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Crop Biotech Update

Camelina Fatty Acid Composition Improved Using CRISPR

August 15, 2018

Camelina (Camelina sativa) fatty acids have important industry uses, such as for biodiesels or as nutritional supplements. Very long chain fatty acid (VLCFAs) are undesirable for human consumption and produced by the action of fatty acid elongase1 (FAE1). Camelina has three FAE1 alleles, namely, FAE1-A, FAE1-B, and FAE1-C, due to its allohexaploid nature.

Mehmet Erkan Ozseyhan from Montana State University investigated the effect of knocking out these alleles using CRISPR-Cas9. Homozygous FAE1-knockout mutants were successfully created in a single generation. Analysis of the generated mutants revealed a significant decrease in VLCFA accumulation from 22% to only 2% of the total fatty acids.

Analysis of the fatty acid composition after four transgenic generations indicated that the mutations that cause low VLCFA genotype were heritable. No significant difference was found in the growth and development of the FAE1-knockout mutants and wild types.

For more information, read the article in the Montana State University website.