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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2005 Apr;8(2):197-203.

Metabolic engineering of new fatty acids in plants.

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CSIRO Plant Industry, PO Box 1600, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.


Metabolic engineering of plants to express high levels of new fatty acids that are of nutritional and industrial importance has proven to be highly challenging. Significant advances have been made recently, however, particularly in the development of the first plant oils to contain long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as arachidonic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Methods of increasing the accumulation of Delta12-modified fatty acids synthesized by transgenically expressed FAD2-like enzymes have also been investigated. Biochemical analyses of plants that express these introduced fatty-acid metabolic pathways have highlighted the central importance of ensuring the removal of novel fatty acids from their site of synthesis on phosphatidylcholine to enable their further modification, exclusion from membrane lipids and accumulation in seed triacylglycerols.

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