Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 333–342 | Cite as

Production of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) in transgenic peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) through the alternative Δ8-desaturase pathway

  • Chenchen Wang
  • Xiaohe Qing
  • Mingli Yu
  • Quanxi Sun
  • Fengzhen Liu
  • Baoxiu Qi
  • Xinzheng LiEmail author
Original Article


An important alternative source of fish oil is its production by plants through metabolic engineering. To produce eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) in peanut through the alternative Δ8-pathway, a plant expression vector containing five heterologous genes driven by the constitutive 35S promoter respectively, namely, 9-elongase (Isochrysis galbana), 8-desaturase (Euglena gracilis), 5-desaturase (Mortierella alpina), 15-desaturase (Arabidopsis thaliana) and 17-desaturase (Phytophthora infestans) were transferred into peanut through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method. The gas chromatography results indicated that the average content of EPA in the leaves of the transgenic lines was 0.68%, and the highest accumulation of EPA in an individual line reached 0.84%. This finding indicates that it is feasible to synthesize EPA in peanut through metabolic engineering and lays the foundations for the production of very-long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (VLCPUFAs) in peanut seeds.


Eicosapentaenoic acid Peanut Δ8-pathway Transgenic plants 



Eicosapentaenoic acid


Very-long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids


Docosahexaenoic acid


Linoleic acid


α-Linolenic acid


6-Benzyl aminopurine


1-Naphthylacetic acid


Multiple cloning site


Cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide






Gas chromatography


Fatty acid methyl esters


Gas chromatograph–mass spectrometer


Eicosatrienoic acid



This study was funded by the Shandong Province Peanut Seed Industry Project, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31601336, 31271757) and the National Opening Project of State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology (2016KF09). The sequencing and assembly were performed by the Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11033_2018_4476_MOESM1_ESM.doc (50 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 49 KB)
11033_2018_4476_MOESM2_ESM.jpg (925 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (JPG 925 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Crop BiologyShandong Agricultural UniversityTaianChina
  2. 2.College of Life ScienceShandong Agricultural UniversityTaianChina
  3. 3.Shandong Peanut Research InstituteQingdaoChina
  4. 4.College of AgronomyShandong Agricultural UniversityTaianChina
  5. 5.Department of Biology and BiochemistryUniversity of BathBathUK

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