Transgenic canola and soybean seeds with increased lysine

Biotechnology (N Y). 1995 Jun;13(6):577-82. doi: 10.1038/nbt0695-577.


We have increased the lysine content in the seeds of canola and soybean plants by circumventing the normal feedback regulation of two enzymes of the biosynthetic pathway, aspartokinase (AK) and dihydrodipicolinic acid synthase (DHDPS). Lysine-feedback-insensitive bacterial DHDPS and AK enzymes encoded by the Corynebacterium dapA gene and a mutant E. coli lysC gene, respectively, were linked to a chloroplast transit peptide and expressed from a seed-specific promoter in transgenic canola and soybean seeds. Expression of Corynebacterium DHDPS resulted in more than a 100-fold increase in the accumulation of free lysine in the seeds of canola; total seed lysine content approximately doubled. Expression of Corynebacterium DHDPS plus lysine-insensitive E. coli AK in soybean transformants similarly caused several hundred-fold increases in free lysine and increased total sed lysine content by as much as 5-fold. Accumulation of alpha-amino adipic acid (AA) in canola and saccharopine in soybean, which are intermediates in lysine catabolism, was also observed.

MeSH terms

  • Aspartate Kinase / metabolism
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Feedback
  • Genetic Engineering*
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Hydro-Lyases / metabolism
  • Lysine / analysis*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified*
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Soybeans / chemistry*
  • Transformation, Genetic


  • Aspartate Kinase
  • Hydro-Lyases
  • 4-hydroxy-tetrahydrodipicolinate synthase
  • Lysine