Planta

, Volume 209, Issue 4, pp 547–550

Poly(β-hydroxybutyrate) production in oilseed leukoplasts of Brassica napus

Authors

  • Kathryn L. Houmiel
    • Monsanto Company, Agricultural Sector, 700 Chesterfield Parkway North, St. Louis, MO 63198, USA
  • Steven Slater
    • Monsanto Company, Agricultural Sector, 700 Chesterfield Parkway North, St. Louis, MO 63198, USA
  • Debra Broyles
    • Monsanto Company, Agricultural Sector, 700 Chesterfield Parkway North, St. Louis, MO 63198, USA
  • Laura Casagrande
    • Monsanto Company, Agricultural Sector, 700 Chesterfield Parkway North, St. Louis, MO 63198, USA
  • Susan Colburn
    • Monsanto Company, Agricultural Sector, 700 Chesterfield Parkway North, St. Louis, MO 63198, USA
  • Kathleen Gonzalez
    • Monsanto Company, Agricultural Sector, 700 Chesterfield Parkway North, St. Louis, MO 63198, USA
  • Timothy A. Mitsky
    • Monsanto Company, Agricultural Sector, 700 Chesterfield Parkway North, St. Louis, MO 63198, USA
  • Steven E. Reiser
    • Monsanto Company, Agricultural Sector, 700 Chesterfield Parkway North, St. Louis, MO 63198, USA
  • Devang Shah
    • Monsanto Company, Agricultural Sector, 700 Chesterfield Parkway North, St. Louis, MO 63198, USA
  • Nancy B. Taylor
    • Monsanto Company, Agricultural Sector, 700 Chesterfield Parkway North, St. Louis, MO 63198, USA
  • Mintien Tran
    • Monsanto Company, Agricultural Sector, 700 Chesterfield Parkway North, St. Louis, MO 63198, USA
  • Henry E. Valentin
    • Monsanto Company, Agricultural Sector, 700 Chesterfield Parkway North, St. Louis, MO 63198, USA
  • Kenneth J. Gruys
    • Monsanto Company, Agricultural Sector, 700 Chesterfield Parkway North, St. Louis, MO 63198, USA
Rapid communication

DOI: 10.1007/s004250050760

Cite this article as:
Houmiel, K., Slater, S., Broyles, D. et al. Planta (1999) 209: 547. doi:10.1007/s004250050760

Abstract.

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) comprise a class of biodegradable polymers which offer an environmentally sustainable alternative to petroleum-based plastics. Production of PHAs in plants is attractive since current fermentation technology is prohibitively expensive. The PHA homopolymer poly(β-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) has previously been produced in leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana (Nawrath et al., 1994, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 91: 12760–12764). However, Brassica napus oilseed may provide a better system for PHB production because acetyl-CoA, the substrate required in the first step of PHB biosynthesis, is prevalent during fatty acid biosynthesis. Three enzymatic activities are needed to synthesize PHB: a β-ketothiolase, an acetoacetyl-CoA reductase and a PHB synthase. Genes from the bacterium Ralstonia eutropha encoding these enzymes were independently engineered behind the seed-specific Lesquerella fendleri oleate 12-hydroxylase promoter in a modular fashion. The gene cassettes were sequentially transferred into a single, multi-gene vector which was used to transform B. napus. Poly(β-hydroxybutyrate) accumulated in leukoplasts to levels as high as 7.7% fresh seed weight of mature seeds. Electron-microscopy analyses indicated that leukoplasts from these plants were distorted, yet intact, and appeared to expand in response to polymer accumulation.

Key words:Brassica (PHB production)Plastid (PHB production)Poly(hydroxyalkanoate)Poly(β-hydroxybutyrate)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999