chapter  6
24 Pages

Modication of Seed Oil Formation in Brassica Oilseed Species

The genus Brassica is the most economically important in the Brassicaeae tribe, containing both vegetable and oilseed species that are grown for both human consumption and industrial applications (Rakow, 2004). The most widely cultivated Brassica oilseed species (BOS) are B. napus, B. rapa, B. juncea and B. carinata, with B. napus and B. rapa representing most of the Brassica oilseed trade worldwide (Scarth and Tang, 2006). These BOS are an important source of both edible and industrial oils, and are one of the most important sources of vegetable oils worldwide after palm and soyabean (Canola Council of Canada, 2007). B. napus and B. rapa alone account for nearly $14 billion per year in economic activity across Canada (Canola Council of Canada, 2008), and it is anticipated that in Canada alone, a 50-75% increase in production will be required to keep pace with the growing demand for vegetable oil (Weselake et al., 2009). As a result, there is considerable interest in increasing seed oil content in BOS through breeding and biotechnology.