Transgenic Research

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 391–402

Improvement of vitamin E quality and quantity in tobacco and lettuce by chloroplast genetic engineering

Authors

  • Yukinori Yabuta
    • School of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of AgricultureTottori University
  • Hiroyuki Tanaka
    • Department of Advanced Bioscience, Faculty of AgricultureKinki University
  • Sahoko Yoshimura
    • Department of Advanced Bioscience, Faculty of AgricultureKinki University
  • Akiko Suzuki
    • Department of Advanced Bioscience, Faculty of AgricultureKinki University
  • Masahiro Tamoi
    • Department of Advanced Bioscience, Faculty of AgricultureKinki University
  • Takanori Maruta
    • Department of Advanced Bioscience, Faculty of AgricultureKinki University
    • Faculty of Life and Environmental ScienceShimane University
    • Department of Advanced Bioscience, Faculty of AgricultureKinki University
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11248-012-9656-5

Cite this article as:
Yabuta, Y., Tanaka, H., Yoshimura, S. et al. Transgenic Res (2013) 22: 391. doi:10.1007/s11248-012-9656-5

Abstract

Vitamin E (tocopherol: Toc) is an important lipid-soluble antioxidant synthesized in chloroplasts. Among the 8 isoforms of vitamin E, α-Toc has the highest activity in humans. To generate transgenic plants with enhanced vitamin E activity, we applied a chloroplast transformation technique. Three types of the transplastomic tobacco plants (pTTC, pTTMT and pTTC-TMT) carrying the Toc cyclase (TC) or γ-Toc methyltransferase (γ-TMT) gene and the TC plus γ-TMT genes as an operon in the plastid genome, respectively, were generated. There was a significant increase in total levels of Toc due to an increase in γ-Toc in the pTTC plants. Compared to the wild-type plants, Toc composition was altered in the pTTMT plants. In the pTTC-TMT plants, total Toc levels increased and α-Toc was a major Toc isoform. Furthermore, to use chloroplast transformation to produce α-Toc-rich vegetable, TC-overexpressing transplastomic lettuce plants (pLTC) were generated. Total Toc levels and vitamin E activity increased in the pLTC plants compared with the wild-type lettuce plants. These findings indicated that chloroplast genetic engineering is useful to improve vitamin E quality and quantity in plants.

Keywords

AntioxidantPlastid transformationTocopherolTobaccoLettuce

Abbreviations

DMPBQ

2,3-dimethyl-5-phytyl-1,4-benzoquinone

HGA

Homogentisic acid

HPT

Homogentisate phytyltransferase

HPP

p-hydroxyphenylpyruvate

HPPD

p-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase

MEP

Methylerythritol phosphate

MPBQ

2-methyl-6-phytylbenzoquinone

MPBQMT

2-methyl-6-phytylbenzoquinone methyltransferase

Toc

Tocopherol

TC

Tocopherol cyclase

γ-TMT

γ-tocopherol methyltransferase

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012