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Title

An alternative to fish oils: Metabolic engineering of oil-seed crops to produce omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids

AuthorsVenegas-Calerón, Mónica ; Sayanova, Olga; Napier, Johnathan A.
KeywordsPolyunsaturated fatty acids
Plants
Omega-3 fatty acids
Desaturases
Elongases
Transgenic plant
Issue DateApr-2010
PublisherElsevier
CitationProgress in Lipid Research 49(2): 108- 119 (2010)
AbstractIt is now accepted that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5Δ5,8,11,14,17) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6Δ4,7,10,13,16,19) play important roles in a number of aspects of human health, with marine fish rich in these beneficial fatty acids our primary dietary source. However, over-fishing and concerns about pollution of the marine environment indicate a need to develop alternative, sustainable sources of very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (VLC-PUFAs) such as EPA and DHA. A number of different strategies have been considered, with one of the most promising being transgenic plants >reverse-engineered> to produce these so-called fish oils. Considerable progress has been made towards this goal and in this review we will outline the recent achievements in demonstrating the production of omega-3 VLC-PUFAs in transgenic plants. We will also consider how these enriched oils will allow the development of nutritionally-enhanced food products, suitable either for direct human ingestion or for use as an animal feedstuff. In particular, the requirements of aquaculture for omega-3 VLC-PUFAs will act as a strong driver for the development of such products. In addition, biotechnological research on the synthesis of VLC-PUFAs has provided new insights into the complexities of acyl-channelling and triacylglycerol biosynthesis in higher plants. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/54458
DOI10.1016/j.plipres.2009.10.001
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2009.10.001
issn: 0163-7827
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