Transgenic increases in seed oil content are associated with the differential expression of novel Brassica-specific transcripts.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Seed oil accumulates primarily as triacylglycerol (TAG). While the biochemical pathway for TAG biosynthesis is known, its regulation remains unclear. Previous research identified microsomal diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1, EC 220.127.116.11) as controlling a rate-limiting step in the TAG biosynthesis pathway. Of note, overexpression of DGAT1 results in substantial increases in oil content and seed size. To further analyze the global consequences of manipulating DGAT1 levels during seed development, a concerted transcriptome and metabolome analysis of transgenic B. napus prototypes was performed. RESULTS: Using a targeted Brassica cDNA microarray, about 200 genes were differentially expressed in two independent transgenic lines analyzed. Interestingly, 24-33% of the targets showing significant changes have no matching gene in Arabidopsis although these represent only 5% of the targets on the microarray. Further analysis of some of these novel transcripts indicated that several are inducible by ABA in microspore-derived embryos. Of the 200 Arabidopsis genes implicated in lipid biology present on the microarray, 36 were found to be differentially regulated in DGAT transgenic lines. Furthermore, kinetic reverse transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (k-PCR) analysis revealed up-regulation of genes encoding enzymes of the Kennedy pathway involved in assembly of TAGs. Hormone profiling indicated that levels of auxins and cytokinins varied between transgenic lines and untransformed controls, while differences in the pool sizes of ABA and catabolites were only observed at later stages of development. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that the increased TAG accumulation observed in transgenic DGAT1 plants is associated with modest transcriptional and hormonal changes during seed development that are not limited to the TAG biosynthesis pathway. These might be associated with feedback or feed-forward effects due to altered levels of DGAT1 activity. The fact that a large fraction of significant amplicons have no matching genes in Arabidopsis compromised our ability to draw concrete inferences from the data at this stage, but has led to the identification of novel genes of potential interest.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The Arabidopsis thaliana dgat1 mutant, AS11, has an oil content which is decreased by 30%, and a strongly increased ratio of 18:3/20:1, compared to wild type. Despite lacking a functional DGAT1, AS11 still manages to make 70% of WT seed oil levels. Recently, it was demonstrated that in the absence of DGAT1, PDAT1 was essential for normal seed development, and is a dominant determinant in Arabidopsis TAG biosynthesis. METHODS: Biochemical, metabolic and gene expression studies combined with genetic crossing of selected Arabidopsis mutants have been carried out to demonstrate the contribution of Arabidopsis PDAT1 and LPCAT2 in the absence of DGAT1 activity. RESULTS: Through microarray and RT-PCR gene expression analyses of AS11 vs. WT mid-developing siliques, we observed consistent trends between the two methods. FAD2 and FAD3 were up-regulated and FAE1 down-regulated, consistent with the AS11 acyl phenotype. PDAT1 expression was up-regulated by ca 65% while PDAT2 expression was up-regulated only 15%, reinforcing the dominant role of PDAT1 in AS11 TAG biosynthesis. The expression of LPCAT2 was up-regulated by 50-75%, while LPCAT1 expression was not significantly affected. In vitro LPCAT activity was enhanced by 75-125% in microsomal protein preparations from mid-developing AS11 seed vs WT. Co-incident homozygous knockout lines of dgat1/lpcat2 exhibited severe penalties on TAG biosynthesis, delayed plant development and seed set, even with a functional PDAT1; the double mutant dgat1/lpcat1 showed only marginally lower oil content than AS11. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, the data strongly support that in AS11 it is LPCAT2 up-regulation which is primarily responsible for assisting in PDAT1-catalyzed TAG biosynthesis, maintaining a supply of PC as co-substrate to transfer sn-2 moieties to the sn-3 position of the enlarged AS11 DAG pool.
