The Successful development of 00-oilseed rape - also named canola (erucic acid free in seed oil and low glucosinolate content in the residual seed) has opened almost unlimited avenues into the food and feed markets. Oilseed rape is today the world's third leading oil crop and contributes both to the economies and health of people around the world. During the last decades, the demand for vegetable oils as food, non-food and biofuel has grown significantly. This demand was withstood due to improved agronomic developments, better processing methods and improvements in the varieties available. Yield however, varies in different countries, reflecting different input levels and production efficiency. This highlights the scope for crop improvement, and yield will continue to be the primary focus of many rapeseed improvement programs. Besides yield and yield stability iincreasing seed oil content and further improvement of oil and meal qualities has become one of the most important breeding criteria.
Modern varieties are based on a relative small subset of the available genetic diversity. Rapeseed is thus likely to respond strongly to programs aimed at selectively enhancing genetic variation for key economic input and output traits. This review outlines progress and future challenges for rapeseed breeding.