Mature and developing oat (Avena sativa) grains were sectioned and image analysis methods used to estimate the starch granule-size distribution and morphology in endosperm cells. This showed that oat endosperm cells contain two types of starch granule: compound starch granules such as those seen in rice endosperm and in most other grasses; and simple granules similar to the B-type starch granules seen in the endosperm of Triticeae species such as wheat (Triticum aestivum). The simple granules in oats are similar in size and relative abundance to B-type granules in Triticeae suggesting that they may share a common evolutionary origin. However, there is a fundamental difference between oats and Triticeae in the timing of granule initiation during grain development. In Triticeae, the B-type granules initiate several days after the A-type granules whereas in oats, both the simple and compound granule types initiate at the same time, in early grain development.
- starch granules