Risk of seed spillage of imported oilseed rape along transport routes: assessment of potential medium-term to long-term effects of an accidental entry of viable seeds in Austria

Runtime: 2013 – 2015

Funding: Federal Ministry of Health, Austria (BMG)


The main objective of this research project is to estimate the medium-term to long-term effects of an unintended distribution and establishment of imported viable seeds of oilseed rape (OSR, Brassica napus) under Austrian conditions based on field data.


The sampling procedure for 60 sample sites all over Austria considers transportation routes (railways, roads) and loading sites for oilseed rape (OSR, Brassica napus) such as railway stations, switch yards, ports, oil mills, and processing companies. Plant material of altogether 2.000 feral OSR plants is collected twice in two consecutive years, 2014 and 2015, on the same 60 selected sample sites. Sites with the presence of feral OSR will be related to Austrian OSR cultivation areas as well as to the transportation networks of imported OSR. Genetic analyses will be performed using microsatellites. The analysed feral plants will then be associated with conventional OSR varieties grown in Austria during the last ten years as well as to selected OSR varieties from EU countries which export to Austria. Finally, a reasonable policy to prevent spillage of imported OSR and its establishment along transportation routes in Austria will be recommended.


Kathrin Pascher (kathrin.pascher@univie.ac.at)