Brazilian Journal of Botany
versão On-line ISSN 1806-9959
MARTINI, Maria Helena; LENCI, Camila Gonçalves; FIGUEIRA, Antonio e TAVARES, Débora de Queiroz. Localization of the cotyledon reserves of Theobroma grandiflorum (Willd. ex Spreng.) K. Schum., T. subincanum Mart., T. bicolor Bonpl. and their analogies with T. cacao L.. Rev. bras. Bot. [online]. 2008, vol.31, n.1, pp. 147-154. ISSN 1806-9959. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-84042008000100013.
Cotyledon mesophyll cell morphology and lipid and protein synthesis of T. grandiflorum, T. subincanum and T. bicolor were analyzed and compared with T. cacao. These species possess foliar cotyledons folded around the hypocotyl radicle axis, typical of Sterculiaceae. Fruit size, morphology and weight are very distinct amongst the four species and so are the respective seeds. The main axis of the T. grandiflorum and T. bicolor seeds measured about 30 mm, while T. subincanum and T. cacao seeds measured 17 mm and 26 mm respectively. The seed weights of T. grandiflorum, T. bicolor, T. subincanum and T. cacao were 11.6 g, 9.4 g, 2.1 g and 3.0 g, respectively. The cotyledon mesophylls of the four species contained mainly polysaccharides and lipid-protein reserve cells. Theobroma cacao, T. grandiflorum and T. subincanum were composed of greater than 50% lipids. For the four species, lipid globules gradually accumulated adjacent to the cell wall, and these globules measured from 1 to 3 µm. TEM showed low-density proteins inside the central vacuole of the young mesophyll cells of T. cacao. The protein reserves of the mature cells were densely scattered amongst the lipid bodies, and a few starch granules occurred together with the cotyledon mesophyll of the four species. Polyphenolic cells were found throughout the mesophyll cells or aligned with the respective vascular bundles. Immature cells demonstrated the capacity to synthesize all these reserves, but gradually the pre-determined cells produced mainly lipid-protein reserves. Besides the unique characteristics of the T. cacao products, the lipid-protein synthesis capacities of T. grandiflorum, T. subincanum and T. bicolor suggest various possibilities for new industrialized food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.
Palavras-chave : comparative study; histology; reserves quantity; Theobroma.