Manipulation of Plant Oil Composition for the Production of Valuable Chemicals

Progress, Problems, and Prospects
  • Denis J. Murphy
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 464)


The first transgenic crop with a modified seed oil composition was released for commercial use in 1995. Many additional transgenic rapeseed varieties expressing novel seed oils or proteins are now under development. Recent research advances in Arabidopsis molecular genetics and the emerging relatedness between the Arabidopsis and Brassica genomes will enable more radical manipulation of many key agronomic traits in rapeseed. These will range from greatly improved seed oil yield to the production of seed oils with defined fatty acid contents ranging from C8 to C24 chain lengths and including many desirable functionalities including double bonds, triple bonds, hydroxy and epoxide groups. Much of the technology currently being development in rapeseed and soybean oil modification will be directly applicable to other oil crops including high yield tropical perennials such as oil palm.


Lauric Acid Fatty Acid Desaturases Desaturase Gene Valuable Chemical Fatty Acid Chain Length 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Denis J. Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Brassica and Oilseeds ResearchJohn Innes CentreNorwichUK

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