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Identification and Expression of Fructose-1,6-Bisphosphate Aldolase Genes and their Relations to Oil Content in Developing Seeds of Tea Oil Tree (Camellia oleifera)

Yanling Zeng, Xiaofeng Tan, Lin Zhang, Nan Jiang, Heping Cao
PLosOne 2014 v.9 no.9 pp. 1-9
Camellia oleifera, biosynthesis, cobalt, cooking fats and oils, correlation, developmental stages, fatty acid composition, fructose-bisphosphate aldolase, gene expression, gene expression regulation, genes, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, human health, lipid content, messenger RNA, metabolites, oleic acid, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, seed development, seeds, tea, transcriptome, transgenic plants, China
Tea oil tree (Camellia oleifera, Co) provides a fine edible oil source in China. Tea oil from the seeds is very beneficial to human health. Fructose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase (FBA) hydrolyzes fructose-1,6-bisphosphate into dihydroxyacetone phosphate and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, two critical metabolites for oil biosynthesis. The objectives of this study were to identify FBA genes and investigate the relationship between FBA gene expression and oil content in developing seeds of tea oil tree. In this paper, four developmentally up-regulated CoFBA genes were identified in Camellia oleifera seeds based on the transcriptome from two seed developmental stages corresponding to the initiation and peak stages of lipid biosynthesis. The expression of CoFBA genes, along with three key oil biosynthesis genes CoACP, CoFAD2 and CoSAD were analyzed in seeds from eight developmental stages by real-time quantitative PCR. The oil content and fatty acid composition were also analyzed. The results showed that CoFBA and CoSAD mRNA levels were well-correlated with oil content whereas CoFAD2 gene expression levels were correlated with fatty acid composition in Camellia seeds. We propose that CoFBA and CoSAD are two important factors for determining tea oil yield because CoFBA gene controls the flux of key intermediates for oil biosynthesis and CoSAD gene controls the synthesis of oleic acid, which accounts for 80% of fatty acids in tea oil. These findings suggest that tea oil yield could be improved by enhanced expression of CoFBA and CoSAD genes in transgenic plants.