Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 126, Issue 9, pp 2289–2297 | Cite as

Embryo-specific expression of soybean oleosin altered oil body morphogenesis and increased lipid content in transgenic rice seeds

  • Wen Xian Liu
  • Hua Liang Liu
  • Le Qing QuEmail author
Original Paper


Oleosin is the most abundant protein in the oil bodies of plant seeds, playing an important role in regulating oil body formation and lipid accumulation. To investigate whether lipid accumulation in transgenic rice seeds depends on the expression level of oleosin, we introduced two soybean oleosin genes encoding 24 kDa proteins into rice under the control of an embryo-specific rice promoter REG-2. Overexpression of soybean oleosin in transgenic rice leads to an increase of seed lipid content up to 36.93 and 46.06 % higher than that of the non-transgenic control, respectively, while the overall fatty acid profiles of triacylglycerols remained unchanged. The overexpression of soybean oleosin in transgenic rice seeds resulted in more numerous and smaller oil bodies compared with wild type, suggesting that an inverse relationship exists between oil body size and the total oleosin level. The increase in lipid content is accompanied by a reduction in the accumulation of total seed protein. Our results suggest that it is possible to increase rice seed oil content for food use and for use as a low-cost feedstock for biodiesel by overexpressing oleosin in rice seeds.


Transgenic Rice Rice Seed Oryzanol Transgenic Rice Line Transgenic Rice Seed 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the National Program of Transgenic Variety Development of China (2013ZX08001-006), National High Technology Research and Development Program (863) (2011AA100604) and the Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31171368). The REG-2 promoter was kindly provided by Dr. F. Takaiwa, NIAS, Japan.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular PhysiologyInstitute of Botany, The Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and TechnologyLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina

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