• Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy;
  • nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR);
  • yellow seed;
  • black seed;
  • seed coat;
  • chemical composition



Yellow-seeded Brassica napus is preferred by breeders for economic reasons, and seed coat is the most obvious comparable character between yellow and black rapeseed.


Owing to an incomplete understanding of chemical components in yellow rapeseed coat, here we optimized a technique based on attenuated total reflectance–Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) microspectroscopy to screen differences in chemical compositions of Brassica napus, Sinapis alba and four progeny lines with different yellow seed color derived from somatic hybrids between B. napus and S. alba. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis of seed coat from B. napus and S. alba represented two specific peaks representing components of lignin in B. napus, which were absent in the progenies. Also, the intensity of peaks related to fiber were stronger in B. napus than S. alba and yellow seed lines, indicating the differences of fiber and lignin contents in yellow-seeded lines and parent lines. Differences in the lipid, protein and carbohydrate features were identified between B. napus and S. alba, some of which were specifically inherited in progenies of the somatic hybrids.


FT-IR spectrometry and NMR provide a rapid, direct bioanalytical technique for exploring the changes in molecular chemistry within the canola seed coat and for selecting rapeseed materials with high quality, which can be further used for breeding or nutrition of human and animals. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry