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Using vegetables to boost canola yield

Using vegetables to boost canola yield

An Alberta researcher will look at which genes from broccoli, cauliflower and other plants can support hybrid canola

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A University of Alberta scientist will be sifting through vegetable genes to find out which ones can help increase canola yield.

“We’ll be looking at the genes of cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and kale to identify which genes from these vegetables can increase seed yield in hybrid canola,” Plant Scientist Habibur Rahman told

Those vegetables belong to a species of plant known as Brassica oleracea. Others in this group include Brussels sprouts, collard greens and Savoy cabbage.

Rahman’s previous work proved that Brassica oleracea plants can improve canola hybrids because they carry genes for traits like early flowering and high oil content.

This research is an expansion of his past findings.

“Now that we know these plants can support canola, we’re going to pinpoint which genes are responsible for these benefits and use them to create better canola hybrids,” Rahman said.

But farmers shouldn’t expect to have these hybrids available to them soon.

He expects to test produce some of these hybrids in 2024-25 and field test them in 2025.

“From there, industry partners will have to decide which ones they approve of and use the parent line in their breeding program,” Rahman said. “You’re probably looking at six years before some commercial availability.”

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