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Production of polyesters in transgenic plants.
Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are bacterial polyesters having the properties of biodegradable thermoplastics and elastomers. Synthesis of PHAs has been demonstrated in transgenic plants. Both polyhydroxybutyrate and the co-polymer poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate) have been synthesized in the plastids of Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica napus. Furthermore, a range of medium-chain-length PHAs has also been produced in plant peroxisomes. Development of agricultural crops to produce PHA on a large scale and at low cost will be a challenging task requiring a coordinated and stable expression of several genes. Novel extraction methods designed to maximize the use of harvested plants for PHA, oil, carbohydrate, and feed production will be needed. In addition to their use as plastics, PHAs can also be used to modify fiber properties in plants such as cotton. Furthermore, PHA can be exploited as a novel tool to study the carbon flux through various metabolic pathways, such as the fatty acid beta-oxidation cycle.
Arabidopsis/chemistry, Arabidopsis/metabolism, Brassica/chemistry, Brassica/metabolism, Chemical Engineering/methods, Models, Biological, Oxygen/metabolism, Plants, Genetically Modified/chemistry, Plants, Genetically Modified/metabolism, Polyesters/chemical synthesis, Polyesters/chemistry
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