Simultaneous expression of Arabidopsis ρ-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase and MPBQ methyltransferase in transgenic corn kernels triples the tocopherol content.
ABSTRACT The quantity and composition of tocopherols (compounds with vitamin E activity) vary widely among different plant species reflecting the expression, activity and substrate specificity of enzymes in the corresponding metabolic pathway. Two Arabidopsis cDNA clones corresponding to ρ-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD) and 2-methyl-6-phytylplastoquinol methyltransferase (MPBQ MT) were constitutively expressed in corn to further characterize the pathway and increase the kernel tocopherol content. Transgenic kernels contained up to 3 times as much γ-tocopherol as their wild type counterparts whereas other tocopherol isomers remained undetectable. Biofortification by metabolic engineering offers a sustainable alternative to vitamin E supplementation for the improvement of human health.
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ABSTRACT: With almost 870 million people estimated to suffer fromchronic hunger worldwide, undernourishment represents amajor problem that severely affects people in developing countries. In addition to undernourishment, micronutrient deficiency alone can be a cause of serious illness and death. Large portions of the world population rely on a single, starch-rich crop as their primary energy source and these staple crops are generally not rich sources of micronutrients. As a result, physical and mental health problems related to micronutrient deficiencies are estimated to affect around two billion people worldwide. The situation is expected to get worse in parallelwith the expandingworld population. Improving the nutritional quality of staple crops seems to be an effective and straightforward solution to the problem. Conventional breeding has long been employed for this purpose but success has been limited to the existing diversity in the gene pool. However, biotechnology enables addition or improvement of any nutrient, even those that are scarce or totally absent in a crop species. In addition, biotechnology introduces speed to the biofortification process compared to conventional breeding. Genetic engineering was successfully employed to improve a wide variety of nutritional traits over the last decade. In the present review, progress toward engineering various types of major and minor constituents for the improvement of plant nutritional quality is discussed.Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 04/2013; 32(5):321-343. · 4.36 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Metabolic engineering can be used to modulate endogenous metabolic pathways in plants or introduce new metabolic capabilities in order to increase the production of a desirable compound or reduce the accumulation of an undesirable one. In practice, there are several major challenges that need to be overcome, such as gaining enough knowledge about the endogenous pathways to understand the best intervention points, identifying and sourcing the most suitable metabolic genes, expressing those genes in such a way as to produce a functional enzyme in a heterologous background, and, finally, achieving the accumulation of target compounds without harming the host plant. This article discusses the strategies that have been developed to engineer complex metabolic pathways in plants, focusing on recent technological developments that allow the most significant bottlenecks to be overcome. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Plant Biology Volume 65 is April 29, 2014. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/catalog/pubdates.aspx for revised estimates.Annual Review of Plant Biology 02/2014; · 18.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Tocochromanol, or vitamin E, plays a crucial role in human and animal nutrition and is synthesized only by photosynthetic organisms. γ-Tocopherol methyltransferase (γ-TMT), one of the key enzymes in the tocopherol biosynthetic pathway in plants, converts γ, δ-tocopherols into α-, β-tocopherols. Tocopherol content was investigated in 15 soybean cultivars and GmTMT2 was isolated from five varieties based on tocopherol content. GmTMT2a was expressed in E. coli and the purified protein effectively converted γ-tocopherol into α-tocopherol in vitro. Overexpression of GmTMT2a enhanced α-tocopherol content 4-6-fold in transgenic Arabidopsis, and α-tocopherol content increased 3-4.5-fold in transgenic maize seed, which correlated with the accumulation of GmTMT2a. Transgenic corn that is α-tocopherol-rich may be beneficial for animal health and growth.Transgenic Research 05/2013; · 2.61 Impact Factor