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Oil concentration and fatty acid profile of wild Helianthus species from the southeastern United States

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Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) oil has the potential to be improved for industrial and nutritional purposes through selection and breeding. The narrow genetic base of cultivated sunflower has been broadened and agronomic traits have been enhanced by the infusion of genes from wild species. Interest in using wild species in breeding programs has increased, but information about oil concentration and fatty acid composition is lacking for a number of rare and threatened species. The objective of this study was to evaluate achenes of seven wild sunflower species from the southeastern USA: H. eggertii, H. schweinitzii, H. porteri, H. verticillatus, H. smithii, H. angustifolius, and H. atrorubens, for oil concentration and fatty acid composition of four major fatty acids, palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic acids; and five minor acids, myristic, linolenic, arachidic, behenic, and lignoceric. Achenes of all populations were collected throughout the distributional range of the species. H. verticillatus had the highest oil concentration of the seven species with 323.4g/kg, and was within the range reported for other wild perennial sunflower species. The average linoleic acid concentration in H. porteri of 817g/kg is the highest concentration reported for a wild sunflower species. Linoleic acid concentrations for all seven species were higher than normally observed in populations grown in southern latitudes. The saturated palmitic and stearic fatty acids in H. porteri total 88g/kg, about 30% less than cultivated sunflower oil with approximately 120g/kg. The lower saturated fatty acid profile and the high linoleic concentration in the oil of H. porteri indicate that this species has the potential to reduce saturated fatty acids and increase linoleic acid concentration in traditional commercial sunflower oil. Further research will be needed to determine the inheritance of the fatty acids and oil concentration. Other agronomic traits will need to be maintained during the introgression of these traits into sunflower.
Seiler, G.J. , Gulya, T.J. , Kong, G.
Includes references
Industrial crops and products 2010 May, v. 31, no. 3
Elsevier Science
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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