Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Food & Beverage Analysis
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

Global Food Security (GFS) Develops New Funding Programme
New programme of research to tackle resilience of the food system.
Tuesday, June 02, 2015
£4M to Fund Important Food Crops from BBSRC and NERC
Research projects designed with industry partners to maximize impact.
Tuesday, June 02, 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
New Test For Detecting Horse Meat
New test compares differences in chemical compositions of the fat found in meats.
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
UK Diet and Health Research Awarded £4M
Funding awarded to six projects investigating diet and health to enable the food and drink industry to meet the needs of UK consumers.
Wednesday, June 25, 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
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
How Bacteria Communicate with us to Build a Special Relationship
Research is a key step in understanding how our bodies maintain a close relationship with the population of gut bacteria.
Monday, February 17, 2014
New Funding to Create Healthier and Safer Food
BBSRC and the Technology Strategy Board invests £8.5M in almost 40 research projects.
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
More than Bread and Beer: the National Collection of Yeast Cultures
Yeasts are one of the earliest, if not the earliest, biological tools used by people.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
New Chromosome Map Points the Way Through Campylobacter’s Genetic Controls
The Institute of Food Research has produced a new map of the Campylobacter genome, showing the points where all of this pathogenic bacteria's genes are turned on.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Improved Ways of Testing Meat in the Food Chain
The horsemeat scandal has shown there is a need to improve, increase and expand current authenticity testing regimes.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
How Bacteria with a Sweet Tooth May Keep us Healthy
Some gut bacterial strains are specifically adapted to use sugars in our gut lining to aid colonisation, potentially giving them a major influence over our gut health.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Vaccinating Cattle Against E. coli Could Drastically Cut Human Cases
A recent study has shown that vaccinating cattle against the E. coli O157 bacterium could cut the number of human cases of the disease by 85%.
Friday, September 20, 2013
China Partnering Award to Deliver Safer Foods
A BBSRC China Partnership Award is helping Chinese scientists contribute to reducing the risks of food poisoning.
Thursday, September 05, 2013
Scientific News
Chemical Used to Replace BPA is Potentially Toxic
This study is the first to examine the effects of BPA and BPS on brain cells and genes that control the growth and function of organs involved in reproduction.
Toxic Pollutants Found in Fish Across the World's Oceans
Scripps researchers' analysis shows highly variable pollutant concentrations in fish meat.
Weight-loss Supplements Containing Raspberry Ketone May Be Harmful
New study by the researchers suggests that raspberry ketone may have several adverse effects.
Quantifying C. botulinum Spores
A study from the Institute of Food Research has provided new evidence on the background levels of spores of Clostridium botulinum in raw food ingredients that is helping the food industry deliver safe chilled foods more sustainably.
Single Molecule Detection of Contaminants, Explosives or Diseases
A technique that combines the ultrasensitivity of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) with a slippery surface invented by Penn State researchers will make it feasible to detect single molecules of a number of chemical and biological species from gaseous, liquid or solid samples.
Should I Throw Away Food Once a Fly Has Landed on it?
Flies can be a substantial annoyance and may also be a potential health risk.
New Year, Old Beer
A bottle of Alexander Keith’s beer has been keeping Dal Engineering prof Andrew MacIntosh busy at work this week.
Sensor Detects Toxins Leaching from Plastic
Engineers from Massey University have developed a highly sensitive device able to detect synthetic compounds that leach from plastic food packaging into the contained food or beverage.
New BPA Detection Tests
Scientists from the JRC developed fit-for-purpose analytical methods for the determination of bisphenol A and 12 similar substances (analogues) in food matrices to support possible future monitoring studies.
The MaxSignal Colistin ELISA Test Kit from Bioo Scientific
Kit can help prevent the antibiotic apocalypse by keeping last resort drugs out of the food supply.
SELECTBIO

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!