Palm seed and fruit lipid composition:phylogenetic and ecological perspectives

Guérin Chloé, Serret Julien, Montúfar Rommel, Vaissayre Virginie, Bastos-Siqueira Aldecinei, Durand-Gasselin Tristan, Tregear James, Morcillo Fabienne, Dussert Stéphane. 2020. Palm seed and fruit lipid composition:phylogenetic and ecological perspectives. Annals of Botany, 125 (1) : pp. 157-172.

Journal article ; Article de recherche ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
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Abstract : Background and aims: Palms are vital to worldwide human nutrition, in particular as major sources of vegetable oils. However, our knowledge of seed and fruit lipid diversity in the family Arecaceae is limited. We therefore aimed to explore relationships between seed and fruit lipid content, fatty acid composition in the respective tissues, phylogenetic factors and biogeographical parameters. Methods: Oil content and fatty acid composition were characterized in seeds and fruits of 174 and 144 palm species respectively. Distribution, linear regression and multivariate analyses allowed an evaluation of the chemotaxonomic value of these traits and their potential relationship with ecological factors. Key Results: A considerable intra-family diversity for lipid traits was revealed. Species with the most lipid-rich seeds belonged to the tribe Cocoseae, while species accumulating oil in the mesocarp occurred in all subfamilies and two-thirds of the tribes studied. Seed and fruit lipid contents were not correlated. Fatty acid composition of mesocarp oil was highly variable within tribes. By contrast, within-tribe diversity for seed lipid traits was low, whereas between-tribe variability was high. Consequently, multivariate analyses of seed lipid traits produced groupings of species belonging to the same tribe. Medium-chain fatty acids predominated in seeds of most palm species, but they were also accumulated in the mesocarp in some cases. Seed unsaturated fatty acid content correlated with temperature at the coldest latitude of natural occurrence. Conclusion: Several previously uncharacterized palms were identified as potential new sources of vegetable oils for comestible or non-food use. Seed lipid traits reflect genetic drift that occurred during the radiation of the family and therefore are highly relevant to palm chemotaxonomy. Our data also suggest that seed unsaturated fatty acids may provide an adaptive advantage in the coldest environments colonized by palms by maintaining storage lipids in liquid form for efficient mobilization during germination.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Arecaceae, agrobiodiversité, Huile végétale, Graine oléagineuse, Acide gras, Mésocarpe, Chimiotaxonomie

Mots-clés libres : Oil, Fatty acid, Chemotaxonomy, Diversity, Arecaceae, Endosperm, Seed, Mesocarp, Fruit

Classification Agris : Q04 - Food composition
F40 - Plant ecology
F70 - Plant taxonomy and geography

Champ stratégique Cirad : CTS 1 (2019-) - Biodiversité

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Guérin Chloé, PalmElit (FRA)
  • Serret Julien, IRD (FRA)
  • Montúfar Rommel, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador (ECU)
  • Vaissayre Virginie, IRD (FRA)
  • Bastos-Siqueira Aldecinei, IRD (FRA)
  • Durand-Gasselin Tristan, PalmElit (FRA)
  • Tregear James, IRD (FRA)
  • Morcillo Fabienne, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR DIADE (FRA) - auteur correspondant
  • Dussert Stéphane, IRD (FRA) - auteur correspondant

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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