607: Seed oil deposition and mobilization

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: Warwick HRI


The aims of this programme are to identify and characterise new genes/proteins that are involved in controlling the deposition and mobilisation of storage oil (triacylglycerol) during seed development and post-germinative growth. We are using Arabidopsis-based forward genetic screens to isolate mutants that are affected in these processes and we are engaged in map-based cloning the corresponding genes. These mutants and genes are being characterised using a combination of biochemical and molecular techniques including metabolite profiling, transcript and enzyme activity analysis.
Description The objective of this grant was to identify genetic factors that influence Arabidopsis seed oil production and mobilisation. An outcome of this work was the identification of the transcription factor bZIP67 and a regulator of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid content in seeds and also the identification of MONODEHYDROASCORBATE REDUCTASE4 as an essential gene for storage oil breakdown upon germination.
Exploitation Route These findings provide researchers with incite into how omega-3 fatty acid content is regulated in seeds. These fatty acids are of nutritional value to humans and livestock.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

Description One target for the improvement of vegetable oil for cooking and industrial applications is to reduce the levels of linolenic acid, which reduces the oxidative stability of the oil. Crop breeders can therefore use mutations in the bZIP67 gene as a method to specifically reduce linolenic acid levels in seed oils.
First Year Of Impact 2007
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Societal,Economic