GMO plants could be ‘green factories’ for vital omega-3 fish oils

Scientists at the UK’s Rothamsted Research have developed a variety of Camelina sativa (flax) that produces Omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), that have been associated with cardiac health benefits. Flax naturally produces a form of Omega-3 fatty acid, but this form, a-linolenic acid, does not confer the same health benefits as EPA or DHA. Lead scientist Jonathon Napier and his colleagues were able to identify the genes in algae and other photosynthetic microorganisms, which naturally produce EPA and DHA, and isolate them. They then assembled the genes and introduced them into a Camelina sativa plant, which started to produce the oils. The Rothhamsted Research press release notes that the amount of EPA and DHA produced in the Camelina plant is camparable to levels found in fish oils.

Read the full, original story here: “Rothamsted Research scientists develop Camelina sativa plants that accumulate high levels of Omega-3 oils EPA and DHA in their seeds”

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