Royal Highland Show, 2014:

23rd June 2014

The Institute of Aquaculture had a raised profile at this year’s Royal Highland Show at Ingliston, Edinburgh from 19th to 22nd June.

As part of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s (BBSRC) 20th anniversary celebrations, a team of leading scientists from Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture and Hertfordshire-based agricultural research institute Rothamsted Research presented an exhibit based on the BBSRC-funded project “Alpha and Omega: making fish oils in GM plants”. The project was one of a select few chosen by the BBSRC to highlight the pioneering and world-class bioscience research the Council funds.

The Alpha and Omega project is focused on omega-3 fatty acids - essential dietary nutrients that can help prevent several inflammatory and pathological conditions, including cardiovascular and neurological diseases. Fish are our major dietary source of omega-3 and high levels can be assured in farmed fish by adding marine fish oil to their feeds. However, fish oil is a finite and limited resource and so new sources of omega-3 are required for the sustainable development of aquaculture. Alpha and Omega is addressing this problem by metabolically engineering oilseed crops to supply these essential nutrients.