Project description:Background:Camelina sativa has attracted much interest as alternative renewable resources for biodiesel, other oil-based industrial products and a source for edible oils. Its unique oil attributes attract research to engineering new varieties of improved oil quantity and quality. The overexpression of enzymes catalyzing the synthesis of the glycerol backbone and the sequential conjugation of fatty acids into this backbone is a promising approach for increasing the levels of triacylglycerol (TAG). In a previous study, we co-expressed the diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT1) and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GPD1), involved in TAG metabolism, in Camelina seeds. Transgenic plants exhibited a higher-percentage seed oil content, a greater seed mass, and overall improved seed and oil yields relative to wild-type plants. To further increase seed oil content in Camelina, we utilized metabolite profiling, in conjunction with transcriptome profiling during seed development to examine potential rate-limiting step(s) in the production of building blocks for TAG biosynthesis. Results:Transcriptomic analysis revealed approximately 2518 and 3136 transcripts differentially regulated at significant levels in DGAT1 and GPD1 transgenics, respectively. These transcripts were found to be involved in various functional categories, including alternative metabolic routes in fatty acid synthesis, TAG assembly, and TAG degradation. We quantified the relative contents of over 240 metabolites. Our results indicate major metabolic switches in transgenic seeds associated with significant changes in the levels of glycerolipids, amino acids, sugars, and organic acids, especially the TCA cycle and glycolysis intermediates. Conclusions:From the transcriptomic and metabolomic analysis of DGAT1, GPD1 and DGAT1?+?GPD1 expressing lines of C. sativa, we conclude that TAG production is limited by (1) utilization of fixed carbon from the source tissues supported by the increase in glycolysis pathway metabolites and decreased transcripts levels of transcription factors controlling fatty acids synthesis; (2) TAG accumulation is limited by the activity of lipases/hydrolases that hydrolyze TAG pool supported by the increase in free fatty acids and monoacylglycerols. This comparative transcriptomics and metabolomics approach is useful in understanding the regulation of TAG biosynthesis, identifying bottlenecks, and the corresponding genes controlling these pathways identified as limitations, for generating Camelina varieties with improved seed and oil yields.
Project description:Plant seed oil-based liquid transportation fuels (i.e., biodiesel and green diesel) have tremendous potential as environmentally, economically and technologically feasible alternatives to petroleum-derived fuels. Due to their nutritional and industrial importance, one of the major objectives is to increase the seed yield and oil production of oilseed crops via biotechnological approaches. Camelina sativa, an emerging oilseed crop, has been proposed as an ideal crop for biodiesel and bioproduct applications. Further increase in seed oil yield by increasing the flux of carbon from increased photosynthesis into triacylglycerol (TAG) synthesis will make this crop more profitable. To increase the oil yield, we engineered Camelina by co-expressing the Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. diacylglycerol acyltransferase1 (DGAT1) and a yeast cytosolic glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GPD1) genes under the control of seed-specific promoters. Plants co-expressing DGAT1 and GPD1 exhibited up to 13% higher seed oil content and up to 52% increase in seed mass compared to wild-type plants. Further, DGAT1- and GDP1-co-expressing lines showed significantly higher seed and oil yields on a dry weight basis than the wild-type controls or plants expressing DGAT1 and GPD1 alone. The oil harvest index (g oil per g total dry matter) for DGTA1- and GPD1-co-expressing lines was almost twofold higher as compared to wild type and the lines expressing DGAT1 and GPD1 alone. Therefore, combining the overexpression of TAG biosynthetic genes, DGAT1 and GPD1, appears to be a positive strategy to achieve a synergistic effect on the flux through the TAG synthesis pathway, and thereby further increase the oil yield.
Project description:P-HYDROXYPHENYLPYRUVATE DIOXYGENASE (HPPD) is the first committed enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of vitamin E, and is characterized by catalyzing the conversion of p-hydroxyphenyl pyruvate (HPP) to homogentisic acid (HGA). Here, an HPPD gene was cloned from Medicago sativa L. and designated MsHPPD, which was expressed at high levels in alfalfa leaves. PEG 6000 (polyethylene glycol), NaCl, abscisic acid and salicylic acid were shown to significantly induce MsHPPD expression, especially in the cotyledons and root tissues. Overexpression of MsHPPD was found to significantly increase the level of β-tocotrienol and the total vitamin E content in Arabidopsis seeds. Furthermore, these transgenic Arabidopsis seeds exhibited an accelerated germination time, compared with wild-type seeds under normal conditions, as well as under NaCl and ABA treatments. Meanwhile, the expression level of several genes associated with ABA biosynthesis (NCED3, NCED5 and NCED9) and the ABA signaling pathway (RAB18, ABI3 and ABI5) were significantly down-regulated in MsHPPD-overexpressing transgenic lines, as well as the total free ABA content. Taken together, these results demonstrate that MsHPPD functions not only in the vitamin E biosynthetic pathway, but also plays a critical role in seed germination via affecting ABA biosynthesis and signaling.
