Seed World

Arcadia Biosciences, Phytola Join Forces to Increase Oil Content in Soybeans

Arcadia Biosciences, a California-based agricultural biotechnology company, announces a collaboration with Canada’s Phytola, a leader in oilseed crop research, to develop soybean varieties with increased oil content. The research and development project recently received funding from Genome Canada.
Based on research by Randall Weselake, scientific director of Phytola, the project will use genome analysis to isolate soybean seed traits that can enhance oil production in soybeans without negatively affecting protein levels. Arcadia intends to validate the best targets using its proprietary TILLING platform and genetics resources, and if successful targets are identified, would lead commercialization efforts in North and South America through Verdeca, its joint venture with Bioceres S.A.
“This partnership with Phytola leverages Arcadia’s unique business model, while expanding on our oilseeds expertise,” says Eric Rey, president and CEO of Arcadia. “An oil-rich variety of soybeans would enable farmers to use limited land resources more effectively, producing even more value per acre of land.”
Soybean oil typically comprises 18 to 20 percent of the seed and is used for cooking, as an ingredient in processed foods, and for industrial purposes. Soybeans that produce more oil will offer increased value for farmers, seed companies and processors.