Submitted to: Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2006
Publication Date: 6/1/2007
Citation: Ziska, L.H., Blowsky, R. 2007. A quantitative and qualitative assessment of mungbean (vigna mungo(l.) wilczek) seed in response to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide: potential changes in fatty acid composition. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. 87:920-923. Interpretive Summary: Carbon dioxide, the principal gas associated with global warming, is also the only source of carbon for photosynthesis. Presently, carbon dioxide is less than optimal for plant growth, and numerous studies have examined how the ongoing increase in carbon dioxide will stimulate the growth of crop species. However, little information is present with respect to how rising carbon dioxide could affect the nutritional quality of crops. In this experiment we evaluated using field trials, the response of mungbean, a dry lentil, to current and projected concentrations of carbon dioxide. Overall, as expected, mungbean growth and yield responded positively to carbon dioxide concentrations. However, carbon dioxide also altered the concentration of fatty acids, an essential component of human diets, within mungbean seed. Specifically, rising carbon dioxide decreased the percentages of Palmitic and Omega 6 fatty acids, while increasing the relative proportion of Omega 3 fatty acids. Overall these data suggest that rising carbon dioxide may significantly increase the nutritional benefit of mungbean seed, a recognized alternative source of fatty acids in the human diet. The data will be of interest and benefit to dieticians, agronomists, plant breeders, climatologists and the general public.
Technical Abstract: The effect of elevated carbon dioxide concentration [CO2] on seed production and the fatty acid profiles of mungbean (Vigna mungo L. Wilczek) were studied under field conditions. Increased [CO2] (ca 250 umol mol-1 above ambient), resulted in significant increases in pod number, pod weight, and total seed weight, but also significantly increased the percentage of immature pods at harvest. Qualitatively, increased [CO2] significantly decreased the percentages of Palmitic and Omega 6 fatty acids, but increased the percentage of Omega 3 fatty acids and the relative proportion of Omega 3 fatty acids for mature seed. Overall, increased carbon dioxide may significantly increase quantity and alter quality in mungbean seed, a recognized alternative source of fatty acids in the human diet.