Improved Biomass and Seed Yield in Oilseed Crops


Large increases in biomass and seed production in oilseed crops can be achieved by replacing endogenous starch branching enzymes with those from cereal crops such as maize.


Endogenous starch branching enzymes were substituted with maize starch branching enzymes ZmSBEI of ZmSBEIIb. Altered starch metabolism results in increased biomass, 100%+ increase in oilseed production and oil production per plant, with no decrease in oil quality.

Research Status

Results have been demonstrated in Arabidopsis thaliana, and the trait is stable through generations. Research to expand proof of concept in other crop species is underway.

Research Article

To learn more, please see "Liu et. al. (2015) Modification of starch metabolism in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana increases plant biomass and triples oilseed production. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 14: 976-985." The article is published in an open access journal and can be accessed by clicking here

Patent Status

Patent pending in Europe (16785712.7), US (15/569,230) and Canada (2,984,016).

License Status

Partners to expand the method in additional oilseeds such as soybean, and advance the technology toward commercial release.


Steve De Brabandere, 519-824-4120 x54916