Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
AgriGenomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Crop Plants – "Green Factories" for Fish Oils

Published: Monday, November 25, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, November 25, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Rothamsted Research scientists develop Camelina sativa plants that accumulate high levels of Omega-3 oils EPA and DHA in their seeds.

Omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) have been shown to be beneficial for human health and the primary dietary sources of these fatty acids are marine fish either wild stocks or farmed fish (aquaculture). The increasing demand for fish oils puts pressure on the natural marine resources and highlights the need to identify alternative sustainable sources of Omega-3 LC-PUFAs. Rothamsted Research scientists, who receive strategic funding from the BBSRC, have successfully engineered the metabolic processes in the seed of false flax (Camelina sativa) to produce up to 12% EPA and 14% DHA. These amounts are very similar to those found in fish oil. The study is published in The Plant Journal.

The Omega-3 LC-PUFAs that are beneficial for health are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). They modulate both metabolic and immune processes and confer the health benefits in areas of Cardiovascular Heart Disease (CHD) and neurodevelopment*. Plant sources of Omega-3, e.g. Flax seed, do not produce EPA and DHA; instead they produce shorter chain Omega-3 fatty acids such as a-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA does not confer the health-beneficial properties associated with EPA and DHA, despite the former also being an Omega-3 fatty acid. The primary source for Omega-3 EPA and DHA are marine algae and diatoms and other photosynthetic organisms that comprise the phytoplankton. They are consumed by fish - and this is how fish accumulate these oils.

Dr Olga Sayanova, Rothamsted Research scientist funded by BBSRC said: "In this work we used as a starting point a plant that is rich in ALA which is the building block that is used to produce EPA and DHA Omega-3 oils. Having identified in marine algae and other photosynthetic marine organisms the essential genes required to make these beneficial oils, we assembled them together and we introduced them to the Camelina plant. In the first instance, we introduced five genes and on average 24% of the total oil content in the plant seed was EPA. Then we introduced seven genes and in that case on average 8% of the total oil content in the seed of the plant was DHA and 11% EPA. We had instances that these percentages were 14% and 12% respectively. The average accumulation of these oils in the transgenic Camelina plants is comparable to those found in fish oil but Camelina makes none of these naturally.

Professor Johnathan Napier, lead scientist of this project at Rothamsted Research said: "We are very excited with the results that we have achieved with this work. We have managed to generate a plant that can provide terrestrial sustainable sources of fish oils and this achievement can have potentially benefits for our health and the environment. Scientifically, it has been a great achievement as we had to understand really well the fundamental processes that underpin oil synthesis in seeds of plants in order to be able to reconstitute the synthesis of EPA and DHA in the seeds of Camelina."


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Expanding the DNA Alphabet: 'Extra' DNA Base Found to be Stable in Mammals
A rare DNA base, previously thought to be a temporary modification, has been shown to be stable in mammalian DNA, suggesting that it plays a key role in cellular function.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Controlling Leaf Blotch Disease In Wheat
Scientists have found a genetic mechanism that could stop the spread of a "devastating" disease threatening wheat crops.
Thursday, February 05, 2015
Rising Temperatures Predicted to Lower Wheat Yields
An international consortium of researchers has used big data sets to predict the effects climate change on global wheat yields.
Friday, December 26, 2014
UK And India Collaborate On Future-Proof Crops
Drought-tolerant tomatoes, improved wheat and grass pea could provide crops for the future.
Friday, November 28, 2014
Better Understanding of Disease Resistance Genes in Crops
Effector-triggered defence concept describes how plants protect themselves against the apoplast.
Friday, June 06, 2014
Public-private Research Partnership to Support Sustainable Agricultural Systems
The partnership will support projects that will help provide solutions to key challenges affecting the sustainability of the UK crop and livestock sectors.
Friday, May 23, 2014
A Synthetic Biology Approach to Improve Photosynthesis
Assembling a compartment inside chloroplasts of flowering plants has the potential to improve the efficiency of photosynthesis.
Friday, May 16, 2014
Green Vaccination: Boosting Plant Immunity Without Side Effects
A team of international researchers has uncovered a mechanism by which plants are able to better defend themselves against disease causing pathogens.
Tuesday, May 06, 2014
Rothamsted Research Granted Permission for new GM Field Trial
Permission granted by Defra for Rothamsted to carry out a field trial with GM Camelina plants that produce omega-3 fish oils in their seeds.
Monday, April 28, 2014
BBSRC, NSF Co-Fund International Arabidopsis Resource

Friday, March 14, 2014
Genetic traits in cattle identified that might allow farmers to breed livestock with increased resistance to bovine tuberculosis (TB)
The BBSRC-funded scientists compared the genetic code of TB-infected animals with that of disease-free cattle, could help to impact on a disease that leads to major economic losses worldwide.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
UK Establishes Three New Synthetic Biology Research Centres
Bristol, Nottingham and a Cambridge/Norwich partnership will be UK centres for synthetic biology.
Friday, January 31, 2014
£17.7M for Major Long-Term Research Projects to Harness the Power of Bioscience
Research for agriculture, health, alternatives to fossil fuels, and new commercial products.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Crop-Infecting Virus Forces Aphids to Spread Disease
Viruses alter plant biochemistry in order to manipulate visiting aphids into spreading infection.
Friday, December 06, 2013
Octocopter to Monitor Crops
BBSRC has invested in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology to monitor crops and crop experiments as part of several genetic improvement projects.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Scientific News
Tick Genome Reveals Secrets of a Successful Bloodsucker
NIH has announced that decipher the genome of the blacklegged tick which could lead to new tick control methods.
Custom Tuning Knobs to Turn Off Any Gene
Factory managers can improve productivity by telling workers to speed up, slow down or stop doing tangential tasks while assembling widgets. Unfortunately for synthetic biologists attempting to produce pharmaceuticals, microbes don’t respond to direction like human personnel.
Tick Genome Reveals Secrets of a Successful Bloodsucker
NIH-funded study could lead to new tick control methods.
New Method Promises to Speed Development of Food Crops
A new study addresses a central challenge of transgenic plant development: how to reliably evaluate whether genetic material has been successfully introduced.
Where Cancer Cells May Begin
Scientists use fruit fly genetics to understand how things could go wrong in cancer.
Key Enzyme in Pierce’s Disease Grapevine Damage Uncovered
UC Davis plant scientists have identified an enzyme that appears to play a key role in the insect-transmitted bacterial infection of grapevines with Pierce’s disease, which annually costs California’s grape and wine industries more than $100 million.
Bacteria Attack Lignin with Enzymatic Tag Team
Team from Rice, University of Wisconsin-Madison shows how nature handles lignin.
Milestone Resource in Wheat Research Now Available for Download
Leading on from The Genome Analysis Centre’s (TGAC) previous announcement of their new bread wheat genome assembly, the landmark resource is now publically available to download at the European Bioinformatics Institute’s (EMBL-EBI) Ensembl database for full analysis.
Nano-Reactor for the Production of Hydrogen Biofuel
Combining bacterial genes and virus shell creates a highly efficient, renewable material used in generating power from water.
Cleaning Wastewater with Pond Scum
A blob of algae scooped from a fountain on South Street almost two years ago, has seeded a crop of the green stuff that Drexel University researchers claim is more effective at treating wastewater than many of the processes employed in municipal facilities today.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!