Use of Modern Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Tools to Improve the Quality Value of Oilseed Brassicas

  • S. K. Rai
  • Vanya Bawa
  • Zahoor Ahmad Dar
  • N. R. Sofi
  • S. S. Mahdi
  • Asif M. Iqbal Qureshi


Technological advancement has changed the future of plants, if we are talking about the use and applications of molecular marker systems. Different types of methods and use of molecular markers have been developed, which have geared advancements in sequencing technologies for crop improvement. These methods are now being applied to a range of crops and have good potential particularly for oilseed crops in terms of both overall food and non-food yield and the nutritional and technical quality of the oils. In this context, the targets include increasing overall oil yield and its quality, which covers a range of parameters. This chapter introduces some recent techniques in molecular markers and their recent applications in plant breeding, with special reference to oilseed brassicas. The progress made in molecular plant breeding, genomic selection and genome editing—such as marker-assisted selection, next-generation sequencing and transgenesis—has contributed to a more comprehensive understanding of molecular breeding techniques and provided deeper insights into the diversity of techniques available and, most importantly, their efficient utilization in oleiferous crops. Genotyping by sequencing and association mapping based on next-generation sequencing technologies have facilitated the identification of novel genetic markers. Use of informational RNA technology and Targeting Induced Local Lesions in Genomes (TILLING) techniques have opened the gateway for deciphering complex and unstructured populations. Remarkable progress in producing such oils in commercial crops by utilizing novel techniques has been made in recent years, with several varieties being released or at advanced stages of development.


Oilseed brassica Molecular plant breeding Next-generation sequencing Association mapping iRNA technology TILLING 


