Genetic Diversity and Germplasm Patterns in Brassica juncea

  • S. S. BangaEmail author
  • Shashi Banga
Part of the Sustainable Development and Biodiversity book series (SDEB, volume 10)


Crop Brassicas, also known by their trade name of rapeseed-mustard, belong to the family Brassicaceae. This family includes about 380 genera and over 3,000 species (Mabberley 1993). Crop Brassicas are the most important Brassiceae species that were domesticated as sources of vegetables, condiments, and edible oils. These crops include oilseed forms of Brassica napus, B. juncea, B. carinata, and three ecotypes of B. rapa. As per United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates, global rapeseed production during 2014/2015 was estimated to be 71.24 million metric tons ( European Union (24.07 MT), Canada (15.55 MT), China (14.70 MT), and India (6.85 MT) were major contributors. Different forms of oilseed brassicas are cultivated throughout the world. Winter type of B. napus predominates in Europe, China, and eastern United States. Spring forms of B. napus are grown in Canada and Australia. Winter B. juncea once occupied large tracks in China, until higher yielding forms of B. napus replaced it. Spring types of B. juncea are cultivated in the Indian subcontinent. It is also grown as a condiment crop in Europe (Vaughan and Hemingway 1959) and is at present an option for the drier ecologies of Canada, Australia, and even in northern United States. B. rapa, once an oilseed crop of global distribution, is now restricted to limited geographies with winter type of B. napus replacing it in Europe and higher yielding and disease resistant B. juncea replacing it in the Indian subcontinent. B. juncea is the principal winter oilseed crop in India. It covers over 90 % of the area under rapeseed-mustard crops. Despite its huge economic significance for Indian subcontinent, yield levels in B. juncea are stagnating. This is in spite of large-scale hybridizations and selection programs. Selection efficiencies of the breeding programs are also declining and there is growing concern over the absence of resistance sources for insect and diseases. Superior alleles from primary gene pools and the related species are being explored for transfer into the superior agronomic base in cultivated germplasm. These are needed to impart stability, wider adaptability, stress tolerance, oil quality, and increase productivity to meet the existing and emerging nutritional and industrial uses. This chapter describes the current status of genetic diversity in B. juncea.


Crop Brassicas Genetic diversity Germplasm Genomes Breeding 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Breeding and GeneticsPunjab Agricultural UniversityLudhianaIndia

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