Seed triglyceride oils and waxes are high-energy carbon reserves that are utilized by germinating seeds as sources of energy and carbon before the onset of autotrophic growth. The seed oil is sequestered in discrete subcellular organelles termed oil bodies, lipid bodies, or oleosomes. Oil bodies are spherical organelles 0.2—2.0 μm in diameter with a simple structure consisting of a triglyceride core encased in a membrane. Oil bodies are accumulated in maturing seeds, often filling the cytoplasmic space in fully mature oil seeds. The triglyceride oils and waxes accumulated in seeds are important agricultural commodities. Oil seeds and oil from plants such as soybean, palm, coconut, peanut, sunflower, cotton, rapeseed and peanut are widely traded international commodities and form essential parts of human diet and animal feed. The waxes and oils of oil-seed crops are essential constituents of many types of manufactured goods (see Robbelen et al., 1989, for extensive reviews).
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- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)