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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2004 Jun;7(3):302-8.

Control of storage-product synthesis in seeds.

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


Seeds provide humans with much of their diet and have been targets for improvement for millennia. The recent development of a range of methodologies for investigating the control of seed metabolism will allow rapid progress towards understanding this process in the future. In situ measurements of metabolite concentrations, in combination with the localisation of gene expression, in developing legume seeds have led to the description of detailed models of the control of starch and protein synthesis. In oilseeds, the application of recently developed 13C-labelling methods allows the quantification of carbon fluxes through individual pathways in the cytosol and plastid. Molecular and genetic approaches are being used in combination to probe both the importance of individual steps in the pathways of storage-product synthesis and potential regulators of the entire process.

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