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J Exp Bot. 2005 May;56(415):1285-96. Epub 2005 Mar 14.

Storage oil breakdown during embryo development of Brassica napus (L.).

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  • 1Department of Metabolic Biology, John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich NR4 7UH, UK.

Abstract

In this study it is shown that at least 10% of the major storage product of developing embryos of Brassica napus (L.), triacylglycerol, is lost during the desiccation phase of seed development. The metabolism of this lipid was studied by measurements of the fate of label from [1-(14)C]decanoate supplied to isolated embryos, and by measurements of the activities of enzymes of fatty acid catabolism. Measurements on desiccating embryos have been compared with those made on embryos during lipid accumulation and on germinating seedlings. Enzymes of beta-oxidation and the glyoxylate cycle, and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase were present in embryos during oil accumulation, and increased in activity and abundance as the seeds matured and became desiccated. Although the activities were less than those measured during germination, they were at least comparable to the in vivo rate of fatty acid synthesis in the embryo during development. The pattern of labelling, following metabolism of decanoate by isolated embryos, indicated a much greater involvement of the glyoxylate cycle during desiccation than earlier in oil accumulation, and showed that much of the (14)C-label from decanoate was released as CO(2) at both stages. Sucrose was not a product of decanoate metabolism during embryo development, and therefore lipid degradation was not associated with net gluconeogenic activity. These observations are discussed in the context of seed development, oil yield, and the synthesis of novel fatty acids in plants.

PMID:
15767324
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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