iGEM Calgary 2019

CANOLA: one of Canada's largest agricultural industries

First bred in 1974, canola has gone on to become one of Canada’s leading crops. The industry contributes 19.3 billion dollars to the Canadian economy every year while providing 12.5 billion dollars in wages to 249,000 workers. Canada is also the number one exporter of canola in the world and annually exports 9 billion dollars worth of seed, oil, and meal to countries like the USA, China, Japan, and Mexico.

A major problem

Green seed causes millions of dollars of losses in the canola industry. We're here to change that.

The Green Seed Problem

Green Seeds Lead to Green Oil

The green seed problem arises when canola plants are exposed to frost, drought or other inclement weather before maturation is complete.

The chlorophyll degradation pathway is suspended and the seed remains green.

So what's the big deal?

Green seeds cause financial harm to farmers and oil producers.

Our Methodology

Our solutions were not only made with end users in mind,end users were involved in every step of the design.

This is human centered design.

Project Components

See how we addressed each area of the canola oil pipeline by exploring the six areas below

Human Practices

We conducted in-depth conversations with professionals from both the academic and agricultural community in Alberta


We created tools and mechanisms to help canola farmers, graders and crushers


Computer modelling informed experimental design through every step


We developed tools to codon-optimize hard-to-synthesize sequences and a genetic algorithm based on GROMACS to increase protein stability.


We meticulously documented methods and protocols used throughout the project

Public Engagement

We engaged with the local community. Spreading our knowledge and eliciting public feedback.