Henri Darmency

French National Institute for Agricultural Research, Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France

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Publications (90)232.15 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: This paper investigates the possible existence of mechanisms counterbalancing the negative pleiotropic effects on development and reproduction that are conferred by alleles responsible for herbicide resistance in the weed Alopecurus myosuroides. We considered three herbicide-resistant, mutant acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase) alleles: Leu1781, Asn2041 and Gly2078 found in eight resistant populations. Of these, Gly2078 is the only allele with a known fitness cost. We compared plants homozygous for wild-type ACCase alleles that were siblings of plants carrying a given mutant resistant ACCase allele with plants from three populations where resistance did not evolve. In each of two series of experiments, we measured germination dynamics, seedling vigour, plant height, vegetative biomass and seed production. The wild-type siblings of plants carrying Gly2078 performed better in the field, on average, than wild-type plants that were sibling of plants carrying other mutant ACCase alleles, and particularly those carrying Leu1781. We propose that rapid evolution of the genetic background of plants from the populations where the Gly2078 allele originally arose could partially counterbalance Gly2078 fitness cost, enhancing the spread of the resistant genotypes.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolution 09/2014; · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Agricultural intensification has resulted in drastic regression of several arable land–dependent weeds. This decrease, along with reduced pollinator abundance, could lead to population-level extinction of self-incompatible species. Alternatively, it could drive adaptation to self-compatibility through selection on standing genetic variation. We investigated whether pseudo-self-compatible (PSC) or self-compatible (SC) plants are present in populations of the rarified weed Centaurea cyanus in the species’ extreme western distribution limits in Europe.We compared seed production of isolated plants and of pairs of plants in cages with or without pollinators. We showed that pollinators are necessary for self-fertilization. The majority of plants were self-incompatible (SI), but about 12% were PSC, and one was SC. Reproductive traits of PSC plants were not different from those of other plants. There was no difference between plants from two regions that differed in C. cyanus abundance. We conclude that the genetic variation necessary to transition to selfing is present in C. cyanus; this could help to maintain endangered populations, but the transition to selfing does not appear to have happened in nature yet.
    Flora - Morphology Distribution Functional Ecology of Plants 07/2014; · 1.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Agricultural intensification has recently resulted in the decrease in frequency and abundance of arable weed species. This includes the previously widespread Centaurea cyanus, whose populations are now fragmented and infrequent in western Europe. The consequences of habitat modification and fragmentation in terms of genetic diversity of the remaining populations have not yet been addressed. We used ten microsatellite markers to assess the genetic diversity and genetic structure of populations contained in an agricultural landscape in north-eastern France. The ten microsatellites were all highly polymorphic. Centaurea cyanus appears to be a genetically variable species, with high levels of genetic diversity within each cultivated field. Genetic structure was investigated using a Bayesian method. The partitioning of the genetic variation into three clusters was not associated with sampling locations, and most individuals were admixed. These results suggest that the cornflower populations investigated may have multiple origins in the past and that genetic variation has been reshuffled by human transportation of seeds. Thus, anthropogenic dispersal associated with farming activities is probably a major factor driving the structure of genetic diversity in arable land plants. Despite low levels of genetic differentiation between populations, fine-scale spatial genetic structure was observed within populations, suggesting limited local dispersal. We conclude that in areas where C. cyanus has become rare, the recent fragmentation of populations may in the future cause a loss of genetic diversity and even extinction.
