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Crop Biotech Update

Mapping of Genes for High Oleic Acid Content in Safflower

March 2, 2012

Oils containing high-oliec acid content are in great demand due to their favorable characteristics needed for food and non-food uses. Previous reports have shown two different levels of high oleic acid content (>75 and >84%) in safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.). The oleic acid content has been found to be controlled mainly by partially recessive alleles at a major gene Ol, but the highest levels have been linked to modifying genes.

Scientist Yamen A. S. Hamdan from Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible (IAS-CSIC), Spain, and colleagues, mapped the Ol locus and modifying genes involved in oleic acid content of safflower seeds using candidate gene approach. The team developed and phenotyped two mapping populations from the nuclear male-sterile line CL-1 and the high oleic acid lines CR-6 (>75% oleic acid) and CR-9 (>84%). For the CL-1xCR-9 population, the linkage map contains 15 linkage groups and 116 random amplified polymorphic DNA, simple sequence repeat (SSR). For the CL-1xCR-6 population, Ol was mapped to linkage group T3 tightly linked to SSR marker ct365. Complex genes involved in increasing oleic content was found in LG T2.

These findings, as well as the markers developed in the study, could be used in marker-assisted selection for high oleic acid content in safflower.

Read the abstract at