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



  • Michaela McGinn Co-PI, CoverCress, Inc.

Collaborators and Graduate Students

  • Chris Aulbach, CoverCress
  • Constance (Connie) Carlson, University of Minnesota
  • Colin Cureton, University of Minnesota
  • Alan Doerning, AURI
  • Issac Goldman, 2021 Integrated Plant Systems – Undergraduate Research Experience, Univ. of Minnesota
  • Riley Gordon, AURI
  • Gregg Johnson, University of Minnesota
  • Rod Larkins, AURI
  • Matthew Leiphon, Agricultural Utilization Research Institute
  • Caleb Mesick, 2021 Integrated Plant Systems – Undergraduate Research Experience, Univ. of Minnesota
  • Bill Perry, Illinois State University
  • Kathryn Phillips, University of Minnesota (Grad. Student)
  • Rob Rhykerd, Illinois State University
  • John C. Sedbrook, Illinois State University
  • Tim Smith, University of Minnesota
  • Michael Sparby, AURI
  • Harold Stanislawski, AURI
  • Michael Stutelberg, AURI
  • Jennifer Wagner-Lehr, AURI
  • Samantha S. Wells, University of Minnesota