    Weed Research 05/2014; · 2.05 Impact Factor
  • Ecological Modelling 03/2014; 276:85–94. · 2.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Numerous studies have focused on the probability of occurrence of gene flow between transgenic crops and their wild relatives and the likelihood of transgene escape, which should be assessed before the commercial release of transgenic crops. This review paper focuses on this issue for oilseed rape, Brassica napus L., a species that produces huge numbers of pollen grains and seeds. We analyze separately the distinct steps of gene flow: (1) pollen and seeds as vectors of gene flow; (2) spontaneous hybridization; (3) hybrid behavior, fitness cost due to hybridization and mechanisms of introgression; (4) and fitness benefit due to transgenes (e.g. herbicide resistance and Bt toxin). Some physical, biological and molecular means of transgene containment are also described. Although hybrids and first generation progeny are difficult to identify in fields and non-crop habitats, the literature shows that transgenes could readily introgress into Brassica rapa, Brassica juncea and Brassica oleracea, while introgression is expected to be rare with Brassica nigra, Hirschfeldia incana and Raphanus raphanistrum. The hybrids grow well but produce less seed than their wild parent. The difference declines with increasing generations. However, there is large uncertainty about the evolution of chromosome numbers and recombination, and many parameters of life history traits of hybrids and progeny are not determined with satisfactory confidence to build generic models capable to really cover the wide diversity of situations. We show that more studies are needed to strengthen and organize biological knowledge, which is a necessary prerequisite for model simulations to assess the practical and evolutionary outputs of introgression, and to provide guidelines for gene flow management.
    Plant Science 10/2013; 211:42-51. · 4.11 Impact Factor
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  • Henri Darmency
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    ABSTRACT: The rapid adoption of genetically engineered herbicide-resistant crop varieties (HRCV) - encompassing 83 % of all GM crops and nearly 8 % of the worldwide arable area - is due to technical efficiency and higher returns. Other herbicide-resistant varieties obtained from genetic resources and mutagenesis have also been successfully released. Although the benefit for weed control is the main criteria for choosing HRCVs, the pleiotropic costs of genes endowing resistance have rarely been investigated in crops. Here the available data of comparisons between isogenic resistant and susceptible varieties are reviewed. Pleiotropic harmful effects on yield are reported in half of the cases, mostly with resistance mechanisms that originate from genetic resources and mutagenesis (atrazine in oilseed rape and millet, trifluralin in millet, imazamox in cotton) rather than genetic engineering (chlorsulfuron and glufosinate in some oilseed rape varieties, glyphosate in soybean). No effect was found for sethoxydim and bromoxynil resistance. Variable minor effects were found for imazamox, chlorsulfuron, glufosinate and glyphosate resistance. The importance of the breeding plan and the genetic background on the emergence of these effects is pointed out. Breeders' efforts to produce better varieties could compensate for the yield loss, which eliminates any possibility of formulating generic conclusions on pleiotropic effects that can be applied to all resistant crops.
    Pest Management Science 03/2013; · 2.74 Impact Factor
  • Yongbo Liu, Wei Wei, Keping Ma, Henri Darmency
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    ABSTRACT: Introgression between transgenic, insect-resistant crops and their wild relatives could lead to a progressive increase of the frequency of resistant plants in wild populations. However, few studies help predict the impact on the population dynamics. To simulate the performance of introgressed insect-resistant plants of wild Brassica juncea, independently from the interspecific hybridization cost, healthy plants were cultivated in pure and mixed stands with damaged plants through cutting leaves in field experiments over two field seasons. As expected, resistant (healthy) plants held a competitive advantage when in competition with susceptible (damaged) plants. Individual biomass and seed production of both types of plants decreased as the percentage of resistant plants increased, so that the relative advantage of resistant plants increased. The combined effects of defoliation and competition on the individual performance of B. juncea were additive. Replacement series experiments confirmed this trend but did not show different seed output in pure stand of susceptible versus resistant plots. The total vegetative and reproductive production of mixed populations was not significantly different of that of pure populations. These results suggest that if a transgene for insect-resistance were to colonize wild populations, high herbivory of susceptible plant and low resource availability would facilitate the spread of resistant individuals. However, at the population level, the shift from an insect-susceptible to a predominantly resistant population would not result in exacerbated habitat colonization.
