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FEBS Lett. 2013 Feb 14;587(4):364-9. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2012.12.018. Epub 2013 Jan 8.

Synergistic effect of WRI1 and DGAT1 coexpression on triacylglycerol biosynthesis in plants.

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Food Futures National Research Flagship, P.O. Box 1600, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.


Metabolic engineering approaches to increase plant oil levels can generally be divided into categories which increase fatty acid biosynthesis ('Push'), are involved in TAG assembly ('Pull') or increase TAG storage/decrease breakdown ('Accumulation'). In this study, we describe the surprising synergy when Push (WRI1) and Pull (DGAT1) approaches are combined. Co-expression of these genes in the Nicotiana benthamiana transient leaf expression system resulted in TAG levels exceeding those expected from an additive effect and biochemical tracer studies confirmed increased flux of carbon through fatty acid and TAG synthesis pathways. Leaf fatty acid profile also synergistically shifts from polyunsaturated to monounsaturated fatty acids.

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