University of Saskatchewan

September 02, 2014   

U of S Scientists Participate in Developing New Oilseed Crop

February 04, 2010

Two University of Saskatchewan adjunct professors are participating in a four-year, $6.1-million plant research project that aims to unlock the potential of Canada’s next oilseed crop, the camelina plant (also known as False Flax).

The high oil-content member of the mustard family shows great potential in a number of commercially important areas, including:

  • a replacement feed for the aquaculture industry;
  • an alternative biofuel for jets;
  • a source of Omega 3s for the nutraceutical industry;
  • and a viable cash crop for Canada’s agricultural and seed crushing industry.

The project is a collaboration among researchers in Saskatchewan, Atlantic Canada, the U.S., and Europe.

The Atlantic research is funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency—Atlantic Innovation Fund (ACOA-AIF) which recently announced $2.8 million for the project, a significant part of the $6.1-million budget.

In Saskatchewan, the project has received $1.2 million and is co-funded by the Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Fund and the Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission, with support for student trainees also coming from the Industrial Oils Consortium of the Canadian Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Program.

Isobel Parkin, co-project leader, is a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada—Saskatchewan Research Centre (AAFC-SRC) and an adjunct professor in the U of S department of plant sciences. She is internationally recognized for her work in the genetics and genomics of the brassica genus of plants in the mustard family, and will apply her knowledge and experience to deciphering the genome of the camelina plant.

Dwayne Hegedus, also with the AAFC-SRC and an adjunct professor with the U of S department of food and bioproduct sciences works, is an established molecular biologist who will focus on determining and manipulating the seed composition of camelina.

For more about the project, visit: http://www.genomeatlantic.ca/popupNews.php?news_id=35

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