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A new method for the analysis of seed phytosterols in sunflower breeding programs

Autor Fernández de la Cuesta, Álvaro ; Fernández Martínez, José María ; Velasco Varo, Leonardo
Fecha de publicación mar-2012
EditorAsociación Argentina de Girasol
Citación 18th International Sunflower Conference (2012)
ResumenPhytosterols or plant sterols are natural constituents of plants. Ingestion of phytosterols prevents intestinal absorption of cholesterol in humans, resulting in a lowering of serum cholesterol. For this reason, phytosterol derivatives have become important ingredients of a broad spectrum of functional foods marketed for their lowering-cholesterol properties. Sunflower seeds and oils are important sources of phytosterols. Despite the great value of phytosterols for human health, practically no research has been conducted to characterize the variation for phytosterol content and profile in sunflower germplasm and to design breeding strategies to improve the phytosterol fraction in sunflower seeds and oils. The main reason for this has been the lack of appropriate analytical methods matching sunflower breeder's requirements, i.e. they should be fast, cost-effective, non-destructive, and based on small samples. Conventional methods for the analysis of phytosterols are based on the analysis of the extracted oils, which makes them useful only in the final steps of a breeding program. The aim of this research was to develop and test a new method for quantitative analysis of phytosterols in sunflower half seeds that can be used at any step of breeding. The method comprises half-seed excision and crushing, a simultaneous step of phytosterol extraction and derivatization from crushed half seeds, and finally separation and quantification by gas chromatography. The new method allows the quantification of individual phytosterols as well as total phytosterol content in sunflower half seeds. The method is non-destructive, fast, accurate, and repeatable. The accuracy of the method was checked by comparing the results with those obtained with a conventional method on extracted oils, which resulted in a correlation coefficient of 0.85. The repeatability of the method was evaluated by calculating the standard error in the measurement of 48 replicates of two different ground samples, which revealed that the average coefficient of variation attributable to the analytical method was only 4.1%. Thus far, sunflower breeders had no efficient tools for screening breeding materials for phytosterol content and profile, as conventional methods required the analysis of the extracted oils. The present research provided a new methodology that will allow the incorporation of phytosterols as target traits into sunflower breeding programs. The possibility of analysing phytosterols in half seeds opens up new perspectives for screening large germplasm collections and segregating populations and lays the basis for breeding for phytosterol content and profile in sunflower. Key words: Analytical method - breeding - oil quality - phytosterols - plant sterols - seed quality
Descripción Póster presentado en la 18th International Sunflower Conference, celebrada en Mar de Plata y Balcarce (Argentina), del 27 de abril al 1 de marzo de 2012.
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10261/95968
Aparece en las colecciones: (IAS) Comunicaciones congresos
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