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Functional study of oil assembly pathway in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) fruits

Abstract : Oil palm is the highest oil-yielding crop-plant, accounting for approximately 40% of the total world vegetable oil production. The fruit accumulates oil, made of triacylglycerol (TAG) molecules, in both mesocarp and kernel with totally different fatty acid profiles. Fatty acids are assembled into oil through Kennedy pathway in the endoplasmic reticulum, which is complicated by editing processes involving phosphatidylcholine metabolism. To investigate oil assembly in oil palm, we use lipidomics as a tool to analyze different populations of palm to search for TAG structural diversity, and to further characterize changes in lipid content and composition in mesocarp and kernel during fruit ripening. We used yeast two-hybrid system (split ubiquitin) to test protein-protein interactions for almost all the enzymes (32) involved in oil assembly pathway, and we demonstrated 241 interactions, including 132 strong interactions, 73 medium interactions and 36 weak interactions. Our results suggest that all enzymes might assemble into one or several complexes that may form metabolons. In addition, different isoforms of enzymes showed distinct interaction profiles, providing hints for future studies. Moreover, we also characterized the in vivo function of a putative acyltransferase (designated EgWSD1-like) possibly involved in oil assembly and the three major diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT) isoforms of palm mesocarp in the mutant yeast H1246, which is devoid of neutral lipid synthesis. EgWSD1-like only shows wax ester synthase activity in yeast, while three EgDGATs all can restore TAG biosynthesis in yeast with different substrate specificities.
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Yijun Yuan. Functional study of oil assembly pathway in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) fruits. Vegetal Biology. Université de Bordeaux, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016BORD0158⟩. ⟨tel-01995543⟩

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