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A survey of the castor oil content, seed weight and seed-coat colour on the United States Department of Agriculture germplasm collection

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Castor (Ricinus communis L.) is an important non-edible oilseed crop that can potentially be used as feedstock for biodiesel production. There are 1033 accessions in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) castor germplasm collection. The range of oil content in these accessions has never been surveyed. For exploiting castor as a feedstock for biodiesel production, the entire USDA castor collection was procured from the National Plant Germplasm System (Germplasm Resources Information Network) and the oil content was measured with nuclear magnetic resonance. The variation of oil content among all castor accessions ranged from 37.2 to 60.6% with an average of 48.2%. One hundred seed weights were determined and seed-coat colour was also recorded from each accession. One hundred seed weight ranged from 10.1 to 73.3 g with an average of 28.3 g. There was a significant correlation between seed weight and oil content but the correlation value was low (r = 0.1572, P < 0.0001). Fifty accessions with a wide range of oil content were selected to be field grown for further evaluation. The results obtained from this survey will be useful for castor breeders seeking germplasm accessions with high oil content in the collection.
Wang, M.L. , Morris, J.B. , Pinnow, D.L. , Davis, J. , Raymer, P. , Pederson, G.A.
Includes references
Plant genetic resources: characterization and utilization 2010 Dec. 1, v. 8, no. 3
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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