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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 #346431

Research Project: Molecular Tools for Improved Crop Biotechnology

Location: Crop Improvement and Genetics Research

Title: Phenotypic examination of 38 Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz accessions from the USDA – ARS National Genetics Resource Program

Author
item HOTTON, SARA - Bayer Cropscience
item KAMMERZELL, MERIDITH - Former ARS Employee
item Chan, Ronald
item HERNANDEZ, BRYAN - University Of California, Davis
item YOUNG, HUGH - Former ARS Employee
item Tobias, Christian
item McKeon, Thomas
item Brichta, Jenny
item THOMSON, NATHAN - Former ARS Employee
item Thomson, James - Jim

Submitted to: Plants
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/11/2020
Publication Date: 5/19/2020
Citation: Hotton, S.K., Kammerzell, M., Chan, R., Hernandez, B.T., Young, H.A., Tobias, C.M., Mckeon, T.A., Brichta, J.L., Thomson, N.J., Thomson, J.G. 2020. Phenotypic examination of 38 Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz accessions from the USDA – ARS National Genetics Resource Program. Plants. 9(5). Article 642. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9050642.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9050642

Interpretive Summary: In comparison to other oilseed plants, Camelina (Camelina sativa) has a very short life cycle (85-100 days) and is economical to grow due to minimal requirements for nutritional inputs and its capacity for both summer and winter crop production. To help facilitate adoption of Camelina as an oil seed crop, our lab has examined the plant and seed characteristics of 38 isolates housed in the USDA – Agricultural Research Service National Genetics Resource Program (NGRP). Important traits for farmers such as germination time, time to flower, and seed yield, as well as oil quantity and quality were evaluated. We further examined the amenability of some of the varieties to genetic modification techniques and found that they differed in efficiency. Our findings comprise a compendium of knowledge for breeders and biotechnologists to utilize in improving Camelina as an alternative to sunflower and rapeseed oilseed crops.

Technical Abstract: Camelina sativa is an oilseed plant that belongs to the Brassicaceae family. This hardy little plant was widely grown in Europe and Russia until the 1940s for the production of vegetable oil but was later displaced by higher-yielding rapeseed and sun'ower crops. Archaeological studies date its cultivation back to the Bronze Age (Bouby 1998). Interest in Camelina has been renewed as an alternative oil source due to its high content of unsaturated fatty acids suitable for the production of soap, varnish, and biofuel. The oil is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids such as linolenic acid (35% - 45%) and linoleic acid (15% - 20%), and rich in antioxidants such as tocopherols, which confer stability towards oxidation. Camelina in comparison to other oilseed plants has a very short life cycle (85-100 days) and is economical to grow due to minimal requirements for nutritional inputs and with capacity for both summer and winter crop production. Further, Camelina is amenable to biotech genomic modification and as a close relative to Arabidopsis, many of the existing components and techniques are directly applicable. Despite its potential, the main limitations in Camelina use are the lack of agronomic knowledge as well as the paucity of information about the genetic diversity of available germplasm. For this reason, our group decided to screen the existing USDA – Agricultural Research Service National Genetics Resource Program (NGRP) collection of Camelina and perform a phenotypic evaluation of the 38 accessions available in 2011. Properties evaluated include seed traits, oil composition, plant developing and mature morphology, and chromosome content. This assessment will provide foundational information for researchers aiming to develop Camelina as a oil seed crop by either traditional or biotechnology approaches.