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Cellular secrets of plant fatty acid production understood
Date:5/14/2012

-3 fatty acids.

Fatty acids, such as omega-3s, are as important to both plant and human well-being as the flavonoids. Noel and colleagues' research shows that bringing about changes in the genes that encoded for the chalcone-isomerase cousins produced reproductive changes in plants.

Bringing about changes in the genes for this protein family had an effect on seed oil content, something vital for the energy stores of the plant embryo but also for human nutrition and new kinds of renewable fuels.

As the benefits of over a decade of basic research on chalcone-isomerase are reaped, biologists look forward to opening the door for bio-engineers. Armed with the structures of the four proteins, bio-engineers will be able to adjust the plant cellular factory for fatty acid production to the advantage and benefit of agriculture as well as the fields of renewable energy, biorenewable chemicals and biomedicine.


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Contact: Bobbie Mixon
bmixon@nsf.gov
703-292-8485
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

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