Escaped Canola in Roadside Habitats: Scale of Persistence and Dispersal of Genetically Modified Plants

Alexis Knispel, PhD candidate
University of Manitoba
2004 to 2010

In 2004, farmers in the prairie provinces produced 98.7% of the total Canadian harvested acreage of canola, 80% of which was genetically modified to be herbicide tolerant. Canola is also a weed species of roadsides and waste places. The large-scale release of herbicide tolerant canola in Canada may lead to the spread of herbicide tolerance transgenes into non-crop environments.

A long-term monitoring project was established in 2004 in two regions of southern Manitoba, to assess the persistence and spread of weedy canola populations occurring in roadside ditches. Populations will be tested for the presence of herbicide tolerance transgenes. Additionally, prevalence of canola will be monitored at the landscape scale, to assess the degree to which canola persists in the landscape as a metapopulation.

Community Partners

  • Harvest Moon Society


Alexis Knispel