Gene modification technology to cause oil-producing plants, such as soybeans, to increase the quantities of delta-8 desaturase they make by approximately 10-fold. Delta-8 desaturase is used in making long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), EPA, and DHA — substances that cannot be synthesized efficiently by the human body, and must be taken in as food or supplements. The modification also decreases the production of undesired PUFAs by the plant.
- A cost-effective and sustainable alternative to harvesting and processing wild salmon using modified soybeans.
- Soybean planting, farming, and harvesting is well-understood and predictable. Soybean oil processing is already a billion-dollar industry.
- EPA and DHA are not readily synthesized by the human body and must be consumed as food or supplements. The substances also have application in animal feeds and in pharmaceuticals. more
DuPont has experimented at lab-scale with modifying soybeans to enhance their production of delta-8 desaturase.
This technology is supported by 2 US patents. more