The fatty acid composition of mitochondrial membrane lipids from seedlings of two grass species differing in their chilling tolerance, elymus (Elymus sibiricus) and maize (Zea mays), was studied by gas-liquid chromatography. An increased chilling tolerance of elymus, a perennial wild species, seems to be caused by a high content of unsaturated fatty acid residues in the total membrane lipids; linoleic (41.9%) and α-linolenic (23.4%) acids predominated among these fatty acids. The contents of linoleic and α-linolenic acids in the total lipids of maize membranes were 57.5% and 5.8%, respectively. Polar lipids of elymus mitochondrial membranes were characterized by about similar contents of linoleic (33.6%) and α-linolenic (31.3%) acids. Linoleic acid (51.7%) predominated in maize mitochondrial polar lipids, whereas the α-linolenic acid content was 9.0%. A high level of ω3-desaturase activity in the mitochondrial membranes seems to be an important factor of elymus chilling tolerance. This high activity seems to be developed as an adaptation in the course of evolution of this species.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 11, 2004
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