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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Fatty acid profile of Lesquerella germplasm in the National Plant Germplasm System collection

Authors
item Jenderek, Maria
item Dierig, David
item Isbell, Terry

Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 2, 2008
Publication Date: January 1, 2009
Citation: Jenderek, M.M., Dierig, D.A., Isbell, T. 2009. Fatty acid profile of Lesquerella germplasm in the National Plant Germplasm System collection. Industrial Crops and Products, Vol. 29, Issue 1, pp. 154-164.

Interpretive Summary: Oil from Lesquerella seeds may be used in several industrial products as plastics, motor oils, greases, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Lesquerolic acid, one of the oil’s component is chemically similar to ricinoleic acid which is imported to the U.S. Producing lesquerolic acid from domestically grown seeds could reduce or eliminate the need of importing ricinoleic acid. The genus Lesquerella has many species, however L. fendleri has the most characteristics of plants which may be domesticated and grown as a crop. Since in the wilderness, Lesquerella grows in dry and open habitats, the crop may be grown on soils with limited water supply. The USDA National Plant Germplasm System maintains a Lesquerella collection for scientific and breeding purpose. Seeds of 195 accessions (32 species) from the collection were evaluated for content of 11 different fatty acids. The highest content of lesquerolic acid was found in seeds of L. pallida and L. lindheimeri (average of >80%); the highest content of densipolic acid was in seeds of L. perforata, L. stonensis, L. densipila, L. lyrata and L. lescurii (average>30%); the highest content of auricolic acid was in L. auriculata and L. densiflora (average>30%). The highest content of the eight other acids evaluated in this study, as oleic, linoleic, linolenic, ricinoleic, stearic, palmitic, palmitoleic and arachidic was 23.8 (L. lasiocarpa), 18.7 (L. ludoviciana), 11.4 (L. cinerea), 12.3 (L. densipila), 4.9 (L. densiflora), 4.7 (L. perforata), 2.8 (L. angustifolia), and 1.7% (L. gordonii) respectively. The acids content varied across species and accessions, and some of the fatty acid content was influenced by the location and year the seeds were harvested and the seed color. The NPGS Lesquerella collection is a diverse and valuable source of germplasm for the crop improvement.

Technical Abstract: Seeds of Lesquerella (Brassicaceae) contain oil rich in hydroxy fatty acids (HFA) that may be used in several industrial products as motor oils, greases, plastics, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. One of the most abundant HFA in the seed oil is lesquerolic acid is chemically similar to ricinoleic acid from castor beans (Ricinus communis L.). Hence lesquerolic oil derived from a domestically grown crop may reduce the import of castor bean oil. In wilderness, Lesquerella grows in open and arid habitats and therefore it may be an alternative arid land crop. Domestication and breeding efforts warranted establishing a Lesquerella germplasm collection by the USDA, National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS). Seeds of 195 accessions (32 species) from the collection were evaluated for content of four different HFA and seven other fatty acids by gas chromatography. The highest content of lesquerolic acid was found in seeds of L. pallida and L. lindheimeri (average of >80%); the highest content of densipolic acid was in seeds of L. perforata, L. stonensis, L. densipila, L. lyrata and L. lescurii (average>30%); the highest content of auricolic acid was in L. auriculata and L. densiflora (average>30%). The highest content of the eight other acids evaluated in this study, as oleic, linoleic, linolenic, ricinoleic, stearic, palmitic, palmitoleic and arachidic was 23.8 (L. lasiocarpa), 18.7 (L. ludoviciana), 11.4 (L. cinerea), 12.3 (L. densipila), 4.9 (L. densiflora), 4.7 (L. perforata), 2.8 (L. angustifolia), and 1.7% (L. gordonii) respectively. The acids content varied across species and accessions, and some of the fatty acid content was influenced by the location and year the seeds were harvested and the seed color. The NPGS Lesquerella collection is a diverse and valuable source of germplasm for the crop improvement.

Last Modified: 7/30/2014
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