Biotech Updates

Arvegenix Attempt to Domesticate Pennycress for Biofuel Production

March 18, 2015

Pennycress or "stinkweed" (Thlaspi arvense) has caught the attention of officials of Arvegenix, a St. Louis science startup company. This is because pennycress seeds have the potential to produce the world's next big biofuel as well as to provide feed for livestock.

Biofuel from pennycress seeds, "could end up in your tank, if you drive a diesel powered car or truck," said Jerry Steiner, the chief executive of Arvegenix. "We clearly could also make jet fuel, and provide the feedstock for some bio-based lubricants as well."

However, pennycress has to be domesticated before it could happen, and that is what Arvegenix aims to do. The company is now focusing on the development and genetic improvement of field pennycress to turn it into a beneficial crop scientifically and rapidly through modern breeding techniques.