Genetically engineering Crambe abyssinica- A potentially high-value oil crop for salt land improvement

Qi, W.; Tinnenbroek-Capel, I.E.M.; Salentijn, E.M.J.; Zhang, Zhao; Huang, Bangquan; Cheng, Jihua; Shao, Hongbo; Visser, R.G.F.; Krens, F.A.; Loo, E.N. van


Crambe abyssinica (crambe) is a new industrial oil crop that can grow on saline soil and tolerates salty water irrigation. Genetically engineered crambe in which the seed‐oil composition is manipulated for more erucic acid and less polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) would be highly beneficial to industry. In this research, lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferase 2 RNA interference (CaLPAT2‐RNAi) was introduced into the crambe genome to manipulate its oil composition. The result showed in comparison with wild type, CaLPAT2‐RNAi could significantly reduce linoleic and linolenic acid content, simultaneously increasing erucic acid content. Systematic metabolism engineering was then carried out to further study CaLPAT2‐RNAi, combined with the overexpression of Brassica napus fatty acid elongase (BnFAE), Limnanthes douglasii LPAT (LdLPAT), and RNAi of endogenous fatty acid desaturase 2 (CaFAD2‐RNAi). Oil composition analysis on the tranformants' seeds showed that (a) with CaFAD2‐RNAi, PUFA content could be dramatically decreased, in comparison with BnFAE + LdLPAT + CaFAD2‐RNAi, and BnFAE + LdLPAT + CaFAD2‐RNAi + CaLPAT2‐RNAi seeds showed lower linolenic acid content; (b) BnFAE + LdLPAT + CaFAD2‐RNAi + CaLPAT2‐RNAi could increase the erucic acid content in crambe seed oil from less than 66.6% to 71.6%, whereas the highest erucic acid content of BnFAE + LdLPAT + CaFAD2‐RNAi was 79.2%; (c) although the four‐gene combination could not increase the erucic acid content of seed oil to a higher level than the others, it led to increased carbon resource deposited into C22:1 and C18:1 moieties and lower PUFA. Summarily, the present research indicates that suppression of LPAT2 is a new, promising strategy for seed‐oil biosynthesis pathway engineering, which would increase the value of crambe oil.