Fatty acids are accumulated in triacylglycerols (TAGs), in specialized organelles of seeds named oil bodies. The major site of TAG accumulation is detected in developing seed and mesocarp of certain species. We have isolated two cDNAs encoding DGAT enzymes from olives. The deduced polypeptides differ by 26 amino acids in size. However, they have high homology and almost identical hydropathy profiles. The DGAT gene is expressed in all tissues that synthesize TAGs. However, higher levels of DGAT transcripts have been detected in seed tissues of developing olive drupe. DGAT expression and mRNA accumulation in drupe tissues is developmentally regulated. Each DGAT transcript shows a distinct profile of accumulation. The existence of two different DGAT transcripts might reflect two different enzymes with discrete function and/or localization.

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