Location: Bioproducts ResearchTitle: Exploring seed oil biosynthetic pathway in lesquerella (Physaria fendleri), an important industrial crop
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/27/2015
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Lesquerella is currently being developed as a new industrial oilseed. Lesquerella is valued for its unusual hydroxy fatty acid (HFA), lesquerolic acid (20:1OH), which can be used as raw materials for numerous industrial products, such as lubricants, plasticizers and surfactants. As a step towards genetic engineering of lesquerella, we report here building a lesquerella seed transcriptome reference and identification of candidate genes that provide genetic targets for seed quality improvement. We used 454 GX FLX pyrosequencing and acquired 651 megabases of raw sequences from an mRNA sample of developing seeds. Bioinformatic analysis of these sequences revealed 59,914 transcripts representing 26,995 unique genes that include nearly all known seed expressed genes. When these unique genes were searched against the NCBI NR database, 19,861 genes (74%) matched annotated coding genes. In addition, about 18,868 coding genes (95%) matched genes from Arabidopsis with the highest homology. Based on Arabidopsis acyl-lipid metabolism database, we identified 615 lesquerella genes representing all known pathways in acyl-lipid metabolism. Also, we characterized the expression profiles of 15 key genes involved in oil biosynthesis in various tissues of lesquerella using quantitative real-time PCR assays. Our results provide a resource in the design of future experiments to control HFA production in plants. Besides, we discovered a role of a lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferase from castor (Ricinus communis) that favors incorporation of HFA in lesquerella. Our findings advance our understanding of regulatory mechanisms underlying synthesis and accumulation of HFAs in lesquerella.