Genetic variation and inheritance of oil content, fatty acid and other seed quality traits in oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.)

Improvement of oil content in oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) has been studied for decades and since traits like oil content are under control of many genes, there will be need for continuous improvement of oil content and associated seed traits in oilseed rape by genetic analysis. In the previous work, a cultivar SGDEH13 was identified to produce highest oil content and normal oleic acid among double haploid (DH) population studied. The aim of this project is to further investigate the genetic variation and inheritance oil and fatty acid content and other seed quality traits in different doubled haploid populations and in a genetic diverse set of winter oilseed rape genotypes. Field experiments will be conducted in two consecutive years at different locations in Northwestern Europe. In order to determine the genetic variation, inheritance and environmental influence, all populations will be scored, during vegetative growth, for beginning of flowering (BOF), end of flowering (EOF) and plant height at the end of flowering. Bulk seed samples harvested from 10 open pollinated plants will be for contents of oil, protein, protein of defatted meal, glucosinolates, fatty acids and fibres. The results obtained will also reveal genotypes with high oil content and high oleic acid contents and relationships between fatty acid composition and oil content. Seed quality traits will be used to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) for oil content and fatty acid contents using linkage mapping and association mapping based on Illumina Infinium 15K and 60k SNP chip. The results will show if there is a significant association between SNP markers and fatty acid composition and seed oil content and will furthermore allow the identification of underlying candidate genes involves in phenotypic expression for increased oil content and oleic acid. Attempts will be made to develop locus specific primer pairs to map genes in the populations for validation of marker trait association.