Biodiversity and uses of white mustard (Sinapis alba L.), native to Israel, as a plant with economic potential

Zohara Yaniv, David Granot, Efraim Lev, Dan Schafferman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Much interest has been expressed in the last several years in the possibility of developing new oilseed, medicinal and garden crops from wild Cruciferae, for human consumption and industrial uses. One of the promising species is Sinapis alba (white mustard) which is very common throughout Israel. S. alba is very well known in folk traditions in the Mediterranean area as a medicinal and spice plant. As a part of a general survey of Crucifer species in Israel, 280 seed accessions of S. alba were collected. In order to assess biodiversity within the species, several parameters were recorded, and it was found that oil quality-as expressed by fatty-acid profile-and other factors of agronomical impor tance were affected by the site of origin. Cultivation of selected accessions under controlled conditions demonstrated the maintenance of biodiversity. The level of genetic variability among eight accessions collected from two geographical locations was analyzed by RAPD (Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA), and a genetic distance between accessions from the two locations was found. Seeds from each accession were subsequently cultivated in three different climatic regions. After one year of cultivation, a diverging effect on the genetic polymorphism was observed. The results indicate the importance of biodiversity conservation in the process of development and evaluation of germplasm of S. alba for the use of man.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-327
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Herbs, Spices and Medicinal Plants
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodiversity
  • Cruciferae
  • Ethnobotany
  • RAPD
  • Seed oils

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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