Biotech Updates

Singapore Biodiesel Company Develops GM Jatropha

May 18, 2012

JOil, a Singapore-based bioenergy company, announced the development of a genetically engineered jatropha which produces better quality biofuel for automotive, aviation, and power generation industries. The GM jatropha has increased oleic acid content in the seeds.

According to Dr. Hong Yan, the chief scientific officer of JOil, the biofuel crop they developed is the first GM jatropha that has reached the final stages of approval for field trials. They expect that the commercialization of the GM crop would take place in three to four years because of the long regulatory process implemented for GM crops.

Professor Chua Nam-Hai, chairman of JOil's Scientific Research Steering Committee, said: "For bioenergy plants like Jatropha curcas, genetic modification will be important to introduce those desirable traits that are difficult to achieve through traditional breeding. With the availability of various platform technologies and good understanding of genes responsible for various traits, we can introduce many desirable traits into jatropha, such as better drought tolerance and better pathogen/insect resistance."

Read the media release at