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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 768478, 10 pages
Research Article

Heterologous Reconstitution of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Arabidopsis

1National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration, 370 Nongsaengnyeong-ro, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do 560-500, Republic of Korea
2National Institute of Crop Science, Rural Development Administration, Seodun-dong, Suwon 441-707, Republic of Korea

Received 18 September 2014; Revised 31 December 2014; Accepted 31 December 2014

Academic Editor: Yong Q. Chen

Copyright © 2015 Sun Hee Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Reconstitution of nonnative, very-long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (VLC-PUFA) biosynthetic pathways in Arabidopsis thaliana was undertaken. The introduction of three primary biosynthetic activities to cells requires the stable coexpression of multiple proteins within the same cell. Herein, we report that C22 VLC-PUFAs were synthesized from C18 precursors by reactions catalyzed by -desaturase, an ELOVL5-like enzyme involved in VLC-PUFA elongation, and -desaturase. Coexpression of the corresponding genes (McD6DES, AsELOVL5, and PtD5DES) under the control of the seed-specific vicilin promoter resulted in production of docosapentaenoic acid (22:5 n-3) and docosatetraenoic acid (22:4 n-6) as well as eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5 n-3) and arachidonic acid (20:4 n-6) in Arabidopsis seeds. The contributions of the transgenic enzymes and endogenous fatty acid metabolism were determined. Specifically, the reasonable synthesis of omega-3 stearidonic acid (18:4 n-3) could be a useful tool to obtain a sustainable system for the production of omega-3 fatty acids in seeds of a transgenic T3 line 63-1. The results indicated that coexpression of the three proteins was stable. Therefore, this study suggests that metabolic engineering of oilseed crops to produce VLC-PUFAs is feasible.