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2020 delivered a bumper crop of our genetically modified camelina plants, further reinforcing the potential of this technology to become a major sustainable source of omega 3 fatty acids.

camelina harvest

The 2020 harvest of GM camelina was particularly promising

Genetic research targeting a variety of plant traits is one of the Rothamsted’s core strengths. The Harpenden campus has unparalleled expertise and experience in delivering successful in situ trials of genetically modified crops.

Supported by BBSRC, Rothamsted has been at the forefront of GM field research for over two decades - vital for the translation of fundamental studies into useful agricultural products. By bio-engineering plants in this way, we can not only help create more sustainable ways to produce food, but also explore the viability of novel plant chemistries that can boost nutritional value and deliver useful products for industry.

Rothamsted’s GM/GE Field trials: Facts & Figures

  • RRes has been running GM field trials since the 1990s, including being involved in the big farm-scale evaluations of the early 2000s.
  • We have been doing field trials of gene-edited plants since 2018. All data from the trials is open access and information about our trials is freely available & widely disseminated.
  • With the addition of a new BBSRC supported GM trial site (Pastures) to augment the existing field trials sites at Harpenden (Appletree) and Brooms Barn (Marlpit), we have over 13 hectares of our research farms dedicated to the field evaluation of GM & GE crops.

2021 will usher in a new chapter in the public discussions around the regulation, utility and potential impact of cultivating increasing quantities of GM and GE crops in the UK.

Rothamsted has been an open and constructive contributor to this debate for many years and we look forward to playing a leading role in the dialogue to come.

glowing camelina seeds

Further Reading

GM Camelina trials in aquaculture (BBSRC video, YouTube)

GM Camelina FAQs

GM Camelina Project page