Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF A DOMESTIC SOURCE FOR PRODUCTION OF RICINOLEATE AND OTHER INDUSTRIAL-USE FATTY ACIDS Project Number: 5325-21000-016-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Oct 07, 2008
End Date: Sep 30, 2010

Objective:
The goal of this project is to develop a viable, toxin-free domestic source of castor oil and other industrially useful fatty acids. Specific objectives are: 1)Develop a highly efficient system for genetic transformation of castor; 2)Use genetic transformation of castor to silence genes that express ricin and the allergenic 2S albumins, coordinately developing means for detecting minute levels of the genes, gene products and related biochemical activity; 3) Identify, clone and express genes encoding enzymes needed to elicit high ricinoleate production in oilseeds; and 4) Determine biochemical flexibility of castor for producing oils with novel fatty acids to expand industrial uses of castor.

Approach:
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).

Last Modified: 12/18/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page