Advertisement
PerkinElmer
PerkinElmer

Transgenic Plant Produces Omega-3s

Scientists identify a set of genes that direct the synthesis of omega-3 fatty acids in the seed oil of Camelina sativa.

By | January 3, 2014

Camelina sativaWIKIMEDIA, JOHANN GEORG STURM/JACOB STURMResearchers at UK biotech Rothamsted Research have generated a transgenic plant that produces omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are vital for normal metabolism. In a paper published in The Plant Journal last month (December 6), the researchers described a set of genes that regulate the synthesis of omega-3 fatty acids in the seed oil of the crop Camelina sativa. With directed expression of these genes, the transgenic C. sativa produces omega-3s at levels “equivalent to those in fish oils, and represent a sustainable, terrestrial source of these fatty acids,” the authors wrote in their paper.

“[W]e had to understand really well the fundamental processes that underpin oil synthesis in seeds of plants in order to be able to reconstitute the synthesis of EPA and DHA in the seeds of Camelina,” study coauthor Olga Sayanova said in a statement.

Study coauthor Johnathan Napier told New Scientist that while transgenic C. sativa cannot alone meet global demand for omega-3 fatty acid production, the plants could help “significantly take the pressure off fish stocks.” While fish oils are the primary source of natural omega-3s, some plant oils also contain these fatty acids. Aside from the transgenic C. sativa, omega-3 fatty acids are found flaxseed oil and hemp oil, among other plant sources.

Advertisement
The Scientist
The Scientist

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Comments

Avatar of: Iwona Grad

Iwona Grad

Posts: 7

January 6, 2014

Well, that should be some good news for wanting to stay healthy vegetarians, as long as they are not GMO-sensitive :)

Advertisement

Popular Now

  1. Neanderthal-Human Hybrid Unearthed
  2. Extra DNA Base Discovered
    The Nutshell Extra DNA Base Discovered

    An epigenetic variant of cytosine is stable in the genomes of living mice, suggesting a possible expansion of the DNA alphabet.

  3. Opinion: Too Many Mitochondrial Genome Papers
  4. Next Generation: Smart Insulin Patch
Advertisement
Advertisement
The Scientist