    Transgenic Research 12/2012; · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Weed beet cannot be controlled by herbicides in sugar beet (except via height-selective applicators) as it is a crop relative, descending from accidentally flowering sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) crop plants either because of vernalization during cold springs, or presence of a dominant bolting allele in sugar beet seed lots due to cross-pollination by annual wild beet (B. vulgaris ssp. maritima) in seed production areas. A second, minor source of weed beet are crop roots lost during harvest. These roots (“groundkeepers”) can reproduce in the year after sugar beet and potentially contribute to weed beet dynamics and gene flow. Bolting, flowering and seed production timing and potential of groundkeepers were measured in field experiments. Bolting and flowering were faster in groundkeepers vs. weed beet; flower and seed production was lower in groundkeepers but the latter were less sensitive to competitive crops. The measured parameters were used to introduce a ground-keeper life-cycle into the GeneSys-Beet model which quantifies the effects of cropping systems on weed beet in landscapes. Simulations over several years showed weed beet dynamics to be more sensitive to groundkeeper parameter values than to root loss at sugar beet harvest. Groundkeepers were identified as a key source of weed beet populations and of gene escape from novel sugar beet varieties (e.g. genetically-modified herbicide-tolerant varieties) in the absence of crop bolters. The control of the latter, either by manual weeding or by genetic improvement of sugar beet varieties, was shown to be essential for controlling weed beet populations and avoid the advent of herbicide-tolerant weed beet.
    Field Crops Research 06/2012; 135:46-57. · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Seed size has significant implications in ecology, because of its effects on plant fitness. The hybrid seeds that result from crosses between crops and their wild relatives are often small, and the consequences of this have been poorly investigated. Here we report on plant performance of hybrid and its parental transgenic oilseed rape (Brassica napus) and wild B. juncea, all grown from seeds sorted into three seed-size categories. Three seed-size categories were sorted by seed diameter for transgenic B. napus, wild B. juncea and their transgenic and non-transgenic hybrids. The seeds were sown in a field at various plant densities. Globally, small-seeded plants had delayed flowering, lower biomass, fewer flowers and seeds, and a lower thousand-seed weight. The seed-size effect varied among plant types but was not affected by plant density. There was no negative effect of seed size in hybrids, but it was correlated with reduced growth for both parents. Our results imply that the risk of further gene flow would probably not be mitigated by the small size of transgenic hybrid seeds. No fitness cost was detected to be associated with the Bt-transgene in this study.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(6):e39705. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bellanger S, Guillemin J‐P, Bretagnolle V & Darmency H (2012). Centaurea cyanus as a biological indicator of segetal species richness in arable fields. Weed Research 52, 551–563. SummaryAgricultural intensification has resulted in a loss of biological diversity within European agroecosystems. Biological indicator species are important tools for monitoring species diversity. The aim of this study was to determine whether cornflower, Centaurea cyanus, an arable land specialist segetal species that is easily identified in the countryside, is an appropriate indicator of weed species diversity in the Poitou‐Charentes region of western France. The study zones selected were those in which C. cyanus was present in agricultural fields when monitoring was conducted in both 2006 and 2007. All plant species in sample fields sown with winter crops (cereals and oilseed rape) within the study zones were then inventoried in two consecutive years: 2008 and 2009. For these winter crops, C. cyanus presence was not a good indicator of overall species richness within the fields. However, C. cyanus presence did correlate with the presence of other arable land specialists, herein called segetal species. Reciprocally, the presence of most other segetal species found at low frequencies in the study zones also correlated with higher segetal richness. We discuss the conditions for using C. cyanus as an indicator of segetal diversity with regards to conservation and ecosystem services.
