Scientists discover sustainable way to increase seed oil yield in crops

phys.org | 11/9/2015 | Staff
SweetStuff33 (Posted by) Level 3
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Asst Prof Wei Ma from NTU Singapore discovered a sustainable way to demonstrate a new genetic modification that can increase the yield of natural oil in seeds by up to 15 per cent in laboratory conditions.

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) scientists have developed a sustainable way to demonstrate a new genetic modification that can increase the yield of natural oil in seeds by up to 15 per cent in laboratory conditions.

Method - Crops - Canola - Soybean - Sunflower

The new method can be applied to crops such as canola, soybean and sunflower, which are part of a multi-billion dollar industry that continues to see increasing global demand.

The research team led by Assistant Professor Wei Ma from NTU's School of Biological Sciences genetically modified a key protein in plants which regulates the amount of oil they produce. This results in larger oil reserves in the seed that primarily serves as an energy source for germination.

Team - Method - Protein - Wrinkled1 - WRI1

The team's patent-pending method involves modifying the key protein known as "Wrinkled1" or "WRI1", which regulates plants' oil production. After modification, the seeds have a wrinkled appearance, which is the basis for its scientific codename.

In the lab, these modified seeds have successfully displayed a seed oil increase that is able to produce up to 15 per cent more natural oils. The research findings were published in the scientific journal Plant Signaling & Behavior.

Plant - Seed - Oil - Component - Diet

"Plant seed oil is an essential component in our daily diet and the agricultural industry is seeking ways to maximise plants' yield while reducing environmental effects of crop cultivation, especially land use. Our research helps to increase the production of seed oil in a sustainable and cost-effective way, and it also opens up new doors in agriculture research," said Ma.

The ability to increase oil yield in a sustainable manner is expected to result in higher economic gain. Past research has shown that...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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