria species (Brassicaceae) with continuous but limited gene flow . J Syst Evol, 2019, 57(3): 268-277.
[4] Joseph T. Miler, Garry Jolley-Rogers, Brent D. Mishler, and Andrew H. Thornhill. Phylogenetic diversity is a better measure of biodiversity than taxon counting . J Syst Evol, 2018, 56(6): 663-667.
[5] Daniel Spalink, Jocelyn Pender, Marcial Escudero, Andrew L. Hipp, Eric H. Roalson, Julian R. Starr, Marcia J. Waterway, Lynn Bohs, and Kenneth J. Sytsma. The spatial structure of phylogenetic and functional diversity in the United States and Canada: An example using the sedge family (Cyperaceae) . J Syst Evol, 2018, 56(5): 449-465.
[6] Melanie A. Link-Pérez and Shawn W. Laffan. Fern and lycophyte diversity in the Pacific Northwest: Patterns and predictors . J Syst Evol, 2018, 56(5): 498-522.
[7] Zhi-Yao Ma, Jun Wen, Jing-Pu Tian, Abbas Jamal, Long-Qing Chen, Xiu-Qun Liu. Testing reticulate evolution of four Vitis species from East Asia using restriction‐site associated DNA sequencing . J Syst Evol, 2018, 56(4): 331-339.
[8] Lei Huang, Fang-Dong Geng, Jing-Jing Fan, Cheng Xue, Xiao-Yan Zhang, Ju-Qing Kang, Jian-Qiang Zhang, Yi Ren. Genetic diversity and evolutionary history of four closely related Aquilegia species revealed by 10 nuclear gene fragments . J Syst Evol, 2018, 56(2): 129-138.
[9] Yi-Xuan Kou, Kun Xiao, Xiao-Rong Lai, Yu-Jin Wang, Zhi-Yong Zhang. Natural hybridization between Torreya jackii and T. grandis (Taxaceae) in southeast China . J Syst Evol, 2017, 55(1): 25-33.
[10] Hui-Run Huang, Wei Wu, Ji-Xiu Zhang, Ling-Jian Wang, Yong-Ming Yuan, Xue-Jun Ge. A genetic delineation of Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) revealed by specific-locus amplified fragment sequencing . J Syst Evol, 2016, 54(5): 491-501.
[11] Pan-Pan Wu, Hong-Wei Zuo, Genlou Sun, De-Xiang Wu, Bjorn Salomon, Qun-Wen Hu, Zhao-Rong Dong. Comparison of gene flow among species that occur within the same geographic locations versus gene flow among populations within species reveals introgression among several Elymus species . J Syst Evol, 2016, 54(2): 152-161.
[12] Hong Qian, Jian Zhang. Are phylogenies derived from family-level supertrees robust for studies on macroecological patterns along environmental gradients? . J Syst Evol, 2016, 54(1): 29-36.
[13] Daniel Vitales, Alfredo García-Fernández, Teresa Garnatje, Jaume Pellicer, Joan Vallès. Phylogeographic insights of the lowland species Cheirolophus sempervirens in the southwestern Iberian Peninsula . J Syst Evol, 2016, 54(1): 65-74.
[14] Andrea D. WOLFE, Amy MCMULLEN-SIBUL, V. J. TEPEDINO, Laura KUBATKO,Timothy NECAMP, Susan FASSNACHT. Conservation genetics and breeding system of Penstemon debilis (Plantaginaceae), a rare beardtongue endemic to oil shale talus in western Colorado, USA . J Syst Evol, 2014, 52(5): 598-611.
[15] Chao YANG, Zhe WANG, Xiao YANG, Bao-Rong LU. Segregation distortion affected by transgenes in early generations of rice crop-weed hybrid progeny: Implications for assessing potential evolutionary impacts from transgene flow into wild relatives . J Syst Evol, 2014, 52(4): 466-476.
Full text



[1] Ruhai Li1, 2, 3, Sheng Qiang1*. Application of Cryo-sectioning Technique in Weed Fruits[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2010, 45(06): 739 -743 .
[2] . [J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1994, 11(专辑): 43 .
[3] WANG Fu-Qing LI Min QU Yong-Mei. Observation on Microstructure of Male Abortion in Chinese Cabbage[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2001, 18(01): 105 -109 .
[4] Wu Xian-jun;Li Ping;Zhao Zhen-ju;Wang Qian;Li Chao-luan;Huang Rong and Cheng Fa-ling. Studies on the biological characteristics of Cycas panzhihuaensis, I. Morphology and anatomy of vegetative organs[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1995, 12(专辑): 38 -40 .
[5] Bin Jin-hua and Pan Rui-zhi. Methyl Jasmonates: Biochemistry Biophysiolgy and Role in Plant Resistance[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1995, 12(04): 17 -21 .
[6] Junbin Zhao;;Yiping Zhang;;Fuqiang Song;Zaifu Xu;Laiyun Xiao. Spring Phenology of Introduced Species in Response to Extreme Chilliness in Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2010, 45(04): 435 -443 .
[7] Xing Jian-min;Zha Li-hang;Li Zuo-hu;Liu Da-lu;Ye He-chun and Li Guo-feng. Advances in the Study on Taxol Production by Plant Cell Culture[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1997, 14(03): 22 -29 .
[8] Zhang Zhong-ming;Cui Ke-ming and Fan Yong-jun. Staining Plant Material Section With Toluiding Blue O Before Removal of Paraffin[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1997, 14(02): 58 -60 .
[9] Huang Cheng-yan;Yan Ting-jin and Shen Li. Study on the Differentiation of Pollen Albino Plants of Wheat in the Anther Culture of Different Microspore Stages[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1991, 8(01): 51 -52 .
[10] He Xin-hua Ann Oaks Li Ming-qi. The Effciency of Nitrogen Utilization in C3 and C4 Cereals[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1995, 12(03): 20 -27 .