Uses of biotechnology in modifying plant lipids

Greg J. Budziszewski, Kevan P.C. Croft, David F. Hildebrand

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


This review discusses fatty acid modification of oilseeds with additional emphasis on production of oxygenated derivatives. In a relatively short period, less than a decade, our understanding of the enzymes involved in plant fatty acid synthesis has increased to the point where we understand how they might be used in oilseed modification. Further, through modern molecular biological techniques, the actual genes for many of these important enzymes have been cloned. Use of genetic transformation systems has allowed us to fundamentally alter the normal biosynthetic pathways in highly specific ways, in manners that would be either difficult or impossible using traditional breeding techniques. Alteration of plant lipid biosynthesis is not restricted to using genes from the plants themselves, but interspecies transfer is possible, either from completely unrelated plant species (often of no commercial value but possessing unusual biochemical properties) or from animals, fungi, and prokaryotic organisms. In this way 'designer' plants possessing altered metabolism, tailored to the interests or needs of certain industries, nutritionists, and the consumer can be created.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-569
Number of pages13
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Cell Biology


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