IMPROVING AGRONOMIC TRAITS OF THE OILSEED-PRODUCING WINTER COVER CROP PENNYCRESS (THLASPI ARVENSE) USING CRISPR-CAS9 GENOME EDITING
Pennycress (Thlapsi arvense) is an emerging oilseed crop closely related to Arabidopsis and rapeseed canola that holds considerable agronomic and economic potential in producing seed oil and meal to be used as food, feed, and as a biofuels feedstock. Pennycress possesses a unique combination of attributes including extreme cold tolerance, rapid growth, over-wintering growth habit, and a natural ability to produce copious amounts of seeds high in oil and protein. Pennycress could generate billions of liters of oil annually throughout temperate regions of the world without displacing food crops or requiring land use changes. For example, pennycress can be grown throughout the 40 million-acre U.S. Midwest Corn Belt during the fall through spring months, double-cropped between corn and soybeans on otherwise fallow farmland thereby providing ecosystem services of erosion and nutrients runoff control. Post oil extraction, the pennycress seed meal can be used as a high protein, nutrient-filled animal feed. Being that current pennycress varieties are not far removed from wild strains, we are working to rapidly improve breeding-line agronomic traits such as seed dormancy, pod shatter, seed oil and meal quality, and time to maturity, by using both forward and reverse genetics approaches. This presentation will highlight our efforts in using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing tools to rapidly improve pennycress as a profitable oilseed-producing winter cover crop, employing knowledge gained from decades of research on Arabidopsis and other Brassicaceae.
Esfahanian, Maliheh, "IMPROVING AGRONOMIC TRAITS OF THE OILSEED-PRODUCING WINTER COVER CROP PENNYCRESS (THLASPI ARVENSE) USING CRISPR-CAS9 GENOME EDITING" (2019). University Research Symposium. 262.