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Field Pennycress

Field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense), a member of the mustard family (Brassicaceae), is self-pollinating, winter annual oilseed crop. Native to Eurasia, pennycress is highly adapted to the temperate regions of North Americas making it suitable to withstand the winter hardiness needed for the Northern Great Plains. It is currently being researched for use as a feedstock for domestic biodiesel production, as its seeds have high oil content and unsaturated fatty acids. Pennycress seeds are planted in late August-early September, germinate and develop into a rosette that overwinters in this stage. This winter habit allows pennycress to be utilized in a relaycropping system. Pennycress then flowers and develops seeds in late April-early May and is ready to harvest in early June. In the fall of 2013, a multifaceted pennycress breeding program was initiated at the University of Minnesota and has developed the first genomic resources for this exciting species which has aided in its rapid improvement.

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