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Plant Physiol Biochem. 2006 Nov-Dec;44(11-12):724-31. Epub 2006 Oct 27.

Accumulation of tocopherols and tocotrienols during seed development of grape (Vitis vinifera L. cv. Albert Lavallée).

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  • 1Research Group of Plant Physiology, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, 2020 Antwerp, Belgium.


Tocopherols and tocotrienols are present in mature seeds. Yet, little is known about the physiological role and the metabolism of these compounds during seed development. Here we present data on tocopherol and tocotrienol accumulation during seed development in Vitis vinifera L. cv. Albert Lavallée (Royal). This species was chosen for its ability to synthesize both tocopherols and tocotrienols. It is shown here for the first time that during seed development there are significant differences in localization and accumulation kinetics of tocopherols and tocotrienols. Tocopherols are found homogeneously dispersed throughout all tissues of the seed, in concentrations ranging from 20 to 100 microg tocopherol per g dry weight. Tocopherol levels decrease gradually during seed development. In contrast, tocotrienols are only found in the endosperm of the seeds, accumulating in a sigmoid fashion during the maturation period of seed development. Tocotrienol levels were found to be (54+/-7.4) microg/g dry seed in 90-day-old seeds of V. vinifera L. Furthermore, tocotrienol biosynthesis is demonstrated in these seeds during tocotrienol accumulation and in an endosperm fraction isolated at 75 days after flowering.

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