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Volume 4 Number 1 June 2009


FOCUS Importance of micronutrients in the changing horticultural scenario in India M. Edward Raja RESEARCH ARTICLE Expression of genetic variability and character association in raspberry (Rubus ellipticus Smith) growing wild in North-Western Himalayas Dinesh Singh, K. Kumar, Vikas Kumar Sharma and Mohar Singh Acclimatization and field evaluation of micropropagated plants of chrysanthemum cv.`Arka Swarna' Bindu Panicker, Pious Thomas and T. Janakiram Effect of gamma irradiation on African marigold (Tagetes erecta L.) cv. Pusa Narangi Gainda Viveka Nand Singh, B. K. Banerji, A. K. Dwivedi and A. K. Verma Induction of mutation in Rough lemon (Citrus jambhiri Lush.) using gamma rays H.K. Saini and M.I.S. Gill Distribution of staminate and hermaphrodite flowers and fruit-set in the canopy of cashew genotypes D. Sharma Evaluation of Dolichos (Lablab purpureus L.) germplasm for pod yield and pod related traits N. Mohan, T.S. Aghora and Devaraju Studies on yield and yield components of spray chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat.) cv. Amal under various sources of nitrogen Subhendu S. Gantait and P. Pal Effect of FYM and GA3 on growth and yield of Sweet flag (Acorus calamus L.) under Terai zone of West Bengal S. Datta, A.N. Dey and S. Maitra 28 1








Studies on correlation and path analysis in mutants of Coleus (Coleus forskohlii Briq.) for yield and forskolin content in V2M1 generation M. Velmurugan, K. Rajamani, P. Paramaguru, R.Gnanam and J.R. Kannan Bapu Effect of different levels of N and P on ratoon crop of banana cv. Grand Naine Tejinder Kaur, M.I.S. Gill and H.S. Dhaliwal Combining ability in African marigold (Tagetes erecta L.) Y.C. Gupta Performance of tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa L.) cultivars in Goa K. Ramachandrudu and M. Thangam Effect of plant growth regulators on corm production in gladiolus V. Baskaran, R.L. Misra and K. Abirami Effect of different GA3 concentration and frequency on growth, flowering and yield in Gaillardia (Gaillardia pulchella Foug.) cv. Lorenziana D.V. Delvadia, T.R. Ahlawat and B.J. Meena Incidence of post-harvest fungal pathogens in guava and banana in Allahabad Renu Srivastava and Abhilasha A. Lal Forthcoming events








J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 1-27, 2009

FOCUS Importance of micronutrients in the changing horticultural scenario in India

M. Edward Raja

Division of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry Indian Institute of Horticultural Research Bangalore -560 089, India E-mail: [email protected]


Sustenance and well-being of humankind are linked to the stocks of essential nutrients in the bio-geosphere and the capacity for cycling and manipulation. Micronutrients play a major role in crop production due to their essentiality in plant metabolism and adverse effects that manifest due to their deficiency. Besides affecting plant growth, micronutrients also play a major role in disease resistance in cultivated crop species. A hitherto lesser-understood phenomenon is their role in determining quality and the post harvest life of harvested produce. In the Indian context, this situation has become alarming due to the widespread occurrence of micronutrient imbalance throughout the country. Though soil application of soluble forms of micronutrients has been widely practiced in the past, it calls for introspection, considering the nature of occurrence of micronutrient related maladies. Novel approaches include application of crop-specific foliar formulations of micronutrients, application of chelated forms of micronutrients and the genetic biofortification of crops. In view of the importance of micronutrients in human diet, it is felt that biofortification of horticultural crops will play a definite and major role in addressing nutritional security of the nation in the coming years. Keywords: Micronutrient, horticultural crops, deficiency, foliar nutrition, organic farming


