Lipid composition of the silkworm Bombyx mori L


The constituents of silkworm fat were studied in detail. An unsaturated fat with a high concentration of phospholipid was generally observed. Its iodine value increased during metamorphosis. The free fatty acid concentration likewise increased from the spinning larvae to the moth stage. Analyses of silkworm organs revealed that the fat body had the most fat and the least free fatty acids, whereas haemolymph contained the least fat. Silk glands contained the maximum phospholipid percentage. Stearic acid predominated in those tissues that had a high percentage of phospholipid. Stearic acid was the predominant saturated fatty acid in both the phospholipids and lecithin, and it accounted for 35–50 per cent of the free fatty acids of all the tissues. Q10 was the ubiquinone present; also found were ubichromenol and tocopherol. Results show that silkworm sterol may be cholesterol. Intestines contained the maximum quantities of sterol, ubiquinone, ubichromenol, and tocopherol. The composition of silkworm phospholipids varies considerably from those of other insects, but lecithin is comparable in its composition with lecithins of other animals. The phospholipids had with them a highly complexed protein along with a polysaccharide. In experiments with snake venoms unsaturated fatty acids were found to be predominantly released from silkworm lecithin

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Last time updated on October 2, 2018

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