One of the most prominent and important topics in modern agricultural biotechnology is the manipulation of oilseed triacylglycerol composition. Towards this goal, we have sought to identify and characterize acyl-CoA synthetases (ACSs), which play an important role in both de novo synthesis and modification of existing lipids. We have identified and cloned 20 different genes that bear strong sequence homology to known ACSs from other organisms. Through sequence comparisons and functional characterization, we have identified several members of this group that encode ACSs, while the other genes fall into the broader category of genes for AMP-binding proteins (AMPBPs). Distinguishing ACSs from AMPBPs will simplify our efforts to understand the role of ACS in triacylglycerol metabolism.

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