Project description:Oil in the form of triacylglycerols (TAGs) is quantitatively the most important storage form of energy for eukaryotic cells. Diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT) is considered the rate-limiting enzyme for TAG accumulation. Chlorella, a unicellular eukaryotic green alga, has attracted much attention as a potential feedstock for renewable energy production. However, the function of DGAT1 in Chlorella has not been reported.A full-length cDNA encoding a putative diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1, EC 18.104.22.168) was obtained from Chlorella ellipsoidea. The 2,142 bp open reading frame of this cDNA, designated CeDGAT1, encodes a protein of 713 amino acids showing no more than 40% identity with DGAT1s of higher plants. Transcript analysis showed that the expression level of CeDGAT1 markedly increased under nitrogen starvation, which led to significant triacylglycerol (TAG) accumulation. CeDGAT1 activity was confirmed in the yeast quadruple mutant strain H1246 by restoring its ability to produce TAG. Upon expression of CeDGAT1, the total fatty acid content in wild-type yeast (INVSc1) increased by 142%, significantly higher than that transformed with DGAT1s from higher plants, including even the oil crop soybean. The over-expression of CeDGAT1 under the NOS promoter in wild-type Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica napus var. Westar significantly increased the oil content by 8-37% and 12-18% and the average 1,000-seed weight by 9-15% and 6-29%, respectively, but did not alter the fatty acid composition of the seed oil. The net increase in the 1,000-seed total lipid content was up to 25-50% in both transgenic Arabidopsis and B. napus.We identified a gene encoding DGAT1 in C. ellipsoidea and confirmed that it plays an important role in TAG accumulation. This is the first functional analysis of DGAT1 in Chlorella. This information is important for understanding lipid synthesis and accumulation in Chlorella and for genetic engineering to enhance oil production in microalgae and oil plants.
Project description:IgASE1, a C?? ?(9)-specific polyunsaturated fatty acid elongase from the marine microalga Isochrysis galbana, is able to convert linoleic acid and ?-linolenic acid to eicosadienoic acid and eicosatrienoic acid in Arabidopsis. Eicosadienoic acid and eicosatrienoic acid are precursors of arachidonic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid, which are synthesized via the ?(8) desaturation biosynthetic pathways. This study shows that the IgASE1-expressing transgenic Arabidopsis exhibited altered morphology (decreased leaf area and biomass) and enhanced drought resistance compared to wild-type plants. The transgenic Arabidopsis were hypersensitive to abscisic acid (ABA) during seed germination, post-germination growth, and seedling development. They had elevated leaf ABA levels under well-watered and dehydrated conditions and their stomata were more sensitive to ABA. Exogenous application of eicosadienoic acid and eicosatrienoic acid can mimic ABA and drought responses in the wild type plants, similar to that found in the transgenic ones. The transcript levels of genes involved in the biosynthesis of ABA (NCED3, ABA1, AAO3) as well as other stress-related genes were upregulated in this transgenic line upon osmotic stress (300 mM mannitol). Taken together, these results indicate that these two eicosapolyenoic acids or their derived metabolites can mitigate the effects of drought in transgenic Arabidopsis, at least in part, through the action of ABA.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Zinc-finger transcription factors play central roles in plant growth, development and abiotic stress responses. PLATZ encodes a class of plant-specific zinc-finger transcription factor. However, biological functions or physiological mechanism controlled by PLATZ are currently limited. RESULTS:GhPLATZ1 transcripts were considerably up-regulated by NaCl, mannitol, abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellin (GA) treatments. Transgenic Arabidopsis by ectopic expression of GhPLATZ1 exhibited faster seed germination and higher seedling establishment under salt and mannitol stresses than those of wild type (WT), indicating enhanced osmotic insensitivity in GhPLATZ1 transgenic Arabidopsis. The ABA content in dry seeds of GhPLATZ1 transgenic Arabidopsis was lower than that of WT whereas the ABA content was not changed in germinating seeds under salt stress. Seed germination was faster than but the seedling establishment of transgenic Arabidopsis was similar to WT. Besides, GhPLATZ1 transgenic and WT Arabidopsis exhibited insensitivity to paclobutrazol (PAC), a GA biosynthesis inhibitor, whereas exogenous GA could eliminate the growth difference between GhPLATZ1 transgenic and WT Arabidopsis under salt stress. Moreover, exogenous 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), an ethylene precursor, exerted similar effects to GA. Furthermore, ABI4 and ETO1 transcripts were significantly down-regulated, whereas ACS8 was up-regulated in GhPLATZ1 transgenic Arabidopsis under salt stress. CONCLUSIONS:In conclusion, GhPLATZ1 had broad influence in responses to salt and mannitol stresses in transgenic Arabidopsis during seed germination and seedling establishment. The effect of GhPLATZ1 expression in transgenic Arabidopsis might be mediated by the ABA, GA, and ethylene pathways. Thus, this study provided new insights into the regulatory network in response to abiotic stresses in plants.
