Vernonia DGATs can complement the disrupted oil and protein metabolism in epoxygenase-expressing soybean seeds

Runzhi Li, Keshun Yu, Yongmei Wu, Mizuki Tateno, Tomoko Hatanaka, David F. Hildebrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Plant oils can be useful chemical feedstocks such as a source of epoxy fatty acids. High seed-specific expression of a Stokesia laevis epoxygenase (SlEPX) in soybeans only results in 3-7% epoxide levels. SlEPX-transgenic soybean seeds also exhibited other phenotypic alterations, such as altered seed fatty acid profiles, reduced oil accumulation, and variable protein levels. SlEPX-transgenic seeds showed a 2-5% reduction in total oil content and protein levels of 30.9-51.4%. To address these pleiotrophic effects of SlEPX expression on other traits, transgenic soybeans were developed to co-express SlEPX and DGAT (diacylglycerol acyltransferase) genes (VgDGAT1 & 2) isolated from Vernonia galamensis, a high accumulator of epoxy fatty acids. These side effects of SlEPX expression were largely overcome in the DGAT co-expressing soybeans. Total oil and protein contents were restored to the levels in non-transgenic soybeans, indicating that both VgDGAT1 and VgDGAT2 could complement the disrupted phenotypes caused by over-expression of an epoxygenase in soybean seeds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-38
Number of pages10
JournalMetabolic Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Consortium for Plant Biotechnology Research (CPBR) , the United Soybean Board (USB) , Ashland Chemicals and the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station . We thank Scott Serdoz, Dennis Egli and Todd Pfeiffer for help with the field production of the soybeans, John Johnson for fatty acid analysis and Bob Geneve for help with pictures.

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Acyltransferase
  • Epoxide
  • Glycine max
  • Seed development
  • Triacylglycerol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'Vernonia DGATs can complement the disrupted oil and protein metabolism in epoxygenase-expressing soybean seeds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this