Genetically Engineered Safflower Plant will Create New Crop Industry in Australia
Safflower plant is amongst the oldest harvested crops known to man and has been used by people from the ancient world in various ways for different purposes. The Egyptians used it in dyes and oils. Today, modern research has shown that it could be used as a sustainable replacement for fossil-fuel in different products and industrial processes.
A recent research by Australia’s CSIRO has developed a genetically engineered safflower plant that is especially beneficial for the industry application. Two kinds of oils can be extracted from safflower seeds, one is oleic acid and the other is linoleic acid. The former is more valuable as a replacement to petroleum-based feedstocks, especially when manufacturing plastics, lubricants and cosmetics. This is where the new research comes in.
The researchers have been able to get the levels desirable of oleic acid at the same time reducing the levels of linoleic acid. The predicted climate change has its role to play however and it is expected that this new genetically engineered safflower seeds could create a new crop industry in Australia. More crop industries are now interested to buy in the idea and try it out for their companies. To develop further on this, many local and international companies are being engaged into this idea.