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Fatty Acid Biosynthesis Redirected to Medium Chains in Transgenic Oilseed Plants

Toni A. Voelker, Ann C. Worrell, Lana Anderson, Janice Bleibaum, Calvin Fan, Deborah J. Hawkins, Sharon E. Radke and H. Maelor Davies
Science
New Series, Vol. 257, No. 5066 (Jul. 3, 1992), pp. 72-74
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2877434
Page Count: 3
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Fatty Acid Biosynthesis Redirected to Medium Chains in Transgenic Oilseed Plants
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Abstract

Medium-chain fatty acids (FAs), found in storage lipids of certain plants, are an important renewable resource. Seeds of undomesticated California bay accumulate laurate (12:0), and a 12:0-acyl-carrier protein thioesterase (BTE) has been purified from this tissue. Sequencing of BTE enabled the cloning of a complementary DNA coding for a plastid-targeted preprotein. Expression of the complementary DNA in the seeds of Arabidopsis thaliana resulted in BTE activity, and medium chains accumulated at the expense of long-chain (≥ 16) FAs. Laurate became the most abundant FA species and was deposited in the storage triacylglycerols. These results demonstrate a mechanism for medium-chain FA synthesis in plants.

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