GM Crop Database

Database Product Description

45A37, 46A40
Host Organism
Brassica napus (Argentine Canola)
Modified seed fatty acid content, specifically high oleic acid, low linolenic acid content.
Trait Introduction
Chemically induced seed mutagenesis
Proposed Use

Production for human consumption and livestock feed.

Product Developer
Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc.

Summary of Regulatory Approvals

Country Food Feed Environment Notes
Canada 1996

Summary of Introduced Genetic Elements Expand

Code Name Type Promoter, other Terminator Copies Form
fad2 fatty acid desaturase FA Mutagenized endogenous gene

Characteristics of Brassica napus (Argentine Canola) Expand

Center of Origin Reproduction Toxins Allergenicity

The species is native to India.

Canola flowers can self-pollinate, and they can also be cross-pollinated by insects and by wind.­

Brassica species can contain erucic acid and various glucosinolates, which can be toxic. However, commercial canola varieties have been bred to reduce the levels of these substances. Canola may contain elevated levels of tannins, which reduce the digestibility of seed protein, and sinapine, which is a bitter substance that can reduce the palatability of feeds made from canola meal.


Occupational exposure to pollen and seed flour have been associated with allergic reactions in humans. There are no known allergic reactions to canola oil.


Abstract Collapse

The 45A37 and 46A40 lines of canola (Brassica napus) were developed through the combination of chemical mutagenesis, to achieve the high oleic acid trait, and traditional breeding with the registered canola varieties Stellar and Apollo, to achieve the low linolenic acid trait. The processed oil derived from these novel varieties, designated P6 canola oil, has levels of oleic acid similar to that of peanut and olive oils.
The high oleic acid trait in lines 45A37 and 46A40 was selected following chemical mutagenesis by exposing seeds of canola varieties Regent, Topas and Andor to a solution of ethylnitrosourea (8 mM) in dimethylsulfoxide. Ethylnitrosurea is a commonly used chemical mutagen that affects DNA by chemically altering base pairs. It is believed that the induced mutation in lines 45A37 and 46A40 is analogous to that in fad2 mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana. The fad2 gene encodes a desaturase enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of C18:1 to C18:2 and C18:3 fatty acids in plant cells. A mutation within the fad2 gene that blocks expression of an active desaturase enzyme results in the accumulation of C18:1 oleic acid. The low linolenic acid trait was introduced by breeding with the registered low linolenic acid canola varieties Stellar and Apollo. The only significant difference between lines 45A37 and 46A40 is that the former was selected for early maturity while 46A40 matures later in the growing season (medium maturity).
Based on the information provided, there are no novel proteins produced and only the refined seed oil will be used as a food. Refined edible canola oil does not contain any detectable protein and consists of purified glycosides. Other than the traits of high oleic acid content and low linolenic acid content in the seed oil, the disease, pest and other agronomic characteristics of the 45A37 and 46A40 canola lines were comparable to other commercially available canola varieties.

Links to Further Information Expand

Office of Food Biotechnology, Health Canada

This record was last modified on Tuesday, February 24, 2015