    Weed Research 01/2012; 52(6). · 2.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cropping systems contain a diverse multi-species weed flora including several species that cross-breed with and/or descend from crops, including weed beet (Beta vulgaris ssp. vulgaris). The effects of cropping systems on this weed flora are complex because of their large range of variation and their numerous interactions with climate and soil conditions. In order to study and quantify the long-term effects of cropping system components (crop succession and cultural techniques) on weed population dynamics, a biophysical process-based model called GENESYS-Beet has previously been developed for weed beet. In the present paper, the model was modified to remove the crop–weed connection and employed to identify and rank the weed life-traits as a function of their effect on weed emergence timing and density as well as on weed densities at plant, adult and seed bank stages, using a global sensitivity analysis to model parameters. A similar method has already been used with the complete GENESYS-Beet model (i.e. including the crop–weed connection) based on Monte Carlo simulations with simultaneous randomization of all life-trait parameters and run in three cropping systems differing in their risk of infestation by weed beet. Simulated weed emergence timing and density, as well as surviving plant, adult and seed bank densities, were then analysed with regression models as a function of model parameters to rank life-cycle processes and related life-traits and quantify their effects. The comparison of the present, crop-independent results to those of the previous, crop-dependent study showed that the crop-relative weed beet can be considered as a typical crop-independent spring weed as long as no traits conferring a selective advantage are inherited and in rotations where crops favouring weed emergence and reproduction are frequent. In such rotations, advice for controlling the crop-relative and the crop-independent weed is more or less identical. The rarer these favourable crops, the more important pre-emergence processes become for the crop-independent weed; management advice should thus focus more on seed bank survival and seedling emergence. For the crop-relative, post-emergence processes become dominant because of the increasing necessity for a new population founding event; management advice should mostly concern the avoidance of crop bolters. In both studies, the key parameters were more or less the same, i.e. those determining the timing and success of growth, development, seed maturation and the physiological end of seed production. Timing parameters were usually more important than success parameters, showing for instance that optimal timing of weed management operations is often more important than its exact efficacy. Comparison with previous sensitivity analyses carried out for autumn-emerging weed species showed that some of the present conclusions are probably specific to spring-emerging weed species only. For autumn-emerging species, pre-emergence traits would be more important. In the rotations with frequent favourable crops and insufficient weed control, interactions between traits were small, indicating that diverse populations and species with contrasting traits could prosper, potentially leading to a diverse multi-species weed flora. Conversely, when favourable crops were rare and weed control optimal, traits had little impact individually, indicating that a small number of optimal combinations of traits would be successful, thus limiting both intra- and inter-specific variability.
    The Journal of Agricultural Science 11/2011; 149(06):679 - 700. · 2.88 Impact Factor
  • H. Darmency, C. Ouin, J. Pernes
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    ABSTRACT: An interspecific cross was carried out between the cultivated foxtail millet, Setaria italica, and its wild relative the green foxtail, S. viridis. Quantitative characters (19 descriptors of morphology and reproduction) were studied using the F1 F2, and F3 generations. Moreover, this F2 was compared with the tetraploid F2 obtained from a colchicine-induced F1. The multivariate analysis of the diploid F2 showed two complex associations of characters: one concerning developmental traits (organs dimensions and flowering) and the other dealing with taxonomical characteristics (tillering, seed shedding, and seed weight). The tetraploidization resulted in a shift in characteristics towards the crop species, especially a twofold increase in seed weight. Nonadditive effects were found for most characters, except for the seed shedding, which was found to be encoded by at least four loci. However, cultivated type plants were easily recovered in both the diploid and the tetraploid F2. This demonstrates the potential of interspecific hybridization and polyploidization to improve the crop properties of the foxtail millet.
    Genome. 02/2011; 29(3):453-456.
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    H Darmency, J C Picard, T Wang
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    ABSTRACT: A mutant Thr-239-Ileu at the α2-tubulin gene was found to confer resistance to dinitroanilines, a family of mitosis-disrupting herbicides. However, mutations affecting microtubule polymerization and cell division are expected to impact growth and reproduction, that is, the fitness of a resistant weed or the yield of a tolerant crop, although it has not been demonstrated yet. This study was designed to test this hypothesis for the growth and reproduction of near-isogenic resistant and susceptible materials that were created in F(2) and F(3) generations after a Setaria viridis x S. italica cross. Differential growth was noticeable at the very onset of seedling growth. The homozygous resistant plants, grown both in a greenhouse cabinet and in the field, were smaller and had lower 1000-grain weight and therefore a lower yield. This fitness penalty is certainly due to modified cell division kinetics. Although the presence of the mutant allele accounted for 20% yield losses, there were also measurable benefits of dinitroaniline resistance, and these benefits are discussed.
