Ectopic expression of EuWRI1, encoding a transcription factor in E. ulmoides, changes the seeds oil content in transgenic tobacco.

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Abstract

The WRINKLED1 (WRI1) gene is a well-established key transcriptional regulator involved in the regulation of fatty acid biosynthesis in developing seeds. In this study, a new WRI1 gene was isolated from seeds of Eucommia ulmoides and named EuWRI1. A close link between gibberellins signaling and EuWRI1 gene expression was suggested in this study. Functional characterization of EuWRI1 was elucidated through seed-specific expression in tobacco. In transgenic tobacco, the expression of EuWRI1 in eight independent transgenic lines was detected by semiquantitative RT-PCR. The relative mRNA accumulation of genes encoding enzymes involved in fatty acid biosynthesis (biotin carboxyl carrier protein and keto-ACP synthase 1) was also assayed in tobacco seeds. Analysis of the seeds oil content and starch content indicated that the transgenic lines showed a significant increase in seeds oil content, whereas starch content decreased significantly. Further analysis of the fatty acid composition revealed that palmitic acid (16:0), linoleic acid (18:2) and linolenic acid (18:3) increased significantly in seeds of transgenic tobacco lines, but stearic acid (18:0) levels significantly declined. © 2018 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2018.

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