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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Bio-oils Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #342163

Research Project: Replacement of Petroleum Products Utilizing Off-Season Rotational Crops

Location: Bio-oils Research

Title: Agronomic performance of the novel oilseed crop Centrapalus pauciflorus in southwestern Ontario

Author
item Todd, Jim - University Of Guelph
item Chakraborty, Sonhita - University Of Toronto
item Isbell, Terry
item Van Acker, Rene - University Of Guelph

Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/21/2017
Publication Date: 11/6/2017
Citation: Todd, J., Chakraborty, S., Isbell, T., Van Acker, R.C. 2018. Agronomic performance of the novel oilseed crop Centrapalus pauciflorus in southwestern Ontario. Industrial Crops and Products. 111:364-370.

Interpretive Summary: Centrapalus pauciflorus, formally named vernonia, naturally produces vernolic acid, which is an epoxy fatty acid that can be used as a plasticizer. Field trials conducted at Simcoe, Ontario in 2014-2016 performed well in the field from transplants but direct seeded plots were difficult to establish. Yields ranged from 815–1584 Kg/ha for transplants with an oil content of 31.6-42.2% and a vernolic acid content of 70.2–76.0%. This trial demonstrated that good seed oil yields per acre are possible but work on stand establishment is still required.

Technical Abstract: Centrapalus pauciflorus naturally produces vernolic acid, which could replace the synthetic vernolic acid currently used as a plasticizer. Field trials conducted at Simcoe, Ontario from 2014 to 2016 show two breeding lines of C. pauciflorus (PI 642418, PI 642419), performed well under field conditions when grown from transplants. Low field germination rates made agronomic studies using direct seeded plants difficult. Variations in seeding depth, supplemental irrigation, treatment with gibberellic acid and/or fungicide, or priming with water prior to seeding did not significantly improve germination of field sown seed. In general, seed yield, oil content, and vernolic acid levels were not affected by nitrogen, or early season removal of the apical meristem. Higher planting densities did significantly increase seed yield and hence overall oil yield per hectare. Over the three growing seasons, oil content ranged from 31.6 to 42.2% (ave. 37.5%) and vernolic acid content of 70.2-76.0% (ave. 73.5%). Additional research to improve field germination of seed would greatly facilitate the continued development of C. pauciflorus as a commercial crop for the production of vernolic acid.