Location: Crop Improvement & Utilization Research
Project Number: 5325-21000-016-00
Start Date: Oct 07, 2008
End Date: Sep 30, 2010
Castor is a key industrial crop that produces an unusual fatty acid, and may be able to produce other unusual fatty acids. The primary approach to achieve our objectives is to use genetic engineering and improve castor by eliminating noxious components that deter its production and processing. Methods for sensitive detection of the noxious components will also be developed for safety assurance. The biochemical approaches will identify factors (enzymatic and regulatory) that are involved in high ricinoleate production. These will also provide the means to determine the biochemical flexibility of castor and castor lipid biosynthetic components for incorporating other useful fatty acids into the oil. These biochemical approaches will also provide the foundation for altering the fatty acid composition of other seeds to produce industrially useful fatty acids, and will support engineering of microbes for conversion of surplus oils to higher value products. Replacing 5325-21000-012-00D (November, 2008).