Many crop species have polyploid genomes that are unlikely to be sequenced to a high standard in the near future, representing a barrier to genomics-based breeding. As an exemplar, we sequenced the leaf transcriptome to analyse both sequence variation1 and transcript abundance across a mapping population of oilseed rape (Brassica napus), together with representatives of ancestors of the parents of the population. Twin SNP linkage maps were constructed, comprising 23,037 markers in all. These were used to analyse the genome for alignment to that of a related species, Arabidopsis thaliana, and to genome sequence assemblies of the progenitor species of B. napus. Methods were developed that enabled us to detect genome rearrangements and track inheritance of genomic segments, including the outcome of an inter-specific cross. This transformative advance, enabling economical high-resolution dissection of the genomes of most, if not all, crop species, will enable us to understand the genetic consequences of breeding and domestication, and will underpin the development of efficient predictive breeding strategies.