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The utilisation of yolk phosphoglycerides by the alligator during embryonic development

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Summary

A study was made of the concentrations and fatty acid compositions of the major phosphoglycerides in the yolk of the alligator egg on the 8th and 75th days of incubation. The major phosphoglycerides were phosphatidyl choline and phosphatidyl ethanolamine which at the start of incubation accounted for 72 and 18%, respectively, of total phosphoglyceride. Phosphoglycerides were characterised by low levels of linoleic acid but extremely high levels of C20 and C22 polyunsaturates. The extensive absorption of phosphoglyceride over the incubation period was accompanied by a reduction in percentage of phosphoglyceride within the residual yolk lipid, a reduction in the proportion of phosphatidyl choline within the total phosphoglyceride, and increases in the proportions of phosphatidyl ethanolamine and lyso-phosphatidyl choline. There were small but wide-spread changes in the fatty acid composition of the phosphatidyl choline during incubation. Within the phosphatidyl ethanolamine and phosphatidyl serine fractions there were very large reductions in the C20 and C22 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels. The phosphoglyceride changes are discussed with respect to the unique role of yolk lipid absorption in the nutrition of the developing embryo.

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References

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Correspondence to R. C. Noble.

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Noble, R.C., Deeming, D.C., Ferguson, M.W.J. et al. The utilisation of yolk phosphoglycerides by the alligator during embryonic development. J Comp Physiol B 161, 383–386 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00260797

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Key words

  • Phosphoglycerides
  • Yolk development
  • Embryo
  • Alligator