Indian Journal of Plant Physiology

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 281–284 | Cite as

Changes in oil content and fatty acid profiles during seed development in Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre

  • Shyam Sundar Sharma
  • Md Aminul Islam
  • Madan Singh Negi
  • Shashi Bhushan TripathiEmail author
Short Communication


Oil content and fatty acid composition were studied in developing seeds of Pongamia, at intervals of 30 days starting from 45 days after anthesis up to 255 days after anthesis. The oil content increased from 15.96 to 36.93 % as the seed matured. A significant variation in fatty acid composition of the oil was detected during seed development. Proportion of all fatty acids except oleic acid decreased during seed development. Palmitic acid (16:0) content decreased from 22.4 to 10.37 %, while stearic acid (18:0) content decreased from 9.43 to 4.26 %. Linolenic acid (18:3) content decreased from 11.95 to 2.24 %. A sharp increase in linoleic acid content from 28.8 to 41.49 % was observed at stage 2 which decreased afterwards to 17.72 % at maturity. A steady increase in oleic acid (18:1) content from 27.69 to 61.34 % was observed. The saponification number and iodine value decreased, while cetane number increased during seed development.


Pongamia pinnata Oil content FAME Biodiesel Seed development 



The authors sincerely acknowledge the funding received from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. Shyam Sundar Sharma thanks Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India, for providing fellowship for this work. We thank Dr. Y. S. Sodhi of The Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants, University of Delhi, for his kind help in fatty acid profiling.


  1. Annarao, S., Sidhu, O. P., Roy, R., Tuli, R., & Khetrapal, C. L. (2008). Lipid profiling of developing Jatropha curcas L. seeds using (1)H NMR spectroscopy. Bioresource Technology, 99, 9032–9035.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bala, M., Nag, T. N., Kumar, S., Vyas, M., Kumar, A., & Bhogal, N. S. (2011). Proximate composition and fatty acid profile of Pongamia pinnata, a potential biodiesel crop. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 88, 559–562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Kalayasiri, P., Jayashke, N., & Krisnangkura, K. (1996). Survey of seed oils for use as diesel fuels. Journal of American Oil Chemical Society, 73, 471–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Kaushik, N., Kumar, S., Kumar, K., Beniwal, R., Kaushik, N., & Roy, S. (2007). Genetic variability and association studies in pod and seed traits of Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre in Haryana. India. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 54, 1827–1832.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Krisnangkura, K. (1986). A simple method for estimation of cetane index of vegetable oil methyl esters. Journal of American Oil Chemical Society, 63, 552–553.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Naik, M., Meher, L. C., Naik, S. N., & Das, L. M. (2008). Production of biodiesel from high free fatty acid Karanja (Pongamia pinnata) oil. Biomass and Bioenergy, 32, 354–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Pavithra, H. R., Gowda, B., Rajesh Kumar, K., Prasanna, K. T., & Shivanna, M. B. (2012). Oil, fatty acid profile and karanjin content in developing Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre seeds. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 89, 2237–2244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Sharma, S. S., Negi, M. S., Sinha, P., Kumar, K., & Tripathi, S. B. (2011). Assessment of genetic diversity of biodiesel species Pongamia pinnata accessions using AFLP and three endonuclease—AFLP. Plant Molecular Biology Reporter, 29, 12–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Shrinivasa, U. (2001). A viable substitute for diesel in rural India. Current Science, 80, 1483–1484.Google Scholar
  10. Thies, W. (1971). Rapid and easy analysis of fatty acid composition in individual rapeseed cotyledons. Z. Pflanzenzhchtg, 65, 181–202.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Society for Plant Physiology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shyam Sundar Sharma
    • 1
  • Md Aminul Islam
    • 1
  • Madan Singh Negi
    • 1
  • Shashi Bhushan Tripathi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.The Energy and Resources InstituteNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations