Brassica pp 13-28 | Cite as

Rapid-Cycling Brassica in Research and Education

  • E. Himelblau
  • D. Lauffer
  • R. Teutonico
  • J. C. Pires
  • T. C. Osborn
Part of the Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry book series (AGRICULTURE, volume 54)


Over the past 25 years, rapid-cycling Brassica (RCBr) stocks developed from six species have become important model organisms for research and education. Researchers and educators turn to RCBr lines for their short generation time, small size and their relevance to commercial Brassica varieties. The Wisconsin Fast Plants (WFP) Program, which utilizes RC B. rapa, has allowed millions of students to observe a complete plant life cycle while answering experimental questions about plant development, physiology, genetics and ecology. There is an increasing need for tools that will allow educators to help students bridge the conceptual gap between classical genetics and genomics. Here, we suggest that RCBr may be well suited for this role.We will discuss both research and educational applications of RCBr side by side, reflecting our belief that there need be little distance between these two important pursuits.We hope that examples presented here convince researchers studying the Brassicaceae that many discoveries can be adapted for educational use. Combining research and education can be professionally satisfying to a scientist. Also, funding agencies have increased interest in projects with meaningful educational components.


Brassica Species Herbicide Resistance Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism Brassica Genome Cabbage Root 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Blakeslee AD (1941) Effect of induced polyploidy in plants. Am Nat 75: 117–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cavan G, Cussans J, Moss S (2001) Managing the risks of herbicide resistance in wild oat. Weed Sci 49: 236–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Charron CS, Kopsell DA, Randle WM, Sams CE (2001) Sodium selenate fertilisation increases selenium accumulation and decreases glucosinolate concentration in rapid-cycling Brassica oleracea. J Sci Food Agric 81: 962–966CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Clough SJ, Fengler KA, Yu IC, Lippok B, Smith RK Jr, Bent AF (2000) The Arabidopsis dnd1 “defense, no death” gene encodes a mutated cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channel. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 97: 9323–9328PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Comai L (2000) Genetic and epigenetic interactions in allopolyploid plants. Plant Mol Biol 43: 387–399PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Comai L, Tyagi AP, Winter K, Holmes-Davis R, Reynolds SH, Stevens Y, Byers B (2000) Phenotypic instability and rapid gene silencing in newly formed Arabidopsis allotetraploids. Plant Cell 12: 1551–1568PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Devine MD, Shukla A (2000) Altered target sites as mechanisms of herbicide resistance. Crop Protection 19: 881–889CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. de Vries J, Wackernagel W (1998) Detection of nptII (kanamycin resistance) genes in genomes of transgenic plants by marker-rescue transformation. Mol Gen Genet 257: 606–613PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Friend DJC, Helson VA (1966) Brassica campestris L.: floral induction by one long day. Science 153: 1115–1116Google Scholar
  10. Gomez-Campo C (1999) Biology of crassica coenospecies, 4th edn. Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  11. Hall AE, Fiebig A, Preuss D (2002) Beyond the Arabidopsis genome: opportunities for comparative genomics. Plant Physiol 129: 1439–1447PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jensen EB, Felkl G, Kristiansen K, Andersen SB (2002) Resistance to the cabbage root fly, Delia radicum, within Brassica fruticulosa. Euphytica 124: 379–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jyoti JL, Shelton AM, Earle ED (2001) Identifying sources and mechanisms of resistance in crucifers for control of cabbage maggot ( Diptera: Anthomyiidae). J Econ Entomol 94: 942–949Google Scholar
