The breakdown of triglycerides and proteins in the endosperm of Euphorbia lathyris was assayed in a 14 day germination period. Six days after germination, the average daily production was 2.7 μmol of amino acids. Arginine, glutamine, asparagine and glutamic acid accounted for 53% of the total amino acids. Excised cotyledons with 1 cm hypocotyls were used for amino acid uptake and their involvement in terpenoid synthesis was studied. Glutamine and aspartate were hardly involved in apolar lipid synthesis. Leucine, isoleucine, valine and threonine were mainly incorporated into the triterpenes in the laticifers. Alanine and serine were also involved in phytosterol synthesis in the adjacent tissue. In the 14 day germination period, ca3% of the daily yield of latex triterpenes may be synthesized from a variety of amino acids
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