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Enhancement of seed oil production in Jatropha curcuma

Enhancement of seed oil production in Jatropha curcuma

In an article, “Gene silencing of Sugar-dependent 1 (JcSDP1), encoding a patatin-domain triacylglycerol lipase, enhances seed oil accumulation in Jatropha curcas,” published in the current issue of Biotechnology for Biofuels (2014, 7:36), the principal author, Nam-Hai Chua and five of his associates  have reported the presence of three fatty acid chains (usually C16 or C18) covalently linked to glycerol in J. curcas. The authors got a clue that SDP1 is a specific lipase for the first step of TAG catabolism in Arabidopsis seeds. They concluded that like Arabidopsis mutants, J. curcas deficient in SDP1 accumulate high levels of oils, probably due to blockage in TAG degradation. Applying this knowledge from Arabidopsis thaliana, the authors engineered J. curcas seeds with increased seed oil content. They used RNA interference (RNAi) technology to achieve their goal to maximize seed oil production.

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