SACHA INCHI RESEARCH:
Characterization and authentication of a novel vegetable source of omega-3 fatty acids, sacha inchi (Plukenetia volubilis L.) oil.
Food Chem. 2012 Sep 15;134(2):1173-80. doi:
Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids (ω-3's), whether from fish oils, flax or supplements, can protect against cardiovascular disease. Finding plant-based sources of the essential ω-3's could provide a sustainable, renewable and inexpensive source of ω-3's, compared to fish oils. Our objective was to develop a rapid test to characterize and detect adulteration in sacha inchi oils, a Peruvian seed containing higher levels of ω-3's in comparison to other oleaginous seeds. A temperature-controlled ZnSe ATR mid-infrared benchtop and diamond ATR mid-infrared portable handheld spectrometers were used to characterize sacha inchi oil and evaluate its oxidative stability compared to commercial oils. A soft independent model of class analogy (SIMCA) and partial least squares regression (PLSR) analyzed the spectral data. Fatty acid profiles showed that sacha inchi oil (44% linolenic acid) had levels of PUFA similar to those of flax oils. PLSR showed good correlation coefficients (R(2)>0.9) between reference tests and spectra from infrared devices, allowing for rapid determination of fatty acid composition and prediction of oxidative stability. Oils formed distinct clusters, allowing the evaluation of commercial sacha inchi oils from Peruvian markets and showed some prevalence of adulteration. Determining oil adulteration and quality parameters, by using the ATR-MIR portable handheld spectrometer, allowed for portability and ease-of-use, making it a great alternative to traditional testing methods.
Transcriptome analysis of Sacha Inchi (Plukenetia volubilis L.) seeds at two developmental stages.
BMC Genomics. 2012 Dec 20;13:716. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-13-716.
Sacha Inchi (Plukenetia volubilis L., Euphorbiaceae) is a potential oilseed crop because the seeds of this plant are rich in unsaturated fatty acids (FAs). In particular, the fatty acid composition of its seed oil differs markedly in containing large quantities of α-linolenic acid (18C:3, a kind of ω-3 FAs). However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms
responsible for biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids in the developing seeds of this species. Transcriptome data are needed to better understand these mechanisms.
In this study, de novo transcriptome assembly and gene expression analysis were performed using Illumina sequencing technology. A total of 52.6 million 90-bp paired-end reads were generated from two libraries constructed at the initial stage and fast oil accumulation stage of seed development. These reads were assembled into 70,392 unigenes; 22,179 unigenes showed a 2-fold or greater expression difference between the two libraries. Using this data we identified unigenes that may be involved in de novo FA and triacylglycerol biosynthesis. In particular, a number of unigenes encoding desaturase for formation of unsaturated fatty acids with high expression levels in the fast oil accumulation stage compared with the initial stage of seed development were identified.
This study provides the first comprehensive dataset characterizing Sacha Inchi gene expression at the transcriptional level. These data provide the foundation for further studies on molecular mechanisms underlying oil accumulation and PUFA biosynthesis in Sacha Inchi seeds. Our analyses facilitate understanding of the molecular mechanisms responsible for the high-unsaturated fatty acids (especially α-linolenic acid) accumulation in Sacha Inchi seeds.