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Hormones, Polyamines, and Cell Wall Metabolism during Oil Palm Fruit Mesocarp Development and Ripening

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journal contribution
posted on 13.08.2014, 00:00 by Huey Fang Teh, Bee Keat Neoh, Yick Ching Wong, Qi Bin Kwong, Tony Eng Keong Ooi, Theresa Lee Mei Ng, Soon Huat Tiong, Jaime Yoke Sum Low, Asma Dazni Danial, Mohd. Amiron Ersad, Harikrishna Kulaveerasingam, David R. Appleton
Oil palm is one of the most productive oil-producing crops and can store up to 90% oil in its fruit mesocarp. Oil palm fruit is a sessile drupe consisting of a fleshy mesocarp from which palm oil is extracted. Biochemical changes in the mesocarp cell walls, polyamines, and hormones at different ripening stages of oil palm fruits were studied, and the relationship between the structural and the biochemical metabolism of oil palm fruits during ripening is discussed. Time-course analysis of the changes in expression of polyamines, hormones, and cell-wall-related genes and metabolites provided insights into the complex processes and interactions involved in fruit development. Overall, a strong reduction in auxin-responsive gene expression was observed from 18 to 22 weeks after pollination. High polyamine concentrations coincided with fruit enlargement during lipid accumulation and latter stages of maturation. The trend of abscisic acid (ABA) concentration was concordant with GA4 but opposite to the GA3 profile such that as ABA levels increase the resulting elevated ABA/GA3 ratio clearly coincides with maturation. Polygalacturonase, expansin, and actin gene expressions were also observed to increase during fruit maturation. The identification of the master regulators of these coordinated processes may allow screening for oil palm variants with altered ripening profiles.