In the recent past, there has been massive investment in horticulture both in public and private sectors with the expectation that it would increase profitability of farmers, besides enhancing employment opportunities for the rural poor, while simultaneously providing consumers with good quality products. But, the above expectations remain largely unfulfilled due to several research gaps. Effective use of micronutrients in horticulture is one such research gap. Micronutrients can tremendously boost horticultural crop yield and improve quality and post-harvest life of horticultural produce. The purpose of this article is to highlight areas where the potential of micronutrients has not been fully realized. According to Stout (1962), "If plants are considered as biological machines, their bodies are constructed from macro-elements, their working parts consist of proteins and enzymes revolving about N atoms and the `MICRONUTRIENTS' provide the special lubricants required for a variety of energy transfer mechanisms within the plants". This statement from a scientist who was

involved in identification of Mo as essential micronutrient, succinctly portrays the importance of micronutrients in plant metabolism. Micronutrients assume significance in horticultural crop production due to their ability to: Improve quality, size, colour, taste and earliness, thereby enhancing their market appeal Improve input use efficiency of NPK fertilizers and water Provide disease resistance, thereby reducing dependence on plant protection chemicals Increase post-harvest/shelf life of horticultural produce thereby avoiding wastage Prevent physiological disorders and increase marketable yield Enhance nutritional security by biofortification In the 20th Century, revolution in crop yield increase began with the discovery of micronutrients starting with iron (Fe) in 1868, and ending with molybdenum (Mo) in1938. This led to a paradigm shift from "scientific discovery" to

Edward Raja

"scientific management", which included three scientific components to increase productivity, viz., Genetic components (improvement in heterosis, disease and pest resistance) Physiological components (better photosynthetic efficiency, decreasing photorespiration, etc.) Management components (precision in fertility, avoiding nutrient deficiency or toxicity, improvement in organic matter status, etc.) and appropriate use of information on climate, soil, water and specific characteristics of cultivars, etc. In the crop production system, there are about 16 non-controllable, limiting factors (light intensity, day-night temperatures, etc.) and around 40 controllable, limiting factors (soil-available NPK, micronutrients, soil pH, organic matter, etc). Limiting factors translate to inputs. Some inputs have a cost component like, nutrients and compost while some do not, like, timeliness of operation, crop rotation to avoid allelopathy-related problems, etc. Judicious management of controllable and non-controllable factors is necessary for successful crop production. Controllable stresses are of two types: Liebigs type and Mitchserlich type. In the former, unless a limiting factor is corrected, no response to other inputs will be seen (eg., soil acidity, soil salinity and nitrogen deficiency). But, in the Mitchserlich type, limiting factors do not hinder correction of other factors.

reason is the soil wealth of India. A majority of soils do not exhibit extremes in important physical and chemical properties like pH, texture, water-holding capacity, organic matter, NPK fertility and micronutrients. Another reason is that we do not have vast expanses of B deficient soils similar to those found in Eastern and Southern China, nor do we have tracts of Fe deficient soils as occur in Australia, Spain and Italy. Micronutrient deficiencies in India, by themselves, do not restrict yield drastically but do so by acting additively with other stresses, reducing yield substantially. Micronutrient scenario in India About 40-55% of Indian soils are moderately deficient in Zn, while 25-30% are deficient in B. Deficiency of other micronutrients occurs under 15% of soils (Takkar and Kaur, 1984). These deficiencies/limitations by themselves do reduce yield significantly but, combined with 2 or 3 of the other 40 controllable yield-limiting factors/ stresses, these act additively and reduce yield substantially. In the Indian scenario, micronutrient deficiencies are of the Mitscherlich type. Almost all micronutrient deficiencies or toxicities in India fall in the mild to moderate category, with exception of B deficiency in mango and cauliflower in Konkan and Chota Nagpur regions, respectively. Since skilled manpower and infrastructure to identify the micronutrient disorders/toxicities especially at hidden hunger stage itself by leaf/soil analysis are limiting in India, the damage done to Indian horticulture is enormous. Unfortunately, this is not fully recognized by decision makers and scientists. As 80-90% of Indian soils are deficient in nitrogen and phosphorus, their deficiencies are visible in terms of leaf colour, size, growth-habit, flowering and yield. Correction of these disorders is therefore more visibly convincing. But, 70-80% of micronutrient disorders in horticultural crops occur as hidden hunger. Leaf and soil analysis alone can detect it at the right stage. In a country of around 2 to 3 million farm-holdings with horticulture as the main enterprise, it is next to impossible to carry out leaf or soil analysis of micronutrients to detect hidden hunger. This is another reason why we do not take advantage of micronutrient correction. The changing horticultural scenario In 1860, the air and water systems were so pure in the world that it was necessary to add chlorine in the form of sodium chloride for healthy growth of plants. Whereas, by 1954, purification of air and water became a Herculean task, to prove Chloride as an essential micronutrient by T.C. Broyer. At present, chloride content


