The oil extracted from seed of selected accessions of Oenothera, also known as the wildflower evening primrose, has documented medical applications. Evening primrose oil contains from 0.0 to 12.0% gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) (C 18:3, delta 6, 9, 12). This unique fatty acid, which occurs in only a few plant species, can correct deficiencies in the delta 6 desaturase enzyme. Low levels of this enzyme prevent formation of the long chain fatty acids responsible for the production of prostaglandins and thromboxanes. Supplementation of the diet with evening primrose oil rich in GLA ensures adequate levels of these essential products. Inconsistent seed germination, poor emergence, and small seed size of accessions containing higher levels of GLA have limited commercial production of this crop. Currently, most producers establish their field through transplants. In this project, methods of improving seed germination have been explored. Seed coatings using diatomaceous earth were shown to facilitate handling and improve germination in the laboratory. Osmotic priming and red light exposure were also evaluated as means of improving germination.
To determine the mode of inheritance of citral, linalool, methylchavicol, and methylcinnamate in basil, controlled crosses were made between chemotypes rich in each of these constituents. Four stable Ocimum basilicum populations selected for high methylcinnamate (79%), methylchavicol (95%), linalool (82%), and citral (65%) respectively, served as parents. Crosses were made using chemotypes rich in terpenes (linalool × citral), in phenylpropanoids (methylchavicol × methylcinnamate), and a third that combines chemotypes from both biosynthetic pathways (linalool × methylchavicol). True hybrids were selfed in isolation and one hundred F2 plants were analyzed for their oil composition. The parents, the F1 hybrids and the F2 generation of all plants were evaluated in a field trial under identical environmental conditions. Plants were harvested at full flowering, and dried at 380 °C. Identification of essential oil constituents were confirmed by GC/MS. The F2 segregation data for each major oil constituent trait will be examined by c2 analysis tests. Preliminary results indicate that methylcinnamate segregates in a 3:1 ratio, and is a dominant major gene. In the two crosses using methylcinnamate chemotype as a female parent, the F2 population segregates in 80:22 and 65:28 methylcinnamate:non-methylcinnamate plant types, with P = 0.42 and 0.25 and c2=0.64 and 1.29, respectively. Analysis of the other crosses are being processed, evaluating qualitative and quantitatively the presence or absence of each constituent in their F2 population.
Four cultivars of pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] were selected for the study (`Cheyenne', `Mohawk', `Pawnee', and `Osage'). The influence of total climatic heat units, during nut filling, on nut quality was compared from 14 geographic locations over a 3-year study. Nut quality parameters included nut size by weight, kernel percentage by weight, kernel color by Hunter Color Difference Meter, fatty acid profile by GC, and total oil by NMR. Nuts were harvested at shuck split, dried to 3% moisture, and stored at –20C prior to analysis. Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and total oil increased, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) decreased in `Mohawk' 2 out of 3 years with increased heat units. Fatty acids in `Pawnee' responded the same as in `Mohawk' in 1992, but were variable in 1991. In 1993, `Pawnee' kernel whiteness and total oil decreased with increased heat units. Higher heat units caused the testas of `Cheyenne' to be darker in all 3 years. MUFA of `Cheyenne' increased with increased heat units 1 out of 3 years. The PUFA content of `Cheyenne' decreased with increased heat units in 1993. `Osage' showed a reversal of MUFA and PUFA with increased heat units. High negative correlation between oleic and linoleic acid were obtained for all cultivars.
A 500 liter (130 gallon) stainless steel steam distillation unit has been built to extract volatile essential oils from aromatic plants. A 1.5 m × 0.75 m dia. steam vessel (hydrostatically tested @ 125 psi) serves as the distillation tank. Low pressure or high pressure steam is supplied by a diesel fuel fired boiler of 10 horsepower. The steam vessel can hold peppermint from plots of 25 m2 and extract approximately 100 ml of essential oil per distillation. The size of the tub was designed to provide oil in sufficient quantity for industrial evacuation or for pesticide residue analysis. Following the distillation, the vessel can be disconnected from the cold-water condenser and rotated on swivels to a horizontal position, permitting easy removal and re-filling of plant material. The entire extraction unit (vessel, condenser, boiler and oil collector) is suitable for mounting upon a trader, making it transportable to commercial farms or research stations. The extraction of peppermint and spearmint oils using this new system will be presented.
