Metabolic Engineering of Higher Plants to Produce Bio-industrial Oils

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Journal titleComprehensive Biotechnology (2nd Edition)
SubjectBio-industrial oils; biodiesel; seed oil biosynthesis; membrane lipids; medium chain fatty acids; very long chain fatty acids; oil content; oleic acid; transcription factors; waxes; platform crops; Brassica carinata; Camelina sativa
AbstractVegetable oils have enormous potential as alternatives and replacements for mineral oil in a myriad of industrial applications. Although our knowledge of the genes and biochemical pathways leading to the formation of plant oils allows for the potential to engineer a diverse array of lipid products in seed oils, this goal remains a challenge. This review first summarizes current industrial uses of plant oils while highlighting features that make them attractive for industrial applications and presents a general overview of seed oil biosynthesis. Thereafter, the review considers various metabolic engineering strategies to achieve desired fatty acid compositions of seed oils for industrial applications. Among the target modifications examined are fatty acid chain length, level of desaturation and the presence of novel functional groups, which are introduced within the endoplasmic reticulum. The role of triacylglycerol assembly in accommodating industrially useful fatty acyl groups is also addressed. In addition, a section is devoted to examining the manipulation of key steps in carbon flow to increase seed oil content. The concept of producing oil in vegetative tissues is also addressed, as is the development of ‘platforms’ crops for the production of metabolically engineered bio-industrial oils. Finally, this review examines the potential of waxes for industrial applications which require lubricants that are more stable to hydrolysis at higher temperatures.
Publication date
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; NRC Plant Biotechnology Institute
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number50175
NPARC number17829624
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Record identifier65ef62b7-48ad-429f-9c05-3860098f6bd6
Record created2011-04-30
Record modified2016-05-09
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