Lyso-phosphatidic acid acyltransferase from the Tropaeolum majus plant


This invention relates to the field of plant biotechnology and specifically to methods of enhancing the oil composition and/or oil content of cells, plants and seeds. The cloning, functional characterization and expression of a lyso-phosphatidic acid acyltransferase (LPAT2) from Tropaeolum majus is described. The TmLPAT2 enables the production of cells, plants and seeds with enhanced oil and/or oil with altered fatty acid composition, especially, but not exclusively, very long-chain fatty acids (VLCFAs) such as erucic acid.

Technology transfer

This technology is available for licensing. There is an opportunity for this invention to be developed for particular applications and for demonstration of the final product through a collaborative research project. The business opportunity may be referred to by its NRC ID: 12109

Market applications

There are various industrial applications in a number of sectors from agriculture to manufacturing. With respect to oil enrichment in VLCFAs, erucic acid and other VLCFAs can be derivatized to produce surface-active additives in coatings and slip agents, biojet and biodiesel fuels, enhanced oil recovery surfactants, bioplastics, lubricants, detergents, film processing agents and coatings to name but a few. Enhanced overall oil content is a major target for oilseed crops, yeast and other cells as renewable oil production platforms.

How it works

The isolated, purified or recombinant nucleic acid molecule as set forth in the current invention can be expressed to produce a lyso-phosphatidic acid acyltransferase (LPAT2) enzyme from T. majus in the host cell, plant or seed. This enzyme is responsible for inserting acyl moieties into the sn‑2 position on the glycerol backbone during triacylglycerol (TAG) assembly. As such, upon expression in cells, plants and seeds, its specificity can result in enhanced incorporation of VLCFAs into the sn‑2 position of oils and can also result in enhanced overall oil content in the host.


  • Competitor to petroleum-based industrial products
  • Sustainable and renewable improvements in oil content and composition of biological hosts
  • Increased proportion of VLCFAs in the oil, reducing cost of purification/derivatization



To inquire about this technology, please contact: :

Laurel O’Connor MBA, MIT
Acting Business Advisor, ACRD
Telephone: 306-975-4573

Express Licensing

NRC makes research & development licenses for this technology available under its Express Licensing program. To purchase such a license, please complete the Express Licensing order form.

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