Synthesis of Octadecatetraenoic Acid (OTA) in Borage (Borago Officinalis)
Members of the Boraginaceae often have uncommon C18-polyunsaturated fatty acids. The seed TAGs are enriched in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA; C18:3,n-6) and leaves may contain an octadecatetraenoic acid (OTA;C18:4,). Humans are unable to form linoleic acid (C18:2,n-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA;C18:3,n-3). It is considered that the more direct prostaglandin precursors, GLA and, perhaps, OTA, may alleviate some clinical and atopic disorders. There is, therefore, Interest in producing new plant varieties, perhaps from those of an already established agricultural nature, which synthesise oils with GLA and OTA, and so yield a more valuable commodity. Before such genetic transformations are feasible, however, it is essential to establish how such acids are synthesised and how this is integrated with complex lipid assembly. Previous work has dealt with GLA in developing seeds of borage[3–5] and we have speculated on the mode of OTA synthesis in leaves. We report here further experiments on OTA in plants.
KeywordsPicolinyl Ester Atopic Disorder Valuable Commodity Leaf Lipid Seed TAGs
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