  14. Kashkush K, Feldman M, Levy AA (2002) Gene loss, silencing and activation in a newly synthesized wheat allotetraploid. Genetics 160: 1651–1659PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Konieczny A, Ausubel FM (1993) A procedure for mapping Arabidopsis mutations using co-dominant ecotype-specific PCR-based markers. Plant J 4: 403–410PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lagercrantz U, Lydiate D (1996) Comparative genome mapping in Brassica. Genetics 144: 1903–1910PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Lan TH, Paterson AH (2000) Comparative mapping of quantitative trait loci sculpting the curd of Brassica oleracea. Genetics 155: 1927–1954PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Levin DA (1983) Polyploidy and novelty in flowering plants. Am Nat 122: 1–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Liu B, Wendel JF (2002) Non-Mendelian phenomenon in allopolyploid genome evolution. Curr Genom 3: 489–505CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Madlung A, Masuelli RW, Watson B, Reynolds SH, Davison J, Comai L (2002) Remodeling of DNA methylation and phenotypic and transcriptional changes in synthetic Arabidopsis allotetraploids. Plant Physiol 129: 733–746PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Masterson J (1994) Stomatal size in fossil plants–evidence for polyploidy in the majority of angiosperms. Science 264: 421–424PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Maungprom A, Maureira IJ, Osborn TC (2002) Effects of a dwarf gene transferred from rapid cycling Brassica rapa to canola (B. napus). Paper presented at ASA, CSSA, SSSA Annual Meeting, Madison, WIGoogle Scholar
  23. Musgrave ME (2000) Realizing the potential of rapid-cycling Brassica as a model system for use in plant biology research. J Plant Growth Regul 19: 314–325PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Osborn TC, Pires JC, Auger DL, Chen ZJ, Lee H-S, Comai L, Madlung A, Doerge RW, Colot V, Martienssen RA (2003) Understanding mechanisms of novel gene expression in polyploids. Trends Genet 19: 141–147PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rahman MH (2001) Inheritance of petal color and its independent segregation from seed color in Brassica rapa. Plant Breed 120: 197–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ramsey J, Schemske DW (2002) Neopolyploidy in flowering plants. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 33: 589–639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Randolph LF (1941) An evaluation of induced polyploidy as a method of breeding crop plants. Am Nat 75: 347–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sebastian RL, Kearsey MJ, King GJ (2002) Identification of quantitative trait loci controlling developmental characteristics of Brassica oleracea L. Theor Appl Genet 104: 601–609PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sleeman JD, Dudley SA (2001) Phenotypic plasticity in carbon acquisition of rapid-cycling Brassica rapa L. in response to light quality and water availability. Int J Plant Sci 162: 297–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Soltis DE, Soltis PS (1993) Molecular data and the dynamic nature of polyploidy. Crit Rev Plant Sci 12: 243–273Google Scholar
  31. Soltis DE, Soltis PS (1995) The dynamic nature of polyploid genomes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 92: 8089–8091PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Stout SC, Porterfield DM, Briarty LG, Kuang A, Musgrave ME (2001) Evidence of root zone hypoxia in Brassica rapa L. grown in microgravity. Int J Plant Sci 162: 249–255PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Teutonico RA, Osborn TC (1994) Mapping of RFLP and quantitative trait loci in Brassica rapa and comparison to linkage maps of B. napus, B. oleracea and Arabidopsis thaliana. Theor Appl Genet 89: 885–894Google Scholar
  34. Thomzik JE (1995) Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of stem disks from oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.). Methods Mol Biol 44: 79–85PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Tsunoda S, Hinata K, Gomez-Campo C (eds) (1980) Brassica crops and wild alleles. Japan Scientific Societies Press, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  36. U N (1935) Genome analysis in Brassica with special reference to the experimental formation B. napus and peculiar mode of fertilization. Jpn J Bot 7: 389–452Google Scholar
  37. Wendel JF (2000) Genome evolution in polyploids. Plant Mol Biol 42: 225–249PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Williams PH (1995) Exploring Wisconsin fast plants. Kendall/Hunt, DubuqueGoogle Scholar
  39. Williams PH, Hill CB (1986) Rapid-cycling populations of Brassica. Science 232: 1385–1389PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wolfe KH (2001) Yesterday’s polyploids and the mysteries of diploidization. Nat Rev Genet 2: 333–341PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Himelblau
    • 1
  • D. Lauffer
    • 2
  • R. Teutonico
    • 3
  • J. C. Pires
  • T. C. Osborn
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Natural ScienceLong Island University, Southampton CollegeSouthamptonUSA
  2. 2.Wisconsin Fast Plants ProgramUniversity of Wisconsin Madison, Science HouseMadisonUSA
  3. 3.College of Integrated Science & TechnologyJames Madison University – MSC 4101HarrisonburgUSA
  4. 4.Department of AgronomyUniversity of Wisconsin MadisonMadisonUSA

Personalised recommendations