Genome Prairie

IBOC

Boosting the Value of Canola Seed

The Improving Brassica Oil Content (IBOC) project was a joint Alberta - Saskatchewan project initiated to provide a better understanding of the overall metabolic events in the seed, the relationship between the embryo, endosperm and seed coat and their contributions to the process of oil accumulation. Understanding the mechanisms that govern seed oil accumulation is critical in designing strategies for increasing seed oil content as well as for the production of specialty oils containing value-added fatty acids for health and non-food industrial applications.

Research ResultsResearch Results

As much as 80% of the value of canola seeds is derived from the oil component and recently it has been estimated that a one percent increase in seed oil content would bring an additional $35 Million to the oilseed crushing and processing industry in Canada (Canola Council of Canada). Since meal quality traits such as seed coat thickness and pigmentation are directly linked to oil quantity, there is a tremendous opportunity to link the oil accumulation research to seed coat quality.

The IBOC project provided a better understanding of the overall metabolic events in the seed and the relationship between the different key seed components embryo, endosperm and seed coat and their contributions to the process of oil accumulation. This understanding is playing a fundamental role in the development of crops with increased seed oil content, as well as for the production of improved specialty oils..


Notable OutcomesNotable Outcomes

  • Generation of 30,000 and 20,000 ESTs associated with Brassica embryo development
  • Gene expression profiling for Brassica embryogenesis using Arabidopsis and Brassica gene chips
  • Construction of epitope-tagged TFs and generation of transgenic lines in Arabidopsis

Quick Facts

Project Leaders:

Randall Weselake, University of Alberta
Faouzi Bekkaoui, National Research Council, Plant Biotechnology Institute

Project Manager:

Disa Brownfield-Walker, University of Alberta
Laurie Hayes, National Research Council, Plant Biotechnology Institute

Project Value:

$1.7 Million

Provincial Funding (SK):

$1.7 Million

Project Status:

Complete (2007 - 2010)