Danish Researchers Develop Mustard with Less Toxins for Oil Production


Danish researchers might have made what could be a major breakthrough in terms of finding a new source of vegetable oil for food as well as produce biofuel. By removing the toxins of the mustard plant, the researchers believe they have found a new alternate oil source.

Mustard is far more robust than rapeseed as it can resist more types of pest and is more resistant to dry and hot environments, while not dropping its seeds on the ground as rapeseed does. However, the plant is filled with toxins, called glucosinolates, to defend itself against pests. These toxins can be detrimental or even poisonous when fed to farm animals in great amounts.

The Danish researchers, in collaboration with the seed company Bayer CropScience, managed to avoid the toxins accumulating in the seeds of the mustard plants. The new non-toxic variant of the mustard plant could be ready to hit Danish fields within 2-3 years. Bayer CropScience has already launched trials in Belgium using mustard plants with just one third of the toxins as the original plant.


This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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