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Evaluation of gamma rays-induced changes in oil yield and oleic acid

content of niger, Guizotia abyssinica (L. f.) Cass.
Guizotia abyssinica is an annual herb rays (100, 200 and 300 Gy) at the Bhabha oleic acid content was estimated to be
belonging to the family Compositae/ Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mum- 28.31%. In the M1 generation, few plants
Asteraceae, mainly grown for its edible bai. The source used for irradiation was have shown oil content more than the
oil and seeds. Its cultivation originated in cobalt 60. The experiment was carried control (Table 1). Plants with oil content
the Ethiopian highlands and has spread out in three consecutive generations, above 40% were identified and labelled
to other parts of Ethiopia as well as out- mainly M1, M2 and M3, along with con- as OY. Mutants for characters like oil
side Africa1. Common names for the trol. For the M1 generation, 300 irradi- yield, high oleic acid and oil yield and
plant are noog/nug, niger, nyjer, ramtil ated seeds were sown in the field at oleic acid have been isolated at 100 Gy,
and blackseed. Niger is mainly cultivated Kelve Road, Thane, Maharashtra. Seeds but not for higher doses like 200 and
for its edible oil that constitutes about were sown in three rows with 100 seeds 300 Gy. The mutants isolated have
0.7% of the Indian oilseed production. in each row. Distances of 30 cm row-to- shown higher values for all the charac-
The pale yellow oil of niger seed has a row and 10–15 cm seed-to-seed were ters compared to the control. Similar
nutty taste and a pleasant odour. It is maintained8–10. Proper irrigation condi- results were obtained from the M2 and
mainly used for cooking, lighting, tions were maintained throughout the M3 generations.
anointing, painting and cleaning of ma- growth period. From the above studies, four better-
chinery2–4. Niger oil is used as substitute M1 plants that have shown consider- performing lines (OY-155, OY-325, HO-
for sesame oil for pharmaceutical pur- able mutation in their characters were 308 and OO-309) of niger were finally
poses and is also used in soap-making. selected and their seeds were used to isolated for further agricultural use. In
Niger oil has a fatty acid composition grow M2 generation crop. Individual the present study, at 100 Gy both oil
typical of the Asteraceae oilseeds like plants from every mutant line were har- yield and oleic acid content improved.
safflower and sunflower with linoleic vested separately. Seeds from M2 crop Oil yield improved remarkably and oleic
acid (polyunsaturated fatty acid) being each selected for a specific mutant were acid content was almost double. In con-
the dominant fatty acid. Reduction in the sown in the field to raise M3 plants. The trast, results for irradiation at 200 and
levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids and performance of these mutants with re- 300 Gy did not show any improvement
their substitution for the monounsatu- spect to the characters was studied in the for these characters. This may be due to
rated oleic acid is an important goal for M3 generation to confirm their breeding the fact that increased doses of
the production of higher quality oil. nature. Different characters like oil yield, irradiation often lead to the development
Polyploidy and mutations have played a oleic acid content and oil yield and oleic of various lethal effects.
significant role in the evolution of oil- acid content were studied for all three The stimulating effect of low doses of
seed crops5. In recent years, induced generations simultaneously with control. gamma ray irradiation on plant growth
mutations have been used extensively for Plants with oil content above 40% may be due to stimulation of cell divi-
genetic enhancement of the annual oil- were identified and labelled as oil yield sion or cell elongation, alteration of
seed crops, especially to modify the fatty mutants (OY). Fatty acid composition of metabolic processes that affect synthesis
acid composition of mustard, sunflower, seeds shown the oleic acid percentage of phytohormones or nucleic acids13.
peanut, linseed and soyabean6. higher than linoleic acid were identified Niger seeds are known for their hull
At present, gamma rays are the most and labelled as oleic mutants (HO), and thickness or thick seed coat, which is the
favoured physical mutagenic agents be- seeds showing high oil content as well as main reason for less oil yield in different
cause they are highly energetic and can high oleic acid content were labelled as accessions14. There may be two possible
penetrate deeply into tissues. The num- oil–oleic mutants (OO). reasons for increase in oil content in the
ber of mutations induced depends on the Oil estimation (%) was carried out present study. The first may be induction
radiation type, the applied dose and the using low-resolution pulsed nuclear mag- of mutations by which the proportion of
dose rate. If gamma rays cause mutations netic resonance (PC 20) at the Nuclear seed hull decreased, thereby increasing
in the plants that grow from the irradi- Research Laboratory (NRL), Indian the oil content of the seeds. The other
ated seeds, then such plants may possess Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), reason may be induction of mutations by
altered genotypic properties. Among 13 New Delhi, according to the method which oil content of the embryo tissue
varieties of niger, IGP-76 was concluded suggested by Madsen11. increased15,16.
as the best for mutation breeding based The fatty acid composition of the seed The fatty acid composition of niger
on some promising features such as early oil was determined by simultaneous oil seed is typical of the Asteraceae family,
maturity, high survival, high oil content, extraction and methyl esterification12. with linoleic acid being the major fatty
high mitotic index and fewer mitotic ab- This was followed by gas–liquid chroma- acid, thereby showing the semi-drying
normalities7. tography of fatty acid methyl esters on a nature of the oil. There is a negative cor-
Seeds of G. abyssinica were collected Nucon gas–liquid chromatograph (Nucon relation between linoleic and oleic acid.
from the Zonal Agricultural Research GC 5765) equipped with packed column That is, with increase in oleic acid con-
Centre of Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidya- (1/8 inch, packing S.S.). tent the linoleic acid content decreases,
peeth, Igatpuri, Maharashtra. Healthy, The oil yield estimated from control and vice versa. This is expected since
dry seeds were irradiated with gamma niger seeds was 34.60%, whereas the oleic acid is the precursor fatty acid for

