History of the sunflower – Nuseed Europe

The development of the commercial sunflower has spanned continents and thousands of years. Over 4,500 years ago, the indigenous tribes of North America began to grow the sunflower as a crop.

The Native Americans cultivated the sunflower from its original bushy, multi-headed type to produce a single-stemmed plant with a large flower.

The crop can be used to make bread and cakes. The seeds were roasted, cracked and eaten whole, either as a snack or mixed with other grains and nuts into a type of granola.

The early Americans discovered that the oil could be used for cooking.

Archaeologists have shown a variety of non-food uses for the crop.

The plant ‘s oils and pigments were used as a sunscreen or the basis for a purple dye for skin, hair or textile decoration, while the plant ‘s sturdy, fibrous stem was exploited in construction.

European explorers discovered the sunflowers in 1510 after 4,000 years of being a staple in North America. Spanish sailors were the first to ship large quantities of seed back to Europe.

Europeans overlooked the food and oil-bearing potential of sunflowers for the next 200 years. Exotic-looking flowers became a common sight across Western Europe as an ornamental or anti- inflammatory.

By the turn of the 19th century, sunflowers had spread across Europe and into Russia.

The crop ‘s potential for oil production was established in Russia. It was due to a quirk of fate and the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Church banned the consumption of food made from oils and fats during Lent in the 18th century.

The list of banned substances was published by the orthodoxy. It did not include the oil in the list.

In the early 1800s, the crop area expanded to more than one million hectares in Russia and Ukraine.

The market for oilseed and seed consumption differed as the crop grew.

The first research programmes to develop varieties that met the requirements of the twin markets were established by the Russian government.

The Mammoth Russian was developed in the late 1800s. Many large achenes withheads were recorded at more than 50 cm in diameter.

There was a steady trickle of eastern Europeans moving to North America. Russian settlers began to import the sunflower as a source of animal feed.

The year 1886 was an important one in the history of the commercial crop, as the use of sunflower products was gaining strength in the US. The birth of Vasilii Stepanovich Pustovoit was marked by it. In 1912, Pustovoit began working in Russia as a research scientist. He created a programme that focused on isolating desirable traits that were crossed to produce hybrid. The best-performing hybrid was selected for trans-pollination and breeding to produce new commercial varieties. The Krasnodar research unit where Pustovoit worked became the experimental selection centre for Russian oilseeds in 1924. Pustovoit was credited with the foundation work for the high-oil, high-yield modern varieties.

The success of the sunflower as an animal feed in the US drove up the planted area and new markets began to emerge with oil processing units founded from the mid 1920s.

The Canadian government began a breeding programme in 1930 after the popularity of the sunflower spread across the northern border.

After the war, the growing area continued to rise both north and south of the US border, and more and more farmers began to include sunflowers in their rotation. The Russian breeding programme, driven by Pustovoit, continued to underpin any performance improvements. The seed produced high yields and high oil contents and pushed up the profitability of the crop.

By the late 1960s breeding programmes were beyond yield and oil content. Improved disease resistance was being targeted. The ability of the sunflower to self-pollinate with its male and female reproductive parts limited efforts to create true hybrid. Attempts to introduce new traits from donor plants were being hampered by the sunflowers own pollen. In 1969 a breakthrough was made by a French researcher called Leclercq.

Leclercq discovered a way to remove the male part of the flower in a process known as cytoplasmic male sterilisation. This meant that the female reproductive structures of another could not be altered with the plant ‘s own genetic material. In 1970, a US Department of Agriculture scientist named Kinman discovered how to switch the male fertility back on in a hybrid. For the first time, breeding programmes could create true commercial hybrid plants.

A new age of trait development was fostered by the twin breakthrough. Better disease resistance and higher yields could be found in distinct varieties that seed companies could market.

The public began to develop a more health conscious approach to their diet. In the 70s, research showed that sunflower oil was a healthier alternative to saturated fats. Europeans switched to sunflower oil products and the crop boomed.

After palm, soybean, and rapeseed, the sunflower market is the fourth most important oil crop in the world.

The main production area for the crop has shifted back to eastern Europe due to market changes. The two countries accounted for more than 22 million tons of the world ‘s 47. 9m tonne of sunflowers seed production.

The Ukranian produced 12 according to the latest figures. 24m tonnes against Russia. 48 million tonne yield.

The crop is worth US $ 20 billion a year, according to estimates.

The top 10 seed producers in the world. Russia 10. 48 Argentina 55 Romania China, Mainland 2. There were 58 Bulgaria 2. Turkey 1 96 Hungary France 1 62 USA The source is the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The area devoted to the crop has been outpaced by the increase in seed production.

The 18 was back in 1994. A total of 22 hectares of sunflowers were grown. There are 0m tonnes of seed.

The area was raised to 26 years later. 5 million ha is a 35 % increase. The yield had more than doubled. 9 million tons.

Over the past three decades, breeders have continued to hybridise the modern plant. Despite important new factors emerging that influenced which traits should be targeted, yields have improved.

Increased pressure to reduce overproduction, stimulated largely by agricultural support mechanisms in Europe, meant yield increases alone were no longer the Holy Grail for breeders. Climate change concerns have refocused breeding efforts to produce plants that perform better. Altered head shapes can be used to address sunburn, bird damage and diseases.

Herbicide resistance has changed the way farmers think about sunflowers. In the past it was time consuming and not possible to eliminate the weeds that were in the row. We chose hybrid for their resistance to available packages. This technology has allowed farmers to be more efficient with their time, and do a better job controlling the weeds, resulting in higher yields and cleaner yields. Jeremy Klumper is a Sunflower Breeder.

Technology has aided in the search for an increasingly diverse number of target traits. Nuseed uses genetics to identify genes for desirable traits. marker assisted selection is beginning to identify candidate genes for improvements because the genetic structure of the sunflower is relatively complex compared with rape and rice.

Nuseed researchers have a long list of targets for the future.

Improved oil properties to maintain appeal to health-conscious consumers are some of the benefits of the higher seed and oil yield hybrid.

Source: https://shopdothang.com
Category: Flower

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