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Plant Physiol. 2014 Apr;164(4):1866-78. doi: 10.1104/pp.113.233262. Epub 2014 Feb 10.

Specialization of oleosins in oil body dynamics during seed development in Arabidopsis seeds.

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Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Unité Mixte de Recherche 1318, AgroParisTech, and Equipe de Recherche Labellisée 3559 Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin, F-78026 Versailles cedex, France.


Oil bodies (OBs) are seed-specific lipid storage organelles that allow the accumulation of neutral lipids that sustain plantlet development after the onset of germination. OBs are covered with specific proteins embedded in a single layer of phospholipids. Using fluorescent dyes and confocal microscopy, we monitored the dynamics of OBs in living Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) embryos at different stages of development. Analyses were carried out with different genotypes: the wild type and three mutants affected in the accumulation of various oleosins (OLE1, OLE2, and OLE4), three major OB proteins. Image acquisition was followed by a detailed statistical analysis of OB size and distribution during seed development in the four dimensions (x, y, z, and t). Our results indicate that OB size increases sharply during seed maturation, in part by OB fusion, and then decreases until the end of the maturation process. In single, double, and triple mutant backgrounds, the size and spatial distribution of OBs are modified, affecting in turn the total lipid content, which suggests that the oleosins studied have specific functions in the dynamics of lipid accumulation.

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