1. [14C]Oleoyl-CoA was metabolized rapidly and essentially completely by microsomal preparations from developing safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) cotyledons, and most of the [14C]oleate was incorporated into 3-sn-phosphatidylcholine. 2. In aerobic reaction mixtures containing NADH2 the [14C]oleate in 3-sn-phosphatidylcholine was converted into [14C]linoleate without any change in the specific radioactivity of the lipid. Over a 60 min incubation period the extent of conversion of [14C]oleoyl phosphatidylcholine into [14C]linoleoyl phosphatidylcholine was generally greater than 60%. The rate of desaturation of endogenous [14C]oleoyl phosphatidylcholine labelled from [14C]oleoyl-CoA was much greater that of exogenous [14C]dioleoyl phosphatidylcholine the specific radioactivity of the oleoyl moiety of the lipid remained constant, indicating that labelled and unlabelled oleate were desaturated at the same rate. On this assumption an initial rate of desaturation of about 15 nmol of oleate desaturated/min per mumol of 3-sn-phosphatidylcholine was estimated. 4. [14C]Oleate esterified at positions 1 and 2 of both endogenous and exogenous 3-sn-phosphatidylcholine was desaturated. 5. Attempts to demonstrate the presence of an oleoyl-CoA desaturase in safflower microsomal fractions by the appearance of linoleoyl-CoA in reaction mixtures were inconclusive.