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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7348919, 9 pages
Review Article

Bioengineered Plants Can Be a Useful Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

1State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, College of Horticulture, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210095, China
2Laboratory of Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, Wenchang, Hainan 571339, China
3Department of Agriculture, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Mardan, Pakistan

Correspondence should be addressed to Hu Chun-Mei

Received 30 October 2016; Accepted 17 January 2017; Published 21 February 2017

Academic Editor: Amit K. Rai

Copyright © 2017 Waleed Amjad Khan 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.


Omega-3 fatty acids have proven to be very essential for human health due to their multiple health benefits. These essential fatty acids (EFAs) need to be uptaken through diet because they are unable to be produced by the human body. These are important for skin and hair growth as well as for proper visual, neural, and reproductive functions of the body. These fatty acids are proven to be extremely vital for normal tissue development during pregnancy and infancy. Omega-3 fatty acids can be obtained mainly from two dietary sources: marine and plant oils. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; C20:5 n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; C22:6 n-3) are the primary marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids. Marine fishes are high in omega-3 fatty acids, yet high consumption of those fishes will cause a shortage of fish stocks existing naturally in the oceans. An alternative source to achieve the recommended daily intake of EFAs is the demand of today. In this review article, an attempt has, therefore, been made to discuss the importance of omega-3 fatty acids and the recent developments in order to produce these fatty acids by the genetic modifications of the plants.