Identification of Acyltransferases Associated with Oil Accumulation in Avocado Fruit

Document Type


Publication Date



In avocado, an economically important crop, fruits can store up to 70 % oil in the form of triacylglycerols (TAGs). While TAG synthesis in seed tissues mostly depends on an acyl CoA-dependent enzyme, diacylglycerol (DAG) acyltransferase (DGAT) to catalyze the conversion of DAG to TAG, the enzymes involved in non-seed tissues remains to be elucidated. Recent studies on oil palm suggested participation of an acyl-CoA-independent enzyme, phospholipid:diacylglycerol acyltransferase (PDAT), in TAG synthesis. Our research focuses on identifying acyltransferases involved in oil accumulation in mesocarp tissues of avocado. Furthermore, in ‘Hass’ avocado, where 20-60 % of the fruit are phenotypically small, even under favorable conditions, we are interested in determining the association between oil accumulation and fruit size. To this extent, we quantified gene expression levels for DGAT 1 and 2 and PDAT and the rate of oil accumulation in developing mesocarp (oilrich) and seed (non-oil rich) tissues of phenotypically 'small' and 'normal' fruits, using real-time PCR and gas chromatography, respectively. Candidate acyltransferase genes, highly expressed in mesocarp but not in seed, will be cloned and characterized. Understanding TAG synthesis in non-seed tissues will allow us to develop genetic tools necessary for generating bioenergy-rich crops.


Corvallis, OR

This document is currently not available here.