Micronutrients in crop production In the early stages, micronutrient disorders were described as diseases (Stiles, 1946). Subsequently, their essentiality as nutrients was confirmed and great strides were made in horticultural crop production by the use of micronutrients. Heart rot of root vegetables in Europe was cured by B application; "Pecan rosette" of Pecan trees was cured by Zn in Florida, and, Mottle leaf of Citrus by Zn, and Exanthema of Citrus in California and Australia by Cu. In Australian soils, Anderson (1956) proved the essentiality of Mo for N2 fixation and increased clover yield from 1 to 5 t/ ha by addition of 30 g of the micronutrient per hectare. This effect equalled the effect of a thousand kilograms of lime application, since, lime releases soil Mo. Stout (1962) wondered at the power of a tiny amount of Mo. By comparing it with uranium, he observed that "a gram of Mo may harness more energy by greater conversion of sunlight into plant materials than can be obtained from a gram of uranium'. We, in India, are unable to replicate the dramatic response to micronutrients observed in Australia. The first important

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has reached "toxic" levels from being "deficient". There is a tremendous change in yield-potential of crops, and soils health and its nutrient supplying potential. Hence, farmers need to be made aware of this changed scenario. Increasing the density of banana plants from 2500 to 4400 plants/ha, and mango from 100 plants/ha to 250 plants/ha (with use of dwarfing rootstocks and hormone sprays for regular-bearing) has resulted in severe depletion of soil nutrients. In India, traditional tomato varieties with yield potential of 30t/ha and F1 hybrids with a potential of 150t/ha, are being grown in the some soil type. With the help of fertigation, cropping intensity has increased from 100% to 300% in several parts of the country. The quantity of nutrients removed and the rate, at which these are removed, are vastly different. Physical, chemical and biological health of soil was not a major problem prior to "Green Revolution" of 1960's, whereas, in the present horticultural scenario of heavy NPK fertilizer use, fertigation and precision-farming, soil health and balanced nutrition has become a casualty. There is 30 to 40% decline in organic matter, with adverse effect on micronutrient availability. Decline in availability of organic manures due to greater use of inorganic fertilizer, has made micronutrient supply precarious. Replacing micronutrients that have been removed, or, increasing organic matter to make native nutrients available, has not received sufficient attention. Need-based input management of fertilizers, pesticides and water is more of an option than a necessary practice by farmers of the country owing to the poor dissemination of information generated in research. The widespread micronutrient disorders are believed to be a reason for stagnation in agricultural productivity. How to get "Macro" effect out of "Micronutrients" ? a. Identifying and eliminating Liebig stresses : Liebig Law of Minimum states that only an increase in the factor most-limiting will result in an increase in yield. Otherwise, the inputs are wasted. Moisture stress, salinity, soil acidity, extreme deficiencies of NPK, if left uncorrected, cannot result in a response to micronutrients. Overcoming soilsalinity in grape by using salt-resistant rootstock `Dogridge' paved the way for response to other inputs in horticultural practices in Maharashtra. b. Enhancing response to micronutrients by the Law of Maximum : Since micronutrient disorders in India are predominately of the Mitschertich type, correcting another stress is not a pre-requisite for obtaining response from micronutrient application. This law states that the largest net response to an input comes when there are no other

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limiting factors. The magnitude of response (to micronutrients) will increase as more and more limiting factors (abiotic and biotic stress) are corrected. The corollary to this law is that the attained yield is greater than the sum of individual parts because various parts interact to multiply the value of others. c. Inter-disciplinary approach, a must : Only by following an interdisciplinary approach, we can maximize returns from micronutrient application. Identification and simultaneous correction of other stresses, along with micronutrient stress, can give a highly significant, profitable and visible response. Hence, the present practice of evaluating micronutrient response by applying it alone will limit magnitude of the response. A blueprint approach of identifying and correcting all possible limiting factors including micronutrients has to be done. In India, micronutrients have been so far used for increasing only crop yield, while, other quality parameters like colour, size, and firmness are seldom taken into consideration. Another important area where micronutrients can play an important role is disease resistance, since they function as enzyme activators and play an important role in lignin biosynthesis and other diseases resistance mechanisms. Predominant micronutrient disorders and their management in horticultural crops Though deficiencies of micronutrients were initially referred to as "diseases" in fruit crops, that lead has been lost. A non-exhaustive list of common micronutrient disorders that are observed in horticultural crops is furnished in Table1. Apart from handling sporadically-visible deficiencies, a systematic research in this area is only a recent development. This paper highlights the intricacies of micronutrients like B, Fe and Zn, which have a great potential in all areas of horticultural crop production mentioned earlier.


