ω-3 fatty acid desaturases, which catalyse the conversion of linoleic acid (18:2) to linolenic acid (18:3) in lipids, are located in the microsomes and plastid membranes. Transgenic tobacco plants were produced that express the transcripts of a tobacco microsomal ω-3 fatty acid desaturase gene (NtFad3) in antisense and sense orientations under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter. The antisease construct has the 0.5-kb fragment of the NtFad3 cDNA containing a 3′-flanking region and a part of the coding region in antisense orientation. The antisense-transformant lines showed decreases of the steady-state NtFad3 mRNA level to 30% of the control plants. In these lines, the 18:3 content decreased to about 80% in root tissues and to about 70-80% in leaf tissues when compared with the control plants. The sense construct has the 1.4-kb full-length cDNA of NtFad3. In one of the sense-transformant lines, the NtFad3 mRNA level increased 8 times when compared with that of the control plants. In this line, the 18:3 content increased by about 1.5-fold in root tissues and by about 1.1-fold in leaf tissues. These results indicate that the up- and down-regulation of the transcript level in the microsomal ω-3 fatty acid desaturase gene is useful to modify the 18:3 content in the vegetative tissues of higher plants.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Agronomy and Crop Science