New database from MSU references the 450 plant fatty acids

Borage flower

Plant oils, which will usually come from seed, often have specific nutritional properties but in fact comprise relatively few of the fatty acids that can actually be found in plants.

For example, what is considered a more complex oil, like Borage, comprises approximately 12 fatty acids yet, as highlighted in this paper, Plant unusual fatty acids: learning from the less common, more than 450 fatty acids are known to exist in the plant kingdom. 

The authors, Edgar B Cahoon and YonghuaLi-Beisson, provide a good introduction to the many ‘unusual’ fatty acids and also highlight a comprehensive new database from Michigan State University which references the 450 plant fatty acids, is searchable and is based on data from more than 9000 plant species and over 3000 literature references. In many ways it can be considered a development of the well established Seed Oil Fatty Acids (SOFA) database that many will be familiar with.  

This will be a valuable data source for those seeking to identify sources of novel fatty acids or novel sources of known fatty acids and of course, Mylnefield Lipid Analysis can provide analytical verification/quantification of the presence of these unusual fatty acids in any samples of interest.