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.