Characterization of Oil Palm Acyl-CoA-Binding Proteins and Correlation of Their Gene Expression with Oil Synthesis

Nadzirah Amiruddin, Pek Lan Chan, Norazah Azizi, Priscilla Elizabeth Morris, Kuang Lim Chan, Pei Wen Ong, Rozana Rosli, Subhi Siti Masura, Denis J. Murphy, Ravigadevi Sambanthamurthi, Richard P. Haslam, Mee Len Chye, John L. Harwood, Eng Ti Leslie Low

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Acyl-CoA-binding proteins (ACBPs) are involved in binding and trafficking acyl-CoA esters in eukaryotic cells. ACBPs contain a well-conserved acyl-CoA-binding domain. Their various functions have been characterized in the model plant Arabidopsis and, to a lesser extent, in rice. In this study, genome-wide detection and expression analysis of ACBPs were performed on Elaeis guineensis (oil palm), the most important oil crop in the world. Seven E. guineensis ACBPs were identified and classified into four groups according to their deduced amino acid domain organization. Phylogenetic analysis showed conservation of this family with other higher plants. All seven EgACBPs were expressed in most tissues while their differential expression suggests various functions in specific tissues. For example, EgACBP3 had high expression in inflorescences and stalks while EgACBP1 showed strong expression in leaves. Because of the importance of E. guineensis as an oil crop, expression of EgACBPs was specifically examined during fruit development. EgACBP3 showed high expression throughout mesocarp development, while EgACBP1 had enhanced expression during rapid oil synthesis. In endosperm, both EgACBP1 and EgACBP3 exhibited increased expression during seed development. These results provide important information for further investigations on the biological functions of EgACBPs in various tissues and, in particular, their roles in oil synthesis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)735-747
    Number of pages13
    JournalPlant & Cell Physiology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


    • Acyl-CoA-binding proteins
    • Endosperm
    • Lipid metabolism
    • Mesocarp
    • Oil accumulation
    • Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis)


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