Encyclopedia of Lipidomics

Living Edition
| Editors: Markus R. Wenk

Phosphatidylcholine in Plants: Functional Diversity of

  • Agnieszka Zienkiewicz
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-7864-1_149-1



Zwitterion – also called a dipolar ion – is a neutral molecule with both positive and negative electrical charges which can exist in both anionic and cationic states.

Tonoplast – a membrane surrounding vacuole.

Structure and Occurrence

Phosphatidylcholine (PC, also termed “lecithin”) is one of the key phospholipids that build cellular membranes of plants and animals, but it is not ubiquitously found in bacteria. The molecule was originally isolated from animal tissues as “lecithin” (Gobley 1874). Structurally, PC is composed of an aminoalcohol polar head group (choline) and two fatty acids esterified to its glycerol backbone, as well as a phosphodiester bond linking the third hydroxyl group to choline (Fig. 1). The complete structure of PC is 1,2-diacyl-sn-glycerol-3-phosphocholine PC is structurally related to two other phospholipids – phosphatidylethanolamine (PE)...


Phosphatidic Acid Phosphatidic Acid Lysophosphatidic Acid Amino Alcohol Negative Electrical Charge 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant BiochemistryGeorg-August-University Goettingen, Albrecht-von-Haller-Institute for Plant SciencesGoettingenGermany