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**Botanical Characteristics and Taxonomy**:
– Brassica napus grows up to 100 centimeters in height with distinct leaf characteristics.
Rapeseed flowers are bright yellow, and its pods ripen to brown.
– Belongs to the Brassicaceae family as a subspecies with the autonym B. napus subsp. napus.
– Resulted from hybridization between B. oleracea and B. rapa, forming a digenomic amphidiploid species.

**Cultivation and Ecology**:
Rapeseed cultivation dates back 10,000 years.
– Winter rapeseed is grown in Europe and Asia, while spring rapeseed is cultivated in Canada, northern Europe, and Australia.
– High nutrient demands and wind-pollinated nature.
– Climate change impact expected to decrease cultivable range and crop quality, prompting the search for alternative Brassica varieties.

**Diseases, Pests, and Genetic Research**:
– Main diseases include canker, light leaf spot, and stem rots.
– Soil-borne diseases like sclerotinia and clubroot affect rapeseed.
– Insect pests include brassica pod midge, cabbage seed weevil, and cabbage stem flea beetle.
– Transgenic rapeseed shows promise for disease resistance.
– SNP arrays widely used in molecular breeding for B. napus.

**Commercial and Regulatory Aspects**:
– Canola promoted by Canadian scientists in 1973, leading to increased cultivation.
– Legal battles over GMO cultivars like Roundup Ready Canola.
– Global rapeseed production increased significantly, opening up the edible oil market.
Rapeseed oil used for edible oils, animal feed, and biodiesel, positioning it as a significant source of vegetable oils for biodiesel.

**Industrial and Alternative Uses**:
Rapeseed processed for high-protein animal feed and biodiesel production.
– Used as a cover crop to prevent soil erosion and as forage for livestock.
– Main forage crop for honeybees, producing rapeseed honey with unique properties.
– Research on rapeseed’s potential post-Chernobyl for containing radionuclides in soil.

Rapeseed (Wikipedia)

Rapeseed (Brassica napus subsp. napus), also known as oilseed rape, is a bright-yellow flowering member of the family Brassicaceae (mustard or cabbage family), cultivated mainly for its oil-rich seed, which naturally contains appreciable amounts of erucic acid. The term "canola" denotes a group of rapeseed cultivars that were bred to have very low levels of erucic acid and which are especially prized for use as human and animal food. Rapeseed is the third-largest source of vegetable oil and the second-largest source of protein meal in the world.

Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Brassicales
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Brassica
B. napus
Binomial name
Brassica napus

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