Key words Sunflower
High palmitic acid
High stearic acid
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Two sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) mutants with high concentrations of saturated fatty acids in their seed oil have been identified and studied extensively. The mutant line CAS-5 has high concentrations of palmitic acid (C16:0) (〉25% compared with 7% in standard sunflower seed oil) and low-C18:0 values (3%). CAS-3 is characterized by its high levels of stearic acid (C18:0) (〉22% compared with 4% in standard sunflower seed oil) and a low-C16:0 content (5%). CAS-5 also possesses elevated levels of palmitoleic acid (C16:1) (〉5%), which is absent in standard sunflower seed oil. The objective of this study was to determine the relationships between the loci controlling the high-C16:0 and the high-C18:0 traits in these mutants. Plants of both mutants were reciprocally crossed. Gas chromatographic analyses of fatty acids from the seed oil of F1, F2, F3 and the BC1F1 to CAS-5 generations indicated that the loci controlling the high-C16:0 trait exerted an epistatic effect over the loci responsible for the high-C18:0 character. As a result, the phenotypic combination containing both the high-C16:0 levels of CAS-5 and the high-C18:0 levels of CAS-3 was not possible. However, phenotypes with a saturated fatty acid content of 44% (34.5% C16:0+9.5% C18:0) were identified in the F3 generation. These are the highest saturated (C16:0 and C18:0) levels reported so far in sunflower seed oil. When F3 C16:0 segregating generations in both a high- and a low-C18:0 background were compared, the high-C16:1 levels were not expressed as expected in the high-C18:0 background (CAS-3 background). In this case, the C16:1 content decreased to values below 1.5%, compared with 〉5% in a low-C18:0 background. As the stearoyl-ACP desaturase has been reported to catalyze the desaturation from C16:0-ACP to C16:1-ACP, these results suggested that a decrease in its activity was involved in the accumulation of C18:0 in the high-C18:0 mutant CAS-3.
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