General Lab Information

Technologies Available for License

2021-004: Production of specialty fatty acids in plants

Invention: 2021-004

Patent Status: Provisional filed on December 29, 2020

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Specialty fatty acids can be potentially used as raw materials for making many industrial products including lubricants, plastics and pharmaceuticals. Efforts to produce these in plants by genetic engineering have not been very successful. The technology provides a method for increasing the production of certain unusual fatty acids such hydroxy fatty acids by generating transgenic plants with defective Biotin Attachment Domain-Containing (BADC) genes and transgenes for making the unusual fatty acids.


It has been reported that the expression of castor (Ricinus communis) FA hydroxylase (FAH)in the Arabidopsis thaliana FA elongation mutant fae1 resulted in a 50% reduction of FA synthesis rate that was attributed to inhibition of acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase). The inventors have shown that the ricinoleic acid-dependent decrease in ACCase activity is mediated by biotin attachment domain-containing (BADC) proteins. Essentially by disrupting two genes that encode the biotin attachment domain containing proteins in the Arabidopsis thaliana FA elongation mutant fae1 expressing FAH relieves hydroxy fatty acid-dependent inhibition of acetyl CoA carboxylase, thereby increasing hydroxy fatty acid yield. This strategy may be applicable to increasing accumulation of many other specialized fatty acids in seed oils.


This technology may be a viable approach for making industrial starting materials in plants instead of relying on petrochemical route.

Applications and Industries

Using the technology specialty fatty acids for use as raw materials for making several products including lubricants and pharmaceuticals could be produced at large scale in crop plants.

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