Sustainable sources of health-benefitting long-chain omega-3 oils: A journey from gene discovery to a new oilseed plant – canola-DHA

Thursday March 9
Session 2: Exploration of marine biomass
09:05

Sustainable sources of health-benefitting long-chain omega-3 oils: A journey from gene discovery to a new oilseed plant – canola-DHA

Peter Nichols, Research Scientist
CSIRO, Australia

Research by: Peter D. Nichols, James R. Petrie, & Surinder P. Singh

To meet increasing demand for long-chain (≥​C20) omega-3 oils, there is a need for an alternative and sustainable source of EPA and DHA.  Markedly changed diets have led to many farmed seafood products containing more omega-6 than omega-3 oil.  We have therefore focused on maximising the production of DHA in oilseed.  Our CSIRO team has transitioned DHA production in seed from the model species Arabidopsis through to Camelina, Brassica juncea and the target crop Brassica napus (canola), with a commercial partner – Nuseed-Global also joining the R&D effort.  DHA levels that now exceed those typically found in bulk fish oil have been achieved in all these species.  We will describe aspects of the gene selection, the transgenic plants, and seed oil fatty acid profiles, and will also discuss the characteristics of this new oil in the context of potential downstream applications. An Australian-New Zealand fish oils case study will also be covered.