of China Australia Food Security Cooperation Initiative (CAFSCI)

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Oilseed Brassica improvement in China, India and Australia

Overview of Project

Oilseed brassicas are an extremely important crop in China and India. More than 6 million hectares are planted to B. napus (rapeseed) in China and B. juncea (Indian mustard) in India. Achieving canola quality oils (low in erucic acid and glucosinolates) is an aim for both countries. Germplasm with improved traits for both B napus and B juncea will be tested to improve canola quality oilseed production in China, India and Australia.

Brassica production in all three countries is limited by a number of key diseases and environmental stresses. Sclerotinia and white rust resistant traits are needed to reduce the losses these diseases cause. Agronomic traits such as drought tolerance and quality will also boost yields and oil quality. Molecular genetic and quality analysis can be used to determine key traits including quality, disease resistance and drought tolerance. The aims of the project are:

  • identifying and developing effective screening/evaluation protocols for each key trait,
  • identifying appropriate variability for key traits through use of screening protocols,
  • enhancing germplasm in all countries for key traits through selection and breeding, identifying heritability of key traits, genetic distance and heterotic pools (agronomic analysis, molecular analysis) by undertaking genetic variability/distance studies on germplasm from all countries, and;
  • developing and providing appropriate information on improved germplasm and disease epidemiology for incorporation into existing technology transfer protocols.
Project Dates

01 Jan 2004 - 31 Dec 2010


Department of Primary Industries - Victoria - Australia
South Australian Research and Development Institute - Australia
National Research Centre on Rapeseed-Mustard - India
Industry & Investment NSW - Australia
Oil Crops Research Institute - China
University of Western Australia - Australia
Punjab Agricultural University - India
Tata Energy Research Institute - India
Indian Council of Agricultural Research - India
Huazhong Agricultural University - China
Haryana Agricultural University - India
Department of Agriculture - Western Australia - Australia
Institute of Industrial Crops - China
University of Melbourne - Australia


Dr Phil Salisbury



03 8344 7315

Launch Website