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Seed composition in oilcrops: its impact on field seed performance

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The amount and composition of lipids stored in seeds of oil crops are the main determinants of their industrial yield and quality. Breeders have attempted to increase seed oil concentration to obtain higher industrial yields, and to modify seed oil fatty acid composition according to industrial demands. Nevertheless, both traits can also be modified by environmental conditions prevailing during seed filling in the mother plant. Several environmental factors have been found to affect the final seed oil concentration and the fatty acid composition as well. Moreover, predictions related to the effect of climate change on oil quality have been reported considering those environmental factors on seed reserves synthesis. However, seeds are not only the harvest organ for industrial use but also are the perpetuation organ of the species. It is known that germination performance is affected by external factors (i.e., the environment) but also by intrinsic seed factors. Therefore, it is necessary to understand how variations in seed oil concentration and fatty acid composition may in turn affect germination. There is scarce information regarding these effects, but nevertheless its impact can be significant for the crop establishment. In this chapter we describe the variability in seed oil concentration and lipid fatty acid composition among species and within species. The effects of both genetics and the environmental conditions prevailing during the seed filling in the mother plants are considered. Then, available information concerned the effects of seed oil concentration and lipid composition on germination performance is reviewed

Palabras clave
oil crops
seed composition
lipid quantity
lipid quality
oil fatty acid composition

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