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Plant Cell Physiol. 2002 Dec;43(12):1518-25.

Chloroplast transformation with modified accD operon increases acetyl-CoA carboxylase and causes extension of leaf longevity and increase in seed yield in tobacco.

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  • 1Laboratory of Plant Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Nagoya, 464-8601 Japan.


Acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase) in plastids is a key enzyme regulating the rate of de novo fatty acid biosynthesis in plants. Plastidic ACCase is composed of three nuclear-encoded subunits and one plastid-encoded accD subunit. To boost ACCase levels, we examined whether overexpression of accD elevates ACCase production. Using homologous recombination, we replaced the promoter of the accD operon in the tobacco plastid genome with a plastid rRNA-operon (rrn) promoter that directs enhanced expression in photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic organs, and successfully raised the total ACCase levels in plastids. This result suggests that the level of the accD subunit is a determinant of ACCase levels, and that enzyme levels are in part controlled post-transcriptionally at the level of subunit assembly. The resultant transformants grew normally and the fatty acid content was significantly increased in leaves, but not significantly in seeds. However, the transformants displayed extended leaf longevity and a twofold increase of seed yield over the control value, which eventually almost doubled the fatty acid production per plant of the transformants relative to control and wild-type plants. These findings offer a potential method for raising plant productivity and oil production.

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