By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Biotech Week -- Current study results on Metabolic Engineering have been published. According to news originating from Harpenden, United Kingdom, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "High biomass crops have recently attracted significant attention as an alternative platform for the renewable production of high energy storage lipids such as triacylglycerol (TAG). While TAG typically accumulates in seeds as storage compounds fuelling subsequent germination, levels in vegetative tissues are generally low."
Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Rothamsted Research, "Here, we report the accumulation of more than 15% TAG (17.7% total lipids) by dry weight in Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) leaves by the co-expression of three genes involved in different aspects of TAG production without severely impacting plant development. These yields far exceed the levels found in wild-type leaf tissue as well as previously reported engineered TAG yields in vegetative tissues of Arabidopsis thaliana and N.tabacum. When translated to a high biomass crop, the current levels would translate to an oil yield per hectare that exceeds those of most cultivated oilseed crops. Confocal fluorescence microscopy and mass spectrometry imaging confirmed the accumulation of TAG within leaf mesophyll cells. In addition, we explored the applicability of several existing oil-processing methods using fresh leaf tissue."
According to the news editors, the research concluded: "Our results demonstrate the technical feasibility of a vegetative plant oil production platform and provide for a step change in the bioenergy landscape, opening new prospects for sustainable food, high energy forage, biofuel and biomaterial applications."
For more information on this research see: Metabolic engineering of biomass for high energy density: oilseed-like triacylglycerol yields from plant leaves. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 2014;12(2):231-239. Plant Biotechnology Journal can be contacted at: Wiley-Blackwell, 111 River St, Hoboken 07030-5774, NJ, USA. (Wiley-Blackwell - www.wiley.com/; Plant Biotechnology Journal - onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1467-7652)
The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from T. Vanhercke, Rothamsted Res, Dept. of Biol Chem, Harpenden, Herts, United Kingdom. Additional authors for this research include A. El Tahchy, Q. Liu, X.R. Zhou, P. Shrestha, U.K. Divi, J.P. Ral, M.P. Mansour, P.D. Nichols, C.N. James, P.J. Horn, K.D. Chapman, F. Beaudoin, N. Ruiz-Lopez, P.J. Larkin, R.C. de Feyter, S.P. Singh and J.R. Petrie (see also Metabolic Engineering).
Keywords for this news article include: Europe, Harpenden, United Kingdom, Metabolic Engineering
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