Employing heterologous thioesterases and acyl transferases expression for the development of coconut-like canola seed-oil

Establishing canola seed oil with high medium chain saturated fatty acids for North American consumers remains demanding. Currently the entire oil that is rich with saturated fatty acids is imported from Asian and South American countries. Canola mostly harbors mono-unsaturated fatty acids with minimal polyunsaturated fatty acids. We are working towards making canola with maximum medium chain saturated fatty acids. We will introduce enzymes (thioesterases) from plants that are capable to produce high amount of medium chain fatty acids into the model plant (Arabidopsis) and canola.

Development of coconut oil-like seed oil through heterologous expression of thioesterases in Arabidopsis

Canola oil cannot be used in the margarine and surfactant industry in contrast to Cocos nucifera (coconut) that grows in tropical and subtropical regions. Although the canola industry is one of the most innovative, obtaining coconut oil-like canola seed oil has not been established yet. In this proposal, we will investigate multiple approaches to facilitate the development of a coconut oil-like seed oil in Arabidopsis. Our goal is to develop applied approaches to develop coconut oil-like canola seed oil, which will be an important supply for the Canadian industry.