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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Crop Improvement and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #334780

Research Project: Small Grains Database and Bioinformatics Resources

Location: Crop Improvement and Genetics Research

Title: Fatty acid composition of seed oil from Fremontodendron californicum

item Mckeon, Thomas - Tom

Submitted to: American Journal of Plant Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/12/2016
Publication Date: 10/28/2016
Citation: McKeon, T.A. 2016. Fatty acid composition of seed oil from Fremontodendron californicum. American Journal of Plant Sciences. 7(15):2107-2111. doi: 10.4326/ajps.2013.715188.

Interpretive Summary: California and other states are currently enduring a drought, so identification of plants that are drought resistant and have potential uses as crops or sources of feedstocks for industrial use provides a solution to a water-restricted areas. The shrub Fremontodendron californicum, flannel bush, is both drought- and fire-resistant, making it a suitable plant for freeway median strips and erosion control for hillsides in dry areas. The plant is a prolific seed producer and we have identified the fatty acid composition of the oil in the seed. The seed composition is over 25% oil with a fatty acid composition suitable for use in biodiesel, if the seed can be harvested effectively. The results of this research provide a plant with potential as a useful crop in protective landscaping and biodiesel feedstock development.

Technical Abstract: The fatty acid composition of the low water-use shrub Fremontodendron californicum was examined by high temperature capillary gas chromatography. The ground seeds were extracted by supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) to obtain the oil (25.6% w/w) and for subsequent determination of the fatty acid composition. There are five fatty acids present at 1.0% or greater with linoleic 71% of the total. Oleic, palmitic, stearic, vaccenic plus traces of palmitoleic and linolenic comprise the remainder. The fatty acid methyl ester composition would make the oil suitable for biodiesel production. The drought tolerance and fire-resistance of the shrub make it a suitable plant for freeway medians in dry areas with potential for use as a biodiesel feedstock.