A unique plant on many levels, the distinctive properties of the Jerusalem artichoke, or Helianthus tuberosus L., present novel answers to some of today's most pressing problems. The potential of Jerusalem artichoke as a source for inulin, a fructose polymer that may provide dietary health benefits for obesity, diabetes, and several other health issues and the possible use of the crop for biofuels are drawing tremendous recent interest. With its ready cultivation and minimal pest and disease problems, Jerusalem artichoke is an underutilized resource that possesses the potential to meet major health and energy challenges.
A comprehensive, up-to-date reference, Biology and Chemistry of Jerusalem Artichoke presents the unique biological and chemical properties that distinguish it from other crops. Citing a diverse cross-section of references, it reviews the history, classification, morphology, and anatomy of the plant. It details inulin chemistry addressing properties and structure, extraction, and modification using microbes, enzymes, and a wide range of chemical processes. The book examines the use of Jerusalem artichokes as a biofuel and the role of inulin derived from the crop in combating obesity and diabetes, as well as promoting bone, blood, bowel, and immune health. A comprehensive chapter addresses genetic resources, breeding, breeding methods, hybridization, and the heritability of important traits. The book details developmental biology in terms of maximizing yield and determining resource allocation as well as controlling pests and disease. It concludes with practical information on agronomic methods, storage, the economics of crop production, and future prospects for utilization.
Gathering a wealth of information into a single volume and drawing on the authors' 25 years of research, Biology and Chemistry of Jerusalem Artichoke provides the most comprehensive resource to date on this extremely useful crop.
… a wealth of information of exemplary quality and quantity …. The presentation of its contents alone takes up seven pages. The authors have compiled an in-depth account of a rather unique plant species. … the author's own extensive bibliography of more than 2,000 references … is representative for the level of detail and the wealth of information that can be found throughout the publication. It is also representative of the immense expertise of the two authors who put 25 years of research into this timely review of research. … This publication serves as a valuable single source reference for all aspects of Jerusalem artichoke, and can only be highly recommended.
—Thomas Brendler, Plantaphile, Berlin, Germany, in Economic Botany, 2009, 63(4)
…The authors consider [the Jerusalem artichoke] to be an underexploited resource and have cited a ‘diverse and representative cross section of publications’ to provide access to the relevant literature and patents. Indeed, there is a list of patents on Jerusalem artichoke relating to medical and veterinary, food, drink and nutraceuticals, animal feed, non-food industrial applications as well as to genetic manipulation and biotechnology, cultivation, and plant breeding. …The key chapter is on genetics and plant breeding, as utilization will be dependent on such advances… the book represents a very useful account of the state of the knowledge of the Jerusalem artichoke.
—Richard Wilkins in Experimental Agriculture, Vol. 44, 2008
…a very useful source of up-to-date information for both, experimental botanists, biochemists and physiologists, as well as for specialists, who are interested in the breeding, cultivation and many-sided utilization of this crop.
If we look to Earth plant resources, we can find that nature’s storehouse is truly huge. …Some of these ‘‘alternative crops’’ are the wild plants, but some of them, like Jerusalem artichoke, are old species cultivated in ancient time. …summarizes our knowledge about nomenclature, origin, and history of Helianthus tuberosus. …a very interesting overview on physiological processes determining photosynthetic productivity of Jerusalem artichoke plants. …provides a detailed description of the latest research on this ‘old-new alternative’ crop, is well and systematically organized, reader-friendly with many clear tables, graphs, draws and some photos and is carefully edited. Each chapter is supplemented with rich bibliography, but at the end of book a list of issued patents that refer to Jerusalem artichoke and a subject and Latin binomials indexes are included. I would highly recommend this publication to all who are interested in alternative crops, for agriculture educators and students as well as for farmers because this book covers the subject comprehensive on scientific and practical point of view.
—D. Choluj, in Acta Physiol Plant, 2008
Introduction: An Underutilized Resource
Nomenclature, Origin and History
Nomenclature for Helianthus tuberosus L.
Classification, Identification, Distribution
Plant Morphology and Anatomy
Aboveground Plant Parts
Belowground Plant Parts
Morphological Differences between Cultivars and Clones
Chemical Composition and Inulin Chemistry
Occurrence of Inulin in Plants
Composition, Structure and Properties of Inulin and Inulin Oligomers
Analysis of Inulin Composition
Inulin Extraction, Isolation, Purification, Fractionation, Drying and Storage
Sources of Inulin
Uses for Native and Fractionated Inulin
Microbial and Enzymatic Modification of Inulin
Chemical Modification of Inulin
Value in Human and Animal Diets
In Human Diets
In Animal Diets
Biomass and Biofuel
Genetic Resources, Breeding, and Cultivars
Flowering Time Manipulation
Heritability of Important Traits
Cultivars and Clones
Developmental Biology, Resource Allocation, and Yield
Assimilate Allocation Strategy
Sink Strength in Relation to Allocation
Assimilate Allocation and Redistribution
Additional Metabolic Pathways
Growth Analysis and Modeling
Environmental Factors Affecting Yield
Production Factors Affecting Yield
Pollinators, Pests and Diseases
Molluscs, Nematodes and Other Pests
Fungal, Bacterial and Viral Diseases
Harvesting and Handling
Alterations in Composition during Storage
Controlled Atmosphere Storage
Crop Production and Storage
Future Prospects for Utilizing Jerusalem Artichoke