Consumption of oil derived from seeds is steeply increasing worldwide. First, oilseeds represent a key component of human and livestock diets. Then, fatty acids found in storage lipids accumulated in oilseeds are structurally similar to long chain hydrocarbons, so that plant oils are now widely used as competitive and sustainable alternatives to hydrocarbon-based products for energy and green chemistry (synthesis of detergents, plastics, lubricants and paints). The increasing demand of plant oils for both nutritional and industrial applications highlights the urgent need to develop original methodologies allowing the increase of seed oil content when limited progress has been obtained by conventional breeding over the last decade. Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms controlling oil storage in seeds will ultimately allow engineering domesticated high yielding oil crop species.
In oilseeds, two compartments, namely the endosperm and the embryo, can accumulate oil to different extents, depending on the species considered. Although recent advances have contributed to the elucidation of the transcriptional regulation of oil storage within embryo structures, our understanding of the regulatory processes controlling oil accumulation within the endosperm remains very limited. The TRIANON project is set up to elucidate the transcriptional regulation of oil accumulation in the endosperm in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, an oleaginous species of the Brassicaceae family.
The project has three major objectives:
1. Fully elucidating the molecular mechanism involving MYB118, the first endosperm specific transcriptional regulator of oil accumulation just characterized in the host laboratory.
2. Isolating a set of new transcriptional regulators participating in the control of oil storage within the endosperm of oilseeds.
3. Exploiting this knowledge to modify oil accumulation in a tissue-specific manner (in seeds) in the frame of a biotechnological approach.
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