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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Acquisition of Lesquerella and Physaria Germplasm from the U.S. and Mexico for New Crop Development

item Dierig, David
item Salywon, A - ARS USWCL PHOENIX AZ
item DE Rodriguez, Jasso - UNIV AUTONOMA MEXICO

Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 29, 2002
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Commercial interest to develop lesquerella as a new industrial oilseed crop for hydroxy fatty acids (HFA) began in 1985. The current source is ricinoleic acid from castor, which was formerly cultivated in the U.S. HFA are now used in nylon 11, lithium greases, coatings, various lubricants, and cosmetics. Lesquerella oil could substitute for castor and its novel properties could also allow other markets to develop such as biobased lubricants as a replacement for petroleum in car engines. There are more than 100 known Lesquerella species and 24 of the related genus Physaria. L. fendleri is the most productive in seed yields and, hence, was the species chosen for domestication. It is found on calcareous soils in AZ, NM, TX, and Mexico. Only limited numbers of accessions were available in the NPGS when domestication efforts began. Seed collections of wild germplasm were funded in seven grants by ARS Plant Exchange Office beginning in 1993. We have collected in 10 states in the U.S. and five in Mexico. We collected more than 300 new accessions including 60 Lesquerella and 24 Physaria species. Some are on endangered lists. There are now more than 100 accessions of L. fendleri. Many valuable traits were identified for use in the development of this new industrial crop as a result of these collections.

Last Modified: 3/5/2015
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