Till now, only scattered data are available in the literature, which describes the protein content of plant oil bodies. Especially, the proteins closely associated with the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana oil bodies have never been previously purified and characterized. Oil bodies have been purified using flotation techniques, combined with incubations under high salt concentration, in the presence of detergents and urea in order to remove non-specifically trapped proteins. The identity and integrity of the oil bodies have been characterized. Oil bodies exhibited hydrodynamic diameters close to 2.6 microm, and a ratio fatty acid-protein content near 20. The proteins composing these organelles were extracted, separated by SDS-PAGE, digested by trypsin, and their peptides were subsequently analyzed by nano-chromatography-mass spectrometry (nano-LC-MS/MS). This led to the identification of a limited number of proteins: four different oleosins, ATS1, a protein homologous to calcium binding protein, a 11-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-like protein, a probable aquaporin and a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored protein with no known function. The two last proteins were till now never identified in plant oil bodies. Structural proteins (oleosins) represented up to 79% of oil body proteins and the 18.5 kDa oleosin was the most abundant among them.