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Two high linolenic mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana contain megabase-scale genome duplications encompassing the FAD3 locus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

  • C.M. O'Neill
  • D. Baker
  • G. Bennett
  • Jonathan Clarke
  • I. Bancroft

Department/unit(s)

Publication details

JournalThe Plant journal
DatePublished - 1 Dec 2011
Issue number5
Volume68
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)912-918
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Understanding the quantitative control of fatty acid desaturation during the biosynthesis of seed storage oil has become a priority area for research, as a consequence of its importance for both human health and the substitution of mineral oil for industrial applications. We have analysed the genome structure of two mutants in Arabidopsis thaliana that show substantially elevated content of the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid linolenic acid in their seed oil. In one, rfc4, sequences totalling approximately 2 Mb from chromosome 2 have been duplicated and inserted into chromosome 3. In the other mutant, ife, chromosome 2 sequences totalling approximately 1.4 Mb have been duplicated and inserted into a linked position. In both cases, the duplications encompass the FAD3 locus, which encodes the linoleate desaturase responsible for the biosynthesis of linolenic acid for accumulation in seed storage oil. The results show that mutagens such as fast neutrons (used for the induction of rfc4) and T-DNA (used for the induction of ife, which is not linked to the T-DNA present in the line) can result in the duplication of very large genome segments. They also show that increasing the dosage of the FAD3-containing genomic region results in an increase in the linolenic acid content of seed oil. Consequently, screening methods for duplication of FAD3 orthologues in oil crops may be an appropriate approach for the identification of germplasm for breeding varieties with increased proportions of linolenic acid in the oil that they produce.

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