UConn researchers look at camelina genes and impacts on related plant species

July 14, 2016 |

In Connecticut, researchers at the University of Connecticut supported by a grant from the Biotechnology Risk Assessment Grant Program, an initiative of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, are gathering information about Camelina sativa, an oilseed crop that has never been grown commercially in Connecticut. Camelina has been subject to genetic modification to make products such as biofuels, dietary supplements, and bioplastics, and could become popular with farmers in the U.S.

One of the main goals is to understand gene flow, the movement of genes between individual plants within a species or between closely related plant species. Gene flow between plants depends upon the movement of pollen by wind or insects, and the fields at UConn have clearly shown that camelina attracts pollinators such as honey bees, native bumble bees, and flies.

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