B nutrition in horticulture crops B deficiency and response to it have been recorded in 132 crops in more than 80 countries over the last 60 years. It is estimated that over 15 million ha worldwide are annually fertilized with B. It is through field bean, a vegetable-cumpulse (Vicia faba) that essentiality of B was proved. The fact that B is needed for successful fertilization is of critical importance. Though monocots need less B than dicots, they also suffer from B deficiency due to low B at seed set. Since B is the only micronutrient that affects all components of horticulture (yield, quality, post-harvest life, disease resistance and use-efficiency of other inputs), it is to be


Edward Raja

Table 1. Relative sensitivity of selected horticultural crops to micronutrient deficiencies Crop B Bean Broccoli Cabbage Carrot Cauliflower Celery Cucumber Lettuce Onion Pea Radish Spinach Table beet Tomato Turnip Low Medium Medium Medium High High Low Medium Low Low Medium Medium High Medium High Cu Low Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium High High Low Medium High High Medium Medium Sensitivity to micronutrient deficiency Fe Mn Medium High Medium ----High ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- High High High ---- Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium High High High High High High Medium Medium Mo Medium High Medium Low High Low ---- High High Medium Medium High High Medium Medium Zn Low ----Low ------ Medium Medium Low --High Medium Medium ----

Source: Lucas and Knezek (1991

given highest importance, to derive maximum benefit. A number of soil and environmental factors affect boron uptake horticultural crops. Knowledge of these will improve assessment of B deficiency and toxicity under various conditions. Chemistry of boron availability B is mobile in soil and immobile in plants. It is the only micronutrient lost to leaching. When B is released from soil minerals, or is mineralized from organic matter or added to soils through irrigation water / foliar application, part of it remains in the soil solution, while, part is adsorbed by soil particles. Minerals that contain B are either very insoluble (tourmaline) or very soluble (hydrated boron minerals). These do not usually determine solubility of B in the soil solution, which is controlled mainly by boron adsorption reactions. Equilibrium exists between soil solution and the adsorbed B (Russell, 1973). Since plants, including papaya, obtain B from the soil solution and the adsorbed pool of B acts as a buffer against sudden changes in level of B in the soil solution, it is important to know how boron is distributed between the solid and liquid phases of soil. Factors affecting the amount of B adsorbed by soils, and, availability of boron in soils include: pH, soil texture, soil moisture, temperature and management practices such as liming.

igneous rock, fresh-water sedimentary deposits and in coarse-textured soils low in organic matter (Liu et al,1983). Plant availability of B is also reduced in soils derived from volcanic ash and soils rich in aluminium oxides (Lebeder, 1968). Soil reaction (pH) Soil reaction is one of the most important factors affecting availability of B in soils and its uptake. When the soil solution has high pH, B becomes less available to plants. Therefore, applying lime to acid soils can sometimes result in B deficiency symptoms in plants. The level of soluble B in soils has close correlation with pH of the soil solution (Berger and Troug, 1945). B uptake by plants growing in soil with the same water-soluble B content was greater when pH of the soil solution was lower (Wear and Patterson, 1962). Boron adsorption from soils increased when pH rose to the range of 3-9. Soil texture and clay minerals Coarse-textured soils often contain less available B than fine-textured soils. For this reason, B deficiency often occurs in sandy soil (Fleming, 1980; Gupta, 1983). The level of native B is closely related to clay content of the soil (Elrashidi & O' Connor, 1982). At the same water-soluble B content, B uptake was highest in plants growing in the soil with the coarsest texture (Wear & Patterson, 1962). It increased as the clay content increased. Of the clay types commonly found in soil, illite adsorbed more B than either kaolinite or montmorillonite. Kaolinite in acid red soils absorbed the least. It was found that B adsorption was greater for Fe and Al coated kaolinite or montmorillonite than for uncoated clays. They concluded that hydroxy Fe


Parent material

In general, soils derived from igneous rocks and soils in tropical and temperate regions of the world, have much lower B content than soils derived from sedimentary rocks, or those in arid or semi-arid regions. Soils of marine or marine shale origin are usually high in B. Low B content can be expected in soils derived from acid granite and other

