3 years ago

Oil body biogenesis and biotechnology in legume seeds

Youhong Song, Ray J. Rose, Xin-Ding Wang


The seeds of many legume species including soybean, Pongamia pinnata and the model legume Medicago truncatula store considerable oil, apart from protein, in their cotyledons. However, as a group, legume storage strategies are quite variable and provide opportunities for better understanding of carbon partitioning into different storage products. Legumes with their ability to fix nitrogen can also increase the sustainability of agricultural systems. This review integrates the cell biology, biochemistry and molecular biology of oil body biogenesis before considering biotechnology strategies to enhance oil body biosynthesis. Cellular aspects of packaging triacylglycerol (TAG) into oil bodies are emphasized. Enhancing seed oil content has successfully focused on the up-regulation of the TAG biosynthesis pathways using overexpression of enzymes such as diacylglycerol acyltransferase1 and transcription factors such as WRINKLE1 and LEAFY COTYLEDON1. While these strategies are central, decreasing carbon flow into other storage products and maximizing the packaging of oil bodies into the cytoplasm are other strategies that need further examination. Overall there is much potential for integrating carbon partitioning, up-regulation of fatty acid and TAG synthesis and oil body packaging, for enhancing oil levels. In addition to the potential for integrated strategies to improving oil yields, the capacity to modify fatty acid composition and use of oil bodies as platforms for the production of recombinant proteins in seed of transgenic legumes provide other opportunities for legume biotechnology.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00299-017-2201-5

DOI: 10.1007/s00299-017-2201-5

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