Using modern plant breeding to improve the nutritional and technological qualities of oil crops

Denis J. Murphy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

The last few decades have seen huge advances in our understanding of plant biology and in the development of new technologies for the manipulation of crop plants. The application of relatively straightforward breeding and selection methods made possible the "Green Revolution" of the 1960s and 1970s that effectively doubled or trebled cereal production in much of the world and averted mass famine in Asia. During the 2000s, much attention has been focused on genomic approaches to plant breeding with the deployment of a new generation of technologies, such as marker-assisted selection, next-generation sequencing, transgenesis (genetic engineering or GM) and automatic mutagenesis/selection (TILLING, TargetIng Local Lesions IN Genomes). These methods are now being applied to a wide range of crops and have particularly good potential for oil crop improvement in terms of both overall food and non-food yield and nutritional and technical quality of the oils. Key targets include increasing overall oil yield and stability on a per seed or per fruit basis and very high oleic acid content in seed and fruit oils for both premium edible and oleochemical applications. Other more specialised targets include oils enriched in nutritionally desirable "fish oil"-like fatty acids, especially very long chain !-3 acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), or increased levels of lipidic vitamins such as carotenoids, tocopherols and tocotrienes. Progress in producing such oils in commercial crops has been good in recent years with several varieties being released or at advanced stages of development.

Translated title of the contributionUsing modern plant breeding to improve the nutritional and technological qualities of oil crops
Original languageFrench
Article numberD607
JournalOCL - Oilseeds and fats
Volume21
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2014

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