The changes of membrane lipids in apple (Malus domestics Borkh. cv. Delicious) auxillary and terminal buds from August to April were determined. The predominant lipids were monogalactosyl diglyceride (MGDG), digalactosyl diglyceride (DGDG), phosphatidylcholine (PC), and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE). An increase in membrane polar lipids was associated with budbreak and bud growth from August to April. Linolenic acid was the predominant fatty acid in MGDG, DGDG, and PC, while linoleic acid was predominant in PE. Phosphatidylglycerol (PG) and phosphatidylinositol (PI) contained a high amount of palmitic acid. The ratio of (18:2 + 18:3) to 18:1 fatty acids in galactolipids in apple buds increased from August to April. ß-Sitosterol and sitosteryl ester were the predominant sterols in apple buds. An increase in sitosterol, a decrease in sitosteryl ester, and a decline in the ratio of free sterols to phospholipids occurred during budbreak in spring. A decrease in sitosterol was associated with bud expansion in spring.
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