India develops new groundnut line with desirable oil quality

Date & Time: 2019-05-14 01:25:25

Fatty acid composition defines groundnut oil quality. Six saturated fatty acids including palmitic acid constitute 10%, whereas oleic acid (monounsaturated fatty acid) together with linoleic acid (polyunsaturated fatty acid) constitutes nearly 80% of unsaturated fatty acid in groundnuts. It is highly desirable to increase the oleic acid content and reduce both linoleic acid and palmitic acid content. Groundnuts grown in India have about 55% oleic acid, about 25% linoleic acid and around 10% palmitic acid, whereas in the U.S., several groundnut varieties have 80% oleic acid and just 2-3% linoleic acid. Efforts have been taken to increase the oleic acid content and reduce both linoleic and palmitic acid content for health benefits and to increase the shelf-life. In close collaboration with scientists from several institutions in India and Africa, the Hyderabad-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) team of Dr. Rajeev K. Varshney, Pasupuleti Janila, and Manish Pandey has developed improved groundnut lines for disease resistance and high oleic acid content. In 2016, Dr. Varshney’s team reported the result of development of high (up to 82%) oleic acid content lines in three popular groundnut varieties. In 2018, Dr. S.K. Bera, Dr T. Radhakrishnan and others from Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s (ICAR) Directorate of Groundnut Research, Junagadh, Gujarat, in collaboration with Dr. Varshney at ICRISAT developed a groundnut line that has up to 82% of oleic acid content, while linoleic and palmitic acid content decreased up to 89% and 39%, respectively. A U.S. groundnut variety that has high oleic acid and very less linoleic acid was used for breeding the new line.