Genetic basis for natural variation in seed vitamin E levels in Arabidopsis thaliana

Laura U. Gilliland, Maria Magallanes-Lundback, Cori Hemming, Andrea Supplee, Maarten Koornneef, Leónie Bentsink, Dean DellaPenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Vitamin E is an essential nutrient for humans and is obtained primarily from food, especially oil, derived from the seed of plants. Genes encoding the committed steps in vitamin E synthesis in plants (VTE, loci 1-5) have been isolated and used for tocopherol pathway engineering with various degrees of success. As a complement to such approaches we have used quantitative trait loci analysis with two sets of Arabidopsis thaliana recombinant inbred lines and have identified 14 QVE (quantitative vitamin E) loci affecting tocopherol content and composition in seeds. Five QVE intervals contain VTE loci that are likely QVE gene candidates. Nine QVE intervals do not contain VTE loci and therefore identify novel loci affecting seed tocopherol content and composition. Several near-isogenic lines containing introgressions of the accession with increased vitamin E levels were shown to confer significantly elevated tocopherol levels compared with the recurrent parent. Fine-mapping has narrowed QVE7 (a γ-tocopherol quantitative trait loci) to an 8.5-kb interval encompassing two genes. Understanding the basis of the QVE loci in Arabidopsis promises to provide insight into the regulation and/or metabolism of vitamin E in plants and has clear ramifications for improving the nutritional content of crops through marker-assisted selection and metabolic engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18834-18841
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number49
StatePublished - Dec 5 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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