Location: Commodity Utilization Research
Project Number: 6054-41000-102-00-D
Project Type: Appropriated
Start Date: Jun 2, 2010
End Date: Jun 1, 2015
The principal goal of the project is to improve the postharvest utilization of cottonseed thereby increasing value of U.S. cotton crop. This will be achieved by developing an improved understanding of cottonseed’s oil, protein, and gossypol components. The objectives of the project are: (1) To survey available accessions from the Genetic Resources Information Network (GRIN) cotton database for genotypes modified fatty acid profiles. (2) To prepare a series of gossypol derivatives and study their bioactivity. (3) To develop improved chromatographic methods for measuring low levels of gossypol. (4) To study the potential use of cottonseed protein in adhesive formulations. (5) To modify cottonseed oil hydrogenation processes to reduce levels of trans fatty acids. (6) Use model plant systems to identify and refine transgenic expression conditions for critical industrial oil biosynthetic genes. (7) Identify substrate specificity-determining sequences in pertinent genes from tung tree related species. (8) Transfer knowledge of minimal necessary gene sets from current research (on tung tree genes) to other novel oilseed whose oil represents greater market size or strategic value; i.e., epoxy (from Crepis, Vernonia, and Euphorbia species) or acetylenic fatty acids (also from Crepis).
A number of analytical, chemical, microbial, and cell culture techniques will be employed to achieve the project goals. For fatty acid analysis, gas chromatography coupled with chemical derivatization will be used to profile the fatty acids from extracted cottonseed oil and hydrogenated oil samples. Laboratory synthesis methods will be used to generate gossypol derivatives and liquid chromatography methods will be used to separate and purify the resulting compounds. Microbial and cell culture assays will be used to study the bioactivity of the new compounds. Protein isolation methods will be used to recover cottonseed protein as concentrates and isolates, and these preparations will be used to formulate adhesive systems. Hot-plate pressing of plywood squares will be used to make samples to test for protein adhesive strength and durability. Modification of proteins will be achieved by chemical and physical methods.