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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Sunflower and Plant Biology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #269813

Title: Evaluation of rare Helianthus eggertii achenes for oil concentration and fatty acid composition

item Seiler, Gerald
item Gulya Jr, Thomas

Submitted to: Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/29/2011
Publication Date: 9/12/2011
Citation: Seiler, G.J., Gulya Jr, T.J. 2011. Evaluation of rare Helianthus eggertii achenes for oil concentration and fatty acid composition. 23rd Annual Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Meeting, September 11-14, 2011, Fargo, ND, Challenges and Opportunities for Industrial Crops Program and Abstracts. P. 83. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) 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, resulting in a continuous improvement in agronomic traits. 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 a rare wild perennial hexaploid, H. eggertii (Eggert's sunflower), from the southeastern USA for oil concentration and fatty acid composition of four major fatty acids, palmitic, stearic, oleic, and linoleic acids. Thirteen populations of Eggert's sunflower were collected throughout the broad distributional range of the species. Fatty acid composition was determined using gas chromatography on oil extracted from two 10-achene samples for each population converted to methyl esters using an organic catalyzed transesterification method. Helianthus eggertii had an average oil concentration of 288 g/kg, which was within the range expected for a wild perennial sunflower species. The average linoleic acid concentration was 728 g/kg, ranging from 582 to 772 g/kg. Linoleic acid concentration was higher than expected for populations grown in southern latitudes. The saturated palmitic and stearic fatty acids in H. eggertii averaged 84 g/kg, which is about 30% less than typical cultivated sunflower oil with approximately 120 g/kg. The lower saturated fatty acid profile and the higher linoleic concentration in the oil of H. eggertii indicates that this species has the potential to reduce saturated fatty acids and increase linoleic acid concentration in oil of traditional commercial sunflower grown at southern latitudes. 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 cultivated sunflower.