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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The unusual occurrence of 14-methylhexadecanoic acid in Pinaceae seed oils among plants.

14-Methylhexadecanoic (14-MHD) acid has been identified in a sample of pine seed oil (Pinus contorta) by gas-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry of its picolinyl ester derivative. Its identification (through its equivalent chain length) and its distribution in four conifer families have been checked. It occurred only in Pinaceae, where it was found in 72 species belonging to the genera Pinus, Abies, Cedrus, Tsuga, Pseudotsuga, Larix, and Picea, in the range 0.02-1.15%. 14-MHD acid could not be detected in the lipids of Taxaceae (Taxus baccata), Cupressaceae (Juniperus communis), or Taxodiaceae (Sciadopytis verticillata), even after a 10-fold concentration of the saturated acid fraction isolated by argentation thin-layer chromatography. It is concluded that Pinaceae, along with Ginkgo biloba seed lipids, are major exceptions in the plant kingdom with regard to 14-MHD acid, which otherwise occurs almost exclusively in lipids of animals and microorganisms. The biosynthesis and metabolic role of 14-MHD acid, which otherwise also occur in wood and leaf lipids, remain unknown.[1]


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