Introducing Camelina as a Model Crop in Our Lab

Camelina (Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz) also known as false flax or gold-of-pleasure is an ancient oilseed crop. Like the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana and rapeseed (Brassica napus). Camelina is a member of the Brassicaceae (Mustard) family.

Currently, Camelina is gaining tremendous research interests as an emerging oil seed crop due to its unique agronomic attributes such as a short crop cycle (80–100 days), high disease-pest resistance and stress tolerance. Importantly, Camelina oil contains high proportions of the polyunsaturated fatty acids linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid, when compared to soybean and canola oil.

Our aim is to generate several Camelina mutants with improved photosynthetic efficiency, abiotic stress tolerance (low temperature, water deficit, salinity, and high light), seed biomass and yield. In one of several independent attempts to improve Camelina properties we overexpress the vacuolar sugar transporter AtTST1 under control of a strong promotor. Latter approach already led in Arabidopsis to improved seed yield and seed properties (Wingenter et al., 2010)

Selected Publications

Wingenter K, Schulz A, Wormit A, Wic S, Trentmann O, Hörmüller H, Heyer AG, Marten I, Hedrich R, Neuhaus HE (2010) Increased activity of the vacuolar monosaccharide transporter TMT1 alters cellular sugar partitioning, sugar signalling and seed yield in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol. 154, 665-677 doi: 10.1104/pp.110.162040