Camelina is a genus within the flowering plant family Brassicaceae. The Camelina species, commonly known as false flax, are native to Mediterranean regions of Europe and Asia. Most species of this genus have been little studied, with the exception of Camelina sativa, historically cultivated as oil plant. Heinrich Johann Nepomuk von Crantz was the first botanist to use the genus Camelina in his classification works in 1762. As a way to reduce fossil fuel emissions, advocates of airborne fuel efficiency have begun to use a 50-50 mix of jet aviation fuel and biofuel derived from camelina seeds.
The name Camelina comes from the Greek for "ground" and "flax", alluding to its being a weed which suppresses the vigour of flax crops.
Camelina plants are annual or biennial herbs. Their leaves are simple, lanceolate to narrowly elliptic. The flowers are hermaphroditic actinomorphic, grouped in racemes, and yellowish colored. The seeds are formed in dehiscent siliques.
The first full genome sequence for Camelina was released on August 1, 2013, by a Canadian research team. The genome sequence and its annotation are available in a genome viewer format and enabled for sequence searching and alignment. Technical details of Camelina's genome sequence were published on April 23, 2014 in the academic journal Nature Communications.
Research scientists at Rothamsted Institute in the UK have developed genetically modified Camelina sativa plants that accumulate high levels of fish oils / Omega-3 oils EPA and DHA in their seeds. They have generated a plant that can provide terrestrial sustainable sources of fish oils and this achievement can have potentially benefits for human health and the environment.
- "Camelina sativa Genome Project". Prairie Gold. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- "The emerging biofuel crop Camelina sativa retains a highly undifferentiated hexaploid genome structure". Nature Communications. Retrieved 2014-04-23.