Submitted to: Plant Physiology and Biochemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2009
Publication Date: 3/4/2009
Citation: Lessire, R., Cahoon, E., Chapman, K., Dyer, J.M., Eastmond, P., Heinz, E. 2009. Highlights of Recent Progress in Plant Lipid Research. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry. 47:443-447.
Interpretive Summary: All living organisms are composed of fundamental types of molecules including lipids, which form the boundary layer that surrounds all cell types. Lipids have many additional roles including formation of the protective, waxy layer on the outer surface of plants and animals, the formation of intracellular membranes that allow cells to carry out metabolic functions, and accumulation of large amounts of lipids as “fat” that can serve as an energy reserve for when food is scarce. Lipids play an essential role in plants, and understanding their structural and functional aspects is important not only for ensuring a secure and stable supply of food, but also for developing and optimizing the production of plant lipids as a renewable source of biofuels. The International Symposium on Plant Lipids is the premier scientific meeting for exchanging the latest information on plant lipids research, and this report summarizes some of the major findings from that meeting (July 2008). This report (and the associated special issue of the journal dedicated to plant lipid research) will be very useful to scientists who are interested in obtaining a broad overview of the state of the art in plant lipid research.
Technical Abstract: Raw fossil material reserves are not inexhaustible and as prices continue to raise it is necessary to find new sources of alternative and renewable energy. Oils from oleaginous field crops (sunflower and rape) with properties close to those of fossil fuel could constitute an alternative source of energy for the production of raw materials. This is the context in which the 18th International Symposium on Plant lipids (ISPL) was held in Bordeaux from 20th to 25th July 2008 at “La Cité Mondiale”. The 18th ISPL gathered 270 researchers from de 33 countries. Sixty nine oral communications and 136 posters were presented during the 12 sessions of the Symposium: Surface lipids – suberin, cutin and waxes, Fatty acids, Glycerolipids, Plant lipids as renewable sources of energy, Seed oils and bioengineering of metabolic pathways, Lipid catabolism, Models for lipid studies – lower plants, micro-organisms and others, Modifications of proteins by lipids, Sphingolipids, sterols and isoprenoids, Lipid signalling and plant stress responses, Lipid trafficking and membrane dynamics, New methods and technologies – functional lipidomics and fluxome modelling. During the ISPL 2008 Bordeaux, important and new information was reported in the different fields. A selection of these results is presented here.