Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Castor-oil Plants Genetically Altered To Produce New Bio-lubricants

Date:
July 5, 2009
Source:
Andalucía Innova
Summary:
Researchers have genetically altered castor-oil plant so as to use it as a factory to produce bio lubricants.

Castor-oil plant.
Credit: Image courtesy of Andalucía Innova

Almeria-based researchers, led by Federico García Maroto, have genetically altered the castor-oil plant so as to use it as a factory to produce bio lubricants.

So far, scientists of the University of Almeria have identified and provided a series of genes that are responsible of the biosynthesis of lipids that can be used to obtain transgenic castor-oil plants with an acid profile appropriate for the different requirements of bio lubricants. More specifically, the idea is to obtain an oil with a higher concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids (oleic and palmitic), which are the compounds required to classify an oil as a bio lubricant.

Another one of the objectives to be attained is the identification and characterisation of specific regulatory genetic sequences, called promoters, which drive the expression of such genes to the seeds of castor-oil transgenic plants. A promoter is a specific part of the gene responsible for the creation or accumulation of a desired product in certain tissue or organ.

With such modification, in the case of castor-oil plants, the idea is for fatty oils to get accumulated in the seed without affecting other parts of the plant, thus avoiding negative agronomic effects. Almeria experts have already managed to isolate and clone the desired promoters and their behaviour is currently being checked - with good results- in tobacco plants. The use of this species to validate the developed method is due to the fact that they are a traditionally used model system.

The team of scientists is also working on the introduction of genes into castor-oil plants with a technique that is effective and reproducible for the production of generally applicable bio lubricants. That is, they aim to make a great battery of bio lubricants with different applications: automobile industry, aero generators, industrial engines and motors, etc.

Moreover, the Institute of Sustainable Agriculture of Córdoba is developing the agronomic aspect of castor-oil plants. The aim of two-folded: on the one hand, to obtain varieties adapted to current culture conditions in Spain, and on the other hand, that they have a high performance level to obtain high quality oil for lubricants, and therefore, a high content of oleic acid and antioxidant compounds.

The general aim of the project carried out at a national level, called Biovesin, is to create environmental friendly lubricants using last generation vegetal oils and biodegradable additives selected due to their optimal performance for each use, with a good cost-performance relation. Such study is coordinated by Dr. Rafael Garcés of the Institute of Fat, in Seville, which is part of the Spanish National Research Council.

This research project, part of a national macro project, is developed through the sub-project titled 'Desarrollo de nuevas variedades de ricino y sus aceites', funded with 157,139 euros by the previous Spanish Ministry of Education and Science and Innovation in collaboration with the universities of Málaga and Seville, the Institute of Fat, and the Institute of Sustainable Agriculture of Córdoba.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Andalucía Innova. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Andalucía Innova. "Castor-oil Plants Genetically Altered To Produce New Bio-lubricants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090625074514.htm>.
Andalucía Innova. (2009, July 5). Castor-oil Plants Genetically Altered To Produce New Bio-lubricants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090625074514.htm
Andalucía Innova. "Castor-oil Plants Genetically Altered To Produce New Bio-lubricants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090625074514.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins