Cellectis plant sciences, the plant genome engineering company, announced the peer-reviewed publication in the Journal of Plant Biotechnology of results demonstrating the generation of a high oleic soybean variety created by the targeted gene editing of 4 alleles of the FAD2 gene family. The high oleic soybean line engineered by Cellectis plant sciences shows an oleic acid content of >80%.

Soybean oil with elevated oleic acid is desirable for improved shelf life, enhanced oxidative stability and better nutritional quality. The health issues raised by trans-fatty acids have severely limited the use of soybean oil in fried food. Raising the level of oleic acid to ~80%, from ~20% found in commodity oil, reduces the need for hydrogenation and the resulting production of trans-fatty acids in processed soybean oil. The United Soybean Board has projected acreage of high oleic soybean to reach 18-23 million acres in the U.S. by 2023. To meet this demand, Cellectis plant sciences has now created non-transgenic high oleic soybean plants.

“The generation of Non Transgenic High Oleic Soybean in less than 15 months positions Cellectis plant sciences as a key trait provider in the field of AgBiotech,” commented Luc Mathis CEO of Cellectis plant sciences. “The generation of non-transgenic traits has the potential to lower regulation costs, while providing products that show stable oil profiles over multiple generation, something that may be a challenge for transgenic technologies. With the technical success met in all our in-house programs in potato and oil crops, such as soybean and canola, the development of new commercial products relevant for the food industry has become the focus of our company.”