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Research Project: Plant and Microbial Genetic Resource Preservation and Quality Assessment

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Title: Diversity in oil content and fatty acid profile in seeds of wild cassava germplasm

Author
item ALVES, ALFREDO - Embrapa-Labex
item Manthey, Linda
item Isbell, Terry
item ELLIS, DAVID - International Potato Center
item Jenderek, Maria

Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/18/2014
Publication Date: 7/11/2014
Citation: Alves, A.A., Manthey, L.K., Isbell, T., Ellis, D., Jenderek, M.M. 2014. Diversity in oil content and fatty acid profile in seeds of wild cassava germplasm. Industrial Crops and Products. 60:310-315.

Interpretive Summary: Wild cassava seeds have not been characterized for oil and fatty acid content. . Our study evaluated the two characteristics in seed samples that belong to 12 species of wild cassava. The samples were collected in the Northeast semi-arid regions of Brazil and are maintained at the Embrapa Cassava and Fruits germplasm collection. The study showed that the total content of oil ranged between 17.2 and 30.7% and the fatty acid profile in seeds are comparable to those found in seeds of plant species that are already being used by industry, e.g., canola, soybean, olive and jatropha. Hence, seeds of wild cassava might be a potential source of raw material for bio-oil production in areas considered marginal for other crops and where the wild cassava grows naturally.

Technical Abstract: Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is the only commercial species of the Manihot genus, cultivated for its starchy tuber roots. However, cassava seeds are known to be rich in oils and fats, there are scant reports on the content and properties of oil from cassava seeds and its wild relatives. Wild Manihot species usually produce a greater number of seeds with a large diversity in shape and weight. Seeds of 106 accessions belonging to 12 species of Manihot from the collection of Embrapa Cassava & Fruits were evaluated for oil content by NMR and fatty acids composition by gas chromatography. The oil content ranged from 17.2% (M. caerulescens) to 30.7% (M. flabellifolia) and the species clustered into eight different groups based on the oil content. Five fatty acids were found in all species with the average content of the five fatty acids being: linoleic (C18:2) 61.5%; oleic (C18:1) 20.0%; palmitic (C16:0) 12.3%; stearic (C18:0) 4.5%; and linolenic (C18:3) 1.7%. The content of fatty acids varied significantly between species as well as between accessions within a species. The highest content of linoleic acid was in seeds of M. peruviana, M. pseudoglaziovii, M. cecropiaefolia, M. flabellifolia, M. glaziovii and M. carthaginensis (average of 65%); and the highest level of oleic acid was in M. caerulescens, M. esculenta, M. anomala, M. dichotoma and M. tomentosa (average of 23%). The collection of Embrapa’ s Manihot germplasm is a valuable source for cassava breeding programs, containing a large variability in seed size, oil content and fatty acid composition. The oil from seeds of wild Manihot species may be equally valuable for industrial uses as oil from seeds of other Euphorbiaceae species.