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Optimisation of the RAPeSeed Oil content anD Yield under low Nitrogen input: improving breeding of adapted varieties using genetics and genomics

The Rapsodyn Project


Context and Issues

The worldwide oilseed production will be faced to an increasing demand in the next 30 years catapulted by a combination of factors, including: 1) higher consumption for edible oil, 2) development of the biofuel industry, and 3) needs for green chemistry.

In a context of stable cultivated land surfaces, a significant increase in yield for oil crops is needed. Rapeseed is the major oil crop in France, in EU-27 and the third main oil crop worldwide and can partly fulfill this challenge. However, despite its outstanding economical importance, rapeseed has a negative image in terms of sustainability development due to its dependence on inorganic nitrogen (N) combined with low nitrogen use efficiency (NUE).


Improving oil yield per hectare and NUE are the main final targets of RAPSODYN, along with a better understanding of both hybrid value and genotype x N interaction. Therefore RAPSODYN aims at 1) identifying favorable alleles at loci contributing to phenotypic variation, 2) characterizing N-traits at the functional level (from molecular determinants to crop integrative processes) and 3) providing robust multilocus SNP-based predictors of the breeding value of agronomical traits under polygenic control. Moreover, RAPSODYN will allow the identification of new genetic variability for improvement of these traits.

The general ambition is to deliver the right nutrient rate at the right time on the right rapeseed variety grown under the right environment.


RAPSODYN will develop resolutive tools, methods and plant material for association mapping and ecophysiological studies of oil yield under abiotic stresses (limited and fluctuated N resources), down to the evaluation of new breeding methods and the generation of molecular and innovative toolkit that will support the selection of improved rapeseed varieties, and adaptation of accurate cultural practice recommendations.


The Rapsodyn project combines 16 public and private partners

9 academic labs:

  • UMR1349 IGEPP (Rennes) – INRA, Agrocampus-Ouest, Univ. Rennes1
  • UMR0950 EVA (Caen) – INRA, Univ. Caen Basse Normandie
  • UMR1091 EGC (Grignon) – INRA, AgroParisTech
  • UMR211 Agronomie (Grignon) – INRA, AgroParisTech
  • UMR1318 IJPB (Versailles) – INRA, AgroParisTech
  • UMR1215 GAEL (Grenoble) – INRA, Univ. Pierre Mendès France
  • UR1164 URGI (Versailles) – INRA
  • UMR6074 (Rennes) – CNRS, IRISA, Univ. Rennes , INSA, ENS
  • UR TERE (Rennes) – IRSTEA

7 companies (5 rapeseed breeders):

  • Biogemma (Toulouse, Clermont)
  • Cetiom (Grignon)
  • Euralis (Toulouse)
  • Limagrain Europe (Verneuil)
  • Maisadour Semences (Mont de Marsan)
  • RAGT R2n (Rodez)
  • Syngenta Seeds (Toulouse)

Funding and Support

Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Commissariat Général aux Investissements, Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche

Modification date: 06 February 2023 | Publication date: 06 December 2012 | By: IGEPP