April 23, 2014
SASKATOON – April 23, 2014 – Saskatchewan scientists have contributed key scientific resources to the oilseed crop known as Camelina with the publication of new research findings in the academic journal, Nature Communications1. The article published today, features technical details of Camelina’s genome sequence resulting from work conducted by scientists supported through Genome Prairie’s Prairie Gold project.
Camelina is an increasingly popular oilseed crop that is recognized for its potential as a viable and renewable industrial feedstock. The crop’s high oil content and fatty acid composition make it suitable for transformation into value-added industrial products such as jet fuel, biodiesel and lubricants. The crop is also well suited for Western Canadian growing conditions, with natural drought tolerance and resistance to diseases and pests such as blackleg and flea beetles.
“The development of a full genome sequence has deepened our understanding of the unique genetic factors underpinning the crop’s agronomic and oil profile” said Dr. Andrew Sharpe, Research Officer at the National Research Council of Canada. “This work reveals some of the complexities surrounding the Camelina genome and provides insights needed to pursue new possibilities for future improvement of the crop”.
Today’s journal article highlights how scientists have uncovered Camelina’s complex genome and relatively large chromosome number. Most notably, the crop maintains three distinct genomes that behave independently and in a similar fashion to other polyploid crops such as canola and wheat.
“Publication of the fully sequenced genome makes this work available for the research community while solidifying Canada’s leadership position in this emerging crop” said Dr. Isobel Parkin, Research Scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
“The Prairie Gold research team has developed an important resource that will play a fundamental role in allowing Canadian businesses to build value-added opportunities related to Camelina” added Dr. Reno Pontarollo, President and CEO of Genome Prairie.
The genome sequence and its annotation (gene models and protein sequences) are available for download at www.camelinadb.ca and also in a genome viewer format. The journal article is available in the April 23, 2014 edition of Nature Communications.
About Prairie Gold:
The Prairie Gold research project was made possible through a partnership between Genome Prairie, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the National Research Council Canada with funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Saskatchewan Ministry of the Economy. Additional information is available at www.prairiegold.ca.
About Genome Prairie:
Genome Prairie, a non-profit-organization, aligns partners and resources to develop and manage research projects addressing key regional priorities in the agriculture, human health, environment, energy, and mining sectors. These efforts are playing a central role in building the region’s reputation as a location of choice for innovation and commercialization. For more information, visit www.genomeprairie.ca
1 Kagale, S. et al. The emerging biofuel crop Camelina sativa retains a highly undifferentiated hexaploid genome structure. Nat. Commun. 5:3706 doi: 10.1038/ncomms4706 (2014).
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