Biology and genetic improvement of Jatropha curcas L.: A review uri icon

abstract

  • Bio-diesel is a fast-developing alternative fuel in many developed and developing countries of the world. The bio-diesel production from vegetable oils during 2004?2005 was estimated 2.36 million tonnes globally. Of this, EU countries accounted for about 82% and USA about 6%. Global bio-diesel production is set to reach some 24 billion litres by 2017. Shortage of edible oil for human consumption in developing countries does not favour its use for bio-diesel production. Hence non-edible oil from crops like Jatropha (Jatropha curcas) and Pongamia (Pongamia pinnata) is favoured for bio-diesel production and the trend is expected to continue. Especially J. curcas has gained attention in tropical and sub-tropical countries and has spread beyond its centre of origin, because of its hardiness, easy propagation, drought endurance, high oil content, rapid growth, adaptation to wide agro-climatic conditions, and multiple uses of plant as a whole. The full potential of J. curcas has not been realized due to several technological and economic reasons. One of the major reasons is the lack of high yielding varieties with high oil content. In this review, we attempt to discuss the currently available information on Jatropha species identity, taxonomy and description, distribution and ecological requirements of the species, possibilities of exploitation of genetic potentiality, exploitation of existing diversity for yield and oil content by direct selection, hybridization and creation of diversity by mutation, and biotechnological interventions

publication date

  • 2010
  • 2010