THE POTENTIAL OF WILD SUNFLOWER SPECIES FOR INDUSTRIAL USES / POTENCIAL DE LAS ESPECIES SILVESTRES DE GIRASOL PARA EL USO INDUSTRIAL / POTENTIEL D’ESPÈCES SAUVAGES DE TOURNESOL POUR LES BESOINS DE L’INDUSTRIE

  • 1 Northern Crop Science Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, P.O. Box 5677, Fargo, ND 58105, USA

SUMMARY

Within the past decade, the desire for alternative sources of fuels, chemicals, feeds, and other materials has received increased attention. Wild sunflower species have the potential to contribute to these renewable resources. During the past three decades, the narrow genetic base of cultivated sunflower has been broadened by the infusion of genes from wild relatives, which have provided a continuous source of agronomic traits for crop improvement. The genus Helianthus is composed of 51 species and 19 subspecies with 14 annual and 37 perennial species. Although oil concentrations of up to 37 g/kg have been reported in whole plants of one wild sunflower species, H. ciliaris, the achenes are the primary storage tissue for oil. The fatty acid composition of the achene oil determines its suitability for either food or industrial uses. Considerable variability has been reported in fatty acid composition of oil in achenes of the wild species. Other natural products may also be of economic value from the wild sunflower species. A natural rubber concentration of 19 g/kg has been reported in the whole plant of wild perennial H. radula with more than 92% pure rubber. Polyphenol yields of wild sunflower biomass are moderate, with H. strumosus yielding 139 g/kg. Hydrocarbon yields for wild sunflower biomass are average for most species, with H. salicifolius having the highest yield of 16 g/kg. The sugars in the stalks and tubers of Jerusalem artichoke (H.tuberosus) have been suggested as a potential source for bioethanol production. Jerusalem artichoke has been evaluated for inulin and sugar yield from stalks, yielding 10.4 and 8.0 t/ha, respectively, while tubers yield 13.7 t/ha of inulin and 13.3 t/ha of fructose. Biomass production has also been investigated in Jerusalem artichoke. Dry matter forage yields of 3.0 to 9.9 t/ha and tuber yields of 2.8 to 12.8 t/ha have been reported. Further research will be needed to assess the potential use of wild species for industrial purposes through selection and breeding.

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HELIA publishes original theoretical, experimental and technical contributions arising from the scientific study of sunflower crops and farming systems. Scientific Journal HELIA is published by the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA), Branch in Novi Sad in cooperation with De Gruyter.

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