Professor Randall J. Weselake Ph.D.


Randall J. Weselake holds a Ph.D. in plant biochemistry from the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada). His doctoral research was conducted at the Grain Research Laboratory of the Canadian Grain Commission in Winnipeg. Following a research associateship with the National Research Council of Canada in Saskatoon (Saskatchewan, Canada), Randall was a Faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Lethbridge (Alberta, Canada) from 1989-2004 where he served as Chair from 1996-1999. Currently, Randall is Professor and Tier I Canada Research Chair in Agricultural Lipid Biotechnology in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta. He also served as Scientific Director of the Alberta Innovates Phytola Centre from 2010-2016, and is a Fellow of the AOCS (2014) and Associate Editor for Lipids. Randall has conducted extensive research on the biochemistry, molecular biology and biotechnology of storage lipid biosynthesis in plants and other organisms.


Selected Publications

  • Mietkiewska E, Lin Y, Weselake RJ (2014) Engineering production of C18 conjugated fatty acids in developing seeds of oil crops. Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology 3, 44-48 (DOI: 10.1016/j.bcab.2013.11.003).
  • Yurchenko Y, Singer SD, Nykiforuk CL, Gidda S, Mullen RT, Moloney MM, Weselake RJ (2014) Production of Brassica napus low-molecular mass acyl-Coenzyme A-binding protein in Arabidopsis alters the acyl-Coenzyme A pool and acyl composition of oil in seeds. Plant Physiology 165, 550-560 (DOI: 10.1104/pp.114.238071).
  • Chen X, Chen G, Truksa M, Snyder CL, Shah S, Weselake RJ (2014) Glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase 4 is essential for the normal development of reproductive organs and the embryo in Brassica napus. Journal of Experimental Botany 65, 4201-4215 (DOI: 10.1093/jxb/eru199).
  • Chen X, Miles R, Snyder CL, Truksa M, Zhang J, Shah S, Weselake RJ (2014) Possible allostery and oligomerization of recombinant plastidial sn-glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 554, 55-64 (DOI: 10.1016/
  • Greer MS, Zhou T, Weselake RJ (2014) Novel assay of DGAT activity based on high temperature GC/MS of triacylglycerol. Lipids 49, 831-838 (DOI: 10.1007/s11745-014-3921-8).
  • Mietkiewska E, Miles R, Wickramarathna, Sahibollah AF, Greer MS, Chen G, Weselake RJ (2014) Combined transgenic expression of Punica granatum conjugase (FADX) and FAD2 destaurase in high linoleic acid Arabidopsis thaliana mutant leads to increased accumulation of punicic acid. Planta 240, 575-583 (DOI: 10.1007/s00425-014-2109-z).
  • Singer SD, Weselake RJ, Rahman H (2014) Development and characterization of low alpha-linolenic Brassica oleracea lines bearing a novel mutation in a ‘class a’ FATTY ACID DESATURASE 3 gene. BMC Genetics 15, 94 (DOI: 10.1186/s12863-014-0094-7).
  • Gao Y, Chen G, Weselake R (2014) A rapid Nile red fluorescence-based method for triacylglycerol content in microspore-derived cell suspension cultures of Brassica napus. Lipids 49, 1161-1168 (DOI: 10.1007/s1175-014-3952-1).
  • Subedi K, Yu H-M, Weselake RJ, Meesapyodsuk D, Qiu X, Shah S, Field CJ (2015) Stearidonic acid- enriched flax oil reduces the growth of human breast cancer in vitro and in vivo. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 149, 17-29 (DOI: 10.1007/s10549-014-3212-3).
  • Greer MS, Truksa M, Deng Wei, Lung S-C, Chen G, Weselake RJ (2015) Engineering increased triacylglycerol accumulation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae using a modified type-1 plant diacylglycerol acyltransferase. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 99, 2243-2253 (DOI: 10.1007/s00253-014-6284-4).
  • Pan X, Peng F, Weselake RJ (2015) Genome-wide analysis of PHOSPHOLIPID: DIACYLGLYCEROL  ACYLTRANSFERASE (PDAT) Genes in plants reveals the eudicot-wide gene expansion and altered selective pressures acting on core eudicot PDAT paralogs. Plant Physiology 167, 887-904 (DOI: 10.1104/pp.114.253658).
