Date of Award
Camelina sativa, a relative of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, has gained commercial interest in recent years for its seed oil. Camelina oil is a desirable ingredient in animal feed and for cooking due to its rich concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. It is also emerging as an eco-friendly jet biofuel. However, since C. sativa has only recently entered the public eye, regulation of its seed oil synthesis remains largely unexplored. A. thaliana, on the other hand, has been extensively studied. Promoters directly upstream of genes harbor hundreds of cis-acting regulatory DNA elements. These motifs are often tissue-specific and associated with specific biological processes. Many motifs are also induced by hormones, which regulate development. Comparing promoter motifs of four prominent seed development genes, FUS3, LEC1, LEC2, and ABI3, in A. thaliana to their orthologs in C. sativa revealed significant similarity between the two. This suggests that regulation of seed development in C. sativa may be similar to that of A. thaliana. Notably, seed-specific motifs associated with storage proteins and carbon metabolism are most highly represented in both species. However, C. sativa seed-specific promoters were found to harbor a greater composition of motifs induced by abscisic acid, which has been implicated in seed maturation and dormancy. Moving forward, expression analysis of these genes in various C. sativa tissue types will further validate their function. Understanding specific regulatory factors modulating seed development will reveal molecular targets to improve camelina oil yield for industrial applications.
Clark, Benjamin; Liu, Jiayin; and Liang, Haiying, "Camelina sativa promoters of seed development genes resemble Arabidopsis thaliana orthologs" (2023). Honors College Theses. 2.