Enhancement of α-linolenic acid content in transgenic tobacco seeds by targeting a plastidial ω-3 fatty acid desaturase (fad7) gene of Sesamum indicum to ER
Bhunia, R.K.; Chakraborty, A.; Kaur, R.; Maiti, M.K.; Sen, S.K.
Plant Cell Reports 35(1): 213-226
Expression of sesame plastidial FAD7 desaturase modified with the endoplasmic reticulum targeting and retention signals, enhances the α-linolenic acid accumulation in seeds of Nicotiana tabacum. In plants, plastidial ω-3 fatty acid desaturase-7 (FAD7) catalyzes the formation of C16 and C18 trienoic fatty acids using organellar glycerolipids and participate in the membrane lipid formation. The plastidial ω-3 desaturases (FAD7) share high sequence homology with the microsomal ω-3 desaturases (FAD3) at the amino acid level except the N-terminal organelle transit peptide. In the present study, the predicted N-terminal plastidial signal peptide of fad7 gene was replaced by the endoplasmic reticulum signal peptide and an endoplasmic reticulum retention signal was placed at the C-terminal. The expression of the modified sesame ω-3 desaturase increases the α-linolenic acid content in the range of 4.78-6.77 % in the seeds of transgenic tobacco plants with concomitant decrease in linoleic acid content. The results suggested the potential of the engineered plastidial ω-3 desaturase from sesame to influence the profile of α-linolenic acid in tobacco plant by shifting the carbon flux from linoleic acid, and thus it can be used in suitable genetic engineering strategy to increase the α-linolenic acid content in sesame and other vegetable oils.