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Crop Biotech Update

Seed Weight, Maternally Controlled in Canola

September 26, 2018
The basis of seed weight variation in rapeseed or canola is explored through genetic, morphological, and cytological analyses. This variation is deemed important for domestication and crop improvement, but its regulatory mechanism is poorly understood. Although seed weight is theoretically influenced by the mother and the zygote itself, the exact contribution of each is unclear.

Researcher Hanzhong Wang from Oil Crops Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and colleagues primarily use RNA expression analysis to determine the mechanism responsible for seed weight. Results show correlation among pod length, pod wall photosynthetic area, carbohydrate content, and final seed weight. RNA expression is increased in genes related to seed development, cell division, nutrient reservoir, and ribosomal proteins in large seeds. The researchers concluded with seed weight being controlled primarily by the maternal source, specifically the mother's pod size.

For more information, read the article in Plant Biotechnology Journal.