Abstract

The glycerolipid composition of Ribes nigrum (black currant) leaves was determined. The total fatty acid composition was unusual in that -linolenic acid (-18:3) occurred together with cis-7,10,13-hexadecatrienoic acid (16:3) and lower amounts of stearidonic acid (18:4) and -linolenic acid (-18:3). Monogalactosyldiacylglycerol contained the highest proportion of 16:3 with less in digalactosyldiacylglycerol, -18:3 and 18:4 were present in all lipids and 18:4 was always greater than -18:3. The highest percentages of -18:3 and 18:4 were in phosphatidylcholine, but phosphatidylglycerol was particularly low in these acids. In summary, the lipid composition was largely typical of 16:3 plants but there was a minor contribution typical of 18:4 plants. The possibility of three pathways for glycolipid biosynthesis is discussed.