  1. Agarwal M, Shrivastava N, Padh H (2008) Advances in molecular marker techniques and their applications in plant sciences. Plant Cell Rep 27:617–631PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Araus JL, Slafer GA, Royo C, Serret MD (2008) Breeding for yield potential and stress adaptation in cereals. Crit Rev Plant Sci 27(6):377–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barret P, Delourme R, Renard M, Domergue F, Lessire L, Delseny M, Roscoe TJ (1998) A rapeseed FAE1 gene is linked to the E1 locus associated with variation in the content of erucic acid. Theory Appl Genet 96:177–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bernardo R (2008) Molecular markers and selection for complex traits in plants: learning from the past 20 years. Crop Sci 48:1649–1664CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Burns MJ, Barnes SR, Bowman JG, Clarke MHE, Werner CP, Kearsey MJ (2003) QTL analysis of an intervarietal set of substitution lines in Brassica napus: (i) seed oil content and fatty acid composition. Heredity 90(1):39PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cao Z, Tian F, Wang N, Jiang C, Lin B, Xia W, Shi J, Long Y, Zhang C, Meng J (2010) Analysis of QTLs for erucic acid and oil content in seeds on A8 chromosome and the linkage drag between the alleles for the two traits in Brassica napus. J Genet Genomics 37(4):231–240PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cheng J, Zhu LH, Salentijn EM (2013) Functional analysis of the omega-6 fatty acid desaturase (CaFAD2) gene family of the oil seed crop Crambe abyssinica. BMC Plant Biol 13:146PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cobb JN, DeClerck G, Greenberg A, Clark R, McCouch S (2013) Next-generation phenotyping: requirements and strategies for enhancing our understanding of genotype–phenotype relationships and its relevance to crop improvement. Theor Appl Genet 126(4):867–887PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Collins NC, Tardieu F, Tuberosa R (2008) Quantitative trait loci and crop performance under abiotic stress: where do we stand? Plant Physiol 147(2):469–486PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Darvasi A (1998) Experimental strategies for the genetic dissection of complex traits in animal models. Nat Genet 18(1):19PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Donlin MJ (2007) Using the generic genome browser (GBrowse). Curr Protoc Bioinformatics 17(1):9Google Scholar
  12. Edmeades GO, McMaster GS, White JW, Campos H (2004) Genomics and the physiologist: bridging the gap between genes and crop response. Field Crop Res 90(1):5–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fourmann M, Barret P, Renard M, Pelletier G, Delourme R, Brunel D (1998) The two genes homologous to Arabidopsis FAE1 co-segregate with the two loci governing erucic acid content in Brassica napus. Theor Appl Genet 96:852–858CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fu Y, Zhang D, Gleeson M, Zhang Y, Lin B, Hua S, Ding H, Frauen M, Li J, Qian W, Yu H (2017) Analysis of QTL for seed oil content in Brassica napus by association mapping and QTL mapping. Euphytica 213(1):17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gayen D, Ali N, Ganguly M, Paul S, Datta K, Datta KS (2014) RNAi mediated silencing of lipoxygenase gene to maintain rice grain quality and viability during storage. Plant Cell Tissue Organ Cult 118:229–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gilchrist EJ, Sidebottom CH, Koh CS, MacInnes T, Sharpe AG, Haughn GW (2013) A mutant Brassica napus (Canola) population for the identification of new genetic diversity via TILLING and next generation sequencing. PLoS One 8(12):e84303PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Guimarães EP, Ruane J, Scherf B, Sonnino A, Dargie J (eds) (2007) Marker-assisted selection: current status and future perspectives in crops, livestock, forestry and fish. Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, RomeGoogle Scholar
  18. Gupta V, Mukhopadhyay A, Arumugam N, Sodhi YS, Pental D, Pradhan AK (2004) Molecular tagging of erucic acid trait in oilseed mustard (Brassica juncea) by QTL mapping and single nucleotide polymorphisms in FAE1 gene. Theor Appl Genet 108:743–749PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Harvey BL, Downey RK (1964) The inheritance of erucic acid content in rapeseed (Brassica napus). Can J Plant Sci 44(1):104–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hasan M, Friedt W, Kühnemann Pons J, Freitag NM, Link K, Snowdon RJ (2008) Association of gene-linked SSR markers to seed glucosinolate content in oilseed rape (Brassica napus ssp. napus). Theor Appl Genet 116(8):1035–1049PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hu TT, Pattyn P, Bakker EG, Cao J, Cheng JF, Clark RM, Fahlgren N, Fawcett JA, Grimwood J, Gundlach H, Haberer G (2011) The Arabidopsis lyrata genome sequence and the basis of rapid genome size change. Nat Genet 43(5):476PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Liu S, Fan CC, Li JN, Cai GQ, Yang QY, Wu J, et al (2016) A genome-wide association study reveals novel elite allelic variations in seed oil content of Brassica napus. Theor Appl Genet 129:1203–1215.
  23. Montoya C, Lopes R, Flori A, Cros D, Cuellar T, Summo M, Espeout S, Rivallan R, Risterucci AM, Bittencourt D, Zambrano JR (2013) Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) analysis of palm oil fatty acid composition in an interspecific pseudo-backcross from Elaeis oleifera (HBK) Cortés and oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.). Tree Genet Genomes 9(5):1207–1225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Passioura JB (2010) Scaling up: the essence of effective agricultural research. Funct Plant Biol 37(7):585–591CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Peng Q, Hu Y, Wei R, Zhang Y, Guan C, Ruan Y, Liu C (2010) Simultaneous silencing of FAD2 and FAE1 genes affects both oleic acid and erucic acid contents in Brassica napus seeds. Plant Cell Rep 29(4):317–325PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pratap A, Gupta SK (2009) Biology and ecology of crucifers. In: Gupta SK (ed) Biology and breeding of crucifers. CRC, Boca Raton, FLGoogle Scholar
