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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Sunflower Genetic Improvement with Genes from Wild Crop Relatives and Domesticated Sunflower

Location: Sunflower Research

Title: Variation for seed phytosterols in sunflower germplasm

Authors
item Fernandez-Cuesta, Alaro -
item Jan, Chao-Chien
item Fernandez-Martinez, Jose Maria -
item Velasco, Leonard -

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 15, 2013
Publication Date: November 12, 2013
Citation: Fernandez-Cuesta, A., Jan, C., Fernandez-Martinez, J., Velasco, L. 2014. Variation for seed phytosterols in sunflower germplasm. Crop Science. 54:190-197. DOI: 10.2135/cropsci2013.05.0285.

Interpretive Summary: Sunflower seeds and oils are rich sources of phytosterols. Phytosterols are the plant equivalents of mammalian cholesterol. Because of their close structural similarity, dietary phytosterols compete with cholesterol for absorption in the intestine, which contributes to reducing blood cholesterol levels. The objective of the present research was to evaluate kernel phytosterol content and profile in a broad germplasm collection of sunflower and to confirm the expression of phytosterol traits under several environments. Large variation of kerrnel phytosterol content in a collection of 985 accessions was observed, ranged from 1,319 to 5,119 mg kg-1. Seventy-two accessions with high phytosterol content and/or different profiles were selected and evaluated in the field for two years. From these, 20 accessions were selected based on phytosterol traits and further evaluated in two replicated field trials. The development of sunflower lines with contrasting levels of these phytosterols may be of value for a wide variety of basic studies on phytosterols accumulation in sunflower seeds as well as for studying nutritional and technological implications of modifying the phytosterol profile of sunflower oil.

Technical Abstract: Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) seeds and oils are rich sources of phytosterols, which are important compounds for human nutrition. There is limited information on variability for seed phytosterols in sunflower germplasm. The objective of the present research was to evaluate kernel phytosterol content and profile in sunflower germplasm and to confirm the expression of phytosterol traits under several environments. Kernel phytosterol content in a collection of 985 accessions ranged from 1,319 to 5,119 mg kg-1. Large variation was also observed for the concentrations of campesterol (32 to 197 g kg-1 phytosterols), stigmasterol (41 to 128 g kg-1), ß-sitosterol (448 to 755 g kg-1), and '7-stigmastenol (8 to 274 g kg-1). Seventy-two accessions with high phytosterol content and/or different profiles were selected and evaluated in the field for two years under sib-pollination. From these, 20 accessions were selected based on phytosterol traits and further evaluated in two replicated field trials. Lines HA 89 and IASP-18, with conventional and high phytosterol content, respectively were used as controls. Phytosterol traits such as increased phytosterol content (up to 3,682 mg kg-1 compared to 2,686 mg kg-1 in HA 89 and 4,957 mg kg-1 in IASP-18), as well as increased concentrations of campesterol (180 g kg-1 compared to a maximum of 66 g kg-1 in control lines), stigmasterol (161 g kg-1 compared to 64 g kg-1), and '7-stigmastenol (300 g kg-1 compared to 163 g kg-1) were confirmed. Selected accessions will be of great value for future basic and applied research on phytosterols in sunflower.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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