From The Polyploidy Portal

Rapid-Cycling Brassica in Research and Education

Over the past 25 years, rapid-cycling Brassica (RCBr) stocks developed from six species have become important model organisms for research and education. Researchers and educators turn to RCBr lines for their short generation time, small size and their relevance to commercial Brassica varieties. The Wisconsin Fast Plants program (WFP), which utilizes RC B. rapa, has allowed millions of students to observe a complete plant life cycle while answering experimental question about plant development, physiology, genetics and ecology. There is an increasing need for tools that will allow educators to help students bridge the conceptual gap between classical genetics and genomics. Here, we suggest that RCBr may be well suited for this role. We will discuss both research and educational applications of RCBr side by side reflecting our belief that there need be little distance between these two important pursuits. We hope that examples presented here convince researchers studying the Brassicaceae that many discoveries can be adopted for educational use. Combining research and education can be professionally satisfying to a scientist. Also, funding agencies have increased interest in projects with meaningful educational components.


Himelblau E, Lauffer D, Teutonico R, Pires J C, & Osborn T (2004) Rapid-cycling Brassica in research and education. In: Pua EC and Douglas CJ [eds.], Biotechnology in agriculture and forestry, vol. 54, 13–28. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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