Evaluation of Oil Content and Fatty Acid Compositions of Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) Varieties of India

  •  Vikas Pali    
  •  Nandan Mehta    


Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) is the third largest natural fiber crop and one of the five major oil crops in the world. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the oil content and fatty acid compositions of flax varieties grown in Chhattisgarh state of India. The oil content ranged from 33.97% to 42.27% in the experimental material. The highest oil content was recorded for variety Deepika (42.27%) followed by Indira Alsi-32 (42.12%), Sharda (41.12%) and Kartika (41.11%). Two saturated (Palmatic and stearic acid) and three unsaturated fatty acids (Oleic, linoleic and linolenic acid) were identified by gas chromatography represented 12.34% and 87.65% of the total oil, respectively. Fatty acid analysis of the flax varieties in our studies showed 33.14% to 54.82% of linolenic acid whereas, the mean value of linoleic, oleic, stearic and palmatic acid were 15.88%, 27.76%, 6.26% and 6.07%, respectively. The variety RLC-92 (54.82%) exhibited the highest linolenic acid followed by RLC-134 (53.01%), R-552 (52.41%), R-4140 (51.14%), RLC-122 (51.08%) and GS-64 (50.49%) while the lowest linolenic acid was observed in the variety Kiran (33.14%) followed by Sharda (34.41%) and Neela (36.85%). Both genotypic (GCV) and phenotypic coefficients of variation (PCV) were low for oil content and fatty acid components. Linoleic acid exhibited highest GCV (17.52%) and PCV (17.63%), respectively. High heritability with moderate genetic advance was observed for oil content and all fatty acid components suggest that selection per se will be rewarding for these traits. Correlation coefficient revealed weak positive association of 1000 seed weight with oil content. Among all the fatty acids, palmatic acid showed significant positive association while linoleic acid showed significant negative association. Results indicated that higher oil content varieties showed higher linolenic acid in flax.

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