  27. Qiu D, Morgan C, Shi J, Long Y, Liu J, Li R, Weihmann T (2006) A comparative linkage map of oilseed rape and its use for QTL analysis of seed oil and erucic acid content. Theor Appl Genet 114(1):67–80PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Qu C, Jia L, Fu F, Zhao H, Lu K, Wei L, Xu X, Liang Y, Li S, Wang R, Li J (2017) Genome-wide association mapping and identification of candidate genes for fatty acid composition in Brassica napus L. using SNP markers. BMC Genomics 18(1):232PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Schranz ME, Lysak MA, Mitchell-Olds T (2006) The ABC’s of comparative genomics in the Brassicaceae: building blocks of crucifer genomes. Trends Plant Sci 11(11):535–542PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sharma R, Mohapatra T, Mukherjee AK, Sharma RP (1999) Molecular markers for seed oil content in Indian mustard. J Plant Biochem Biotechnol 8(2):99–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Shi J, Lang C, Wu X, Liu R, Zheng T, Zhang D, Chen J, Wu G (2015) RNAi knockdown of fatty acid elongase1 alters fatty acid composition in Brassica napus. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 466(3):518–522PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Shukla VK, Doyon Y, Miller JC (2009) Precise genome modification in the crop species Zea mays using zinc-finger nucleases. Nature 459:437–441PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Smooker AM, Wells R, Morgan C, Beaudoin F, Cho K, Fraser F, Bancroft I (2011) The identification and mapping of candidate genes and QTL involved in the fatty acid desaturation pathway in Brassica napus. Theor Appl Genet 122(6):1075–1090PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Song QX, Li QT, Liu YF, Zhang FX, Ma B, Zhang WK, Man WQ, Du WG, Wang GD, Chen SY, Zhang JS (2013) Soybean GmbZIP123 gene enhances lipid content in the seeds of transgenic Arabidopsis plants. J Exp Bot 64(14):4329–4341PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Stephenson P, Baker D, Girin T, Perez A, Amoah S, King GJ, Østergaard L (2010) A rich TILLING resource for studying gene function in Brassica rapa. BMC Plant Biol 10(1):62PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sun F, Liu J, Hua W, Sun X, Wang X, Wang H (2016) Identification of stable QTLs for seed oil content by combined linkage and association mapping in Brassica napus. Plant Sci 252:388–399PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Tsai H, Missirian V, Ngo K, Tran RK, Chan S, Sundaresan V, Comai L (2013) Production of a high efficiency TILLING population through polyploidization. Plant Physiol 161(4):1604–1614PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wang N, Shi L, Tian F, Ning H, Wu X, Long Y, Meng J (2010) Assessment of FAE1 polymorphisms in three Brassica species using EcoTilling and their association with differences in seed erucic acid contents. BMC Plant Biol 10:137–148PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wang X (2015, pii) Brassica database (BRAD) version 2.0: integrating and mining Brassicaceae species genomic resources. Database (Oxford):bav093. PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wendlinger C, Hammann S, Vetter W (2014) Various concentrations of erucic acid in mustard oil and mustard. J Food Chem 153:393–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Xiong M, Guo SW (1997) Fine-scale genetic mapping based on linkage disequilibrium: theory and applications. Am J Hum Genet 60(6):1513–1531PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Xu Y, Crouch JH (2008) Marker-assisted selection in plant breeding: from publications to practice. Crop Sci 48:391–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Xu JF, Long Y, Wu JG, Xu HM, Zhao ZG, Wen J, Meng JL, Shi CH (2015) QTL identification on two genetic systems for rapeseed glucosinolate and erucic acid contents over two seasons. Euphytica 205(3):647–657CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Yadava DK, Vasudev S, Naveen S, Mohapatra T, Prabhu KV (2012) Breeding major oil crops: present status and future research needs. In: Gupta SK (ed) Technological innovations in major world oil crops, volume 1: breeding, vol 1. Springer, New York, NY, pp 17–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Yu J (2013) Bolbase: a comprehensive genomics database for Brassica oleracea. BMC Genomics 14:664. PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zou J, Zhao Y, Liu P, Shi L, Wang X, Wang M, Meng J, Reif JC (2016) Seed quality traits can be predicted with high accuracy in Brassica napus using genomic data. PLoS One 11(11):e0166624PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. K. Rai
    • 1
  • Vanya Bawa
    • 1
  • Zahoor Ahmad Dar
    • 2
  • N. R. Sofi
    • 3
  • S. S. Mahdi
    • 3
  • Asif M. Iqbal Qureshi
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Plant Breeding and GeneticsSher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and TechnologyJammuIndia
  2. 2.Genetics, Plant Breeding & Biotechnology, DARS, BudgamSher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology of KashmirSrinagarIndia
  3. 3.MRCFC, KhudwaniSher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & TechnologyKashmirIndia
  4. 4.Genetics, Plant Breeding & Biotechnology, MRCFC, KhudwaniSher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology of KashmirSrinagar, Jammu and KashmirIndia

Personalised recommendations