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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

High level accumulation of EPA and DHA in field-grown transgenic Camelina - a multi-territory evaluation of TAG accumulation and heterogeneity

Han, Lihua; Usher, Sarah; Sandgrind, Sjur; Hassall, Kirsty; Sayanova, Olga; Michaelson, Louise V.; Haslam, Richard P.; Napier, Johnathan A.


The transgene-directed accumulation of non-native omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in the seed oil of Camelina sativa (Camelina) was evaluated in the field, in distinct geographical and regulatory locations. A construct, DHA2015.1, containing an optimal combination of biosynthetic genes, was selected for experimental field release in the UK, USA and Canada, and the accumulation of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) determined. The occurrence of these fatty acids in different triacylglycerol species was monitored and found to follow a broad trend irrespective of the agricultural environment. This is a clear demonstration of the stability and robust nature of the transgenic trait for omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in Camelina. Examination of non-seed tissues for the unintended accumulation of EPA and DHA failed to identify their presence in leaf, stem, flower, anther or capsule shell material, confirming the seed-specific accumulation of these novel fatty acids. Collectively, these data confirm the promise of GM plant-based sources of so-called omega-3 fish oils as a sustainable replacement for oceanically derived oils.


omega-3; Camelina; metabolic engineering; GM field trials

Published in

Plant Biotechnology Journal
2020, volume: 18, number: 11, pages: 2280-2291
Publisher: WILEY

Authors' information

Han, Lihua
Rothamsted Res
Usher, Sarah
Rothamsted Res
Rothamsted research
Hassall, Kirsty
Rothamsted Res
Sayanova, Olga
Rothamsted Res
Michaelson, Louise V.
Rothamsted Res
Haslam, Richard P.
Rothamsted Res
Napier, Johnathan A.
Rothamsted Res

UKÄ Subject classification

Plant Biotechnology

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