An international consortium of academic and commercial seed companies from the USA, Canada, Europe and Israel have mapped the entire set of genes which make up canola (oilseed rape), revealing the scope of genetic diversity that exists within the crop.
The use of DNA markers has already enhanced canola breeding over the past three decades. However, understanding its whole genome, which is complex, diverse and unstable became a bottleneck in breeding.
Building a pan-genome database to unravel the broad genomic diversity in canola is key to expanding the crop’s productivity and will help increase its use for a range of applications, replacing lower quality vegetable oils and diesel fuels.
The consortium includes key players in the canola industry, including Bayer, Corteva, Nutrien and NuSeed. Each member contributed their own canola lines and received the full pan-genome comparison results.
The canola pan-genome will be used by the consortium members and following scientific publication, will be available to the entire canola breeding and research community to accelerate the genetic understanding of this important crop.
Elite lines with key commercial traits will be developed rapidly and bring better quality products to market.