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Overexpression of phospholipid: diacylglycerol acyltransferase in Brassica napus results in changes in lipid metabolism and oil accumulation

Fenyk, Stepan, Woodfield, Helen K. ORCID:, Romsdahl, Trevor B., Wallington, Emma, Bates, Ruth, Fell, David A., Chapman, Kent, Fawcett, Tony and Harwood, John ORCID: 2022. Overexpression of phospholipid: diacylglycerol acyltransferase in Brassica napus results in changes in lipid metabolism and oil accumulation. Biochemical Journal 479 (6) , pp. 805-823. 10.1042/BCJ20220003

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The regulation of lipid metabolism in oil seeds is still not fully understood and increasing our knowledge in this regard is of great economic, as well as intellectual, importance. Oilseed rape (Brassica napus) is a major global oil crop where increases in triacylglycerol (TAG) accumulation have been achieved by overexpression of relevant biosynthetic enzymes. In this study, we expressed Arabidopsis phospholipid: diacylglycerol acyltransferase (PDAT1), one of the two major TAG-forming plant enzymes in B. napus DH12075 to evaluate its effect on lipid metabolism in developing seeds and to estimate its flux control coefficient. Despite several-fold increase in PDAT activity, seeds of three independently generated PDAT transgenic events showed a small but consistent decrease in seed oil content and had altered fatty acid composition of phosphoglycerides and TAG, towards less unsaturation. Mass spectrometry imaging of seed sections confirmed the shift in lipid compositions and indicated that PDAT overexpression altered the distinct heterogeneous distributions of phosphatidylcholine (PC) molecular species. Similar, but less pronounced, changes in TAG molecular species distributions were observed. Our data indicate that PDAT exerts a small, negative, flux control on TAG biosynthesis and could have under-appreciated effects in fine-tuning of B. napus seed lipid composition in a tissue-specific manner. This has important implications for efforts to increase oil accumulation in similar crops.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY)
Publisher: Portland Press
ISSN: 0264-6021
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 March 2022
Date of Acceptance: 17 March 2022
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 10:53

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