    Heredity 01/2011; 107(1):80-6. · 4.11 Impact Factor
  • The Journal of Agricultural Science 01/2011; 149:679-700. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    Y B Liu, W Wei, K P Ma, H Darmency
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    ABSTRACT: Introgression between genetically modified (GM) crops and wild relatives is considered to potentially modify the genetic background of the wild species. The emergence of volunteer-like feral populations through backcross of hybrids to the crop is also a concern. The progeny of spontaneous hybrids between mutant herbicide-resistant oilseed rape (Brassica napus) and wild B. juncea was obtained. Parents, F(2) and BC(1) to B. napus were planted together in the field so as to study their performance. The chromosome number of BC(1) followed a Normal distribution. Mendelian ratio of the herbicide-resistance gene was found. The F(2) produced less seeds than B. napus, and BC(1) had intermediate production. Herbicide-resistant BC(1) were not different of their susceptible counterparts for plant weight, seed weight and seed number, but most of them exhibited B. napus morphology and larger flowers than the susceptible BC(1). They displayed an important genetic variability allowing further adaptation and propagation of the herbicide-resistance gene. Pollen flow to susceptible plants within the mixed stand was observed. As a consequence, the resistant BC(1) produced with B. napus pollen could frequently occur and easily establish as a false feral crop population within fields and along roadsides.
    Plant Science 11/2010; 179(5):459-65. · 4.11 Impact Factor
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    T Wang, J C Picard, X Tian, H Darmency
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    ABSTRACT: It is often alleged that mutations conferring herbicide resistance have a negative impact on plant fitness. A mutant ACCase1781 allele endowing resistance to the sethoxydim herbicide was introgressed from a resistant green foxtail (Setaria viridis (L.) Beauv) population into foxtail millet (S. italica (L.) Beauv.). (1) Better and earlier growth of resistant plants was observed in a greenhouse cabinet. (2) Resistant plants of the advanced BC7 backcross generation showed more vigorous juvenile growth in the field, earlier flowering, more tillers and higher numbers of grains than susceptible plants did, especially when both genotypes were grown in mixture, but their seeds were lighter than susceptible seeds. (3) Field populations originating from segregating hybrids had the expected allele frequencies under normal growth conditions, but showed a genotype shift toward an excess of homozygous resistant plants within 3 years in stressful conditions. Lower seed size, lower germination rate and perhaps unexplored differences in seed longevity and predation could explain how the resistant plants have the same field fitness over the whole life cycle as the susceptible ones although they produce more seeds. More rapid growth kinetics probably accounted for higher fitness of the resistant plants in adverse conditions. The likelihood of a linkage with a beneficial gene is discussed versus the hypothesis of a pleiotropic effect of the ACCase resistance allele. It is suggested that autogamous species like Setaria could not develop a resistant population without the help of a linkage with a gene producing a higher fitness.
    Heredity 10/2010; 105(4):394-400. · 4.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wang T, Shi Y, Li Y, Song Y & Darmency H (2010). Population growth rate of Setaria viridis in the absence of herbicide: resulting yield loss in foxtail millet Setaria italica. Weed Research50, 228–234.SummarySetaria viridis (green foxtail) is a common weed and is the putative ancestor of foxtail millet (Setaria italica). Population densities of S. viridis and its effect on foxtail millet yield were studied for 4 years in two locations, with three cultivars, under monoculture and no use of selective herbicide. Each year the density of S. viridis plants increased in all fields at a population growth rate λ = 1.13. The stability of the λ estimate in monoculture could serve as a reference value to predict the fate of a weed population in multi-year demographic models, using corrective factors to account for specific effects of given crop rotation and cropping practices. The low λ value was due to a very low reproduction rate, around 6 10−4 adults per seed, which suggests high dormancy and seed predation. The yield of millet decreased linearly as the infestation increased, with the same slope whatever the cultivars. The yield loss was 0.58 tonne ha−1 for each additional plant m−2, indicating high sensitivity to competition from the wild relative. The close relationship between the weed and the crop, which could lead to similar biological responses to environmental conditions, could explain these results.
