Fatty acid composition and oil content of seeds from perilla (Perilla frutescens (L.) var. frutescens) germplasm of Republic of Korea

  • Hyun Uk KimEmail author
  • Kyeong-Ryeol Lee
  • Inhwa Jeon
  • Ha Eun Jung
  • Jae Bok Heo
  • Tae-Yun Kim
  • Grace Q. Chen
Research Article


Perilla (Perilla frutescens (L.) var. frutescens) is an oilseed crop that produces a large amount of α-linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3), an ω-3 fatty acid in seeds. Perilla is also a fragrant leafy herb with great health benefits. To develop value-added perilla crop, we surveyed the fatty acid composition and oil content of 87 germplasms accessions maintained at Republic of Korea. Our results show that ALA is the major fatty acid, ranging from 47 to 64%, followed by linoleic acid (LA, 18:2, an ω-6 fatty acid) from 10 to 24% and the oleic acid (OA, 18:1, an ω-9 fatty acid) from 9 to 20%. The seed oil content among accessions ranges from 17 to 42.7%. To access if the different fatty acid profile and oil content among germplasms are associated with changes in key genes, we compare the sequences encoding fatty acid desaturase 2 (FAD2) and fatty acid desaturase 3 (FAD3) responsible for LA and ALA synthesis, respectively. Besides, we examine the sequence of diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1), a key enzyme in determining oil content. We do not find major changes in FAD2 or FAD3 associated with different fatty acid profiles. We discover a change in DGAT1 that might associate a low oil content in seeds.


Perilla germplasm ω-3 Fatty acid ω-9 Fatty acid α-Linolenic acid Oleic acid 



This study was conducted with the support of the Research Program for Agricultural Science & Technology Development (Project No. PJ01257102), the National Institute of Agricultural Science, and the Next-Generation BioGreen 21 Program (SSAC, Grant No. PJ013185), Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea, The Korea Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (IPET) (116079-03 and 316087-4), Republic of Korea, and the MidCareer Researcher Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2017R1A2B4007096). This study was supported in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Current Research Information System Project 2030-21410-020-00D (to Grace Q. Chen). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Mention of a specific product name by the U.S. Department of Agriculture does not constitute an endorsement and does not imply a recommendation over other suitable products.

Author contributions

HUK, KRL, IJ, HEJ, JBH, and TYK performed the experiments; HUK, KRL, and GQC analyzed the data; and HUK, KRL, and GQC wrote the paper. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10722_2019_803_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (3.2 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 3321 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Bioindustry and Bioresource EngineeringSejong UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural BiotechnologyNational Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Rural Development AdministrationJeonjuRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Molecular Genetic BiotechnologyDong-A UniversityBusanRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Asia Seed CompanyIcheonRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Western Regional Research CenterAgricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of AgricultureAlbanyUSA

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