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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Improving Oil Quality in Sunflower Using Its Wild Relatives

Author
item Seiler, Gerald

Submitted to: Proceedings Sunflower Research Workshop
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 13, 2002
Publication Date: April 1, 2002
Citation: SEILER, G.J. IMPROVING OIL QUALITY IN SUNFLOWER USING ITS WILD RELATIVES. PROCEEDINGS SUNFLOWER RESEARCH WORKSHOP. 2002. P. 123-125.

Interpretive Summary: The present trend in human diets is decrease the consumption of saturated palmitic and stearic fatty acids. Healthy diets restricting not only total fat, but the saturated portion of that fat would decrease blood serum cholesterol and the risk of coronary heart diseases. Edible vegetable oils are the principal source of fats in many diets. Sunflower oil, which is 4th in production among edible oils in the world, typically contains 6.5% saturated palmitic and 4.5% saturated stearic fatty acids. These levels are high compared to rapeseed oil with 4% palmitic and 2% stearic fatty acids. A reduction of saturated fats in traditional sunflower oil would lead to a healthier edible oil. Wild ancestors of the cultivated sunflower have contributed to economic and agronomic importance of cultivated sunflower. The objective of this study was to identify a source of reduced saturated fatty acids in wild annual sunflower, the closest relative of the cultivated crop, and determine the trait's stability and transfer it into cultivated sunflower. A population of wild sunflower from South Dakota had an average palmitic acid concentration of 3.9%, and stearic concentration of 1.9%, totaling 5.8%. This is approximately 45% less than typically observed in sunflower oil. Plants grown in the greenhouse had similar values to those observed in the original population, indicating stability of the trait. Preliminary results indicate that palmitic and stearic acid levels are relatively stable after transfer of the trait into cultivated sunflower. Further research is needed to determine inheritance of these genes and their relationship to other important traits. Acceptable agronomic traits have to be introduced into lines and selected during the introgression of these genes into cultivated sunflower.

Technical Abstract: In recent years consumers have become concerned about consumption of saturated fats in their diet. Sunflower oil contains 11% saturated palmitic and stearic acids. This is considered a moderate concentration. A reduction of saturated fatty acids to the 6 to 7% level would enhance acceptability of sunflower oil as a healthier edible oil. Wild ancestors of cultivated sunflower have contributed to economic and agronomic importance of cultivated sunflower. The objective of this study was to identify a source of reduced fatty acids in wild annual sunflower, the closest relative of the cultivated crop, and determine the trait's stability and introgression into cultivated sunflower. A population of wild H. annuus from Holmquist, SD (PI 586886) had an average palmitic acid concentration of 3.9%, and an average stearic acid concentration of 1.9%, totaling 5.8%. This is approximately 45% less than typically observed in commercial sunflower oil. Plants grown in the greenhouse averaged 4% palmitic and 1.9% stearic acids, similar to values observed in the original population, indicating stability of the trait. Palmitic acid concentration in oil of interspecific F1, F2 and BC1F2 plants averaged 3.9, 4.1, and 3.8%, respectively, while stearic acid averaged 2.1, 1.8,and 1.9%, respectively. Preliminary results indicate that palmitic and stearic acid levels in commercial sunflower oil could be lowered by introgression of genes from a population of wild H. annuus. The trait appears to be relatively stable after transfer. Further research is needed to determine inheritance of these genes and their relationship to other important traits. Acceptable agronomic traits have to be introduced into lines and selected during introgression of these genes into cultivated sunflower.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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