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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SUNFLOWER GERMPLASM DIVERSIFICATION AND CHARACTERIZATION UTILIZING WILD SUNFLOWER SPECIES, CYTOGENETICS, AND APPLIED GENOMICS

Location: Sunflower Research

Title: Future prospects

Authors
item Vick, Brady
item Hu, Jinguo

Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Plant Genomics
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 19, 2009
Publication Date: April 1, 2010
Citation: Vick, B.A., Hu, J. 2010. Future Prospects. In: Hu, J., Seiler, G., Kole, C., Editors. Genetics, Genomics and Breeding of Sunflower. Enfield, NH: Science Publishers. p. 313-326.

Interpretive Summary: This book chapter is an epilogue to a book on sunflower genomics. The book includes chapters covering basic information about the sunflower plant, classical genetics and traditional breeding, genetic diversity, genetic mapping, regulation of seed oil content, breeding with the use of DNA markers, gene cloning, and gene expression. This final chapter offers insights into the future of sunflower as one of the major oilseed crops of the world. There is potential to increase yield, but displacement of sunflower to marginal growing areas will offset dramatic genetic increases in yield potential. New advances in knowledge about the sunflower genome will offer new means to develop DNA markers for specific genes of interest, and will allow movement of genes among elite lines via marker-assisted breeding. A number of countries have identified new regions that are promising for sunflower production. High-oleic sunflower oil is in a good position in European countries for use as a biofuel because of its higher stability than low-oleic vegetable oils; however, in the U.S., sunflower oil will unlikely be used on a large commercial scale for biodiesel production in the near future due to its high domestic demand by the food industry. Transgenic sunflower, while not currently grown commercially anywhere in the world, could be used to produce drugs or medicines that are expensive to chemically synthesize, but only in regions where escape of transgenic pollen into the environment would not cause outcrossing with wild sunflower or other species related to sunflower. Sunflower also has the potential to assist in bioremediation of contaminated soils by accumulating heavy metal ions that are soil contaminants.

Technical Abstract: This book chapter is an epilogue to a book on sunflower genomics. The book includes chapters covering basic information about the sunflower plant, classical genetics and traditional breeding, genetic diversity, genetic mapping, regulation of seed oil content, breeding with the use of DNA markers, gene cloning, and gene expression. This final chapter offers insights into the future of sunflower as one of the major oilseed crops of the world. There is potential to increase yield, but displacement of sunflower to marginal growing areas will offset dramatic genetic increases in yield potential. New advances in knowledge about the sunflower genome will offer new means to develop DNA markers for specific genes of interest, and will allow movement of genes among elite lines via marker-assisted breeding. A number of countries have identified new regions that are promising for sunflower production. High-oleic sunflower oil is in a good position in European countries for use as a biofuel because of its higher stability than low-oleic vegetable oils; however, in the U.S., sunflower oil will unlikely be used on a large commercial scale for biodiesel production in the near future due to its high domestic demand by the food industry. Transgenic sunflower, while not currently grown commercially anywhere in the world, could be used to produce drugs or medicines that are expensive to chemically synthesize, but only in regions where escape of transgenic pollen into the environment would not cause outcrossing with wild sunflower or other species related to sunflower. Sunflower also has the potential to assist in bioremediation of contaminated soils by accumulating heavy metal ions that are soil contaminants.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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