The Importance, Origin, and Evolution

Chapter

Abstract

The family Brassicaceae constitutes one of the world’s most economically group of plants which includes important vegetable oilseeds and condiment crops. Amongst the crucifer crops, rapeseed is the main source of fats and oil and shown an upward trend during the past 25years (Kalia and Gupta 1997). Besides improvement in the nutritional profile of the Brassica oil and its meal, the conventional breeding as well modern biotechnological tools have led to the improvement of various agronomically important quantitative and qualitative characters. The nuclear restriction fragment length polymorphism technology has greatly aided in determining the degree of genetic variability among various Brassicas as well in studying their evolution pattern. The oldest references regarding origin and cultivation of rapeseed come from Asia, though the evolution of this crop took place in many countries throughout the globe. Lack of consistency in names, inclusion of too many forms in one species, and the entirely different forms of present day Brassicas from their ancestors make this genus a complex member of Brassicaceae and poses several taxonomic and classification problems. Still many attempts have been made to establish the origin of various Brassica species and their interrelationships through cytogenetic, chemotaxonomic, and molecular studies. The present chapter focuses on the importance origin and evolutionary developments in crucifers.

Keywords

Brassicaceae Rapeseed B. rapa B. juncea B. carinata Origin Evolution RFLP Oilcrops 

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Plant Breeding and GeneticsS.K. University of Agricultural Science and TechnologyChathaIndia

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