Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Breeding prospects of Lunaria annua L.

Abstract

Lunaria annua is a biennial cruciferous oil seed crop. The seeds contain 30-35% oil, which consists of 67% long chain fatty acids (44% erucic acid, C22:1, and 23% nervonic acid, C24:1). The oil is suitable as lubricant. In addition, recent developments indicate that nervonic acid may be used as raw material for the production of a medicine against multiple sclerosis. The biennial character of Lunaria is a main constraint for an economically feasible production of Lunaria oil. The crop has to be sown early in the summer to achieve vigorous plant development required for vernalization during the winter. It would be a great advance when Lunaria could be sown later in the summer after an early harvested crop. From 1993, breeding research in Lunaria has been performed at CPRO-DLO, Wageningen, The Netherlands. A collection of 76 accessions was maintained and evaluated for agronomic performance. In 1995, a selection of 24 accessions were sown at four sowing dates, from end June until end of August and in 1996, 12 promising accessions were sown again at 15 and 30 July. Three accessions showed suitability for delayed sowing until beginning of August. Delay in sowing time caused also delay of flowering and seed ripening. Seed yield amounted to 1200 kg/ha in 1996 and 1700 kg/ha in 1997. Seed oil content varied from 30-38%. Severe infection of Albugo candida and Alternaria occurred and might have reduced seed yield in both years. Most accessions sustained severe winter frost of -17°C very well. It is concluded that within the evaluated gene pool promising variation is available to select for ability for late sowing, to improve the disease resistance and to increase seed yield and seed oil content.