Research Papers

Principal agronomic and seed oil traits in the industrial oil crop vernonia (Centrapalus pauciflorus var. ethiopica)

Published in: South African Journal of Plant and Soil
Volume 30, issue 3, 2013 , pages: 131–137
DOI: 10.1080/02571862.2013.843030
Author(s): Hussein A ShimelisSchool of Agricultural, Environmental and Earth Sciences, African Centre for Crop Improvement, South Africa, Phatu W MashelaDepartment of Soil Science, Plant Production and Agricultural Engineering, South Africa, Arno HugoDepartment of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology, South Africa

Abstract

Vernonia (Centrapalus pauciflorus) is potentially a new crop that could offer naturally epoxidised industrial oil. The objective of this study was to apply principal component analyses on agronomic traits, seed oil and fatty acid compositions in vernonia to identify the most influential and representative characters for effective breeding. Field evaluations, and oil and fatty acid analyses were conducted using 36 diverse accessions of C. pauciflorus var. ethiopica. Two principal components (PC) were determined contributing 79.26% of the variation among the agronomic traits. PC1 explained 59.71% of the variation represented by the numbers of productive primary seed heads and seed yield. PC2 contributed at 19.55% highly correlated with the number of productive secondary heads. The principal component analysis on seed oil and fatty acid compositions allocated three components explaining 75% of the variation. PC1, PC2 and PC3 contributed 41%, 19% and 15%, respectively, to the total variance. The principal traits were seed oil content, palmitic acid and stearic acid in PC1, oleic acid in PC2 and arachidic acid in PC3. The selected traits may help in developing appropriate and effective breeding strategies for the improvement, large-scale production and germplasm conservation of vernonia.

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