Manufacturing specialized wax esters in plants

Kamil Demski, Bao Jian Ding, Hong Lei Wang, Tam N.T. Tran, Timothy P. Durrett, Ida Lager, Christer Löfstedt, Per Hofvander

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


Biologically produced wax esters can fulfil different industrial purposes. These functionalities almost drove the sperm whale to extinction from hunting. After the ban on hunting, there is a niche in the global market for biolubricants with properties similar to spermaceti. Wax esters can also serve as a mechanism for producing insect sex pheromone fatty alcohols. Pheromone-based mating disruption strategies are in high demand to replace the toxic pesticides in agriculture and manage insect plagues threatening our food and fiber reserves. In this study we set out to investigate the possibilities of in planta assembly of wax esters, for specific applications, through transient expression of various mix-and-match combinations of genes in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. Our synthetic biology designs were outlined in order to pivot plant lipid metabolism into producing wax esters with targeted fatty acyl and fatty alcohols moieties. Through this approach we managed to obtain industrially important spermaceti-like wax esters enriched in medium-chain fatty acyl and/or fatty alcohol moieties of wax esters. Via employment of plant codon-optimized moth acyl-CoA desaturases we also managed to capture unusual, unsaturated fatty alcohol and fatty acyl moieties, structurally similar to moth pheromone compounds, in plant-accumulated wax esters. Comparison between outcomes of different experimental designs identified targets for stable transformation to accumulate specialized wax esters and helped us to recognize possible bottlenecks of such accumulation.

Sidor (från-till)391-402
Antal sidor12
TidskriftMetabolic Engineering
StatusPublished - 2022 juli

Bibliografisk information

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (Oil crops for the future: RBP14–0037 ) and Crops for the Future (C4F) a Strategic Research Area at SLU supported by the Swedish Government . Christer Löfstedt, Bao-Jian Ding and Hong-Lei Wang also recognize support from projects 2010-857 and 2015-1336 , granted by Formas .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Biokemi och molekylärbiologi
  • Oorganisk kemi


Utforska forskningsämnen för ”Manufacturing specialized wax esters in plants”. Tillsammans bildar de ett unikt fingeravtryck.

Citera det här