Camelina Agronomics -

Agronomic performance and seed quality attributes of Camelina in multi-environment trials across Europe and Canada – F Zanetti, C Eynck, M Christou, M Krzyżaniak, D Righini, E Alexopoulou, MJ Stolarski, EN Van Loo, D Puttick, A Monti – Industrial Crops...

Summary: Camelina is considered a relatively new oilseed in both Europe and North America even though its history as a crop dates back to the Bronze Age. Camelina has recently received renewed interest from both the scientific community and bio-based industries around the world. The main attractive features of this species are: drought and frost tolerance, disease and pest resistance, a unique seed oil composition with high levels of n-3 fatty acids, a considerably high seed oil content, and satisfactory seed yields, in particular under low-input management and in limiting environments. Aiming at evaluating the feasible introduction of recently released camelina breeding lines under different environmental conditions and their productive potential a multi-location trial was set up. The agronomic performance of nine improved genotypes of camelina was evaluated in a wide range of environments in Europe (Greece, Italy, Poland) and in five locations across Canada, in two consecutive growing seasons (2015 and 2016). Sowing time was optimized for each location according to the different climatic conditions. Camelina proved to be a highly adaptable species, reaching seed yields of about 1 Mg DM ha−1 under the most limiting conditions (i.e., low precipitation, poor soil quality, extremely high temperature at flowering). Growing environments characterized by mild temperatures and adequate rainfall (>170 mm, during the growing season) resulted in higher average seed yields. The length of the growing cycle varied greatly between different locations (80–110 d), but the cumulative thermal time was quite stable (∼1200 GDD, growing degree days). The advanced breeding line 787–08, which possesses up to 30% larger seed compared to the mean seed size of all other test entries, proved to be the most promising genotype across all locations in Europe and Canada, combining high seed yields (1.1–2.7 Mg DM ha−1) with improved yield stability. To the best of our knowledge, for the first time, camelina lines with improved oil composition (i.e., increased oleic and α-linolenic and lower linoleic acid contents) for feed, food and industrial applications were identified.