Assessment of the environmental variability of a borage strain (Borago officinalis L.) by cultivation in different European regions
Keywords:Borago officinalis, growth, seed yield, seed oil, fatty acids, environmental variability
Â To study the environmental variability, a blue flowered borage genotype (Borago
officinalis L.) was cultivated uniformly at various sites in Europe. Four plots of 1 m2 were
established at each region of which four were situated more in the North (Scotland, Norway
and two in Finland) and two more in the South (Germany and Italy). The environment had a
diverging impact on borage, depending on the characteristic under study. The environment
had a particularly strong influence on the seed yield with a range of 159-837 kg/ha and on the
germination capacity. The variability of the plant height and the duration of the growing
period were smaller. The lowest variability revealed the thousand seed weight, ratio of black
seeds, seed oil content with min. 27.6 % and max. 34 %, and the oil components, including Î³-
linolenic acid, ranging between 18.3 and 22.5 %. Basing on the results of this experiment it
can be concluded that the selection of an appropriate cultivation site has high importance in
particular for the seed yield, which seems to be favoured by cultivation in the northern regions
of Europe. A high content of fatty seed oil and of Î³-linolenic acid as its most important
component are achievable under various environmental conditions.
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