AgreenSkills session, year: 1st session, 2014
Receiving laboratory: IJPB Institut Jean-Pierre BOURGIN Versailles-Grignon, France
Country of origin : USA
Novel strategies to enhance seed size and oil content in oilseed crops
Seeds are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and carbon sources such as proteins, carbohydrates and oil. In fact, seeds represent a large portion of the human diet and animal livestock feed. The rapid growth of the world population and the continuing decline of fossil energy sources urge the search for green renewable resources to meet the increased demand of food, energy and chemical materials. In this project; using the genome sequence homology, we will overexpress candidate genes to increase seed size and oil content in Arabidopsis thaliana and its closely related oilseed crop Camelina sativa; an emerging crop for oil production. This goal can be achieved by overexpressing the Arabidopsis candidate genes and their homologues in other oilseed crops using modified seed specific promoters. Moreover; analyzing co-expression network of Arabidopsis seed development genes, new candidate genes will be selected and investigated by genetic, biochemical and phenotypic approaches.
My research is focused on seed development, more precisely the deposition of seed storage reserve (Proteins, Oil and carbohydrates) during late seed development in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and the new emerging oilseed crop Camelina sativa. Understanding the different mechanisms that control the accumulation of these reserves is of great importance, for that It will allow us to create new oilseed crops with higher storage reserves to address the increased demand of food and chemical materials. I completed my PhD in 2012 at the Institute of Molecular Physiology and Biotechnology of Plants-University of Bonn- Germany under the supervision of Prof. Peter Dörmann. After completing my PhD I moved to the USA as Postdoctoral Researcher, first at Montana State University for 9 months followed by one year and 9 months at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. During my first Postdoc I was investigating different factors that determine the diversity of fatty acids composition in oilseed crops. During my second Postdoc I was investigating the genetic and biochemical factors that control the biosynthesis of Vitamin K in bacteria and photosynthetic organisms. This study was concluded by the discovery of a new step in the biosynthesis of Vitamin K1 in Synechocystis and Arabidopsis.
Fatihi A, Latimer S, Schmollinger S, Block A, Dussault PH, Vermaas WF, Merchant SS, Basset GJ. 2015. A Dedicated Type II NADPH Dehydrogenase Performs the Penultimate Step in the Biosynthesis of Vitamin K1 in Synechocystis and Arabidopsis. Plant Cell, tpc. 15.00103.
Block A, Widhalm JR, Fatihi A, Cahoon RE, Wamboldt Y, Elowsky C, Mackenzie SA, Cahoon EB, Chapple C, Dudareva N, Basset GJ. 2014. The Origin and Biosynthesis of the Benzenoid Moiety of Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q) in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell. 26(5), 1938-1948.
Fatihi A, Zbierzak AM, Dörmann P. 2013. Alterations in seed development gene expression affect size and oil content of Arabidopsis seeds. Plant Physiol. 163(2):973-85.
Bates PD, Fatihi A, Snapp AR, Carlsson AS, Browse J, Lu C. 2012. Acyl editing and headgroup exchange are the major mechanisms that direct polyunsaturated fatty acid flux into triacylglycerols. Plant Physiol. 160(3):1530-9