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Micronutrients in horticultural crops

and Al compounds present as silicates or as impurities were dominant over clay mineral species per se in determining B adsorption characteristics. Soil moisture Boron availability generally decreases as soils become dry, so that boron deficiency is more likely in plants suffering from water deficit. This may be because plants encounter less available B when they extract moisture from soil at a lower depth during dry conditions. Wetting and drying cycles increased the amount of B fixed. Flood irrigation resulted in leaching of B. Temperature Boron adsorption rises with higher soil temperatures and reduces availability. However, this may reflect on interaction between soil temperature and soil moisture, since B deficiency is often associated with dry summer conditions. High sunlight and low temperature also aggravate B deficiency. Organic matter Many researchers have suggested that levels of soil organic matter influence availability of B to plants. The strongest evidence that organic matter affects availability of soil B is derived from studies that show positive correlation between levels of soil organic matter and amount of available B and uptake by plants (Gupta, 1983, Chang et al 1993). The association between B and soil organic matter is caused by assimilation of B by soil microbes. Although B present in soil organic matter is not immediately available to plants, it seems to be a major source of available boron when released through mineralization. Irrigation water Water used for irrigation also has B content and water from semi-arid regions or saline soils has boron content of 0.001 ppm to 0.01ppm Low boron concentration and its impact What makes B unique among all other micronutrients in horticultural crops is its effect on reproductive physiology. Low B affects the plant right from seed-set to fruit-set and formation (Fig 1). This is because of its role in cell wall development, cell elongation and membrane stability. Higher B content needed for reproductive parts Sexual reproduction is more sensitive to low B than vegetative growth, and a marked reduction in fruit-set can

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Source: Dell and Huang (1997) Fig 1. Life-cycle of an angiosperm emphasizing stages when inadequate boron supply may directly or indirectly impact reproductive development. Consequences of B deficiency shown at (a)­(f) are: (a) impaired inflorescence/flower formation; (b) infertile or aborted pollen; (c) reduced recognition of pollen by the stigmatic surface; (d) impaired pollen germination; (e) impaired pollen tube growth in astylar tissue leading to reduced seed and fruit set; (f) impaired seed development, eg, hollow heart, shrivelled seed; (g) abnormal seedlings, reduced seedling vigour

occur without expression of B deficiency symptoms in vegetative parts. The most intricate aspect of B nutrition is highlighted by the fact that reproductive parts in both monocots and dicots require 2-4 times more B. The vast difference in B in low supply and adequate supply needs to be kept in mind while supplying B for optimum yield. Maintaining high B levels in reproductive parts is a vital component of efficient B management for yield in horticultural crops. Boron mobility in horticultural crops: Horticultural crops vary widely in their boron mobility in phloem; hence, B deficiency is more widespread than any other micronutrient deficiency (Gupta, 1983). Occurrence of brown heart in turnip, radish and storage roots of rootabaga and hollow stem in cauliflower and broccoli are due to B deficiency (Shelp and Shattuck, 1987a; Shelp et al, 1987, 1992a). Poor fruit and seed set in nut crops, even when there is no


Edward Raja

symptom on leaves, indicates that B deficiency is physiological in nature (Nyomora et al, 1997). For tissue analysis, growing tissues are sampled in B immobile plants; whereas, in plants where B is mobile, even fruits and mature leaves are sampled. For B management in anticipated B deficiency, foliar spray is adequate in B mobile plants (apple), whereas, in B immobile (mango) plants; correction is difficult. Both soil and foliar spray, especially at flowering, are essential in B immobile plants. Prognosis and diagnosis of B deficiency Prognosis by B analysis is done for ascertaining B deficiency for preventive management, whereas, diagnosis is done for curative management. Critical B concentration for different crops varies between 3-7 mgkg-1 (for wheat) to 50-75 mgkg-1 (for mango), indicating the vast difference in crop requirement for B and the need for a sensitive prognosis programme for optimum fruit and vegetable production. Young, Fully Expanded Leaf (YFEL) seems to be ideal for forecasting the response to B application.

