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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Potential of Wild Sunflower Species for Industrial Uses

Author
item Seiler, Gerald

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 15, 2006
Publication Date: September 11, 2006
Citation: Seiler, G.J. 2006. The potential of wild sunflower species for industrial uses. First Symposium on Sunflower Industrial Uses, Udine, Italy, September 10-14, 2006. International Sunflower Association, Paris, France [CD-ROM].

Technical Abstract: Within the past decade, the desire for alternative sources of fuels, chemicals, feeds, and other materials has received increased attention. The narrow genetic base of cultivated sunflower has been broadened by the infusion of genes from wild species, which have provided a continuous source of agronomic traits for crop improvement. The genus Helianthus comprises 51 species and 19 subspecies with 14 annual and 37 perennial species. Although oil concentrations of up to 37 g/kg have been reported in whole plants of one wild sunflower, H. ciliaris, the achenes are the primary storage tissue for oil. The fatty acid composition of the achene oil determines its suitability for either food or industrial uses. Considerable variability has been reported in fatty acid composition in oil of the wild species. A natural rubber concentration of 19 g/kg has been reported for one wild species, with more than 92% pure rubber. Polyphenol yields of wild sunflowers are moderate, with H. strumosus yielding 139 g/kg. Hydrocarbon yields for wild sunflower are average for most species, with H. salicifolius having the highest yield of 16 g/kg. The sugars in the stalks of Jerusalem artichoke (H. tuberosus) have been suggested as a potential source for bio-ethanol production. Jerusalem artichoke has been evaluated for inulin and sugar yield from stalks and stem, yielding 10.4 and 8.0 t/ha, respectively, while tubers yield 13.7 t/ha of inulin and 13.3 t/ha of fructose. Biomass production has also been investigated in Jerusalem artichoke. Dry matter forage yields of 3.0 to 9.9 t/ha and tuber yields of 2.8 to 12.8 t/ha have been reported. Further research will be needed to assess the potential use of wild species for industrial purposes through selection and breeding.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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