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Omega-3 exhibit to be showcased at major bioscience event

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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

Notes for editors
Background information


The Institute of Aquaculture

The Institute of Aquaculture is the leading international centre in its field and is the largest of its kind in the world. With an excellent RAE 2008 outcome, we bring together cross-disciplinary, world class researchers to meet the wide range of challenges faced as aquaculture grows to meet global demands.


Rothamstead Research

We are the longest running agricultural research station in the world, providing cutting-edge science and innovation for nearly 170 years. Our mission is to deliver the knowledge and new practices to increase crop productivity and quality and to develop environmentally sustainable solutions for food and energy production.

Our strength lies in the integrated, multidisciplinary approach to research in plant, insect and soil science.

Rothamsted Research is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). In 2013-2014 Rothamsted Researched received a total of £32.9M from the BBSRC.


Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by Government, BBSRC invested over £484M in world-class bioscience in 2013-14. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

For more information about BBSRC, our science and our impact see:

For more information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes see:

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