The effect of the number of pods on the main inflorescence (NPMI) on seed yield in Brassica napus plants grown at high density is a topic of great economic and scientific interest. Here, we sought to identify patterns of gene expression that determine the NPMI during inflorescence differentiation. We monitored gene expression profiles in the main inflorescence of two B. napus F6 RIL pools, each composed of nine lines with a low or high NPMI, and their parental lines, Zhongshuang 11 (ZS11) and 73290, using a Brassica 90K elements oligonucleotide array. We identified 4,805 genes that were differentially expressed (≥1.5 fold-change) between the low- and high-NPMI samples. Of these, 82.8% had been annotated and 17.2% shared no significant homology with any known genes. About 31 enriched GO clusters were identified amongst the differentially expressed genes (DEGs), including those involved in hormone responses, development regulation, carbohydrate metabolism, signal transduction, and transcription regulation. Furthermore, 92.8% of the DEGs mapped to chromosomes that originated from B. rapa and B. oleracea, and 1.6% of the DEGs co-localized with two QTL intervals (PMI10 and PMI11) known to be associated with the NPMI. Overexpression of BnTPI, which co-localized with PMI10, in Arabidopsis suggested that this gene increases the NPMI. This study provides insight into the molecular factors underlying inflorescence architecture, NPMI determination and, consequently, seed yield in B. napus.