Starch granules of cereal endosperms are characterized by the presence of lipids, especially lysophoshatidylcholine (LysoPC), which are strongly bound to carbohydrate polymers. Gayral et al. (on pp.139-151) report on the spatio-temporal deposition of starch-bound LysoPC in developing maize endosperms by using MALDI mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI MSI) and analysing the expression of lipid genes; through which they propose a new model for lipid trafficking between the endoplasmic reticulum and amyloplasts.
The cover image shows MALDI MSI of ions assigned to 16:0-LysoPC, 18:2-LysoPC and 18:1-LysoPC (from left to right, respectively), in vertical sections of dent (upper images) and flint (lower images) mature maize endosperms at 45 days after pollination. Images supplied by M. Fanuel and M. Gayral (Biopolymers Interactions Assemblies Lab., French National Institute for Agricultural Research).