15. Mar 2022
Yield10 Bioscience (Woburn, Massachusetts, USA), an agricultural bioscience company, recently announced their advances in the development of Camelina as a platform for the production of PHA bioplastic directly in the seed.
Field work completed during 2021 supports the Company’s decision to begin seed scale up of prototype PHA spring Camelina lines at acre-scale in 2022. Yield10 is also developing PHA winter Camelina lines and advancing its research program to increase the level and type of PHA production achievable in its Camelina plant varieties.
“Camelina holds great promise as a platform crop for efficient, scalable, low-cost production of PHA bioplastics,” said Kristi Snell, Chief Science Officer of Yield10 Bioscience. “Through our research and development efforts to date, Yield10 expects to contribute significantly towards the global effort to produce biodegradable materials targeted for consumer packaging and food service items while also helping to reduce the amount of petroleum-based plastic waste currently polluting the world’s land and oceans. There is real momentum driving the Company’s innovative pace of Camelina PHA trait development and its ultimate commercial deployment for year-round harvest using both spring and winter lines.”
Yield10 plans to breed an optimized PHA trait into the elite herbicide and disease resistant varieties of Camelina currently advancing in its pipeline with the expectation to process PHA Camelina to achieve the integrated economics of simultaneously producing three seed products: PHA bioplastic, feedstock oil and protein animal feed. Seed based PHA bioplastic would represent a major new market for farmers.
Summary of Yield10’s Development Program for Producing PHA in Camelina
Utilizing a metabolic engineering approach, Yield10 deployed a pathway for producing PHA bioplastic in the seed of Camelina. Recent advancements include:
2021 Field Test results: In 2021 Yield10 tested the two prototype PHA (C3014 and C3015) producing spring Camelina lines at sites in the U.S. and Canada. Results showed that C3015 lines produced PHA at the 6 % level as measured as a per cent of seed weight, consistent with results observed in field tests conducted in 2020.
2022 Seed Scale up Plan: Permitting is underway to plant PHA (C3015) Camelina line at acre-scale this year. This will enable production of PHA for process development and product sampling.
Development of winter PHA Camelina lines: Yield10 has recently developed winter Camelina varieties containing the PHA (C3014 and C3015) trait. The first field planting of these lines is planned for winter 2022/2023.
Ongoing Second-Generation R&D Program: Yield10’s ongoing second-generation research and development program is focused on improving the level of PHA in the seed of Camelina to 10–20 %. In addition, work is underway to create PHA pathways that enable the production of PHA co-polymers in Camelina. The successful production of PHA co-polymers would expand the range of properties available for PHA produced in Camelina resulting in broader target applications. AT