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Agronomic performance of the novel oilseed crop Centrapalus pauciflorus in southwestern Ontario

Todd, J., Chakraborty, S., Isbell, T., Van Acker, R.C.
Industrial crops and products 2018 v.111 pp. 364-370
agronomic traits, apical meristems, breeding lines, direct seeding, field experimentation, fungicides, germination, gibberellic acid, growing season, irrigation, lipid content, nitrogen, oils, oilseed crops, plant density, plasticizers, seed yield, vernolate, Ontario
Centrapalus pauciflorus naturally produces vernolic acid, which could replace the synthetic vernolic acid currently used as a plasticizer. Field trials conducted at Simcoe, Ontario from 2014 to 2016 show two breeding lines of C. pauciflorus (PI 642418, PI 642419), performed well under field conditions when grown from transplants. Low field germination rates made agronomic studies using direct seeded plants difficult. Variations in seeding depth, supplemental irrigation, treatment with gibberellic acid and/or fungicide, or priming with water prior to seeding did not significantly improve germination of field sown seed. In general, seed yield, oil content and vernolic acid levels were not affected by nitrogen, or early season removal of the apical meristem. Higher planting densities did significantly increase seed yield and hence overall oil yield per hectare. Over the three growing seasons, oil content ranged from 31.6 to 42.2% (ave. 37.5%) and vernolic acid content of 70.2–76.0% (ave. 73.5%). Additional research to improve field germination of seed would greatly facilitate the continued development of C. pauciflorus as a commercial crop for the production of vernolic acid.