Table of Contents
ISRN Biotechnology
Volume 2013, Article ID 169510, 20 pages
Research Article

Improvement of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Production in Echium acanthocarpum Transformed Hairy Root Cultures by Application of Different Abiotic Stress Conditions

1Canary Islands Cancer Research Institute (ICIC), 61 Avenida La Trinidad, Torre A. Arévalo, 7th Floor, 38204 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
2Bio-Organic University Institute A.G. González, University of La Laguna, Ave. Fco. Sánchez, 38206 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
3Animal Biology Deptartment (Physiology Unit), Biology Faculty, University of La Laguna, Ave. Fco. Sánchez, 38206 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
4Institute of Biomedical Technologies (ITB), University of La Laguna, Campus de Ofra, 38071 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
5Statistics and Computation Deptartment, Maths Faculty, University of La Laguna, Ave. Fco. Sánchez, 38206 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain

Received 30 July 2013; Accepted 24 August 2013

Academic Editors: J. Contiero and E. Formentin

Copyright © 2013 Rafael Zárate 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.


Fatty acids are of great nutritional, therapeutic, and physiological importance, especially the polyunsaturated n-3 fatty acids, possessing larger carbon chains and abundant double bonds or their immediate precursors. A few higher plant species are able to accumulate these compounds, like those belonging to the Echium genus. Here, the novel E. acanthocarpum hairy root system, which is able to accumulate many fatty acids, including stearidonic and α-linolenic acids, was optimized for a better production. The application of abiotic stress resulted in larger yields of stearidonic and α-linolenic acids, 60 and 35%, respectively, with a decrease in linoleic acid, when grown in a nutrient medium consisting of B5 basal salts, sucrose or glucose, and, more importantly, at a temperature of 15C. The application of osmotic stress employing sorbitol showed no positive influence on the fatty acid yields; furthermore, the combination of a lower culture temperature and glucose did not show a cumulative boosting effect on the yield, although this carbon source was similarly attractive. The abiotic stress also influenced the lipid profile of the cultures, significantly increasing the phosphatidylglycerol fraction but not the total lipid neither their biomass, proving the appropriateness of applying various abiotic stress in this culture to achieve larger yields.