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University of Stirling


Omega-3 exhibit to be showcased at major bioscience event

A Camelina plant (photo by Rothamsted Research)

Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture, in partnership with Rothamsted Research, will showcase a project on making omega-3 fish oils in plants for use in aquaculture, at a major bioscience event in London this week.

The University of Stirling’s Professor Douglas Tocher, and his team from the Institute of Aquaculture, will showcase their 'Alpha & Omega: making omega-3 fish oils in GM Camelina plants' exhibit alongside their colleagues from Rothamsted Research at the Great British Bioscience Festival from 14 - 16 November.

Omega-3 fish oils are beneficial for our health and can help reduce the risk of heart attacks. However, they are a finite and limited resource and there are not enough beneficial omega-3 fish oils to satisfy our dietary requirements.

Scientists at Rothamsted Research have recently developed GM Camelina plants that produce omega-3 fish oils when grown in glass houses. They are testing the performance of these plants in the field.

A team of fish nutrition experts at Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture are currently testing the omega-3 oils from the GM Camelina plants in feed for Atlantic salmon and marine fish.

The University of Stirling’s Professor Douglas Tocher said: "We are delighted our work with Rothamsted Research was selected to be part of this celebration of British bioscience research. Our participation in the Great British Bioscience Festival in London gives us a unique opportunity to reach people across the UK and discuss with the British public about our work to develop sustainable feeds for aquaculture."

Visitors to the exhibit will hear about the current sources of omega-3 fish oils and the challenges that this poses for healthy, sustainable food production.

They will also be able to explore and discuss plant biotechnology as a tool for alternative sustainable terrestrial sources of omega-3 fish oils and learn about the principles of genetics and GM plants.

There will also be wild type Camelina plants, Camelina seeds, fish feeds of different compositions and videos describing laboratory procedures on display.

The Great British Bioscience Festival is the culmination of a yearlong tour enabling visitors to explore the fascinating world of biology through interactive exhibits from scientists. It is run by the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council in partnership with LND Science Festival.

Professor Jackie Hunter, BBSRC Chief Executive: "The Great British Bioscience Festival will be a unique chance for BBSRC and our scientists to bring awe-inspiring bioscience research to east London. A variety of entertaining and engaging exhibitions will be on offer, highlighting the best of BBSRC-sponsored world-leading bioscience."

More information:

Great British Bioscience Festival

‘Alpha & Omega: making omega-3 fish oils in GM Camelina plants’ exhibit

The Institute of Aquaculture

David Tripp
Public Relations Officer
01786 466687