Seed-specific expression in Arabidopsis thaliana of oleate hydroxylase enzymes from castor bean and Lesquerella fendleri resulted in the accumulation of hydroxy fatty acids in the seed oil. By using various Arabidopsis mutant lines it was shown that the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) n–-3 desaturase (FAD3) and the FAE1 condensing enzyme are involved in the synthesis of polyunsaturated and very-long-chain hydroxy fatty acids, respectively. In Arabidopsis plants with an active ER Δ12-oleate desaturase the presence of hydroxy fatty acids corresponded to an increase in the levels of 18:1 and a decrease in 18:2 levels. Expression in yeast indicates that the castor hydroxylase also has a low level of desaturase activity.

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