Applications of Molecular Markers for Developing Abiotic-Stress-Resilient Oilseed Crops

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Globally, abiotic stresses, such as temperature (heat or cold), water (drought and flooding), and salinity, cause significant losses in crop production and have adverse effects on plant growth and development. A variety of DNA-based molecular markers, such as SSRs, RFLPs, AFLPs, SNPs, etc., have been used to screen germplasms for stress tolerance and the QTL mapping of stress-related genes. Such molecular-marker-assisted selection strategies can quicken the development of tolerant/resistant cultivars to withstand abiotic stresses. Oilseeds such as rapeseed, mustard, peanuts, soybeans, sunflower, safflower, sesame, flaxseed, and castor are the most important source of edible oil worldwide. Although oilseed crops are known for their capacity to withstand abiotic challenges, there is a significant difference between actual and potential yields due to the adaptation and tolerance to severe abiotic pressures. This review summarizes the applications of molecular markers to date to achieve abiotic stress tolerance in major oilseed crops. The molecular markers that have been reported for genetic diversity studies and the mapping and tagging of genes/QTLs for drought, heavy metal stress, salinity, flooding, cold and heat stress, and their application in the MAS are presented.