Gene silencing technology boosts levels of monounsaturated fats in flax

Amid increasing use of RNAi as a crop-modification technology, a research team led by scientists at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization has published a report detailing the use of the gene-silencing technology to boost levels of a preferred oil in flax seeds.

The work, which appeared in Plant Cell Reports, demonstrates that RNAi can effectively inhibit target gene expression in flax in a tissue-specific manner, with the effects strongly and stably passed on to subsequent generations. It has also laid the groundwork for similar efforts in other crops, leading to a newly developed high-oleic safflower oil.

Flax is a commercially important crop with its fiber used to manufacture items such as linen, rope, and canvas, and its oil has long been used in industrial products such as paints and varnishes.

In recent years, there has been a shift in consumer demand away from polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as linoleic acid found in a form of flax oil commercialized as Linola toward healthier monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) such as oleic acid, CSIRO researcher Allan Green told GenomeWeb in an email. Due to this trend, Linola is no longer commercialized.

“Additionally, high oleic oils also have important industrial applications due to the higher oxidative stability,” Green and his collaborators from Viterra wrote in Plant Cell Reports.

Read full, original article: Researchers Report Data on Use of RNAi to Alter Linseed Oil Content

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend