Salicornia bigelovii Torr.: An Oilseed Halophyte for Seawater Irrigation

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  01 Mar 1991:
Vol. 251, Issue 4997, pp. 1065-1067
DOI: 10.1126/science.251.4997.1065


The terrestrial halophyte, Salicornia bigelovii Torr., was evaluated as an oilseed crop for direct seawater irrigation during 6 years of field trials in an extreme coastal desert environment. Yields of seed and biomass equated or exceeded freshwater oilseed crops such as soybean and sunflower. The seed contained 26 to 33 percent oil, 31 percent protein, and was low in fiber and ash (5 to 7 percent). The oil and meal were extracted by normal milling equipment, and the oil was high in linoleic acid (73 to 75 percent) and could replace soybean oil in chicken diets. The meal had antigrowth factors, attributed to saponins, but could replace soybean meal in chicken diets amended with the saponin antagonist, cholesterol. Salicornia bigelovii appears to be a potentially valuable new oilseed crop for subtropical coastal deserts.

Stay Connected to Science