Supply Chain Development

We are working diligently to develop “cradle-to-grave” supply chains and attract investment that will allow for the commercial launch of pennycress as an oilseed crop by 2021. UMN, ISU, and CoverCress, Inc. have filed provisional patent and patent applications associated with the pennycress traits we developed, namely low erucic acid seed oil, high oleic acid seed oil, low glucosinolates, low seed meal fiber, reduced seedpod shatter, and early maturation. Licensing agreements have been negotiated to allow CoverCress to commercialize in the lower Midwest region elite pennycress varieties harboring these traits; UMN holds rights in the upper Midwest region and is working to identify commercial partners. Intellectual property protection and licensing agreements are essential to attracting investments in supply chain elements and related businesses.

Research Goals

  • Evaluate the capacity to supply pennycress seed oil and seed meal to industries in the upper and lower Midwest regions
  • Optimize post-harvest pennycress seed processing and oil storage to ensure the sustained availability of quality seed across multiple end-use platforms
  • Post-harvest pennycress seed handling and processing technology Pennycress oil processing and quality
  • Pennycress oil stability and shelf life
  • Conversion into biofuels
  • Pennycress seed meal quality
  • Develop tools that help farmers and industry adopt effective seed drying/storage protocols

Team

Leadership

  • Ratan Chopra Co-PI, CoverCress, Inc.

Collaborators and Graduate Students

  • Chris Aulbach, CoverCress
  • Constance (Connie) Carlson, Univ. of Minnesota
  • Ratan Chopra, CoverCress
  • Colin Cureton, Univ. of Minnesota
  • Alan Doerning, AURI
  • Riley Gordon, AURI
  • Gregg Johnson, Univ. of Minnesota
  • Rod Larkins, AURI
  • Matthew Leiphon, AURI
  • Michaela McGinn, Genetic & Regulatory Consultant
  • Bill Perry, Illinois State Univ.
  • Kathryn Phillips, Univ. of Minnesota (Grad. Student)
  • Rob Rhykerd, Illinois State Univ.
  • John C. Sedbrook, Illinois State Univ.
  • Tim Smith, Univ. of Minnesota
  • Michael Sparby, AURI
  • Harold Stanislawski, AURI
  • Michael Stutelberg, AURI
  • Jennifer Wagner-Lehr, AURI
  • Samantha S. Wells, Univ. of Minnesota

2021 Integrated Plant Systems – Undergraduate Research Experience

  • Issac Goldman, 2021 Integrated Plant Systems – Undergraduate Research Experience, Univ. of Minnesota
  • Caleb Mesick, 2021 Integrated Plant Systems – Undergraduate Research Experience, Univ. of Minnesota