A Dominant Gene Decreases Erucic and Increases Dienoic Acid in the Seed Oils of Meadowfoam Subspecies
- Steven J. Knapp and
- Jimmie M. Crane
Meadowfoam (Limnanthes alba Benth.) seed oil is a source of erucic acid (22:1 Δ13) and novel very long-chain fatty acids. The fatty acid profiles of L. alba subspecies are distinctly different. L. alba ssp. versicolor produces significantly more erucic acid and significantly less dienoic acid (22:2) than L. alba ssp. alba. The L. alba ssp. alba profile is the standard for certain meadowfoam oil markets. Because changes in the profile could affect meadowfoam oil markets, we completed a study to elucidate the genetics of erucic and dienoic acid content differences in the subspecies. The fatty acid contents of F2 and F3 progeny from an L. alba ssp. alba × L. alba ssp. versicolor (P1 × P2) cross were assayed by gas chromatography. P1 produced 81 g kg−1 erucic acid and 297 g kg−1 dienoic acid, whereas P2 produced 242 g kg−1 erucic acid and 86 g kg−1 dienoic acid. There were two non-overlapping erucic by dienoic acid phenotypic classes among 100 F2 progeny. The phenotypic distribution (79:21) was not significantly different from 3:1 (P = 0.48); thus, these progeny segregated for a dominant gene. This was verified by F3 progeny tests. Unless markets can tolerate the range of fatty acid compositions found in L. alba germplasm, cultivars with the L. alba ssp. alba fatty acid profile must be developed.
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