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The objective of this project is to develop a novel agricultural‐based approach for producing high levels of stearidonic acid (SDA)‐containing seed oil in plants using co‐cultivation with microbial inoculants. Production of seed oil enriched in SDA, a dietary product possessing proven health benefits, is promising for use as animal and human diet supplements. SDA has been found in plant species and cultivars belonging to the Boraginaceae family that have significant potential for development into commercially viable crops. Production of SDA will be achieved through the use of proprietary plant cultivars provided by a commercial partner, Nature’s Crops International (NCI), in conjunction with proprietary bacterial microbial inoculants already available in our laboratory. Preliminary results have shown increased SDA yields per plant, and ultimately per hectare, using coinoculation strategies with selected microbial inoculants. Indeed, the co‐culture of plants with selected microbial inoculants, such as plant‐growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) can result in increased soil fertility, crop yield, plant protection, and ultimately increased bioaccumulation of a biochemical of interest, such as SDA. To assure the economic impact of these bioproducts, as well as their local production in Atlantic Canada, we will adapt the production strategy to be used at a commercial‐scale as a rotational cropping system alternating in time with potato production, a crop of significant importance in Atlantic Canada.
Dr. Martin Filion
Université de Moncton
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