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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Bioproducts Research » Research » Research Project #439186

Research Project: Characterization of a Novel Triacylglycerol Remodeling Pathway for Accumulation of Industrially Valuable Fatty Acids in Physaria Fendleri

Location: Bioproducts Research

Project Number: 2030-21410-022-003-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2020
End Date: May 31, 2025

Long-term goals are to elucidate the genetic components that control the accumulation of novel seed oil fatty acid compositions that can be used for enhanced breeding or engineering of oilseed crops as feedstocks for the oleochemical industry. Specific goals are to: (1) characterize the genes responsible for the novel pathway of triacylglycerols (TAG) remodeling in lesquerella; and (2) evaluate the use of TAG remodeling as a tool for engineering the accumulation of novel fatty acid compositions in an oilseed crop. Specific Objectives are: (1) Biochemical characterization of TAG remodeling candidate genes. (2) Identify in planta roles of TAG remodeling candidate genes. (3) Bioengineer TAG remodeling into an oilseed crop.

Approach for Objective 1: Recent lesquerella developing seed transcriptomics has provided a list of candidate genes for TAG remodeling. We will further investigate and narrow down the candidate genes by determining protein-protein interacting pairs of lipase(s) and diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT) enzymes, and by characterizing the fatty acid selectivity of the enzymes. Approach for Objective 2: RNAi knockdowns of candidate genes in lesquerella will be used to ascertain their role in hydroxy fatty acid accumulation, and TAG remodeling. Approach for Objective 23: Heterologous expression of select lesquerella genes in Camelina will identify the components required to reconstitute TAG remodeling for the production of novel seed oil fatty acid compositions.