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Crop Science Abstract -

Contribution of Endosperm and Embryo to the Oil Content and Fatty Acid Composition of Developing Flaxseeds1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 8 No. 3, p. 313-316
    Received: Oct 20, 1967

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  1. C. Dean Dybing2



Analysis of seed tissues from 14 lines of Linum usitatissimum L. and single lines of L. alpinum L., L. lewisii Pursh., L. hispanicum Mill., L. altaicum Fisch., and L. angustifolium Huds. showed that oil accumulated in the endosperm accounted for 15 to 26% of the mature seed oil content. During early stages of seed development, the endosperm was the primary site of oil storage, but the embryo became the major site 12 days after anthesis in seed grown in the field and 16 days after anthesis in seed grown in a controlled environment at 20 C. Oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acids were apportioned between the two tissues of the seed in proportions similar to total oil. Stearic acid was located almost entirely in the embryo, while palmitic acid was relatively high in the endosperm. All five acids increased in weight in the embryo throughout the period of seed development; in the endosperm only oleic and linolenic acids accumulated after 14 days of age. Increased temperature reduced the dry weight, oil content, and iodine value of both tissues. Both endosperm and embryo incorporated acetate-l-14C into fatty acids in vitro at 14, 19, and 21 days of age, but higher specific activities were attained in the embryo. Maximum labelling occurred in the linolenic fraction in the embryo and the oleic fraction in the endosperm.

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