A new type of globular particle, the ‘insoluble yolk globule’, was isolated from the egg yolk of three avian species (hen, duck, and emu) by centrifugation or gel-filtration chromatography. These globules are stable in NaCl and urea solutions at concentrations that dissolve or disrupt other constituents of yolk, The isolated globules are about 1% of the dry yolk of hen's and duck's eggs but about 8% emu's-egg yolk. Most of these globules are less than 2 micrometer in diameter. Electron micrographs of sections show a preponderance of globules in the range 0.125-0.25 micrometer, each with a thick shell surrounding a feature-less anterior. Globules with the same appearance were seen in sections of unfractionated yolk. Two kinds of larger particles were also observed: (i) particles with a distinct outer membrane and a vesiculated interior; (ii) featureless spheres, possibly of lipid. The insoluble yolk globules comprise protein (8-11% by dry wt.), phospholipid (31-35% total lipid), triacylglycerols (49-53%), cholesterol (8%) and cholesteryl esters (2-3%); the variations being among species. The phospholipid is accessible to phospholipase C. The isolated protein is heterogeneous and resembles the apoprotein from the yolk low-density lipoprotein.

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