Plant Cyclopropane Fatty Acid Synthase




Vegetable oils are used not only in the food industry but also increasingly in the chemical industry. The utility of any particular oil depends upon chemical and physico-chemical properties of the oil, which is determined by the composition of the constituent fatty acids. Plant oils are often modified to meet industrial specifications. Such modifications of vegetable oil have typically been achieved by chemical means, but genetic means are increasingly being used to provide novel oil feedstocks.


One class of particular interest is the class of fatty acids containing three carbon carbocyclic rings, which includes the cyclopropane fatty acids (CPA-FAs) and cyclopropene fatty acids (CPE-FAs). Currently, there are no commercial sources of oils rich in CPE-FAs.


Description of Technology


Michigan State University’s invention provides cyclopropane fatty acid synthase genes and proteins and methods of their use. The invention encompasses both native and recombinant wild-type forms of the synthase, as well as mutants and variant forms, some of which possess altered characteristics relative to the wild-type synthase. It also provides methods of using cyclopropane fatty acid synthase genes and proteins, including in their expression in transgenic organisms and in the production of cyclopropane fatty acids in plant oils and in particular seed oils.


Patent Status


U.S. patents 7,446,188 and 7,932,433; additional patents pending




Xiaoming Bao, Michael Pollard, John Ohlrogge


Tech ID




Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Thomas Herlache
Assistant Director
Michigan State University