Ketocarotenoid Production in Soybean Seeds through Metabolic EngineeringReportar como inadecuado

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The pink or red ketocarotenoids, canthaxanthin and astaxanthin, are used as feed additives in the poultry and aquaculture industries as a source of egg yolk and flesh pigmentation, as farmed animals do not have access to the carotenoid sources of their wild counterparts. Because soybean is already an important component in animal feed, production of these carotenoids in soybean could be a cost-effective means of delivery. In order to characterize the ability of soybean seed to produce carotenoids, soybean cv. Jack was transformed with the crtB gene from Pantoea ananatis, which codes for phytoene synthase, an enzyme which catalyzes the first committed step in the carotenoid pathway. The crtB gene was engineered together in combinations with ketolase genes crtW from Brevundimonas sp. strain SD212 and bkt1 from Haematococcus pluvialis to produce ketocarotenoids; all genes were placed under the control of seed-specific promoters. HPLC results showed that canthaxanthin is present in the transgenic seeds at levels up to 52 μg-g dry weight. Transgenic seeds also accumulated other compounds in the carotenoid pathway, such as astaxanthin, lutein, β-carotene, phytoene, α-carotene, lycopene, and β-cryptoxanthin, whereas lutein was the only one of these detected in non-transgenic seeds. The accumulation of astaxanthin, which requires a β-carotene hydroxylase in addition to a β-carotene ketolase, in the transgenic seeds suggests that an endogenous soybean enzyme is able to work in combination with the ketolase transgene. Soybean seeds that accumulate ketocarotenoids could potentially be used in animal feed to reduce or eliminate the need for the costly addition of these compounds.

Autor: Emily C. Pierce, Peter R. LaFayette, María A. Ortega, Blake L. Joyce, Dean A. Kopsell, Wayne A. Parrott



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