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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Maricopa, Arizona » U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center » Plant Physiology and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #334238

Research Project: Genetic Improvement and Phenotyping of Cotton, Bioenergy and Other Industrial Crops

Location: Plant Physiology and Genetics Research

Title: Characterization of leaf cuticular waxes and cutin monomers of Camelina sativa and closely-related Camelina species

item Tomasi, Pernell
item WANG, HONGLIANG - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item Lohrey, Gregory
item PARK, SUNJUNG - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item Dyer, John
item JENKS, MATTHEW - University Of West Virginia
item Abdel-Haleem, Hussein

Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/19/2017
Publication Date: 4/1/2017
Citation: Tomasi, P., Wang, H., Lohrey, G.T., Park, S., Dyer, J.M., Jenks, M.A., Abdel-Haleem, H.A. 2017. Characterization of leaf cuticular waxes and cutin monomers of Camelina sativa and closely-related Camelina species. Industrial Crops and Products. 98:130-138. doi: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2017.01.030.

Interpretive Summary: With the emergence of Camelina as a new biofuel crop for marginal, semi-arid and arid regions, it is important to understand its potential for adapting to hot, dry, and stressful growth conditions. The waxy, protective layer on the outer surface of plants is referred to as the cuticle, and increasing or otherwise modifying the Camelina cuticle could limit plant water loss and improve its capacity for drought avoidance by delaying the onset of tissue dehydration. Scientists at West Virginia University and the ARS lab in Maricopa, Arizona collaborated to evaluate the phenotypic diversity of cuticular wax and cutin content and composition in 17 accessions belonging to 4 Camelina species. Wide variations in total wax and cutin amounts and chemical constituents were observed within and among Camelina species. Major wax and cutin constituents, such as primary alcohols, alkanes, and dihydroxy acids identify potential targets for breeding efforts to improve drought tolerance in Camelina, potentially through the creation of interspecific hybrids or by using transgenic approaches.

Technical Abstract: Camelina sativa is an old world crop newly introduced to the semi-arid regions of the Southwestern US. Recently, Camelina gained attention as a biofuel feedstock crop due to its relatively high oil content, polyunsaturated fatty acids, very short growing season with fairly good adaption to marginal lands, and low input agricultural systems. To expand Camelina growing zones into more arid regions, it is important to develop new drought resistant cultivars that can grow under water-limited conditions. Plants having cuticles with low permeability to water can possess elevated dehydration avoidance and improved drought tolerance. To extend our understanding of cuticle chemical composition among Camelina species, leaf wax and cutin monomers in seventeen accessions representing four Camelina species were analyzed. Camelina exhibited a wide range of wax and cutin contents. The primary alcohols and alkanes were the predominant classes of leaf wax, followed in abundance by wax esters, fatty acids, aldehydes, alkylguaiacols, methylalkylresorcinols, a-amyrin and ß-sitosterol. Among primary alcohols, the dominant constituents were the C24, C26 and C28 homologues, while the C31 homologue was the most abundant alkane among all Camelina accessions. Cutin monomers included monohydroxy monobasic acids, phenolics, monobasic acids, monohydroxy epoxymonobasic acids, and dibasic acids. Among the cutin monomers examined, the C16:0 diOH acid showed extensive variation among Camelina species.