Plant Lipids: Metabolism, Mutants, and Membranes

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Science  05 Apr 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5002, pp. 80-87
DOI: 10.1126/science.252.5002.80


The mechanisms that regulate plant lipid metabolism determine the dietary and industrial value of storage oils found in economically important species and may control the ability of many plants to survive exposure to temperature extremes. Many of the problems researchers have in defining the pathways, enzymes, and genes involved in plant lipid metabolism appear to be amenable to analysis by genetic approaches. Mutants with alterations in membrane lipid composition have also been used to study the structural and adaptive roles of lipids. The application of genetic engineering methods affords opportunities for researchers to apply knowledge gained about plant lipid metabolism toward enhanced use of plant oils as abundant and renewable sources of reduced carbon.

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