Track 1-04

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γ-Linolenic acid (GLA, 18:3Δ6, 9, 12) and octadecatetraenoic acid (OTA, 18:4Δ6, 9, 12, 15) are important polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which have been proved to be benefit for human health (Fan and Chapkin 1998; Whelan 2009). Currently, fish are the predominant source of PUFAs. However, with the growth of world’s population and the more nutrition requirements, fishery resources are shrinking. Alternative sources of PUFAs are being investigated (Truksa et al. 2009). The major oil crops do not contain GLA and OTA, only several plant species contain these important fatty acids in their leaf lipids and seed oils (Zhou et al. 2006). Genetic modification of oil crops may be an effective approach to produce these fatty acids. This process requires an enzyme–delta 6-desaturase, which can introduce a double bond at the delta 6 position (Meesa-pyodsuk and Qiu 2012). Microula sikkimensis is a kind of rare wild oil plant, which is widely distributed in Bhutan, Sikkim, Nepal and the northwest region of China (Cao and Suo 2010). Fu et al. (1997) reported that unsaturated fatty acids made up 86.5% of total fatty acids, and that GLA accounted for 6.4% of fatty acids in M. sikkimensis seeds that is known as a new source of GLA.

In this research, the delta 6-desaturase gene of M. sikkimensis was introduced into tobacco and the fatty acid composition of transgenic tobacco was analysed.

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Fatty Acid Analysis of the Transgenic Tobacco Expressing A Delta 6-Desaturase Gene from Microula sikkimensis

γ-Linolenic acid (GLA, 18:3Δ6, 9, 12) and octadecatetraenoic acid (OTA, 18:4Δ6, 9, 12, 15) are important polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which have been proved to be benefit for human health (Fan and Chapkin 1998; Whelan 2009). Currently, fish are the predominant source of PUFAs. However, with the growth of world’s population and the more nutrition requirements, fishery resources are shrinking. Alternative sources of PUFAs are being investigated (Truksa et al. 2009). The major oil crops do not contain GLA and OTA, only several plant species contain these important fatty acids in their leaf lipids and seed oils (Zhou et al. 2006). Genetic modification of oil crops may be an effective approach to produce these fatty acids. This process requires an enzyme–delta 6-desaturase, which can introduce a double bond at the delta 6 position (Meesa-pyodsuk and Qiu 2012). Microula sikkimensis is a kind of rare wild oil plant, which is widely distributed in Bhutan, Sikkim, Nepal and the northwest region of China (Cao and Suo 2010). Fu et al. (1997) reported that unsaturated fatty acids made up 86.5% of total fatty acids, and that GLA accounted for 6.4% of fatty acids in M. sikkimensis seeds that is known as a new source of GLA.

In this research, the delta 6-desaturase gene of M. sikkimensis was introduced into tobacco and the fatty acid composition of transgenic tobacco was analysed.