490 CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 101, NO. 4, 25 AUGUST 2011

Table 1. Different characters, percentage oil yield, oleic acid yield and oil yield, and oleic acid content of selected niger mutants (M1–M3
generations) and control

Character (%) M1 M2 M3

Oil yield (OY) 34.60 OY-153-43.50 ± 0.04% OY-153-39.70 ± 0.06% OY-153-39.60 ± 0.01%
OY-155-47.60 ± 0.39% OY-155-44.70 ± 0.55% OY-155-48.40 ± 0.01%
OY-325-47.20 ± 0.04% OY-325-44.50 ± 0.03% OY-325- 47.80 ± 0.01%

High oleic 28.31 HO-271-43.72 ± 0.01% HO-271-43.10 ± 0.03% HO-271-42.90 ± 0.01%

acid (HO) HO-272-50.20 ± 0.03% HO-272-49.90 ± 0.01% HO-272-49.70 ± 0.01%
HO-307-55.56 ± 0.02% HO-307-53.30 ± 0.01% HO-307-53.22 ± 0.02%
HO-308-43.80 ± 0.01% HO-308-43.00 ± 0.01% HO-308-43.10 ± 0.02%
HO-310-58.21 ± 0.01% HO-310-53.34 ± 0.02% HO-310-53.20 ± 0.03%

Oil yield + oleic 34.60 + 28.31 OO-259-(44.00 + 59.95) ± 0.02% OO-259-(37.50 + 52.89) ± 0.01% OO-259-(37.60 + 52.77) ± 0.03%
acid (OO) OO-267-(46.50 + 47.71) ± 0.03% OO-267-(45.10 + 47.62) ± 0.01% OO-267-(45.00 + 47.10) ± 0.01%
OO-309-(45.00 + 59.61) ± 0.01% OO-309-(44.60 + 42.27) ± 0.01% OO-309-(45.90 + 59.75) ± 0.02%

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138. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. We are grateful
oleic acid observed in the present study to DAE-BRNS for providing financial sup-
8. Alemaw, G. and Wold, A. T., Plant
is the result of an induced mutation or Breed., 1995, 114, 375–376. port. We also thank the Director, The Institute
mutations in the gene or genes responsi- 9. Pradhan, K., Mishra, R. C. and Paikary, of Science, Mumbai for encouragement and
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may have reduced the level of polyun- 457–459.
saturated fatty acids in the oil, resulting 10. Sohan, R., Trivedi, H. B. P. and Received 10 August 2010; revised accepted
in an increased level of oleic acid. The Srivastva, R. M., In Niger in Jharkhand, 25 July 2011
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