Arcadia Biosciences to Collaborate with Phytola to Develop High Oleic Soybeans
Agricultural biotech company, Arcadia Biosciences has announced it is collaborating with oilseed crop researcher, Phytola, to develop new soybean varieties with higher oil content.
Recently funded by Genome Canada, the project will use genome analysis to isolate genes that will elevate oil content in the crop without negatively affecting protein levels. Arcadia Biosciences will then validate the findings using its resources and proprietary TILLING platform. If viable varieties are identified, they would then be commercialized across North and South America through Verdeca – Arcadia’s joint venture with Bioceres SA.
Soybeans typically contain 18% to 20% oil, which is used for industrial purposes, as cooking oil, and as an ingredient in processed foods. The development of new high oleic soybean varieties will benefit the entire soybean value chain – raising the value of seeds for seed companies, and allowing farmers to produce more value per acre, while offering higher value products to processors.
Together, Arcadia and Phytola are targeting a 25% increase in soybean oil content through genetic modification. If realized, the new varieties could be used in as much as 25% of the soybeans on the global market, worth approximately $4.5 billion per year.