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Planta. 2001 Apr;212(5-6):872-9.

Transgenic expression of a delta 12-epoxygenase gene in Arabidopsis seeds inhibits accumulation of linoleic acid.

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CSIRO Plant Industry, GPO Box 1600, Canberra, Australia.


The Crepis palaestina cDNA Cpal2 encodes a delta 12-epoxygenase that can catalyse the synthesis of 12,13-epoxy-cis-9-octadecenoic acid (18:1E) from linoleic acid (18:2). When the Cpal2 gene was expressed under the control of the napin seed-specific promoter in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh., the seed lipids accumulated only low levels of 18:1E and also 12,13-epoxy-cis-9,15-octadec-2-enoic acid (18:2E). Despite the fact that the levels of these epoxy fatty acids comprised only up to 6.2% of the total fatty acids, there was a very marked increase in oleic acid (18:1) and decrease in linoleic (18:2) and alpha-linolenic (18:3) acids in these plants, indicating that endogenous delta 12-desaturation was greatly reduced in these plants. Significant between-line differences in the levels of Cpal2 mRNA were observed during seed development, but were not associated with any major variation in mRNA levels for the endogenous Arabidopsis delta 12-desaturase (Fad2). This suggests that if an unfavourable interaction occurs between the transgenic delta 12-epoxygenase and the endogenous delta 12-desaturase, which decreases the level of desaturation, it occurs at either the translational or post-translational level. We further show that the co-expression of a delta 12-desaturase gene from C. palaestina in Cpal2 transgenic Arabidopsis returns the relative proportions of the C18 seed fatty acids to normal levels and results in an almost twofold increase in total epoxy fatty acids.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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