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Molecular Biotechnology

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 123–128 | Cite as

Modification of fatty acid composition in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) by expression of a borage Δ6-desaturase

  • David Cook
  • Don Grierson
  • Craigh Jones
  • Andrew Wallace
  • Gill West
  • Greg Tucker
Research

Abstract

The improvement of nutritional quality is one potential application for the genetic modification of plants. One possible target for such manipulation is the modification of fatty acid metabolism. In this work, expression of a borage Δ6-desaturase cDNA in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) has been shown to produce γ-linolenic acid (GLA; 18:3 Δ6,9,12) and octadecatetraenoic acid (OTA; 18:4 Δ6,9,12,15) in transgenic leaf and fruit tissue. This genetic modification has also, unexpectedly, resulted in a reduction in the percentage of linoleic acid (LA 18:2 Δ9,12) and a concomitant increase in the percentage of α-linolenic acid (ALA; 18:3 Δ9,12,15) in fruit tissue. These changes in fatty acid composition are thought to be beneficial for human health.

Index Entries

Tomato fatty acids desaturase nutritional quality genetic modification 

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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Cook
    • 1
  • Don Grierson
    • 2
  • Craigh Jones
    • 1
  • Andrew Wallace
    • 2
  • Gill West
    • 1
  • Greg Tucker
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biosciences, Division of Nutritional Biochemistry, LoughboroughThe University of NottinghamLeics
  2. 2.School of Biosciences, Division of Plant Science, LoughboroughThe University of NottinghamLeics

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