Camelina sativa, an oilseed crop popular in Europe prior to the dominance of rapeseed and canola, is increasingly recognized as a valuable industrial oil platform. Camelina oil is gaining prominence as a feedstock for the production of biodiesel, and jet fuel. The crop’s oil profile can also be enhanced for other applications such as high value lubricants and bioplastics. The residual meal left over after oil extraction is an attractive feed supplement for livestock and aquaculture operations. The crop has a number of advantages for production in the Canadian Prairies, including resistance to common pathogens and pests, notably blackleg and flea beetles, high tolerance to drought conditions, and represents another option for producers in their crop rotation.
The Prairie Gold Project was established to generate genetic and genomics resources for this new crop, including the development of a genome sequence. A high quality genome sequence has been generated using a hybrid Illumina and Roche 454 next-generation sequencing approach. Filtered sequence data provided an 123x coverage of the estimated genome size of 785 Mb, which was assembled into 641 Mb with an N50 size of 2.2 Mb (50% of the assembly is arranged in scaffolds of this length or greater). Most importantly for future breeding applications a high-density genetic map allowed 95% of the assembled genome, represented by 588 scaffolds to be anchored to the 20 chromosomes of C. sativa. Annotation of the genome has identified 89,418 protein coding genes representing an almost complete three fold duplication of the model Arabidopsis thaliana genome.