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Plant Physiol. 1995 Dec;109(4):1389-94.

Lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferase from meadowfoam mediates insertion of erucic acid at the sn-2 position of triacylglycerol in transgenic rapeseed oil.

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  • 1Calgene Inc., Davis, California 95616, USA.


Lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferase acylates the sn-2 hydroxyl group of lysophosphatidic acid to form phosphatidic acid, a precursor to triacylglycerol. A cDNA encoding lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferase was isolated from developing seeds of meadowfoam (Limnanthes alba alba). The cDNA encodes a 281-amino acid protein with a molecular mass of 32 kD. The cDNA was expressed in developing seeds of transgenic high-erucic-acid rapeseed (Brassica napus) using a napin expression cassette. Erucic acid was present at the sn-2 position of triacylglycerols from transgenic plants but was absent from that position of seed oil extracted from control plants. Trierucin was present in the transgenic oil. Alteration of the sn-2 erucic acid composition did not affect the total erucic acid content. These experiments demonstrate the feasibility of using acyltransferases to alter the stereochemical composition of transgenic seed oils and also represent a necessary step toward increasing the erucic acid content of rapeseed oil.

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