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Lipid content and fatty acid composition in hypogeous organs of Helleborus species (Ranunculaceae)

Maria Laura Colombo, Franca Tome and Carlo Bugatti
Plant Systematics and Evolution
Vol. 178, No. 1/2 (1991), pp. 55-63
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23674674
Page Count: 9
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Lipid content and fatty acid composition in hypogeous organs of Helleborus species (Ranunculaceae)
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Abstract

Root and rhizome of four Helleborus species: H. viridis, H. odorus, H. niger, H. foetidus were examined throughout a two-year period in order to determine the variation of lipid content and fatty acid composition during the ontogenetic cycle. In the deciduous geophytes H. viridis and H. odorus subsp. laxus the lipid content reaches its maximum during the quiescent phase, whereas in the evergreen geophyte H. niger the lipid content is highest during the main growth period. In the chamaephyte H. foetidus lipid content is always very low and it does not show variation throughout the year. In all species the fatty acids detected in the neutral fraction are myristic, palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acid. Palmitic and linoleic acid are always present in larger quantities. The pattern of the relative content of saturated/unsaturated fatty acids seems to be linked to the life form of these species.

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