Since their domestication, Brassica oilseed species have undergone progressive transformation allied with the development of breeding and molecular technologies. The canola (Brassica napus) crop has rapidly expanded globally in the last 30 years with intensive innovations in canola varieties, providing for a wider range of markets apart from the food industry. The breeding efforts of B. napus, the main source of canola oil and canola meal, have been mainly focused on improving seed yield, oil quality, and meal quality along with disease resistance, abiotic stress tolerance, and herbicide resistance. The revolution in genetics and gene technologies, including genetic mapping, molecular markers, genomic tools, and gene technology, especially gene editing tools, has allowed an understanding of the complex genetic makeup and gene functions in the major bioprocesses of the Brassicales, especially Brassica oil crops. Here, we provide an overview on the contributions of these technologies in improving the major traits of B. napus and discuss their potential use to accomplish new improvement targets.
Keywords: Brassica napus; canola; disease resistance; gene technology; genetics; genomics.