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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: Screening the entire USDA castor germplasm collection for oil content and fatty acid composition for optimum biodiesel production

Authors
item Wang, Ming
item Morris, John
item Tonnis, Brandon
item Pinnow, David
item Davis, Jerry -
item Raymer, Paul -
item Pederson, Gary

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 12, 2011
Publication Date: August 12, 2011
Citation: Wang, M.L., Morris, J.B., Tonnis, B.D., Pinnow, D.L., Davis, J., Raymer, P., Pederson, G.A. 2011. Screening the entire USDA castor germplasm collection for oil content and fatty acid composition for optimum biodiesel production. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 59(17):9250-9256.

Interpretive Summary: Castor has tremendous potential as a feedstock for biodiesel production. The oil content and fatty acid composition in castor seed are important factors to determine the price for production and affect the key fuel properties of biodiesel. There were 1033 available castor accessions collected or donated from 48 countries worldwide in the USDA germplasm collection. The entire castor collection was screened for oil content and fatty acid composition by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and gas chromatography (GC), respectively. Castor seeds on the average contain 48.2% oil with a significant variability ranging from 37.2 – 60.6%. Methyl esters were prepared from castor seed by alkaline transmethylation. GC analysis of methyl esters confirmed that castor oil was comprised primarily of eight fatty acids: palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, linolenic, gadoleic, ricinoleic, and dihydroxystearic acids. Significant variability on fatty acid composition was detected among castor accessions. Ricinoleic acid (RA) was positively correlated with dihydroxystearic acid (DHSA) but highly negatively correlated with the five other fatty acids except linolenic acid. The results for oil content and fatty acid composition obtained from this study will be useful for end-users to explore castor germplasm for biodiesel production.

Technical Abstract: Castor has tremendous potential as a feedstock for biodiesel production. The oil content and fatty acid composition in castor seed are important factors to determine the price for production and affect the key fuel properties of biodiesel. There were 1033 available castor accessions collected or donated from 48 countries worldwide in the USDA germplasm collection. The entire castor collection was screened for oil content and fatty acid composition by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and gas chromatography (GC), respectively. Castor seeds on the average contain 48.2% oil with a significant variability ranging from 37.2 – 60.6%. Methyl esters were prepared from castor seed by alkaline transmethylation. GC analysis of methyl esters confirmed that castor oil was comprised primarily of eight fatty acids: 1.48% palmitic (C16:0), 1.58% stearic (C18:0), 4.41% oleic (C18:1), 6.42% linoleic (C18:2), 0.68% linolenic (C18:3), 0.45% gadoleic (C20:1), 84.51% ricinoleic (C18:1-1OH), and 0.47% dihydroxystearic (C18:0-2OH) acids. Significant variability on fatty acid composition was detected among castor accessions. Ricinoleic acid (RA) was positively correlated with dihydroxystearic acid (DHSA) but highly negatively correlated with the five other fatty acids except linolenic acid. The results for oil content and fatty acid composition obtained from this study will be useful for end-users to explore castor germplasm for biodiesel production.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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