New research has shown promise in identifying shatter-resistant genes in mustard plants

PROMISING RESEARCH: NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) researcher, Rosy Raman.

PROMISING RESEARCH: NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) researcher, Rosy Raman.

‘SHATTERING’ is one of the main value-robbing problems in canola.

And now new research promises to give producers a resistant gene that could turn the plight around.

For the first time, scientists have mapped shatter resistant genes in Ethiopian mustard plants, which offer plant breeders an option to manage pod shatter.  

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) researcher, Rosy Raman, said genes from the mustard, Brassica carinata, have the potential to address pod shatter in canola – a problem which can reduce yield by up to 50 per cent.

“We investigated the level of pod shatter resistance in Ethiopian mustard and identified sources which were 10 times more shatter tolerant than canola,” Dr Raman said.

“In hot, dry conditions canola pods can shatter and open to release seeds before harvest, causing yield and financial loss to growers.

“Canola, Ethiopian mustard and turnip are close relatives in the Brassica family and the introduction of pod shatter resistant genes into the turnip and canola gene pool could be used to produce fertile hybrids which will contain shatter resistant genes.”