The preformed (Z,Z)-1-acetoxy-2-hydroxy-4-oxo-heneicosa-12,15-diene (AFD) is the most active antifungal compound in avocado; it affects the quiescence of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides in unripe fruit. One of the genes encoding Δ12 fatty acid desaturase (avfad12) was hypothesized to take part in the biosynthesis of AFD, and its expression pattern and enzymatic activity were determined in relation to the content of AFD. Using avfad12-3 as a probe, high levels of expression were detected in young fruits and leaves, where the level of AFD was highest. In contrast, Northern analysis of RNA from mature leaves and fruits showed no transcripts from the avfad12 gene family and lower AFD content. The transcripts from the avfad12 gene family, the enzymatic activity of Δ12 fatty acid desaturase, and the level of AFD in unripe-resistant fruits increased transiently when the fruits were inoculated with C. gloeosporioides or exposed to ethylene (40 μL/L), low temperature (4°C) or 1 mM H2O2, but ripe fruits were not affected. The effect of H2O2 on the transcripts from the avfad12 gene family is of specific importance, because reactive oxygen species were produced by unripe-resistant host fruit soon after inoculation of C. gloeosporioides. In addition, the fungus itself produced H2O 2 in culture medium at pH 5.0, which is similar to the pH of unripe-resistant fruit, but not at pH 7.0. Treatments that enhanced Δ12 fatty acid desaturase activity increased the concentration of the AFD precursor, linoleic acid, and its incorporation into AFD; these treatments also caused a delay in decay development. The present results demonstrate temporal relationships among the transcripts from the avfad12 gene family, the synthesis of the precursor of AFD (linoleic acid), the AFD content and quiescence of C. gloeosporioides in unripe fruits.