Worldwide increasing demand for vegetable oil and protein requires continuous breeding efforts to enhance the yield of oil and protein crop species.


The oil-extracted meal of oilseed rape is currently mainly used for feeding livestock, but efforts are undertaken to use the oilseed rape protein in food production. One limiting factor is the high lignin content of black-seeded oilseed rape that negatively affects digestibility and sensory quality of food products compared to soybean. Breeding attempts to develop yellow seeded oilseed rape with reduced lignin content have not yet resulted in competitive cultivars. The objective of this work was to investigate the inheritance of seed quality in a DH population derived from the cross of the high oil lines SGDH14 and cv. Express. The DH population of 139 lines was tested in field experiments in 14 environments in north-west Europe. Seeds harvested from open pollinated plants were used for extensive seed quality analysis. A molecular marker map based on the Illumina Infinium 60 K Brassica SNP chip was used to map QTL. Amongst others, one major QTL for acid detergent lignin content, explaining 81% of the phenotypic variance, was identified on chromosome C05. Lines with reduced lignin content nevertheless did not show a yellowish appearance, but showed a reduced seed hull content. The position of the QTL co-located with QTL for oil and protein content of the defatted meal with opposite additive effects, suggesting that the reduction in lignin content resulted in an increase in oil and protein content.