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Crop Biotech Update

Gene from Castor Bean Increases Unusual Oil in Camelina

November 7, 2018
Unusual oils like hydroxy fatty acids (HFAs) are valuable in the chemical industry. They are largely produced in seeds of castor bean and lesquerella. However, the mass production of these plants is hindered by challenges such as difficulty in weed control and hazardous compounds also produced in these plants. Thus, researchers Niranjan Aryal and Chaofu Lu of Montana State University in the US engineered a gene from castor bean to oilseed Camelina to produce large amounts of HFAs.

The researchers expressed the gene RcPLCL1 from castor bean in Camelina via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. To determine the oil content of the transgenic plants, the researchers extracted oil from the Camelina seeds using a modified Blight and Dyer method. Results showed increased HFA production and improved germination rate of Camelina seeds.

For more information, read the article in Frontiers in Plant Science.