Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Reveals Mechanism to Enhance Rapeseed's Oil Yield

November 28, 2012

A research study sponsored by the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) was able to identify method to increase the production of oil in the UK rapeseed (Brassica napus). Scientists used RNA interference (RNAi) to switch off the enzyme responsible for oil breakdown in the plant, specifically for the duration of seed development. This results to the accumulation of around 8% more oil in the seed.

The research team, however, believes that further work would be required to establish the efficacy of this method in the field, and also to investigate whether it could be applied to other oilseed crops, or could be successfully combined with alternative approaches to boost yield.

View Rothamsted Research's news release at