Plant lipid metabolism

Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semesters 1-4

Typically offered in

Autumn/Spring semester

Course description

1. Physical and chemical properties and physiological role of lipids. Classification, structure, physiological role and occurence of fatty acids. Methods for lipid analysis.

2. Structure, occurence and physiological role of neutral lipids.

3. Complex lipids: their structure, occurence and physiological role. Phospholipids, galactolipids, sulfolipids, phytosphingolipids, terpenoids, waxes, cutin, suberin. Lipid distribution among different type of membranes

4. Lipids and membrane structure. Membrane models. General structure and physico-chemical properties of membranes. Lipid-lipid and lipid-protein interactions. Characterization of membrane-bound processes. Lipid turn-over.

5. Biosynthesis of fatty acids. Origen of carbon skeleton. Biosynthesis of malonyl-group. Structure and function of fatty acid synthase. Termination of fatty acid synthesis. Desaturation of fatty acid in chloroplasts. Fatty acid incorporation and export from chloroplasts.

6. Lipid biosynthesis, desaturation and rebuilding in endoplasmatic reticulum.Phospholipid biosynthesis and phospholipid exchange system.

7. Biosynthesis and incorporation of galactolipids, sulfolipids and phytosphingolipids.

8. Biosynthesis of terpenoids.

9. Biosynthesis and incorporation of waxes, cutin, suberin.

10. Biosynthesis and storage of neutral lipids., those of connection to lipid exchange system. Structure and function of oil bodies.

11. Regulation of fatty acid and lipid biosynthesis. Transportation of fatty acids and lipids.

12. Lipid catabolism. Classification and function of the mechanism of lipid catabolism. Modified pathways of lipid catabolism

13. Lipoxygenase-catalysed fatty acid peroxidation. Special pathway of lipid catabolism and their connection to signal transduction pathways.

14.Changes of lipid composition of membranes during plant growth and development. Effect of stress conditions on the lipid composition of membranes.

  • Harwood, J.L.: Plant Lipid Metabolism. Plant Biochemistry (Day, P.M., Harborne, J.B. eds.), Academic Press, New York, 1997.

  • Lipid Metabolism in Plants (Moore T.S. ed.),CRC Press, Boca Raton, Ann Arbor, London, Tokyo, 1993.

  • Kader, J.C. Lipid-transfer proteins in plants. Annu. Rev. Plant Physiol. Plant Mol. Biol. 47:627-654. 1996.

  • Kent, C. Eucaryotic phospholipid synthesis. Annu. Rev. Biochem. 64:315-343. 1995.

  • Ohlrogge, J., Browse, J. Lipid biosynthesis. Plant Cell 7:957-970. 1995.