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