Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society

, Volume 75, Issue 12, pp 1761–1765 | Cite as

Cyclopropenoic fatty acids in gymnosperms: The seed oil of Welwitschia



The seed oil of the gymnosperm Welwitschia mirabilis was found to contain malvalic acid, a cyclopropenoic fatty acid. This is in sharp contrast to most other gymnosperms, which contain Δ5cis-fatty acids as well as the normal set of fatty acids. The importance of this finding in relation to questions of the evolution of the Gymnospermae and Angiospermae, the two main branches of higher plants, is briefly discussed.

Key words

Angiosperms Cimicifuga cyclopropenoic fatty acids Ephedra evolution Gnetum gymnosperms malvalic acid Pseudotsuga Welwitschia 


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Copyright information

© AOCS Press 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Chemistry and Physics of LipidsBAGKFMünsterGermany

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