Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Andrew McDonald

Second Advisor

Dr. Anxiu Kuang

Third Advisor

Dr. Kenneth Summy


Jatropha curcas L., Euphorbiaceae, is a small tree native to the neotropics. Despite renewed economic interests in Physic Nut, mainly for biodiesel production, a comprehensive analysis of the ethnobotanical history of J. curcas is lacking. An account of the pre-Columbian neotropical distribution of this species and its historical uses are presented. Using capillary gas chromatography, studies were conducted to quantify the natural variation in seed oil content and fatty acid composition of the seed oil from several species of Jatropha, including assessment of how these parameters change during seed maturation. Natural variation in seed oil content was detected (F7,93 = 27.975; p < 0.001), and oil content was significantly higher (F2,125 = 86.316; p < 0.001) in older seeds.


Copyright 2010 Nathan M LeClear. All Right Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American