Submitted to: Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 15, 2004
Publication Date: September 19, 2004
Citation: Dierig, D.A., Dahlquist, G.H. 2004. Oil content and seed yield improvement in lesquerella fendleri. Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference. p. 18 Technical Abstract: Lesquerella fendleri has many agronomic traits that are suitable for commercialization as an oilseed crop. The plant does not shatter excessively, has high seed yields, and contains a high amount of genetic variability. Increasing the oil content of the seeds of this crop would make it more profitable for industry users and growers, enhancing lesquerella's competitiveness with castor oil as a biodegradable oil without the toxic ricin that is contained in castor meal. Our objective has been to develop new lesquerella germplasm with higher oil contents compared to previously released lines using a variable, open pollinated population. The last official germplasm release was made in year 2001, with 29% oil content. Fifteen hundred individual plants were harvested in each of years 2001, 2002, and 2003 and analyzed for oil content. The top 15% of the populations were selected each year and planted the following Fall. The resulting germplasm line, 03LO, was then grown in a yield trial in the 2003-04 growing season at two Arizona locations and compared with a 2001 released line (WCL-LY2) and an unselected germplasm accession (A4042). Plant height, width, and biomass were measured six times during the growing season beginning in early March. The oil content was 33% for line 03LO, 30% for WCL-LY2, and 24% for A4042. All three lines were significantly different from each other. The seed yield of 03LO was also higher compared to the other two lines at both locations. O3LO yielded 40g of seed compared to34g and 8g, respectively, for the other two lines. Biomass production of WCL-LY2 was, in most cases during the growing season and at harvest, higher than 03L0 even though O3LO had higher seed yields. Plant height and width were not significantly different between O3LO and WCL-LY2 and both were taller and wider than the unselected accession A4042. After the first week of April, plants of the three lines at both locations did not significantly increase in height or width. The harvest index of line 03LO was 30.15 and 27.7 for the two locations compared to 18.2 and 18.3 for WCL-LY2, and 17.0 and 15.8 for A4042. The new selection 03LO is improved over the previously released line WCL-LY2 in both oil content and seed yield and should increase the market value of the seed. Our results indicate that a population of 750,000 plants per ha could produce seed yields of 30,000 kg per ha, although this would be subject to improved agronomic practices.