When Agrisoma researchers use their method to insert genes that modify oilseed production, yields increase 40% to 50%. When the same genes are inserted using standard methods, though, yields rise only 5%. The company also created technology to load new genes into this region to achieve further productivity gains.
Agrisoma is engineering canola and other oilseeds to increase monounsaturated oils and long chain fatty acids, which are optimal for biodiesel production. They are also engineering soybeans as a source of biofuel oils. This same expression system could be used to make healthier food oils such as products with high omega-3 fats or to manufacture vaccines in plants. For the short-term, “the company is focused on biofuels and the renewable energy market,” says Dr. Fabijanski.