Submitted to: Technological Innovations in Breeding Major World Oil Crops
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: April 20, 2010
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: This chapter discusses the history of safflower, its many uses, and the technical advances that have occurred in recent years. It describes the characterization of world safflower accessions into regions of similarity using molecular markers. It further calls for a coordinated, collaborative effort among safflower researchers in the development of marker assisted characterization of global diversity to enhance the utility of available germplasm resources.
Technical Abstract: Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) is an ancient crop with numerous past and present uses. Traditionally safflower was grown for its flowers, which were used as a fabric dye, and for food coloring, flavoring, and medicinal purposes. Today, as a result of manipulation of well characterized germplasm resources, it has become an important oil seed crop, bred for specialty niches through the development of healthier or more heat stable oil constituents, winter hardiness, and disease resistance. Molecular methodology has facilitated characterization of the world-wide diversity of safflower and identified geographical regions of similarity to assist breeders in the exploitation of available diversity. The development of molecular markers from expressed sequences should aid researchers in mapping genes of importance and reducing population size and generations required for the development of new varieties by using marker assisted selection. Sequencing technology has established relationships among species of Carthamus, further aiding in the exploitation of diversity within the secondary gene pool. A coordinated, collaborative effort among safflower researchers in the development of marker assisted characterization of global diversity would further increase the utility of available germplasm resources.