Isolation of a kernel oleoyl-ACP thioesterase gene from the oil palm Elaeis guineensis Jacq.


Omorefe Asemota*, Cha Tye San, Farida H. Shah

Thioesterases play a central role in determining chain lengths of fatty acids in oil storage tissues and have been isolated from a number of plant sources. While in some species enzymes that are specialized for the predominant fatty acids in the tissues examined have been found, in others, enzymes that are active over a broad range were observed. We have isolated a cDNA clone from the developing kernel of the oil palm Elaeis guineensis which encodes a thioesterase enzyme. Its highest homology was to the Brassica napus oleoyl-ACP thioesterase with which it had 72% homology at the nucleotide level, over the coding region examined, and 83% identity (90% positives) at the amino acid level.

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