Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. Special Issue  2008 July p.  56-68

Reagents for generation and analysis of bioplastic producing plants

Author(s): WILLIS, Laura Willis* ; YORK, Gregory M.* ; LESSARD, Philip A.* ; YOUNG-BAE Jo* ; OMAR Abdul Rasid** ; MOHD ARIF Abdul Manaf** ; CHUNG Park* ; SINSKEY, Anthony J*

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are a class of biodegradable polyoxoesters synthesized from acetyl-CoA that naturally accumulate as intracellular granules in a diverse range of bacteria. Biosynthesis of the simplest PHA (PHB, poly-3-hydroxybutyrate) can be accomplished though the action of three enzymes, beta-ketothiolase, acetoacetyl-CoA reductase and PHA polymerase. We constructed plasmids that contain genetic elements for the production of PHB, or the closely related copolymer PHBV (poly-3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate), in oil palm, which produces abundant levels of acetyl-CoA. These bacterial PHA biosynthetic genes have been engineered to include plant plastid targeting signals, in order to direct biosynthesis of the polymer inside the plastids. In addition, we generated antibodies for the detection of PHA biosynthetic enzymes. The plasmids and antibodies reported in this work should be suitable as tools and reagents for the construction and analysis of PHA-producing oil palm.

Keywords: , , , ,

Author Information
* Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

** Malaysian Palm Oil Board, P. O. Box 10620, 50720 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Journal of Oil Palm Research Special Issue on Malaysia-MIT Biotechnology Partnership Programme: Volume 2 - Oil Palm Metabolic Engineering

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