Fitness of F1 hybrids between weedy Brassica rapa and oilseed rape (B. napus)



As part of an ongoing study of the hybridization biology of cultivated oilseed rape (Brassica napus) and weedy B. rapa, we studied the fitness of hybrids between three weedy B. rapa populations and three varieties of B. napus. Reciprocal pollinations were performed, and the resulting offspring were scored for seed development, survival in the field, pod- and seed-set. Seeds from heterospecific crosses developed within pods in lower proportions than seeds from conspecific crosses. Hybrid offspring survived in the field as frequently as conspecific offspring, and produced many more pods that contained fewer seeds. Combining the fitness components into a multiplicative estimate, we found the hybrids to be intermediate to their parents, and significantly more fit than B. rapa. Significant genotypic differences were detected between offspring produced by different parental plants, populations and varieties for some of the fitness components scored. Our results on hybrid fitness are discussed with respect to the possibility that transgenes in oilseed rape may introgress spontaneously into weedy B. rapa.