Understanding and manipulating plant lipid composition: Metabolic engineering leads the way

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2014 Jun;19(100):68-75. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2014.04.001. Epub 2014 May 6.


The manipulation of plant seed oil composition so as to deliver enhanced fatty acid compositions suitable for feed or fuel has long been a goal of metabolic engineers. Recent advances in our understanding of the flux of acyl-changes through different key metabolic pools such as phosphatidylcholine and diacylglycerol have allowed for more targeted interventions. When combined in iterative fashion with further lipidomic analyses, significant breakthroughs in our capacity to generate plants with novel oils have been achieved. Collectively these studies, working at the interface between metabolic engineering and synthetic biology, demonstrate the positive fundamental and applied outcomes derived from such research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomass
  • Lipids / chemistry*
  • Metabolic Engineering*
  • Plants / metabolism*


  • Lipids