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Turning Over a New Leaf in Lipid Droplet Biology

Michal Pyc, Yingqi Cai, Michael S. Greer, Olga Yurchenko, Kent D. Chapman, John M. Dyer, Robert T. Mullen
Trends in plant science 2017 v.22 no.7 pp. 596-609
biogenesis, biosynthesis, carbon, droplets, energy, energy crops, eukaryotic cells, leaves, lipid content, metabolic engineering, oilseeds, proteomics, stress response, triacylglycerols
Lipid droplets (LDs) in plants have long been viewed as storage depots for neutral lipids that serve as sources of carbon, energy, and lipids for membrane biosynthesis. While much of our knowledge of LD function in plants comes from studies of oilseeds, a recent surge in research on LDs in non-seed cell types has led to an array of new discoveries. It is now clear that both evolutionarily conserved and kingdom-specific mechanisms underlie the biogenesis of LDs in eukaryotes, and proteomics and homology-based approaches have identified new protein players. This review highlights some of these recent discoveries and other new areas of plant LD research, including their role in stress responses and as targets of metabolic engineering strategies aimed at increasing oil content in bioenergy crops.