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U of Missouri inks license for gene technologies to increase oil content in crops

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: May 30th, 2018

The University of Missouri (MU) has licensed two novel gene technologies to agricultural tech company Yield10 that increase oil content in crops.

Developed by a MU research team led by professor Jay Thelen, the genes C3007 and C3010 target the enzyme ACCase, which is involved in oil production in crops such as Camelina, canola and soybean.

“This enzyme has targeted previously for enhancing oil production without success,” says Oliver Peoples, president and CEO of Yield10. “Dr. Thelen used traditional GMO technologies to modify the C3007 gene and demonstrated increased oil production in the model crop Arabidopsis and is currently working on soybean. Dr. Thelen’s results clearly illustrate the importance of fundamental biochemical studies to address key aspects of crop metabolism.”

Yield10 will continue to develop and modify the gene technologies with the goal of delivering significant economic value for the commercialization of specialty oilseed crops.

“Discoveries around the biochemistry of a key enzyme in the fatty acid biosynthesis pathway by Dr. Thelen and his team represent an innovative approach to boosting oil content and yield in oilseed crops,” says Sam Bish, senior licensing and business development associate at the MU Office of Technology Management & Industry Relations.

“The license to Yield10 will allow the company to assemble and deploy advanced technologies to increase the amount of oil harvested from plants, an important renewable source of hydrocarbons for food, energy and livestock feeds,” says Bish. “The availability of healthy, edible oils is important for global food security.”

Source: Nasdaq

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