Simultaneous expression of Arabidopsis ρ-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase and MPBQ methyltransferase in transgenic corn kernels triples the tocopherol content
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- Naqvi, S., Farré, G., Zhu, C. et al. Transgenic Res (2011) 20: 177. doi:10.1007/s11248-010-9393-6
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The quantity and composition of tocopherols (compounds with vitamin E activity) vary widely among different plant species reflecting the expression, activity and substrate specificity of enzymes in the corresponding metabolic pathway. Two Arabidopsis cDNA clones corresponding to ρ-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD) and 2-methyl-6-phytylplastoquinol methyltransferase (MPBQ MT) were constitutively expressed in corn to further characterize the pathway and increase the kernel tocopherol content. Transgenic kernels contained up to 3 times as much γ-tocopherol as their wild type counterparts whereas other tocopherol isomers remained undetectable. Biofortification by metabolic engineering offers a sustainable alternative to vitamin E supplementation for the improvement of human health.