Rapid-cycling populations of six economically important species in the genus Brassica have unusual potential for resolving many problems in plant biology and for use in education. Rapid-cycling brassicas can produce up to ten generations of seed per year and serve as models for research in genetics, host-parasite relations, molecular biology, cell biology, plant biochemistry, population biology, and plant breeding. Brassicas are a highly diverse group of crop plants that have great economic value as vegetables and as sources of condiment mustard, edible and industrial oil, animal fodder, and green manure. These plants can also be used in the classroom as convenient, rapidly responding, living plant materials for "hands on" learning at all levels of our educational system.
Rapid-Cycling Populations of Brassica