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Research Herbicide tolerance, improved yields, modified product characteristics
Field trials EU 3
USA 3, three other countries
Approval none
Perspectives No immediate commercial use of GM-mustard is expected.



The name mustard describes the genera Brassica and Sinapis. The white mustard (Sinapis alba) is cultivated worldwide in regions with a moderate climate. Black mustard (Brassica juncea) grows in warm/moderate to subtropical regions.

In 2009, approximately 661.000 tones of mustard seed were harvest worldwide. The main producing countries are Nepal, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Russia, China, and the USA.



In particular the seeds of the respective types of mustard are used as a foodstuff. The leaves are also used to some extent:

  • black (also French) mustard (Brassica nigra): as table mustard, mustard oil, mustard flour

  • brown (also Sarepta) mustard (Brassica juncea): widespread in Europe, North America, Asia and India. This has virtually replaced black mustard in Europe and North America. Besides its use as table mustard, Sarepta mustard is used in particular to produce cooking oil; in Asia it is also used as a leaf vegetable.

  • white (also English) mustard (Sinapis alba): used as a raw material for producing mustard oil, flour and paste (table mustard).

  • Ethiopian (also Abyssinian) mustard (Brassica carinata): cultivated mainly in North and East Africa; serves there mainly to produce cooking oil. The leaves are used as a cooked vegetable.

Animal feed:

  • white mustard is used in moderate temperature zones as animal feed and as a green fertiliser.

Renewable primary products, energy crops:

  • mustard varieties as oil plants, similar to rapeseed, are suitable for the production of industrially used oils (lubricating and motor oils, as a basis for linoleum, cleaning agents and plastics) and fuel.


Gene technology: aims of research and development

Agronomic traits

Weed control

Adaptation to climate and location factors

  • Salt and heavy metal tolerance

Plant development

  • Increased yields (male sterility, production of high-yield hybrids)

Quality traits

Enrichment with health-promoting ingredients, such as:

  • in particular provitamin A (beta-carotene) as prophylaxis for deficiency diseases

  • modified composition of fatty acids

Renewable primary products

  • Molecular pharming: utilisation of gene-modified white mustard plants to produce pharmaceuticals


Field trials with GM-mustard

Applications 3 (Sinapis alba)
Countries Belgien
Period 2000-2001
Traits Tolerance to herbicides in combination with male sterility
USA 3 (Brassica juncea)
Period 2003-2005
other countries Canada (Brassica juncea, Brassica carinata), India, Australia


 GMO Database
GM Food and Feed: Authorization in the EU
GMO Database: Contains information on every GM plant that has been approved or is awaiting authorisation in the EU.
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