Small amounts of a mixture of fatty acid lower-alkyl esters (FALAEs) were obtained from chloroform extracts of the fruit arils and seeds of four euonymus species (Euonymus sp., Celastraceae). The FALAEs were the products of biosyntheses in the cell rather than experimental artifacts. By using GC-MS, this mixture was shown to contain a total of 19 individual FALAE species comprising four separate fractions, viz. methyl (FAMEs), ethyl (FAEEs), n-propyl, and n-butyl FA esters. Fruit FALAEs included mainly FAEEs and, to a lesser extent, FAMEs, while the n-propyl and n-butyl FA esters, which occurred less frequently, were found here for the first time as the plant products. The FALAE acid components included C14-C18 saturated, mono-, di-, and trienoic FAs with the predominance of ubiquitous linoleic, oleic, palmitic, and, in some cases, also α-linolenic acid. The indices of qualitative and quantitative composition of separate FALAE fractions varied considerably depending on the plant species, fruit part (aril or seed), and the extent of fruit maturity. It can be supposed that, in some euonymus species, FAMEs and FAEEs are formed at the expense of the same FA pool characteristic for a given species. As a whole, euonymus FALAEs and triacylglycerols seem to be synthesized from different FA pools. Discussed is the physiological significance of FALAE biosynthesis in plant metabolism, possible pathways of this biosynthesis, as well as the perspectives of further investigations of FALAEs of plant origin.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 15, 2012
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