Expression analysis identifies FAD2-2 as the olive oleate desaturase gene mainly responsible for the linoleic acid content in virgin olive oil.J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Jul 22; 57(14):6199-206.JA
The effect of ripening stage and water regimen on oleate desaturase gene expression levels in the fruit of different olive (Olea europaea L.) varieties was investigated to elucidate the contribution of each to the linoleic acid content in virgin olive oil. To this end, fatty acid analysis and quantitative real time PCR were performed using distinct olive tissues and different developmental stages from the Picual and Arbequina cultivars. The results showed that the olive FAD2-1, FAD2-2, and FAD6 genes were spatial and temporally regulated. In addition, the data indicated that FAD2-2 seems to be the main gene responsible for the linoleic acid content in the olive fruit mesocarp tissue. This conclusion was also confirmed when the study was extended to Hojiblanca, Picudo, and Manzanilla varieties. With regard to the water regimen, unlike the Picual cultivar, a small increase of linoleic acid was observed in the Arbequina variety cultivated with irrigation, which correlated well with the increase detected for the FAD2-2 gene expression level. All of these data strongly suggest that FAD2-2 is the main gene that determines the linoleic acid content in the virgin olive oil.