Two full-length cDNA clones of PoleFAD2 and one full-length cDNA clone of PoleFAD6, encoding ω-6 fatty acid desaturases, the key enzymes for the conversion of oleic into linoleic acid, were isolated from purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.) leaves and seeds. The deduced amino acid sequence of both isoforms of PoleFAD2 showed higher similarities to other microsomal ω-6 desaturases then to PoleFAD6 or other plastidial orthologues, and vice versa. Expression analysis by RT-PCR showed that all genes are expressed in all tissues of purslane tested, but higher levels of mRNA accumulation were detected in reproductive organs and cells that proliferate rapidly or store lipids. Wounding affected the levels of mRNA accumulation of both, FAD2 and FAD6 genes in purslane leaves, while chilling stress affected only FAD2 transcript level. The expression patterns observed reflect the discrete roles of these genes in membrane synthesis for cell division, thylakoid development, and lipid storage or in the biosynthetic pathway for the production of signaling molecules that influence plant development or defense.