Lipids in grain tissues of oat (Avena sativa): differences in content, time of deposition, and fatty acid composition

J Exp Bot. 2007;58(10):2463-70. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erm125. Epub 2007 Jun 22.


Oat (Avena sativa) is unusual in comparison with other cereals since there are varieties with up to 18% oil content. The lipid content and fatty acid composition in different parts of the grain during seed development were characterized in cultivars Freja (6% oil) and Matilda (10% oil), using thin-layer and gas chromatography, and light and electron microscopy. The majority of lipids (86-90%) were found in the endosperm. Ninety-five per cent of the higher oil content of cv. Matilda compared with cv. Freja was due to increased oil content of the endosperm. Up to 84% of the lipids were deposited during the first half of seed development, when seeds where still green with a milky endosperm. Microscopy studies revealed that whereas oil bodies of the embryo and scutellum still contained a discrete shape upon grain maturation, oil bodies of the endosperms fused upon maturation and formed smears of oil.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Avena / embryology*
  • Avena / metabolism
  • Avena / ultrastructure
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Seeds / growth & development
  • Seeds / metabolism*
  • Seeds / ultrastructure


  • Fatty Acids