Project description:Drought stress is an important environmental factor limiting productivity of plants, especially fast growing species with high water consumption like poplar. Abscisic acid (ABA) is a phytohormone that positively regulates seed dormancy and drought resistance. The PYR1 (Pyrabactin Resistance 1)/ PYRL (PYR-Like)/ RCAR (Regulatory Component of ABA Receptor) (PYR/PYL/RCAR) ABA receptor family has been identified and widely characterized in Arabidopsis thaliana. However, their functions in poplars remain unknown. Here, we report that 2 of 14 PYR/PYL/RCAR orthologues in poplar (Populus trichocarpa) (PtPYRLs) function as a positive regulator of the ABA signal transduction pathway. The Arabidopsis transient expression and yeast two-hybrid assays showed the interaction among PtPYRL1 and PtPYRL5, a clade A protein phosphatase 2C, and a SnRK2, suggesting that a core signalling complex for ABA signaling pathway exists in poplars. Phenotypic analysis of PtPYRL1 and PtPYRL5 transgenic Arabidopsis showed that these two genes positively regulated the ABA responses during the seed germination. More importantly, the overexpression of PtPYRL1 and PtPYRL5 substantially improved ABA sensitivity and drought stress tolerance in transgenic plants. In summary, we comprehensively uncovered the properties of PtPYRL1 and PtPYRL5, which might be good target genes to genetically engineer drought-Resistant plants.
Project description:Mangrove plants adapt to coastal tidal mudflats with specially evolved viviparity seed development. However, very little is known about the genetic and molecular mechanisms of mangrove viviparity. Here, we tested a hypothesis that plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) plays a significant role in precocious germination of viviparous Kandelia obovata seeds by exogenous applications. Through transcriptome analysis of ABA treated seeds, it was found that ABA repressed mangrove fruit growth and development, and there were thousands of genes differentially expressed. As a result, dynamics of the pathways were dramatically altered. In particular, "Plant hormone signal transduction" and "MAPK signaling pathway" were represented significantly. Among differentially expressed genes, some key genes of ABA signal transduction were induced, while ABA biosynthesis genes were repressed. Take ABI1 and ABI2, key negative regulators in ABA signal pathway, as examples, homologous alignment and a phylogenetic tree in various species showed that ABI1 and ABI2 are highly conserved among various species. The functional similarity of these genes was confirmed by transgenic work in Arabidopsis. Taken together, ABA inhibited mangrove viviparity, but mangroves developed a mechanism to prevent accidently increase of ABA in the harsh environment for maintaining viviparous reproductive strategy.
Project description:KEY MESSAGE:The overexpression of IbbZIP1 leads to a significant upregulation of abiotic-related genes, suggesting that IbbZIP1 gene confers salt and drought tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis. Basic region/leucine zipper motif (bZIP) transcription factors regulate flower development, seed maturation, pathogen defense, and stress signaling in plants. Here, we cloned a novel bZIP transcription factor gene, named IbbZIP1, from sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] line HVB-3. The full length of IbbZIP1 exhibited transactivation activity in yeast. The expression of IbbZIP1 in sweetpotato was strongly induced by NaCl, PEG6000, and abscisic acid (ABA). Its overexpression in Arabidopsis significantly enhanced salt and drought tolerance. Under salt and drought stresses, the transgenic Arabidopsis plants showed significant upregulation of the genes involved in ABA and proline biosynthesis and reactive oxygen species scavenging system, significant increase of ABA and proline contents and superoxide dismutase activity and significant decrease of H2O2 content. These results demonstrate that the IbbZIP1 gene confers salt and drought tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis. This study provides a novel bZIP gene for improving the tolerance of sweetpotato and other plants to abiotic stresses.