Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 4:25 PM

Identification and characterization of the key genes for improvement of Jatropha curcas L

Fang Chen, Ren-wei Qing, Ying Zhang, Fu-li Zhang, Ying Xu, Lin Tang, Fang Yan, and Sheng-hua Wang. School of Life Sciences, Sichuan University, 24 South Section 1, 1st Ring Road, Chengdu, China

Jatropha curcas L. is an oil-bearing shrub widely distributed in many tropical and subtropical countries and areas. Its seed kernels contain up to 62% oil, and linoleic acid accounts for 47%. The characteristics of high oil content and low agronomic inputs make it the most competitive species for biodiesel production. The several genes which can be used to improve this species were isolated from this plant. 4 of them, designated Jcω6, Jcω3,Jcd8 and Jcsad9, putatively encoding a delta-12-fatty acid desaturase, a delta-15-fatty acid desaturase, a delta-8-fatty acid desaturase, and a delta-9- acyl carrier protein desaturase, might be used to control the oil quality. The other two genes, JcDAPH and JcPIP, encoding betaine-aldehyde dehydrogenase and plasma membrane aquaporin separately, are related to the water stress tolerance.
Heterologous expression in S. cerevisiae strain INVScl done for Jcω6 and Jcω3 demonstrated that the Jcω6 exhibited Δ12-fatty acid desaturase activity and the Jcω3 exhibitedΔ15-fatty acid desaturase activity, while Jcsad9 proved to be a stearoyl-ACP desaturase through expressed in E.coli.