    Weed Research 03/2010; 50(3):228 - 234. · 2.05 Impact Factor
  • Nathalie Colbach, Henri Darmency, Yann Tricault
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    ABSTRACT: The benefits of genetically modified herbicide-tolerant (GMHT) sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) varieties stem from their presumed ability to improve weed control and reduce its cost, particularly targeting weed beet, a harmful annual weedy form of the genus Beta (i.e. B. vulgaris ssp. vulgaris) frequent in sugar beet fields. As weed beet is totally interfertile with sugar beet, it is thus likely to inherit the herbicide-tolerance transgene through pollen-mediated gene flow. Hence, the foreseeable advent of HT weed beet populations is a serious threat to the sustainability of GM sugar beet cropping systems. For studying and quantifying the long-term effects of cropping system components (crop succession and cultivation techniques) on weed beet population dynamics and gene flow, we developed a biophysical process-based model called GeneSys-Beet in a previous study. In the present paper, the model was employed to identify and rank the weed life-traits as function of their effect on weed beet densities and genotypes, using a global sensitivity analysis to model parameters. Monte Carlo simulations with simultaneous randomization of all life-trait parameters were carried out in three cropping systems contrasting for their risk for infestation by HT weed beets. Simulated weed plants and bolters (i.e. beet plants with flowering and seed-producing stems) were then analysed with regression models as a function of model parameters to rank processes and life-traits and quantify their effects. Key parameters were those determining the timing and success of growth, development, seed maturation and the physiological end of seed production. Timing parameters were usually more important than success parameters, showing for instance that optimal timing of weed management operations is more important than its exact efficacy. The ranking of life-traits though depended on the cropping system and, to a lesser extent, on the target variable (i.e. GM weeds vs. total weed population). For instance, post-emergence parameters were crucial in rotations with frequent sugar beet crops whereas pre-emergence parameters were most important when sugar beet was rare. In the rotations with frequent sugar beet and insufficient weed control, interactions between traits were small, indicating diverse populations with contrasted traits could prosper. Conversely, when sugar beet was rare and weed control optimal, traits had little impact individually, indicating that a small number of optimal combinations of traits would be successful. Based on the analysis of sugar beet parameters and genetic traits, advice for the future selection of sugar beet varieties was also given. In climatic conditions similar to those used here, the priority should be given to limiting the presence of hybrid seeds in seed lots rather than decreasing varietal sensitivity to vernalization.
    Ecological Modelling. 01/2010;
  • Tricault Y, Darmency H, Colbach N
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    ABSTRACT: TricaultY, DarmencyH & ColbachN (2009). Identifying key components of weed beet management using sensitivity analyses of the GeneSys-Beetmodel in GM sugar beet. Weed Research49, 581–591. Summary Genetically-modified (GM) sugar beet varieties tolerant to non-selective herbicides would be useful for managing weed beet, an annual form of Beta vulgaris impossible to eliminate with herbicides in sugar beet. However, it is highly probable that the herbicide-tolerance transgene would be transmitted to the weed through pollen flow. It is therefore essential to study how weed beet. particularly Herbicide-Tolerant (HT) populations, develop in cropping systems and how to optimise crop succession and management for controlling these weeds. As multiple interactions and long-term effects make field experiments impractical, we carried out a simulation study with a deterministic and mechanistic model, GeneSys-Beet, which quantifies weed beet dynamics and gene flow in cropping systems with interactions with climate, soil structure and hydro-thermal conditions. The sensitivity analysis consisted of 250 000 random combinations of input variables to rank cropping system components according to their effect on both total and GM weed beet infestations. Frequency of sugar beet crops, crop succession, manual and mechanical weeding and tillage were identified as the most important variables. Several cultivation techniques must be combined to efficiently control weed beet. Our recommendations are complex, but a delayed return of sugar beet in the rotation. Harvest should be followed as soon as possible by a shallow tilling; tillage should always be as shallow and as early as possible, except before sugar beet where mouldboard ploughing is advisable. If possible, sowing dates should be delayed. Sugar beet should be weeded mechanically and/or manually, aiming at late and efficient, rather than early or frequent operations. Herbicides should be applied whenever possible and target all weed beet stages and genotypes. Set-aside must be cut as frequently and as late as possible.
    Weed Research 12/2009; 45:581–591. · 2.05 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

948 Citations
232.15 Total Impact Points


  • 1996–2014
    • French National Institute for Agricultural Research
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2012–2013
    • Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences
      Peping, Beijing, China
  • 2008
    • Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
      • Institute of Crop Sciences
      Beijing, Beijing Shi, China
  • 2004
    • French National Centre for Scientific Research
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 1987
    • Université Paris-Sud 11
      Orsay, Île-de-France, France