Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2006
Publication Date: November 11, 2006
Citation: Dierig, D.A., Salywon, A.M., Tomasi, P., Dahlquist, G.H., Isbell, T. 2006. Variation of seed oil composition in parent and s1 generations of Lesquerella fendleri (brassicacae). Industrial Crops and Products. 24(3):274-279. Interpretive Summary: If domestic sources of biobased products such as biodiesel additives, paints and varnishes, industrial lubricants and fluids are to effectively compete with petroleum based products, new crop feedstocks must be developed for the U.S. In this study we examined the amount of natural genetic variability for important seed oil traits using a new method of analysis for a potential new crop for the southwestern U.S. called lesquerella. We found that the new method detects more variability for oil quality than we previously thought existed and we can now successfully determine how genes responsible for these traits are passed on to other generations. This research should help lower the cost of products that utilize seed oils and therefore help bring this potential new crop into commercialization. Seed companies and growers attempting to establish lesquerella as a new crop will also benefit.
Technical Abstract: The seed oil of Lesquerella fendleri is valued for its use in industrial products including lubricants, methyl esters for diesel fuel additives, greases, drying agents, plastics, nylon-11, surfactants, and protective coatings. The predominate fatty acids in the seed oil of all Lesquerella species are hydroxy fatty acids (HFA). The HFA found in L. fendleri, the species being developed as a new crop for the southwestern U.S., is lesquerolic acid. The amount of variability for this and other fatty acids in its seed oil profile was considered somewhat narrow, limiting the progress in breeding for oil quality traits. A new half seed method (HSM) of fatty acid analysis adapted for this small-seeded species, when compared to a bulk seed method (BSM), shows that much more diversity exists. The BSM uses up to 50 seeds for each analysis compared to a half of seed where the mean seed weight is 0.006 g. A highly variable population of 32 unimproved accessions analyzed by the BSM was compared to 1000 HSM seeds from an improved breeding population, WCL-LO3. The same breeding population was analyzed by the BSM. More variability was detected with the HSM, especially for lesquerolic acid. Plants with values up to 74% and as low as 36% were found in the HSM, compared to 55% from the BSM. These are the highest values reported for this HFA in this species. Lower values for two acids causing high oxidative instability of the oil, linoleic and linolenic were also detected. Plants with high and low lesquerolic acid values were then selected and an S1 population produced. The means from these ‘high’ and ‘low’ selected progeny did not maintain their respective mean parental values in that generation. The variability in these progeny was similar to the range and mean of total population values rather than those of the selected parents. This is likely due to the trait being multigenic, requiring further generations for improvement and to determine the genetic inheritance of fatty acid traits.