Realizing the Potential of Camelina sativa as a Bioenergy Crop for a Changing Global Climate

Plants (Basel). 2022 Mar 14;11(6):772. doi: 10.3390/plants11060772.


Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz. is an annual oilseed crop within the Brassicaceae family. C. sativa has been grown since as early as 4000 BCE. In recent years, C. sativa received increased attention as a climate-resilient oilseed, seed meal, and biofuel (biodiesel and renewable or green diesel) crop. This renewed interest is reflected in the rapid rise in the number of peer-reviewed publications (>2300) containing “camelina” from 1997 to 2021. An overview of the origins of this ancient crop and its genetic diversity and its yield potential under hot and dry growing conditions is provided. The major biotic barriers that limit C. sativa production are summarized, including weed control, insect pests, and fungal, bacterial, and viral pathogens. Ecosystem services provided by C. sativa are also discussed. The profiles of seed oil and fatty acid composition and the many uses of seed meal and oil are discussed, including food, fodder, fuel, industrial, and medical benefits. Lastly, we outline strategies for improving this important and versatile crop to enhance its production globally in the face of a rapidly changing climate using molecular breeding, rhizosphere microbiota, genetic engineering, and genome editing approaches.

Keywords: Camelina sativa; biodiesel; biofuel feedstock; crop breeding; genome editing; renewable diesel; semi-arid lands; transgenesis.

Publication types

  • Review