Camelina seed company Sustainable Oils has announced a licensing agreement for CRISPR-Cas9 and related gene editing tools with crop protection and biotech seed producer Corteva Agriscience and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Under the agreement, Sustainable Oils would use the technology to create targeted changes to camelina DNA and incorporate new traits such as high oil yield, quick maturity, herbicide tolerance and drought tolerance, the company said on 8 August.

The technology is expected to lead to shorter development timelines and lower costs compared to traditional breeding methods, according to the company.

“We are excited to add CRISPR-Cas9 technology to… our camelina breeding practices,” Sustainable Oils chief scientific officer Dr Jerry Feitelson said.

“Using this powerful plant breeding innovation, we expect to further expand our… portfolio of advanced camelina varieties.”

A wholly-owned subsidiary of renewable fuels company Global Clean Energy, Sustainable Oils produces camelina for use as a non-food based ultra-low carbon feedstock for renewable diesel production.

The Montana-headquartered company’s camelina range has been certified for the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

GCEH processes its proprietary non-food camelina feedstock at its renewable fuels refinery in Bakersfield, California.

The plant’s renewable diesel is chemically identical to petroleum diesel, according to the company, but has 80% lower carbon emissions.

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is a bio-medical and genomic research centre in Cambridge, Massachusetts.