Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 80, Issue 2, pp 234–240 | Cite as

Mutants of Arabidopsis with alterations in seed lipid fatty acid composition

  • B. Lemieux
  • M. Miquel
  • C. Somerville
  • J. Browse


A diverse collection of mutants of Arabidopsis with altered seed lipid compositions was isolated by determining the fatty acid composition of samples of seed from 3,000 mutagenized lines. A series of mutations was identified that caused deficiencies in the elongation of 18∶1 to 20∶1, desaturation of 18∶1 to 18∶2, and desaturation of 18∶2 to 18∶3. In each of these cases the wild type exhibited incomplete dominance over the mutant allele. These results, along with results from earlier studies, point to a major influence of gene dosage in determining the fatty acid composition of seed lipids. A mutation was also isolated that resulted in increased accumulation of 18∶3. On the basis of the effects on fatty acid composition, the nature of the biochemical lesion in three of the mutants could be tentatively attributed to deficiencies in activities of specific enzymes. The other mutant classes had relatively less pronounced changes in fatty acid composition. These mutants may represent alterations in genes that regulate lipid metabolism or seed development. The availability of the mutants should provide new opportunities to investigate the mechanisms that control seed lipid fatty acid composition.

Key words

Erucic acid Fatty acid desaturation 



(fatty acid methyl esters)




(oleic acid)


(linoleic acid)


(linolenic acid)


(eicosenoic acid)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Lemieux
    • 1
  • M. Miquel
    • 2
  • C. Somerville
    • 1
  • J. Browse
    • 2
  1. 1.MSU-DOE Plant Research LaboratoryMichigan State UniversityE. LansingUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Biological ChemistryWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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