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Radio Interviews Highlight Canola Breeding Program

Dr. Mukhlesur Rahman, NDSU canola breeder and Plant Sciences assistant professor, was interviewed by the Red River Farm Network about his work on heat and frost tolerance in canola.
Radio Interviews Highlight Canola Breeding Program

Mukhlesur Rahman

Dr. Mukhlesur Rahman was recently interviewed by Randy Koenen from the Red River Farm Network ( about the NDSU canola project and efforts to screen genetically diverse canola lines for both cold tolerance or frost hardiness and high temperature or heat tolerance.

Rahman has collected more than 400 genetically diverse canola lines from 29 different countries and is screening them, first in growth chambers and greenhouse settings with plans to field test lines, for genes for both frost hardiness and heat tolerance. Lines that show promise will be utilized to breed varieties that can be grown by North Dakota farmers. His research is funded by the Northern Canola Growers Association (

Traits affected by heat stress at flowering time that affect canola seed yield include a decrease in the number of pods per plant, pod length, the number of seeds per pod and seed weight. High temperature can significantly reduce seed yield, oil and protein content.

Early planting of canola can help avoid problems with heat stress at flowering, however, frost, which can damage young plants and adversely affect yield, can occur into late May in parts of North Dakota. Therefore, frost hardiness, or the ability to grow slowly and gradually harden plant tissue against frost damage is a desirable trait for North Dakota grown canola.

The interviews aired April 23 and 30, and can be heard by clicking the following links.

April 23, 2014 - NDSU Heat Tolerant Canola Breeding Program

April 30, 2014 - NDSU Frost Tolerant Canola Breeding Program

Author: Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384, karen.hertsgaard@ndsu)
Editor: Kamie Beeson, 701-231-7123,

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