Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Conserved Regulation of Triacylglycerol Biosynthetic Pathway in Seed and Non-Seed Tissues

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Triacylglycerols (TAGs) are stored in variable amounts (1-90 % by dry weight) in seed and non-seed tissues of various plant species. We analyzed the deep transcriptional profiling data obtained for eight species (brassica, castor, nasturtium, euonymus, oil palm, date palm, and avocado), to gain insights into tissue- and species-specific regulation and biosynthesis of TAG in plants. In all tissues analyzed, an increased expression was noted for genes mostly associated with fatty acid biosynthesis in plastid, but much less increase in those for TAG assembly in the endoplasmic reticulum. In most oil-rich tissues, transcripts associated with hexose metabolism in plastid also showed higher expression, relative to cytosol; this is likely associated with the need for high pyruvate flux directed toward plastid fatty acid synthesis. Additionally, expression of WRINKLED1 transcription factor, a regulatory element associated with oil biosynthesis in seed and non-seed tissues of monocot and dicot plants, was observed in most oil-rich tissues. Transcripts for other regulatory factors that are candidates associated with TAG synthesis in seed and non-seed tissues are also identified. In summary, our studies point to distinctive modes of regulation of fatty acid biosynthesis and TAG assembly that are conserved in both seed and non-seed oil-rich plants.


Singapore, Asia

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