Transcriptional regulation of oil biosynthesis in seed plants: Current understanding, applications, and perspectives

Yuzhou Yang, Que Kong, Audrey R.Q. Lim, Shaoping Lu, Hu Zhao, Liang Guo, Ling Yuan, Wei Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Plants produce and accumulate triacylglycerol (TAG) in their seeds as an energy reservoir to support the processes of seed germination and seedling development. Plant seed oils are vital not only for the human diet but also as renewable feedstocks for industrial use. TAG biosynthesis consists of two major steps: de novo fatty acid biosynthesis in the plastids and TAG assembly in the endoplasmic reticulum. The latest advances in unraveling transcriptional regulation have shed light on the molecular mechanisms of plant oil biosynthesis. We summarize recent progress in understanding the regulatory mechanisms of well-characterized and newly discovered transcription factors and other types of regulators that control plant fatty acid biosynthesis. The emerging picture shows that plant oil biosynthesis responds to developmental and environmental cues that stimulate a network of interacting transcriptional activators and repressors, which in turn fine-tune the spatiotemporal regulation of the pathway genes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100328
JournalPlant Communications
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 12 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Ministry of Education (MOE) of Singapore Tier 1 to W.M. ( RG29/20 ), MOE of Singapore Tier 2 to W.M. ( MOE-T2EP30220-0011 ), the National Key R&D Program of China to L.Y. ( 2019YFC1711100 ), the Hubei Hongshan Laboratory Research Fund to L.G. ( 2021HSZD004 ), and the HZAU-AGIS Cooperation Fund to L.G. ( SZYJY2021004 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s)


  • environmental and developmental signals
  • oil accumulation
  • plant oil biosynthesis
  • seed development
  • transcription factor
  • transcriptional regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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