Oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) is the source of one of the healthiest edible oils for human consumption. Since food security will be challenged by the growth of the world’s population, reaching 9.7 billion people in the next 50 years, increasing the demand for food, vegetable oils for human consumption, feed, and biofuel, new strategies are needed to satisfy the growing demand for oilseed rape. One of such strategies revolves around making use of plasticity in oilseed rape. Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of a plant genotype to modify its phenotypic expression in response to the local environmental conditions.
This thesis evaluated the plastic response of oilseed rape to environmental factors and agronomic practices by identifying the main drivers and mechanisms underlying plant carbon and nitrogen distribution, with emphasis on the interaction between plant carbon status with plant architectural traits and physiological traits associated with seed yield. This provides important information to improve the understanding of the mechanisms underlying yield formation and to define potential breeding targets for improving seed yield in oilseed rape.