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Comparative analysis of fatty acids, tocopherols and phytosterols content in sunflower cultivars (Helianthus annuus) from a three-year multi-local study

Ayerdi Gotor A1,5*, M Berger1, F Labalette2, S Centis3, J Daydé1, A Calmon1,4

1 Université de Toulouse; Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse; Ecole d’Ingénieurs de PURPAN; Département Sciences Agronomiques et Agroalimentaires; Laboratoire d’Agrophysiologie; 75 voie du TOEC, BP 57611, F-31076 Toulouse Cedex 3, France.
2 ONIDOL; 12 avenue George V, F-75008 PARIS, France.
3 ASEDIS-SO; 39 chemin Virebent, F-31200 TOULOUSE, France.
4 INRA; UMR 1010 CAI; F-31030 Toulouse Cedex 4, France.
5 Institut Polytechnique LaSalle Beauvais; BP 30313, F-60026 Beauvais Cedex, France. Tel: + 33 (0)3 44 06 25 49 - Fax: +33(0)3 44 06 25 26 (Permanent address).

* Corresponding Author:Address Correspondence to: Alicia Ayerdi Gotor, Institut Polytechnique LaSalle Beauvais BP 30313, 60026 BEAUVAIS CEDEX, France. Tel : + 33 (0)3 44 06 25 49 - Fax : +33(0)3 44 06 25 26, e-mail:

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2015, 84(1), 14-25.


Sunflower oil is naturally rich in both unsaturated fatty acids and numerous minor components, with high levels of α-tocopherol and phytosterols that could play an important role in plant protection. These micronutriments, tocopherols and phytosterols, also exhibit health benefits for humans including reducing both cardiovascular diseases and aging disorders. α−Tocopherol represents more than 95% of total sunflower tocopherol and has the greatest vitaminic activity. Furthermore, this oil contains high amounts of β-sitosterol which is a promising health beneficial phytosterol. The objective of this study was to compare the content and composition of fatty acids, tocopherols and phytosterols in sunflower oil between different cultivars and locations in a three-year experiment, and to estimate the relationships between these minor components, fatty acids and climatic conditions. Results revealed that content and composition of these molecules are mainly determined by plant genotype. Nevertheless, the environmental conditions seemed to strongly influence the tocopherol content. The results suggest possible improvement in sunflower breeding for minor components.


Cite This Article

A, A. G., Berger, M., Labalette, F., Centis, S., Daydé, J. et al. (2015). Comparative analysis of fatty acids, tocopherols and phytosterols content in sunflower cultivars (Helianthus annuus) from a three-year multi-local study. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 84(1), 14–25.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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