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Crop Biotech Update

PsFAD3 Gene Involved in ALA Accumulation in Tree Peonies

July 25, 2018

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) deficiency is considered as a major cause for the high incidence of cardiovascular, inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases in humans. In recent years, tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa) has been found as a good source of ALA due to the high concentration of ALA in its seed oil. However, the mechanism of the ALA accumulation in tree peony seeds remains unknown.

Chinese Academy of Sciences' Dan-DanYin, together with colleagues performed comparative analysis between two tree peony cultivars, ‘Saiguifei' and ‘Jingshenhuanfa', with different ALA contents. Analysis revealed the importance of microsomal ω-3 fatty acid desaturase 3 (FAD3).

The team then studied the PsFAD3 gene from tree peony seeds and found that the gene's expression levels were consistent with ALA accumulation in seeds. Expression of the gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Arabidopsis thaliana confirmed that the isolated PsFAD3 gene catalyzes ALA synthesis.

These results indicate that PsFAD3 is involved in the synthesis of ALA in seeds and could be used in the development of new tree peony cultivars with high ALA content as well as other crops.

For more information, read the article in Plant Science.