  • Caldo KMP, Greer MS, Chen G, Lemieux MJ, Weselake RJ (2015) Purification and properties of recombinant Brassica napus diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1. FEBS Letters 589, 773-778 (DOI: 10.1016/j.febslet.2015.02.008).
  • Bayon S, Chen G, Weselake RJ, Browse J (2015) A small phospholipase A2-α from castor  catalyzes removal of hydroxy fatty acids from phosphatidylcholine in transgenic Arabidopsis seeds. Plant Physiology 167, 1259-1270 (DOI: 10.1104/pp.114.253641).
  • Wickramarathna AD, Siloto RMP, Mietkiewska E, Singer SD, Pan X, Weselake RJ (2015) Heterologous expression of flax PHOSPHOTIDYLCHOLINE: DIACYLGLYCEROL CHOLINE- PHOSPHOTRANSFERASES (PDCTs) increases polyunsaturated fatty acid content in yeast and Arabidopsis seeds. BMC Biotechnology 15, 63 (DOI:10.1186/s12896-015-0156-6).
  • Pan X, Chen G, Kazachkov M, Greer MS, Caldo KM, Zou J, Weselake RJ (2015) In vivo and in vitro evidence for biochemical coupling of reactions catalyzed by lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase and diacyglycerol acyltransferase. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 290, 18068-18078 (DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M115.654798).
  • Yu H-M, Newell M, Subedi K, Weselake RJ, Mazurak V, Field CJ (2015) Bypassing the ∆6-desaturase enzyme and directly providing n-3 and n-6 PUFA pathway intermediates reduces the survival of two human breast cancer cell lines. European Journal Lipid Science and Technology 117, 1378-1390 (DOI: 10.1002/ejlt.201400464)
  • Chen G, Woodfield HK, Pan X, Harwood JL, Weselake RJ (2015) Acyl-trafficking during plant oil accumulation. Lipids 56, 1057-1068 (DOI: 10.1007/s11745-015-4069-x).
  • Woodfield HK, Harwood JL, Weselake RJ (2015) Tailoring lipid synthesis in oil crops. Inform 26, 78-83.
  • Singer SD, Zou J, Weselake RJ (2016) Abiotic factors influence storage lipid accumulation and composition. Plant Science 243, 1-9 (DOI: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2015. 11.003).
  • El-Mezawy A, Al-Forkan M, Wu L, Weselake RJ, Shah S, Rahman H (2016) Down regulation of the IND gene causes male sterility in canola (Brassica napus L.). Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology 6, 9-18 (DOI: 10.1016/j.bcab.2016.02.004).
  • Greer MS, Pan X, Weselake RJ (2016) Two clades of type-1 Brassica napus diacylglycerol acyltransferase exhibit differences in acyl-CoA preference. Lipids 51, 781-786 (DOI: 10.1007/s11745-016-4158-5).
  • McKeon TA, Hayes DG, Hildebrand DF, Weselake RJ (2016) Introduction to industrial oil crops. In:Industrial Oil Crops (eds T McKeon, D Hildebrand, R Weselake, D Hayes) Elsevier/AOCS Press, New York/Urbana, pp. 1-13.
  • McVetty PBE, Mietkiewska E, Omonov T, Curtis J, Taylor DC, Weselake RJ (2016) Brassica spp. oils. In:Industrial Oil Crops (eds TA McKeon, DF Hildebrand, DG Hayes, RJ Weselake) Elsevier/AOCS Press, New York/Urbana, pp. 113-156.
  • Hall LM, Booker H, Siloto RMP, Jhala AJ, Weselake RJ (2016) Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.). In: Industrial Oil Crops (eds TA McKeon, DF Hildebrand, DG Hayes, RJ Weselake) Elsevier/ AOCS Press, New York/Urbana, pp. 157-194
  • Weselake RJ. Engineering oil accumulation in vegetative tisse. In:Industrial Oil Crops (eds TA McKeon, DF Hildebrand, DG Hayes, RJ Weselake) Elsevier/AOCS Press, New York/Urbana, pp. 413-434.
  • Singer S, Chen G, Mietkiewska, Tomasi P, Jayawardhane K, Dyer J, Weselake RJ (2016) Arabidopsis GPAT9 contributes to synthesis of intracellular glycerolipids but not surface lipids. Journal of Experimental Botany; in press.


Edited Books

  • Teaching Innovations in Lipid Science (2008) Edited by RJ Weselake. CRC Taylor & Francis Group/AOCS Press, Boca Raton, ISBN: 13:978-0-8493-7369-5, 280 pages.

  • Industrial Oil Crops (2016) Edited by T McKeon, DF Hildebrand, DG Hayes, RJ Weselake. Elsevier/AOCS Press, New York/Urbana, ISBN: 978-1-893997-98-1, 453 pages.


Department of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2P5