• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of plntphysLink to Publisher's site
Plant Physiol. Dec 1994; 106(4): 1615–1621.
PMCID: PMC159705

Cloning of a temperature-regulated gene encoding a chloroplast omega-3 desaturase from Arabidopsis thaliana.


Previous genetic evidence suggested that the fad8 and fad7 genes of Arabidopsis thaliana encode chloroplast membrane-associated omega-3 desaturases. A putative fad8 cDNA was isolated by heterologous hybridization using a gene encoding an endoplasmic reticulum-localized omega-3 desaturase (fad3) as a probe. The cDNA encodes a protein of 435 amino acid residues with a molecular mass of 50,134 D. Constitutive expression of the cDNA in transgenic plants of a fad7 mutant resulted in genetic complementation of the mutation, indicating that the fad7 and fad8 gene products are functionally equivalent. Expression of the fad8 cDNA in transgenic plants often resulted in the co-suppression of both the endogenous fad7 and fad8 genes in spite of the fact that these two genes share only about 75% nucleotide identity. In contrast to all other known plant desaturases, including fad7, the steady-state level of fad8 mRNA is strongly increased in plants grown at low temperature. This suggests that the role of fad8 is to provide increased omega-3 desaturase activity in plants that are exposed to low growth temperature. The fad8-1 mutation created a premature stop codon 149 amino acids from the amino-terminal end of the fad8 open reading frame, suggesting that this mutation results in a complete loss of fad8 activity.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (1.2M).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Arondel V, Lemieux B, Hwang I, Gibson S, Goodman HM, Somerville CR. Map-based cloning of a gene controlling omega-3 fatty acid desaturation in Arabidopsis. Science. 1992 Nov 20;258(5086):1353–1355. [PubMed]
  • Dreses-Werringloer U, Fischer K, Wachter E, Link TA, Flügge UI. cDNA sequence and deduced amino acid sequence of the precursor of the 37-kDa inner envelope membrane polypeptide from spinach chloroplasts. Its transit peptide contains an amphiphilic alpha-helix as the only detectable structural element. Eur J Biochem. 1991 Jan 30;195(2):361–368. [PubMed]
  • Elledge SJ, Mulligan JT, Ramer SW, Spottswood M, Davis RW. Lambda YES: a multifunctional cDNA expression vector for the isolation of genes by complementation of yeast and Escherichia coli mutations. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Mar 1;88(5):1731–1735. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hugly S, Somerville C. A role for membrane lipid polyunsaturation in chloroplast biogenesis at low temperature. Plant Physiol. 1992 May;99(1):197–202. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Iba K, Gibson S, Nishiuchi T, Fuse T, Nishimura M, Arondel V, Hugly S, Somerville C. A gene encoding a chloroplast omega-3 fatty acid desaturase complements alterations in fatty acid desaturation and chloroplast copy number of the fad7 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana. J Biol Chem. 1993 Nov 15;268(32):24099–24105. [PubMed]
  • Kodama H, Hamada T, Horiguchi G, Nishimura M, Iba K. Genetic Enhancement of Cold Tolerance by Expression of a Gene for Chloroplast [omega]-3 Fatty Acid Desaturase in Transgenic Tobacco. Plant Physiol. 1994 Jun;105(2):601–605. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Los D, Horvath I, Vigh L, Murata N. The temperature-dependent expression of the desaturase gene desA in Synechocystis PCC6803. FEBS Lett. 1993 Feb 22;318(1):57–60. [PubMed]
  • McConn M, Hugly S, Browse J, Somerville C. A Mutation at the fad8 Locus of Arabidopsis Identifies a Second Chloroplast [omega]-3 Desaturase. Plant Physiol. 1994 Dec;106(4):1609–1614. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Miquel M, James D, Jr, Dooner H, Browse J. Arabidopsis requires polyunsaturated lipids for low-temperature survival. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Jul 1;90(13):6208–6212. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Napoli C, Lemieux C, Jorgensen R. Introduction of a Chimeric Chalcone Synthase Gene into Petunia Results in Reversible Co-Suppression of Homologous Genes in trans. Plant Cell. 1990 Apr;2(4):279–289. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Nishiuchi T, Nishimura M, Arondel V, Iba K. Genomic nucleotide sequence of a gene encoding a microsomal omega-3 fatty acid desaturase from Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Physiol. 1994 Jun;105(2):767–768. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Okuley J, Lightner J, Feldmann K, Yadav N, Lark E, Browse J. Arabidopsis FAD2 gene encodes the enzyme that is essential for polyunsaturated lipid synthesis. Plant Cell. 1994 Jan;6(1):147–158. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Schmidt H, Heinz E. Direct desaturation of intact galactolipids by a desaturase solubilized from spinach (Spinacia oleracea) chloroplast envelopes. Biochem J. 1993 Feb 1;289(Pt 3):777–782. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • van de Loo FJ, Somerville C. Plasmid omega-3 fatty acid desaturase cDNA from Ricinus communis. Plant Physiol. 1994 May;105(1):443–444. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • von Heijne G, Steppuhn J, Herrmann RG. Domain structure of mitochondrial and chloroplast targeting peptides. Eur J Biochem. 1989 Apr 1;180(3):535–545. [PubMed]
  • Yadav NS, Wierzbicki A, Aegerter M, Caster CS, Pérez-Grau L, Kinney AJ, Hitz WD, Booth JR, Jr, Schweiger B, Stecca KL, et al. Cloning of higher plant omega-3 fatty acid desaturases. Plant Physiol. 1993 Oct;103(2):467–476. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Plant Physiology are provided here courtesy of American Society of Plant Biologists


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • Gene
    Gene links
  • Gene (nucleotide)
    Gene (nucleotide)
    Records in Gene identified from shared sequence links
  • GEO Profiles
    GEO Profiles
    Related GEO records
  • HomoloGene
    HomoloGene links
  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • Nucleotide
    Published Nucleotide sequences
  • Pathways + GO
    Pathways + GO
    Pathways, annotations and biological systems (BioSystems) that cite the current article.
  • Protein
    Published protein sequences
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles
  • Taxonomy
    Related taxonomy entry
  • Taxonomy Tree
    Taxonomy Tree

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...