Yield10 Bioscience, a major agricultural bioscience company, recently made an exciting announcement regarding their efforts to develop sustainable, land-based production of omega-3 oils through proprietary elite Camelina varieties. The company filed a request for a Regulatory Status Review (RSR) with the USDA-APHIS Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS) under the SECURE Rule, marking a significant milestone in its mission to revolutionize the omega-3 oil market.
Camelina, a versatile oilseed crop, has been identified by Yield10 as an ideal platform for the production of high-value omega-3 oils. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), are essential nutrients known for their health benefits in both animal feed and human nutrition. Traditionally, these omega-3 oils are primarily sourced from oily fish like salmon and mackerel, which obtain EPA through the consumption of algae. By utilizing Camelina to produce EPA, Yield10 aims to offer a sustainable alternative to harvesting ocean fish.
The RSR filing represents a crucial step in bringing their innovative product to market. While awaiting the regulatory response, Yield10 is focused on conducting seed scale-up activities to generate sufficient inventory for future grower contracts and regulatory compliance.
One of the key aspects of Yield10’s progress is their collaboration agreement with Rothamsted Research, a UK-based institution specializing in agricultural science. This partnership supports the development of omega-3 oils in Camelina and grants Yield10 an exclusive option to license Rothamsted’s omega-3 technology globally. This collaboration provides valuable expertise and advanced technology to enhance its product offerings.
Yield10 has strategically prioritized the deployment of EPA in Camelina as the initial oil profile for commercialization. Additionally, they plan to incorporate herbicide tolerance into their omega-3-producing Camelina varieties using advanced genetic technology. This will result in a robust trait package, making the crop more resilient and easier to manage for farmers.
In the future, Yield10 aims to expand its product range by developing Camelina varieties that produce both EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), another essential omega-3 fatty acid with numerous health benefits.
The SECURE Rule, published on May 18, 2020, has played a crucial role in enabling companies like Yield10 to pursue their genetic engineering endeavors with a streamlined regulatory process. This rule allows the USDA-APHIS to regulate genetically engineered organisms for plant pest risk with greater precision and reduces the regulatory burden for low-risk developments. With Camelina plants containing omega-3 traits being subject to regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the SECURE Rule streamlines the pathway to commercialization.
By leveraging its unique “Trait Factory” gene discovery platform, Yield10 is determined to establish a high-value seed products business focused on superior Camelina varieties. These varieties will be optimized for the production of feedstock oils, PHA bioplastics, and valuable omega-3 EPA and DHA oils. Furthermore, Yield10 plans to license its yield traits to major seed companies for commercialization in major row crops, including corn, soybean, and canola.
Yield10’s commitment to sustainable agriculture and innovative technology marks an important step towards providing a reliable and eco-friendly source of omega-3 oils. By reducing the reliance on fish-derived EPA and DHA, their efforts contribute to the conservation of ocean ecosystems while meeting the growing demand for these beneficial nutrients in the animal feed and human nutrition industries. As they await regulatory approval and continue their scale-up activities, the future looks promising for Yield10 Bioscience’s vision of transforming the omega-3 oil market.
Image provided by Yield10 Bioscience, Inc.