Future Of Canola

The discovery of cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) in Bras-sica spp. a decade ago led to considerable research in developing new hybrids. Because B. napus spp. of canola are mainly self-pollinated, the development of hybrids requires cross-pollination. The CMS system has been perfected and is now used for the production of commercial hybrids. Future research should result in improved hybrids for commercial production. The application of biotechnology (and genetic engineering) will assist in the development of improved canola lines that mature early, are frost resistant, are resistant to pesticides, are blackleg tolerant, as well as higher yielding. B. napus varieties require long days to flower, so future research will develop lines that mature earlier without any loss in yield (8,31,35,94,95). New high protein lines will also be developed for B. napus varieties, whereas higher yields and oil content and modified fatty acid composition are the long-term goals for B. rapa breeding research programs. Biotechnology should also result in new lines with cold temperature hardiness and frost resistance that can germinate at much lower soil temperatures and permit early seeding. As breeders and genetic engineers manage to tailor rapeseed/canola, segregating the crop on the basis of specific characteristics will evolve. Processors may develop contracts with farmers to plant varieties that provide products with the desired end-use properties. In addition to the breeding programs, modifications in canola processing technologies will be sought to improve the finished products while being environmentally safe.

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