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Changes in the composition of fatty acids and sterols of membrane lipids during induction and differentiation of Brassica napus (var. oleifera L.) callus


Changes in the membrane lipid and sterols content and composition were studied during induction and differentiation in callus cultures of Brassica napus var. oleifera. Callus induction was associated with an increase of DGDG content, significant changes in fatty acids composition of all lipid fractions and increased degree of lipid unsaturation. The membrane lipid composition of tissue at different degrees of differentiation was found to vary significantly, particularly two weeks after transfer of callus to regeneration medium. The main differences concerned the content and composition of galactolipids. Curiously in many cases, these differences declined during subsequent culture, in spite of the morphogenesis process which was in progress. Another result of differentiation was the change in free sterol composition: in shoot regenerating calli the content of stigmasterol had rose whereas the accumulation of campesterol decreased. Even though observed changes in membrane properties may not play a role in morphogenesis they are nevertheless useful as developmental markers and can be invaluable in understanding biochemical basis of morphogenesis.

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palmitic acid


palmitooleic acid


margaric acid


stearic acid


oleic acid


linoleic acid


linolenic acid


ratio of 18:3/18:2 fatty acids



BF3 :

boron trifluoride


2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid


Double Bound Index = Σ (molar % fatty acid content·number of double bounds)/100

GA3 :

gibberellic acid


monogalactosyl diacylglycerol


digalactosyl diacylglycerol


basal Murashige and Skoog medium




ratio of phospholipids to glycolipids


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Correspondence to Iwona Żur.

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Żur, I., Skoczowski, A., Niemczyk, E. et al. Changes in the composition of fatty acids and sterols of membrane lipids during induction and differentiation of Brassica napus (var. oleifera L.) callus. Acta Physiol Plant 24, 3–10 (2002).

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Key words

  • Brassica napus
  • callus
  • fatty acid composition
  • galactolipids
  • phospholipids
  • oilseed rape
  • regeneration ability
  • sterols