9:00 am - 10:00 am
3-18J Agricultural/Forestry Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB
Event details: A graduate exam seminar is a presentation of the student’s final research project for their degree.
This is an ALES MSc Final Exam Seminar by Kallum McDonald. This seminar is open to the general public to attend.
MSc with Dr. Gavin Chen
Thesis Topic: Genetic engineering of carbon flow in Arabidopsis seeds to enhance protein and oil content.
Canola (Brassica napus L.) is the major oilseed crop in Alberta. After seed oil extraction, the protein- and cellulose-rich seed meal is primarily used as animal feed. There is research interest in enhancing the nutritional value of canola meal by partial reallocation of seed carbon from cellulose to storage protein biosynthesis without penalizing the seed oil content. To accelerate this work, we have genetically engineered Arabidopsis thaliana L., a fast growing relative of canola, to alter the flow of carbon between the oil, protein, and cellulose (fiber) biosynthesis pathways. We have successfully obtained T3 lines with AtCESA1-RNAi and overexpression of BnDGAT1 and AtAAP1 with partially reduced seed cellulose, restored seed oil, and increased seed protein. These findings support the hypothesis that seed carbon flow can be manipulated to enhance the nutritional and economic value of oilseeds.