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Theor Appl Genet. 2006 Aug;113(3):497-507. Epub 2006 Jun 10.

Mapping of the loci controlling oleic and linolenic acid contents and development of fad2 and fad3 allele-specific markers in canola (Brassica napus L.).

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Dow AgroSciences, LLC, 9330 Zionsville Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268-1054, USA.


The quality of canola oil is determined by its constituent fatty acids such as oleic acid (C18:1), linoleic acid (C18:2) and linolenic acid (C18:3). Most canola cultivars normally produce oil with about 55-65% oleic acid and 8-12% linolenic acid. High concentrations of linolenic acid lead to oil instability and off-type flavor, while high levels of oleic acid increase oxidative stability and nutritional value of oil. Therefore, development of canola cultivars with increased oleic acid and reduced linolenic acid is highly desirable for canola oil quality. In this study, we have mapped one locus that has a major effect and one locus that has a minor effect for high oleic acid and two loci that have major effects for low linolenic acid in a doubled haploid population. The major locus for high C18:1 was proven to be the fatty acid desaturase-2 (fad2) gene and it is located on the linkage group N5; the minor locus is located on N1. One major QTL for C18:3 is the fatty acid desaturase-3 gene of the genome C (fad3c) and it is located on N14. The second major QTL resides on N4 and is the fad3a gene of the A genome. We have sequenced genomic clones of the fad2 and fad3c genes amplified from an EMS-induced mutant and a wild-type canola cultivar. A comparison of the mutant and wild-type allele sequences of the fad2 and fad3c genes revealed single nucleotide mutations in each of the genes. Detailed sequence analyses suggested mechanisms by which both the mutations can cause altered fatty acid content. Based on the sequence differences between the mutant and wild-type alleles, two single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers, corresponding to the fad2 and fad3c gene mutations, were developed. These markers will be highly useful for direct selection of desirable fad2 and fad3c alleles during marker-assisted trait introgression and breeding of canola with high oleic and low linolenic acid.

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