Macaúba (Acrocomia aculeata) is a palm native to rainforests with wide geographical distribution. It is a plant that arouses interests from ecological point of view but especially socio-economic interest because the fruits produces large amount of oil. The oil from macaúba has use in the pharmaceutical, food, cosmetics industries and more recently stands out for its potential to produce biodiesel, becoming an option for sustainable energy production. The oil from macaúba has high content of oleic acid and palmitic acid. The fatty acid biosynthesis in plants occurs almost entirely in plastids through a complex series of steps of denaturation, elongation, and formation of double bonds involving enzymes named FAD. The objective of this project is to identify genes related to oil biosynthesis macaúba, trying to correlate their expression with the content and quality of the oil and the morphology of the fruit. Such knowledge will allow further identification of desirable genotypes, better planning of breeding programs and provide the use of DNA technology to obtain oil with better properties for biofuel production and more productive plants. The project strategy is to obtain the transcriptome (RNAseq) of fruits and also to identify and study the expression of FAD genes (FAD2, and FAD4 FAD5) involved in the biosynthesis of oleic acid, which desirable quality is aimed for oils used for the production of biodiesel.
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