The present invention relates to a process for producing poly-D-(-)-3-hydroxybutyric acid (PHB) and related polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) in the plastids of plants. The production of PHB is accomplished by genetically transforming plants with modified genes from microorganisms. The genes encode the enzymes required to synthesize PHB from acetyl-CoA or related metabolites and are fused with additional plant sequences for targeting the enzymes to the plastid.
The invention described herein was made in the course of work under grant number DE-AC02-76ERO-1338 from the U.S. Department of Energy and No. DMB 9014037 from the National Science Foundation. The U.S. Government has certain rights under this invention.