curcas is an economically
important plant to produce good quality biodiesel. Due to various constraints
like low seed yield, unreliable flowering and fruiting, non-availability of
sufficient feedstock, limited availability of wasteland, high plantation
maintenance cost and susceptibility to biotic and abiotic stresses limits its
commercialization of this plant as a source of biodiesel.
feedstock is highly affected by seed oil content, number of branches per plant,
number of bunches per branch, number of fruits per bunch, number of seeds per
fruit and seed weight/size etc. The seed yield of Jatropha majorly depends on
number of female flowers per inflorescence. At each inflorescence, 10-12 female flowers
are formed out of ~300 present at each inflorescence. This results in only 8-10
ovoid fruits which is quite low when compared to the total number of flowers
present at the inflorescence. Thus, increasing the female flower number by
genetic intervention can be targeted to increase the overall yield of Jatropha.
development of Jatropha is a complex process where female flower is present on
the top whereas sub-branches may produce either female or male 2. Study on floral development showed no sexual
differentiation till the sixth phase. When sexual differentiation occurs, the
top of female elongates whereas no such development occurs in male flowers. Female
flowers are present in a bisexual stage till sixth phase of development. As sexual
differentiation begins, abortion of male occurs in female flowers and there
traces aborted stamens could be found in mature females. However, male flower development
is unisexual right from the beginning and no traces of females are present. When
abortion of male tissues does not occur in female flowers then they develop as
males at the female flowering site. Such inflorescence is called as middle type
inflorescence with either female/male flowers at an inflorescence. These middle
type inflorescnces showed variation in total number of female flowers at each inflorescence.
Thus, these might play an important role in increasing the female to male
flower ratio. Apart from male/females, hermaphroditic flowers were also reported
in Jatropha 2, 4-5. They are
similar to female flowers in structure but have 8-10 stamens like those in male
flowers. (Lourdes 2016).