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The embryo and the endosperm contribute equally to argan seed oil yield but confer distinct lipid features to argan oil

Errouane, Kheira, Doulbeau, Sylvie, Vaissayre, Virginie, Leblanc, Olivier, Collin, Myriam, Kaid-Harche, Meriem, Dussert, Stéphane
Food chemistry 2015 v.181 pp. 270-276
alcohols, biosynthesis, endosperm, experimental design, fatty acid composition, flow cytometry, lipid content, lipids, ploidy, seed oils, seeds, tissues, triterpenoids, Algeria
In the perspective of studying lipid biosynthesis in the argan seed, the anatomy, ploidy level and lipid composition of mature seed tissues were investigated using an experimental design including two locations in Algeria and four years of study. Using flow cytometry, we determined that mature argan seeds consist of two well-developed tissues, the embryo and the endosperm. The lipid content of the embryo was higher than that of the endosperm, but the dry weight of the endosperm was higher. Consequently, both tissues contribute equally to seed oil yield. Considerable differences in fatty acid composition were observed between the two tissues. In particular, the endosperm 18:2 percentage was twofold higher than that of the embryo. The tocopherol content of the endosperm was also markedly higher than that of the embryo. In contrast, the endosperm and the embryo had similar sterol and triterpene alcohol contents and compositions.