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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2017

Effects of Overexpression of WRI1 and Hemoglobin Genes on the Seed Oil Content of Lepidium campestre

Ivarson, Emelie; Leiva-Eriksson, Nelida; Ahlman, Annelie; Kanagarajan, Selvaraju; Bülow, Leif; Zhu, Li-Hua


The wild species field cress (Lepidium carnpestre), belonging to the Brassicaceae family, has potential to be developed into a novel oilseed- and catch crop, however, the species needs to be further improved regarding some important agronomic traits. One of them is its low oil content which needs to be increased. As far as we know there is no study aiming at increasing the oil content that has been reported in this species. In order to investigate the possibility to increase the seed oil content in field cress, we have tried to introduce the Arabidopsis WRINKLED1 (AtWRI1) or hemoglobin (Hb) genes from either Arabidopsis thaliana (AtHb2) or Beta vulgaris (BvHb2) into field cress with the seed specific expression. The hypothesis was that the oil content would be increased by overexpressing these target genes. The results showed that the oil content was indeed increased by up to 29.9, 20.2, and 25.9% in the transgenic lines expressing AtWRI1, AtHb2, and BvHb2, respectively. The seed oil composition of the transgenic lines did not significantly deviate from the seed oil composition of the wild type plants. Our results indicate that genetic modification can be used in this wild species for its fast domestication into a future economically viable oilseed and catch crop.


Lepidium campestre; metabolic engineering; hemoglobin; WRINKLED1; oil content

Published in

Frontiers in Plant Science
2017, Volume: 7, article number: 2032