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Plant Physiol. Jan 1993; 101(1): 267–276.
PMCID: PMC158673

Lipids, Proteins, and Structure of Seed Oil Bodies from Diverse Species.

Abstract

Oil bodies isolated from the mature seeds of rape (Brassica napus L.), mustard (Brassica juncea L.), cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.), flax (Linus usitatis simum), maize (Zea mays L.), peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.), and sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) had average diameters that were different but within a narrow range (0.6-2.0 [mu]m), as measured from electron micrographs of serial sections. Their contents of triacylglycerols (TAG), phospholipids, and proteins (oleosins) were correlated with their sizes. The correlation fits a formula that describes a spherical particle surrounded by a shell of a monolayer of phospholipids embedded with oleosins. Oil bodies from the various species contained substantial amounts of the uncommon negatively charged phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylinositol, as well as small amounts of free fatty acids. These acidic lipids are assumed to interact with the basic amino acid residues of the oleosins on the surface of the phospholipid layer. Isoelectrofocusing revealed that the oil bodies from the various species had an isoelectric point of 5.7 to 6.6 and thus possessed a negatively charged surface at neutral pH. We conclude that seed oil bodies from diverse species are very similar in structure. In rapeseed during maturation, TAG and oleosins accumulated concomitantly. TAG-synthesizing acyltransferase activities appeared at an earlier stage and peaked during the active period of TAG accumulation. The concomitant accumulation of TAG and oleosins is similar to that reported earlier for maize and soybean, and the finding has an implication for the mode of oil body synthesis during seed maturation.

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Selected References

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