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Date of Award

4-1981

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

Supervisor

Dr. J. N. A. Lott

Abstract

Protein bodies of the seeds of the family Umbelliferae have not been studied extensively since late in the nineteenth century. Using a variety of recent technology and methodology certain aspects of the protein bodies of carrot (Daucus carota L. cv imperator 408), caraway (Carum carvi L.), anise (Pimpinella anisum L.), dill (Anethum graveolens L.), celery (Apium graveolens L. cv tall utah), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill), parsnip (Pastinaca sativa L. cv hollow crown), parsley (Petroselinum sativum L. c moss curled) and chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium L. cv curled) and wild carrot (Daucus carota L.) were studied. Structure of the protein bodies was determined using light and electron microscopy. Structurally, the protein bodies from all genera studied were similar in that two types of protein bodies were found. One protein body type consisted of a homogeneous proteinaceous matrix and a number of variously sized globoid crystal inclusions. The other protein body type consisted of a homogeneous proteinaceous matrix and either an individual or more commonly an aggregate of calcium-rich crystals, commonly termed a druse crystal. Both protein body types were never found in the same cell. No calcium-rich crystals were found in the embryos. The elemental composition of the various components which compose these protein bodies including globoid crystals, calcium-rich crystals, and the proteinaceous matrix were determined using energy dispersive x-ray analysis. Globoid crystals in the endosperm usually contained either P, K and Mg or P, K, Mg and Ca while in the embryos of carrot and caraway P was always present with a combination of K, Mg and Ca. No elemental distribution pattern was found to explain variations in elemental content of globoid crystals. The calcium-rich crystals contained only calcium and the proteinaceous matrix always contained S and K. Quantitative elemental analyses were carried out and these revealed that most of the Ca was located in the endosperm. During germination and early seedling growth in carrot, few if any calcium-rich crystals were degraded. The chemical composition of the calcium-rich crystal inclusions was determined to be calcium oxalate using a number of methods including x-ray diffraction, infra-red spectrometry, microincineration, staining and solubility studies.

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