The mechanisms and regulation of storage lipid formation in seeds are reviewed. Seed storage lipids are ultimately derived from simple carbon compounds, such as sucrose, which are imported into seeds from source tissues, such as leaves or pods. The partitioning of this important carbon towards storage lipid, carbohydrate or protein is regulated by a complex interaction between genetically-determined endogenous factors and external environmental influences. Storage lipids are synthesized from fatty acids, derived from acetyl-CoA, and glycerol 3-phosphate. Fatty acid biosynthesis and probably acetyl-CoA formation, occurs within the plastids to produce oleoyl-CoA. Further elaboration of oleoyl-CoA to produce polyunsaturates, hydroxylates or very long chain acyl-CoAs occurs on the endoplasmic reticulum, as does the esterification of acyl-CoAs to glycerol-3-phosphate to produce the final triacylglycerol storage oil. The temporal and hormonal regulation of storage lipid accumulation in seeds is discussed.