Disease resistant, stress tolerant GE mustard could replace rapeseed as source of vegetable oil, biodiesel

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University of Copenhagen and … Bayer CropScience have successfully developed a new oilseed crop that is much more resistant to heat, drought and diseases than oilseed rape [called rapeseed in US].

The mustard plant is similar to oilseed rape in many ways. … However, it is also a lot more robust when grown under arid conditions and upon exposure to diseases. Mustard is therefore an obvious candidate to replace oilseed rape.

“Until now it has been an undefeatable challenge that mustard seeds are full of the bitter defense compounds that give mustard its characteristic flavor. Consequently, the protein-rich seed meal that remains after the oil is pressed out of the seeds is useless as animal feed,” explains [professor] Barbara Ann Halkier [of the University of Copenhagen].

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[The scientists] have invented a technology that can keep the bitter defense compounds out of the seeds while maintaining them in the rest of the plant so that the plant can defend itself against herbivores and pathogens.

The Danish scientists have shown that the technology works in a model plant, while scientists from Bayer CropScience have implemented the technology in the fields and performed large field trials with the optimized mustard plants.

[Read the full study here (behind paywall)]

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Mustard seeds without mustard flavor: new robust oilseed crop can resist global warming

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