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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

Location: Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit

Title: Oil and fatty acid content in seed of Citrullus lanatus Schrad.

Authors
item Jarret, Robert
item Levy, Irvin -

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 28, 2012
Publication Date: May 23, 2012
Citation: Jarret, R.L., Levy, I. 2012. Oil and fatty acid content in seed of Citrullus lanatus Schrad. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 60(20):5199-5204.

Interpretive Summary: Seed of 475 genebank accessions of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) were analyzed for oil content using time-domain nuclear magnetic resonance (TD-NMR). Samples analyzed included the cultivated watermelon (Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus), the citron melon (C. lanatus var. citroides) and egusi melon (Citrullus lanatus). Seed of a subset of these materials and also seed of several related species (Citrullus colocynthis, C. ecirrhosus, C. rehmii and Benincasa fistulosa) were also analyzed for their fatty acid content. Among the Citrullus samples analyzed, seed oil content varied from 14.8 % to 43.5%. The average seed oil content in egusi types of C. lanatus was significantly higher (average = 35.6%) than that of either C. lanatus var. lanatus (average = 23.2%) or C. lanatus var. citroides (average = 22.6%). Egusi types of C. lanatus had significantly less hull than kernel on a weight basis, than did seed of either C. l. var. lanatus or C. l. var. citroides. The principle fatty acid in all C. lanatus materials examined was linoleic acid (43.6 to 73%). Most all samples contained trace amounts (<0.5%) of arachidonic acid. High levels of linoleic acid were also present in the seed samples of C. colocynthis, C. ecirrhosus, C. rehmii, and Benincasa fistulosa. The data presented provide new information on the range in oil content and variability in the concentrations of individual fatty acids present in watermelon seed, and seed of its related species.

Technical Abstract: Intact seed of 475 genebank accessions of Citrullus (C. lanatus var. lanatus and C. lanatus var. citroides) were analyzed for percent oil content using TD-NMR. Extracts from whole seed of 96 accessions of Citrullus lanatus (30 var. citroides, 33 var. lanatus and 33 egusi), Citrullus colocynthis (n = 3), C. ecirrhosus (n = 1), C. rehmii (n = 1) and Benincasa fistulosa (n = 3) were also analyzed for their fatty acids content. Among the materials analyzed, seed oil content varied from 14.8 % to 43.5%. Mean seed oil content in egusi types of C. lanatus was significantly higher (mean = 35.6%) than that of either var. lanatus (mean = 23.2%) or var. citroides (mean = 22.6%). Egusi types of C. lanatus had a significantly lower hull/kernel ratio when compared to other C. l. var. lanatus or C. l. var. citroides. The principle fatty acid in all C. lanatus materials examined was linoleic acid (43.6 to 73%). Most all samples contained traces (<0.5%) of arachidonic acid. High levels of linoleic acid were also present in the materials of C. colocynthis ((71%), C. ecirrhosus (62.7%), C. rehmii (75.8%) and Benincasa fistulosa ((73.2%), that were included for comparative purposes. The data presented provide novel information on the range in oil content and variability in the concentrations of individual fatty acids present in a diverse array of Citrullus lanatus, and its related species, germplasm.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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