Submitted to: European Conference on Sunflower Biotechnology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 4, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The present trend in human diets is to decrease the consumption of the saturated palmitic and stearic fatty acids. Sunflower oil, which is 4th in production among edible vegetable oils in the world, contains 6.5% saturated palmitic and 4.5% saturated stearic acids. A reduction of saturated fats in traditional sunflower oil would lead to a healthier edible oil. The objective of this study was to search the vast genetic diversity available from the wild ancestors of cultivated sunflower for a potential source of reduced saturated fatty acids. Achene oil of one population of wild H. giganteus (GIG-102) from INRA, Montpellier, France, had a palmitic acid level that averaged 4.7%, while stearic acid averaged 1.8%. The combined 6.5% palmitic and stearic acids is 40% lower than the present level of these fats in sunflower oil. The level of saturated fatty acids observed in the population remained low when plants were grown in the greenhouse under uniform conditions. This would indicate that palmitic and stearic acids have a genetic base with the potential for selection and incorporation into cultivated sunflower. Crossing this population with an inbred cultivated line produced F2 plants with an achene oil that averaged 4.7% palmitic and 2.9% stearic acid, for a total of 7.6%. The inbred cultivated parent averaged 5.5% palmitic and 5.1% stearic acid. Back- crossed plants produced an achene oil that averaged 4.7% palmitic acid and 2.8% stearic acid for a total of 7.5%. The inbred cultivated parent averaged 5.4% palmitic and 5.6% stearic acid, for a total of 11.0%. Preliminary information indicates that palmitic and stearic fatty acids in sunflower oil can be reduced by introducing genes from a population of a wild perennial species into cultivated sunflower.