Variation in oil content and fatty acid composition in preselected argan trees with morphological characters and geographical localization

  • Naïma Ait Aabd
  • Abdelhafed El Asbahani
  • Yassine El Alem
  • Aissam El Finti
  • Fouad Msanda
  • Abdelhamid El Mousadik
Original Article


The aim of this study is to examine the variability of yield and fatty acid composition of argan seed oil (Argania spinosa L.) in four provenances, and to find the relationship between fatty acid composition and environmental conditions. Twenty genotypes were preselected and evaluated for fatty acids composition during 3 years (2008–2010). The oil was extracted by a Soxhlet and the fatty acids composition was determined using gas chromatography. The results revealed a variation in seed oil content (51.83–57.50 %). Total saturated fatty acids content (C14:0; C16:0; C18:0; C20:0) ranged from 19.53 to 20.29 %, with lower content in Had Dra and Biougra than other provenances. However, the concentration of total unsaturated fatty acids ranged from 79.56 to 80.29 %, with a higher percentage of monounsaturated fatty acid (C16:1; C18:1; C20:1) (47.60 %) in Aoulouz and a higher percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acid (C18:2; C18:3) (35.53 %) in Biougra provenance. No correlation between oil content and fatty acid compositions with the morphological data (mother tree, fruit and seed forms) was found. The geographical localization and fatty acid content were not correlated with oil content. The study proved a significant contribution of environmental conditions to the variation in fatty acid composition. We conclude that there is a highly significant variation both in oil content and fatty acid composition in the argan provenances that can be used for its improvement.


Argania spinosa Oil content Fatty acid Preselection 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naïma Ait Aabd
    • 1
  • Abdelhafed El Asbahani
    • 1
  • Yassine El Alem
    • 2
  • Aissam El Finti
    • 1
  • Fouad Msanda
    • 1
  • Abdelhamid El Mousadik
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Biotechnology and Valorization of Natural Resources, Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceIbn Zohr UniversityAgadirMorocco
  2. 2.Autonomous Establishment of Control and Coordination of ExportsAgadirMorocco

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