Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus, Vol 88, No 2 (2023)

Production, Uses, and Ancestry of an Oilseed Crop, Perilla frutescens (L.) Britton var. frutescens in Japan: An Overview

Shinya NAKUI, Tetsuo MIKAMI

Pages: 93-97


Perilla frutescens (L.) Britton var. frutescens has been cultivated as a traditional oilseed crop in Japan. Perilla seed oil was once used for industrial products such as fuel for lamps, waterproofing agent, and lacquered wares. Nowadays, it is commonly utilized to add flavor to cooking, and the seeds are also ground and powdered for use in traditional foods as flavoring. Perilla oil has recently received the attention of Japanese consumers because it is a good source of health benefit compounds including unsaturated fatty acids (e.g., α-linolenic acid) and bioactive flavonoids (e.g., luteolin). In the country, however, there has been little effort in improving the production potential of the crop through plant breeding. The present review is an attempt to provide the current information about the production, uses and possible ancestry of P. frutescens var. frutescens in Japan. The paper also focuses on the problems and prospects of genetic improvement in this crop.


breeding, cultivation practices, health benefit compounds, landraces, molecular markers

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