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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 Title: Oil Concentration and Fatty Acid Profile of Wild Helianthus Species fron the Southeastern United States

Authors
item Seiler, Gerald
item Gulya Jr, Thomas
item Kong, Gary -

Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 4, 2010
Publication Date: May 1, 2010
Repository URL: http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/catalog/41961
Citation: Seiler, G.J., Gulya, T.J., Kong, G. 2010. Oil Concentration and Fatty Acid Profile of Wild Helianthus Species from the Southeastern United States. Industrial Crops and Products. 31(3):527-533.

Interpretive Summary: Interest in potential non-food uses of renewable resources has increased in recent years. The oil that accumulates in the seeds of wild and cultivated sunflower is composed of triacylglycerols that exist in the liquid form at room temperature and have a low melting point. The fatty acid composition of the sunflower seed oil determines its suitability for either food or industrial uses. Sunflower oil is a source of fatty molecules that can be used as valuable reagents for industrial purposes by chemical modifications. Sunflower oil can be used in the manufacture of lacquers, copolymers, polyester films, modified resins, plasticizers, and soaps when there is a price advantage to the manufacturer. Sunflower oil is practically free of significant toxic compounds and has a relatively high concentration of linoleic acid. This polyunsaturated fatty acid is an essential fatty acid not synthesized by humans. Sunflower oil has the potential to be improved for nutritional and industrial purposes through selection and breeding. 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. Interest in using wild species in breeding programs has increased, but concerns about the introgression of low oil concentration and quality from the wild species persist. The objective of this study was to evaluate achenes of seven wild sunflower species from the southeastern USA for oil concentration and fatty acid composition of four major fatty acids, palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic acids; and five minor acids, myristic, linolenic, arachidic, behenic, and lignoceric. Helianthus verticillatus had the highest oil concentration of any species with 32.3%, and was within the range expected for a wild perennial sunflower species. The high average linoleic acid concentration in Porter's sunflower of 81.7% was the highest concentration reported for a wild sunflower species. Linoleic acid concentrations for all seven species were higher than expected for populations grown in southern latitudes. The saturated palmitic and stearic fatty acids in Porter's sunflower totaling 8.3 to 8.8% are about 30% less than typical cultivated sunflower oil with approximately 12.0%. The lower saturated fatty acid profile and the high linoleic concentration in the oil of Porter's sunflower indicated that this species has the potential to reduce saturated fatty acids and increase linoleic acid concentration in traditional commercial sunflower oil. Further research will be needed to determine the inheritance of the fatty acids and oil concentration. Other agronomic traits will need to be maintained during the introgression of these traits into sunflower.

Technical Abstract: Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) oil has the potential to be improved for industrial and nutritional purposes through selection and breeding. The narrow genetic base of cultivated sunflower has been broadened by the infusion of genes from wild species and agronomic traits have been enhanced. Interest in using wild species in breeding programs has increased, but information about oil concentration and fatty acid composition is lacking for a number of rare and threatened species. The objective of this study was to evaluate achenes of seven wild sunflower species from the southeastern USA: H. eggertii, H. schweinitzii, H. porteri, H. verticillatus, H. smithii, H. angustifolius, and H. atrorubens, for oil concentration and fatty acid composition of four major fatty acids, palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic acids; and five minor acids, myristic, linolenic, arachidic, behenic, and lignoceric. Achenes of all populations were collected throughout the broad distributional range of the species. Helianthus verticillatus had the highest oil concentration of the seven species with 323.4 g/kg, and was within the range reported for other wild perennial sunflower species. The high average linoleic acid concentration in H. porteri of 817 g/kg is the highest concentration reported for a wild sunflower species. Linoleic acid concentrations for all seven species were higher than normally observed in populations grown in southern latitudes. The saturated palmitic and stearic fatty acids in H. porteri, totaling 83 to 88 g/kg respectively, are about 30% less than typical cultivated sunflower oil with approximately 120 g/kg. The lower saturated fatty acid profile and the high linoleic concentration in the oil of H. porteri indicates that this species has the potential to reduce saturated fatty acids and increase linoleic acid concentration in traditional commercial sunflower oil. Further research will be needed to determine the inheritance of the fatty acids and oil concentration. Other agronomic traits will need to be maintained during the introgression of these traits into sunflower.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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