Biosynthesis of Ricinoleate in Castor Oil

  • Thomas A. McKeon
  • Jiann-Tsyh Lin
  • Allan E. Stafford
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 464)


Castor oil is 90% ricinoleate (12-hydroxyoleate) and has numerous industrial uses. Components of castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) pose serious problems to processors. Other researchers have cloned the gene for the oleoyl hydroxylase, but transgenic plants produce only about 20% hydroxy fatty acid. To improve such transgenic substitutes for castor, we are using HPLC analysis of castor bean microsomal suspensions to follow the hydroxylase reaction and the movement of l4C-ricinoleate through phospholipid into triacylglycerol. Most labeled ricinoleate is rapidly removed from the phospholipid fraction as free fatty acid and incorporated into triacylglycerol, with triricinolein predominating. Elucidation of the basis for high incorporation of ricinoleate and exclusion of oleate from triacylglycerols will identify genes that can be used to engineer high ricinoleate production in transgenic plants.


Transgenic Plant Castor Bean Ricinoleic Acid Microsomal Preparation Diacylglycerol Acyltransferase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas A. McKeon
    • 1
  • Jiann-Tsyh Lin
    • 1
  • Allan E. Stafford
    • 1
  1. 1.Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Dept of AgricultureWestern Regional Research CenterAlbanyUSA

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