Dormant `Georgia Belle' peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] trees were sprayed in early February 1992 with single applications of 0%, 2.5%, 5.0%, 10.0%, or 20.0% (v/v) crude soybean oil. `Redhaven' trees were sprayed in February 1993 with single applications of 0%, 2.5%, 5.0%, 10.0%, or15% degummed soybean oil. Additional treatments of two applications of 2.5% or 5.0% oil were included each year. Both crude and degummed soybean oil treatments interfered with escape of respiratory CO2 from shoots and increased internal CO2 concentrations in shoots for up to 8 days compared to untreated trees. Respiration rates, relative to controls, were decreased for 8 days following treatment, indicating a feedback inhibition of respiration by the elevated CO2. Thus, an internal controlled atmosphere condition was created. Ethylene evolution was elevated for 28 days after treatment. Flower bud development was delayed by treating trees with 5% crude or degummed soybean oil. Trees treated with 10% crude or degummed soybean oil bloomed 6 days later than untreated trees. Repeated sprays of one half concentration delayed bloom an additional four days in 1992, but < 1 day in 1993 compared to a single spray of the same total concentration. Application of soybean oil caused bud damage and reduced flower bud density (number of flower buds/cm branch length) at anthesis. In a trial comparing petroleum oil and degummed soybean oil, yields of trees treated with 6% or 9% soybean oil were 17% greater than the untreated trees and 29%more than petroleum treated trees. These results suggest that applying soybean oil delays date of peach bloom and may be used as a bloom thinner.
have significantly greater essential oil and 2-methyl-5-propan-2-ylphenol (carvacrol) yields than the currently offered commercial alternatives. These two new cultivars were developed to provide good field performance, upright growth habit, to
Plants of rosemary [Rosmarinus officinalis L. (Lamiaceae)] were grown in pots containing a soilless (1 sphagnum peat:1 perlite) or soil-based (1 sphagnum peat: 1 perlite:1 field soil) growing medium and fertilized with either 12N-5.2P-12.5K controlled-release fertilizer (CRF) at 9.0 g/pot; constant liquid fertilization (LF) with 20N4.3P-16.7K at 150 mg N/liter; constant LF at 150 mg N/liter, plus CRF at 4.5 g/pot; weekly LF at 150 mg N/liter; or weekly LF at 150 mg N/liter, plus CRF at 4.5 g/pot. Constant LF plus CRF generally reduced plant height and depressed shoot fresh weight relative to other fertilizer regimes. Essential oil content was highest in plants receiving weekly LF. Plants grown in the soil-based mix were shorter, shoot fresh and dry weight tended to be lower, and essential oil yield was higher when compared to plants grown in the soilless mix. Satisfactory growth was obtained in both media when rosemary plants were fertilized with 12N-5.2P-12.5K CRF at 9.0 g/pot or weekly LF with 20N<.3P-16.7K at 150 mg N/liter.
Fruit set is a key component of essential oil yield from fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.) under Tasmanian conditions. Fruit set in commercial crops is often low, possibly due to incomplete pollination. Fennel flowers are strongly protandrous and a series of flowers must be produced to ensure pollination. The hypothesis tested was that decreasing stand density increases the number of lateral branches, thereby increasing the number of higher order umbels and thus increasing the overlap between the periods of pollen production and stigma receptivity. A field trial was used to examine the number of umbels of each order produced under stand densities of 4, 12, 25, 50 and 100 plants/m2. Stand density influenced the ratio of pollen producing to pollen receptive umbels and stand densities of 50 and 100 plants/m2 showed a distinct imbalance between pollen production and stigma receptivity. The data collected supported the hypothesis and it is probable that, in commercial crops, fruit set is being reduced by a lack of synchrony between pollen production and stigma receptivity. The highest stand density tested reduced total oil production. We therefore recommend the inclusion of low stand-density strips within standard-density commercial crops.
Lime-sulfur plus oil, for many years used as a tree fruit fungicide, was first introduced in New York state in 1905 for apple scab control (4). Cordley promoted its use for apple scab control in Oregon (1). It was later adopted as a means of combating pear scab, after Kienholz and Childs (2) demonstrated that overwintering twig lesions of Venturia pyrina Aderh. could be “burned out” by applying lime-sulfur during the delayed dormant state of bud development. They indicated that “lime-sulfur sprays could not be used with safety on Anjou pears in this locality after the bud scales had dropped.” However, they did not indicate the exact nature of the problem with lime-sulfur on this variety. Later they stated “previous evidence had indicated that delayed dormant sprays had no adverse effect upon fruit set” (3). They also showed that wettable sulfur adversely affected fruit production when applied during the growing season. The present study was designed to determine whether or not lime-sulfur plus oil had an effect on fruit set when applied as a spray during the early stages of bud development in D’Anjou pear.
The growth rate of vetiver grass [Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash (Graminales: Poaceae)], roots, and oil distribution were evaluated in an 8-month field study. The amount of vetiver oil present in the root system increased with each sampling date. In December, the final sampling period, mean root weight increased 520% from the previous sampling period (October). At the end of the study, root growth measured over 2 m long and 25 cm wide and weighed 0.48 kg (dry weight). In addition, a laboratory study was conducted to determine if the roots of vetiver grass when used as mulch, are effective against Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). In past studies, chemical components in the roots of this grass were shown to be effective repellents and toxicants to Formosan subterranean termites. In the present study, the 25% vetiver root mulch treatment proved to decrease tunneling activity and wood consumption and increase termite mortality. These results provide preliminary evidence that vetiver roots may have use as an additive to garden mulches against termites.