BIOL 5240

Ecological Genetics


Snow, A.A., D. Pilson, L.H. Rieseberg, M.J. Paulsen, N. Pleskac, M.R. Reagon, D.E. Wold, and S.M. Selbo. A Bt transgene reduces herbivory and enhances recundity in wild sunflowers. Ecological Applications 13:279-286.


  1. List at least four reasons why sunflower is a good system to study the movement of engineered genes from crop species into native plant populations?




  1. Why were plants that were “male sterile” used as experimental subjects in this study?





  1. What was the motivation for doing the greenhouse experiments?  In other words, what relevance could they have to what is happening in nature?





  1. How did the presence of the Bt gene influence the performance of the experimental sunflowers in terms of:
    1. Insect damage
    2. Seed production






  1. What are the potential consequences of gene flow from transgenic Bt sunflower crops into natural sunflower populations?





  1. What factors that were not directly addressed in this study may reduce the fitness advantage of carrying the Bt gene?