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Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2007;58:295-319.

The production of unusual fatty acids in transgenic plants.

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Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.


The ability to genetically engineer plants has facilitated the generation of oilseeds synthesizing non-native fatty acids. Two particular classes of fatty acids are considered in this review. First, so-called industrial fatty acids, which usually contain functional groups such as hydroxyl, epoxy, or acetylenic bonds, and second, very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids normally found in fish oils and marine microorganisms. For industrial fatty acids, there has been limited progress toward obtaining high-level accumulation of these products in transgenic plants. For very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, although they have a much more complex biosynthesis, accumulation of some target fatty acids has been remarkably successful. In this review, we consider the probable factors responsible for these different outcomes, as well as the potential for further optimization of the transgenic production of unusual fatty acids in transgenic plants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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