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Brassica : Harvesting the Genome, Diversity and Products

National networks:

The UK-Brassica Research Community (UK-BRC,  http://www.brassica.info/ukbrc/index.htm)  was established in 2000 to provide a for a wide range of public and private sector researchers in the UK. Annual meetings are held (with >80 attending in 2004), as well as participation in joint Arabidopsis network (GARNet) meetings. A UK-BRC email list currently has >100 subscribers, who also receive postings from www.brassica.info.   A list of members' research interests is maintained.

The Defra Oilseed Rape Genetic Improvement Network (OREGIN, http://www.oregin.info) was established to act as a focus for collation and dissemination of information relevant to Brassica oilseed crop improvement, with clear involvement of a range of public and private sector stakeholders. Resources being developed and placed in the public domain include reference B. napus diversity sets and mapping population (from IMSORB),  and pathogen isolate collections.

Communication and meetings

Annual meetings of the UK-BRC are held, and are representative of the R&D comunity

Stakeholder meetings of OREGIN are held at least once a year.

Interaction with Arabidopsis community:

The UK-BRC has close close co-operation and joint meetings with the Arabidopsis genomics community (GARNet), as well as contributing to the GARNish newsletter (http://garnet.arabidopsis.org.uk/garnish.html)

Sources of research support:

Public funders:

Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra)

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

Scottish Executive Environment & Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD)

Levy boards:

Home Grown Cereals Association (HGCA)

Horticultural Development Council (HDC)

The BBSRC provides funding for fundamental and strategic research.

Defra and SEERAD fund strategic and applied research to inform government policy or to provide pre-competitive input relevant to agriculture, environment, rural development or food.

Government sponsored schemes such as LINK provide a mechanism to encourage investment from the private sector in pre-competitive research and development.

The levy boards represent the requirements of farmers and growers and provide support for near-market and pre-competitive research and development.

Major topics of research include:

Genetics, map integration, comparative genomics, Physical map construction

QTL analysis, introgression lines

Oil composition and modification


Nutrient uptake and water use efficiency

Germination and seedling establishment


Plant architecture and developmental regulation

Flowering time

Gene flow, natural variation, genetic resources


BAC-based physical contigs maps anchored to Arabidopsis

SSR and SNP development

EST programme

Genetic resources

Reference mapping, introgression and diversity populations

Genetic linkage maps

SNP detection


Draft White Paper for Multinational Brassica Genome Project (MBGP);   12/01/2006

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