2009 Volume 58 Issue 7 Pages 347-354
as a botanical source, variability in chia seed composition could be expected between growing locations, and between years within a location, due to genotype and environment effects as well genetic x environment’s interactions. The objective of the present study was to determine the location effect on the growing cycle length, and seed’s protein content, lipid content, and fatty acid profiles, of a single chia genotype. Seeds of chia genotype Tzotzol grown on eight sites in five different ecosystems were tested. One site was in Argentina, in the Semi-Arid Chaco ecosystem (T5); one was in Bolivia, in the Sub-Humid Chaco ecosystem (T4); and six in Ecuador, one in the Coastal Desert (T3), two on the Tropical Rain Forest (T2), and three in the Inter-Andean Dry Valley ecosystem (T1). Seeds from plants grown in T4 and in T3 contained significantly (P <0.05) more protein percentage than did seeds from the other three ecosystems. No significant (P <0.05) differences in protein content were found between T3 and T4, and between T1, T2, and T5. Seeds from T1 and T5 ecosystems, with 33.5 and 32.2%, respectively, were the numerically highest oil content producers, but their results were only significantly (P <0.05) higher when compared with the T2 seeds. Significant (P <0.05) differences in palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic and α-linolenic fatty acids between oils from seeds grown in different ecosystems were detected, however. Oil of seeds grown in the T3 ecosystem had the palmitic, stearic and oleic fatty acids’ highest contents. Palmitic and oleic fatty acid levels were significantly (P <0.05) higher when were compared to that of seeds grown in the T1 ecosystem, and stearic when was compared to that of seeds grown in the T5 ecosystem; ω-6 linoleic fatty acid content was significantly (P <0.05) lower in oils of seeds produced in T1, and T2 than in those produced in T3, T4, and T5 ecosystems; ω-3 α-linolenic fatty acid content was significantly (P <0.05) higher in seeds produced in T1, than in those produced in T3, T4, and T5, but not in those produced in T2.