The incorporation of [14C]choline chloride and [14C]glycerol into segments taken from rye (Secale cereale L., cv. Rheidal) roots was greater in segments from roots grown at 5 degrees C than in segments taken from roots growing at 20 degrees C. The incorporation was measured at the temperature at which the root had been growing. Measurements in vitro of the enzymes of the nucleotide pathway showed activity of choline kinase (EC, choline-phosphate cytidylyltransferase (EC and cholinephosphotransferase (EC to be higher in homogenates from the cooler roots when assayed at 5 degrees C than the activities assayed at 20 degrees C in the 20 degrees C-root homogenates. Changes in vivo in the pool sizes of the CDP-base intermediates with temperature, relative differences in nucleotide-pathway-enzyme activities and a pulse-chase experiment with [14C]choline indicated that the rate-limiting step for phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis in this tissue, at both temperatures, was the reaction catalysed by cytidylyltransferase.

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