With dwindling available agricultural land, concurrent with increased demand for oil, there is much current interest in raising oil crop productivity. We have been addressing this issue by studying the regulation of oil accumulation in oilseed rape (Brassica napus L). As part of this research we have carried out a detailed lipidomic analysis of developing seeds. The molecular species distribution in individual lipid classes revealed quite distinct patterns and showed where metabolic connections were important. As the seeds developed, the molecular species distributions changed, especially in the period of early (20days after flowering, DAF) to mid phase (27DAF) of oil accumulation. The patterns of molecular species of diacylglycerol, phosphatidylcholine and acyl-CoAs were used to predict the possible relative contributions of diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT) and phospholipid:diacylglycerol acyltransferase to triacylglycerol production. Our calculations suggest that DGAT may hold a more important role in influencing the molecular composition of TAG. Enzyme selectivity had an important influence on the final molecular species patterns. Our data contribute significantly to our understanding of lipid accumulation in the world's third most important oil crop.
Keywords: Brassica napus (L); Developing oilseed rape; Lipid accumulation; Lipidomics; Regulation of synthesis.
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