Crop Biotech Update

Rothamsted Research Submits Application for Field Trial of GM Camelina

January 29, 2014

Rothamsted Research submitted an application to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to conduct GM field trials that will evaluate the field performance of Camelina plants that accumulate omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) in their seeds.

The research scientists have modified Camelina sativa seeds using genes from marine algae, the primary organisms that produce such fatty acids. By using synthetic sequences of up to seven genes from marine algae, the scientists engineered Camelina plants to produce two key Omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), normally obtained from oily fish.

Rothamsted Research Acting Director Professor Martin Parry said that if they are granted permission, they will be able to assess in "real environmental conditions" the potential of contributing a more sustainable and affordable alternative way of providing fish oil.

 For more details about this research, read the news release at: http://www.rothamsted.ac.uk/news/rothamsted-research-submits-application-defra-permission-carry-out-gm-field-trial.