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Plant Physiol. 1991 Jan;95(1):58-68.

Analysis of Glucocerebrosides of Rye (Secale cereale L. cv Puma) Leaf and Plasma Membrane.

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Department of Agronomy, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853.


Glucocerebrosides of whole rye (Secale cerale L. cv Puma) leaf and plasma membrane were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and gas chromatography following hydrolysis or as intact molecules purified by reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography. Fatty acids of acid-hydrolyzed leaf and plasma membrane glucocerebrosides consisted of >98 weight percent saturated and monounsaturated 2-hydroxy fatty acids which contained 16 to 26 carbon atoms. The major fatty acids detected were 2-hydroxynervonic acid (24:1h), 2-hydroxylignoceric acid (24:0h), 2-hydroxyerucic acid (22:1h), and 2-hydroxybehenic acid (22:0h). Long-chain bases of alkaline-hydrolyzed glucocerebrosides consisted primarily of cis-trans isomers of the trihydroxy base 4-hydroxysphingenine (t18:1) and the dihydroxy base sphingadienine (d18:2) with lesser amounts of 4-hydroxysphinganine (t18:0) and isomers of sphingenine (d18:1). Intact, underivatized glucocerebroside molecular species of rye leaf and plasma membrane were separated into more than 30 molecular species using reverse-phase HPLC. The molecular species composition of leaf and plasma membrane were quantitatively and qualitatively similar. The major molecular species was 24:1h-t18:1 which constituted nearly 40 weight percent of leaf and plasma membrane extracts. Several other species including 22:1h-t18:1, 24:1h-t18:1 (isomer), 22:0h-t18:1, 24:1h-d18:2, and 24:0h-t18:1 each comprised 4 to 8% of the total. It is anticipated that the high performance liquid chromatography procedure developed in this study to separate intact, underivatized lipid molecular species will be useful in future studies of the physical properties and biosynthesis of plant glucocerebrosides.

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