Developing and germinating pea seeds were compared with respect to their capacity to incorporate mevalonate into sterols and triterpenes. The capacity for sterol synthesis is greatest in the least mature fruits and decreases during their development. Label is shown, by gas–liquid chromatography and counting the radioactivity of trapped fractions, to be associated with campesterol, β-sitosterol and isofucosterol. During early stages of germination sterol synthesis is insignificant. The triterpene fraction becomes heavily labelled during both development and germination. The label is associated almost exclusively with β-amyrin during germination but with cycloartenol and 24-methylenecycloartanol during development. It is only in the terminal stages of maturation that β-amyrin becomes significantly labelled. At the same time an unidentified radioactive polar compound appears. The possible significance of the appearance of this polar compound and the regulation of the synthesis of these higher terpenoids is discussed.
- © 1971 The Biochemical Society