Recent advances in plant molecular biology have facilitated the introduction of novel traits into a range of plant species. It is now possible to modify the fatty acid composition of plant oilseeds, which opens up the possibility of improving the nutritional qualities of plant oils. The fatty acid composition of an oilseed determines its end use and therefore its commercial value. Value can be added to certain crop species by manipulations which would allow production of rare and valuable oils. Genetic engineering also provides novel opportunities for the production of pharmaceutical fatty acids such as γ-linolenic acid and arachidonic acid which are important for human health and nutrition.
© 2001 Society of Chemical Industry