Lipids

, 42:179 | Cite as

Engineering Oilseed Plants for a Sustainable, Land-Based Source of Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids

Invited Thematic Review

Abstract

Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated the cardiovascular and mental health benefits of including very long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, namely eicospentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosohexaenoic acid (DHA) in the human diet. Certain fish oils can be a rich source of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids although processed marine oils are generally undesirable as food ingredients because of the associated objectionable flavors and contaminants that are difficult and cost-prohibitive to remove. Oilseed plants rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as flax and walnut oils, contain only the 18-carbon omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, which is poorly converted by the human body to EPA and DHA. It is now possible to engineer common omega-6 rich oilseeds such as soybean and canola to produce EPA and DHA and this has been the focus of a number of academic and industrial research groups. Recent advances and future prospects in the production of EPA and DHA in oilseed crops are discussed here.

Abbreviations

LCPUFA

Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids

DHA

Docosahexaenoic acid

EPA

Eicosapentaenoic acid

ARA

Arachidonic acid

COX-2

Cyclooxygenase-2

LNA

Linoleic acid

ALA

Alpha-linolenic acid

GLA

Gamma-linolenic acid

STA

Stearidonic acid

DGLA

Dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid

ETA

Eicosatetraenoic acid

EDA

Eicosadienoic acid

ERA

Eicosatrienoic acid

DPA

Docosapentaenoic acid

CoA

Coenzyme A

PtdCho

Phosphatidylcholine

LPAAT

Lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferase

SCA

Sciadonic acid

JUN

Juniperonic acid

PKS

Polyketide synthase

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Copyright information

© AOCS 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Crop Genetics ResearchDuPont Experimental StationWilmingtonUSA

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