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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONSERVATION, CHARACTERIZATION, AND EVALUATION OF CROP GENETIC RESOURCES AND ASSOCIATED INFORMATION Title: Variation in Oil Content and Fatty Acid Composition in the US Castor Bean Germplasm

Authors
item Wang, Ming
item Morris, John
item Raymer, Paul -
item Davis, Jerry -
item Lowery, Cindy -
item Pederson, Gary

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 31, 2009
Publication Date: August 31, 2009
Citation: Wang, M.L., Morris, J.B., Raymer, P., Davis, J., Lowery, C., Pederson, G.A. 2009. Variation in Oil Content and Fatty Acid Composition in the US Castor Bean Germplasm. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts.

Interpretive Summary: Castor is one of the most important non-edible oilseed crops and has potential as a feedstock for biodiesel production. The oil content and fatty acid composition of castor bean seeds are therefore important factors determining the price and quality of castor bean biodiesel. Forty-eight castor bean and two soybean accessions were selected from the US germplasm collection and grown in two trials. The oil content of newly harvested seeds was quantified by cold pressing (CP) as well as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The fatty acid composition was analyzed by gas chromatography. Our results indicated that the CP method can be used as a quick and preliminary method for screening oil content of castor bean germplasm, but it underestimates oil content compared to the NMR. Castor bean seeds contained a significantly higher amount of oil (50.30%) than soybean seeds (23.28%) based on NMR analysis. Castor bean accessions varied significantly in oil content (45.35% - 54.89%) as measured by NMR. Castor bean seeds mainly contained ricinoleic acid (86.8%) which is specific for castor bean. Significant variations in fatty acid composition among castor bean accessions. Significant negative correlations of the ricinoleic acid with the other four major fatty acids were detected. Our results indicate that castor bean could be a suitable feedstock for biodiesel production due to its higher oil content and better fatty acid composition when compared with soybean seeds. Some practical problems including high seed ricin content and poor harvest efficiency in castor bean need to be resolved for the future large-scale production for biofuel.

Technical Abstract: Castor has potential as a feedstock for biodiesel production. The oil content and fatty acid composition of castor bean seeds are therefore important factors determining the price and quality of castor bean biodiesel. Forty-eight castor bean and two soybean accessions were selected from the US germplasm collection and grown in two trials. The oil content of newly harvested seeds was quantified by cold pressing (CP) as well as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The fatty acid composition was analyzed by gas chromatography. Our results indicated that the CP method can be used as a quick and preliminary method for screening oil content of castor bean germplasm, but it underestimates oil content compared to the NMR. Castor bean seeds contained a significantly higher amount of oil (50.30%) than soybean seeds (23.28%) based on NMR analysis. Castor bean accessions varied significantly in oil content (45.35% - 54.89%) as measured by NMR. Castor bean seeds mainly contained ricinoleic acid (86.8%) and much lower amounts of linoleic acid (5.70%), oleic acid (4.05%), palmitic acid (1.25%), and linolenic acid (0.55%) than soybean seeds (49.17% linoleic, 28.89% oleic, 11.26% palmitic, and 6.26% linolenic). Significant variations in ricinoleic acid (83.41%-88.94%), linoleic acid (4.56%-7.33%), and oleic acid (2.62%-6.00%) were detected among castor bean accessions. Significant negative correlations of the ricinoleic acid with the other four major fatty acids were detected. Our results indicate that castor bean could be a suitable feedstock for biodiesel production due to its higher oil content and better fatty acid composition when compared with soybean seeds. Some practical problems including high seed ricin content and poor harvest efficiency in castor bean need to be resolved for the future large-scale production for biofuel.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014
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