Peroxisomal β-oxidation in plants is essential for mobilization of storage oil in seed-oil storing plants, such as Arabidopsis thaliana. In plants, degradation of fatty acids occurs exclusively in peroxisomes via β-oxidation, driving seedling growth and development upon germination. Thus, the determination of storage oil breakdown rates is a useful approach to investigate defects in peroxisomal β-oxidation. Here we describe an acid catalyzed derivatization process of fatty acids representing a fast and efficient procedure to generate high yields of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs). The subsequent analysis by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS) allows the quantification of total fatty acid content. The results provide detailed information of the complete storage oil breakdown process via peroxisomal β-oxidation during seedling growth.
Keywords: Fatty acid β-oxidation; Peroxisomes; Plant seedling; Storage oil mobilization.