Table 2. Boron distribution (mg B kg ) in shoots of field-grown apple and walnut Leaf age Crop Apple (Malus domestica) Old Mature Young, expanded Expanding Meristematic 50 57 56 73 70 Walnut (Juglans regia) 304 225 127 62 48



Source: Brown and Shelp, 1997

Walnut (terminal leaflet)

Fig 2. Leaf-B concentration (mg kg-1 dry wt) in field-grown apple and walnut. Leaves were collected at the end of the growing season in 1995 in the pomology orchard, Davis, California, USA. The two species were grown in close proximity and received the same irrigation. B distribution in leaves also highlights B mobility and its effect. In a B mobile plant (apple), the meristem has more B than do old leaves, but, is low in meristem in immobile plant (walnut)

Table 3. Critical boron concentration (mg B kg-1) or concentration range in leaves of plants for prognosis for B deficiency Species Leaf and plant-age or growth-stage Critical B concentration or range (mg/kg) 20­24 16­18 9­13 7­10 8­9 24 37­44 3­7 50-75 35-40 Australia; Pregno andArmour (1992) Canada Gupta and Cutcliffe (1972) Thailand; Rerkasem and Loneragan (1994) India; Agarwala (1988) India; Iyengar and Edward Raja (1988) Country and Source

Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) Broccoli (Brassica oleracea) Brussel's sprout (B. oleracea) Cauliflower (B. olreacea) Potato (Solanum tuberosum) Rutabaga (Brassica napobrassica) Wheat (Triticum aestivum) Mango (Mangifera indica) Tomato F1 Hybrid (Lycopersicon escule1

YFEL ­ 37 daysafter sowing YFEL ­ 75 days after sowing YFEL blade when 5% heads formed YFEL blade when5% heads formed YFEL blade when 5% heads formed YFEL ­ 7 weeks after sowing Youngest mature leaf blade at 5­6 leaves YEB ­ booting Young leaves Young leaves

Columbia; Howeler et al (1978)

Canada; Gupta and Cutcliffe (1973, 1975)

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Micronutrients in horticultural crops

Effect of B on yield Metabolic requirement for B varies with plant and plant species. The data (Table 4) highlight that vegetative parts exhibit B deficiency symptoms at low B levels, while, the reproductive parts show symptoms at higher B levels. Monocots like wheat are known to exhibit symptoms at lower B concentrations than dicots like sunflower, which need 10 times more B. The fastest response to any nutrient deficiency is observed in the case of B. Within 3 hours of withholding B, root growth stops, and, deficiency symptoms are visible even when adequate B is present in the soil but is unavailable, due to low soil-mixture or poor transpiration (Dell and Huang, 1997). Plant factors and prognosis for B deficiency Plant species differ in their capacity to take up B even when grown in the same soil. These differences generally reflect different boron requirements for growth. In most dicotyledonous species such as papaya, the requirement is 80-100 mg. Difference in B demand of graminaceous and dicotyledonous species is probably related to difference in their cell wall composition. Interestingly, these two plant groups also differ in their capacity for silicon uptake, which is usually inversely related to B and Ca requirement (Loomis and Durst, 1992). All three elements are located mainly in the cell wall. Reports on Ca/B interaction are thus far inconclusive (Gupta, 1979). However, these interactions are likely to have a physiological basis. Both elements are likely to have similar structural functions in the cell- wall and at cell-wall plasma membrane interface, and, similar interactions in uptake & shoot transport, and in IAA transport. These common features also explain certain similarities in symptoms of calcium and boron deficiency in peanut seeds and lettuce (Crisp and Reid, 1964). Revolution in mango yield in India by B nutrition using the Brazilian experience In India, mango is grown in about 1.6 milion ha, with productivity of 6-7t/ha, compared to 20-25 t/ha in

Species Wheat (Triticum aestivum) Plant organ showing deficiency symptom Youngest emerged leaves Ear at booting Carpels at booting Anthers at anthesis Rutabaga (Brassica napobrassica) Mango (Mangifera indica) Youngest mature leaves Fruit

Mexico/Brazil and 25-30 t/ha in South Africa. Poor micronutrient nutrition, especially B, is one of the causes for such a huge yield gap (Edward Raja et al, 2005). Deficiency of B results in poor and non-uniform flowering, low fruit-set, increased fruit drop and poor quality produce. Mango is a B loving crop and the critical level ranges between 75-100 ppm (Agarwala, 1988). Rossetto et al (2000) recorded tremendous response to B by application of 300g borax/tree as soil application. This response varied from 200% for cv.Tommy Atkins to 500% for cv. Haden 2H and Vandyke, but one cultivar Winter did not respond to B(Table 5). This highlights the tremendous potential of B for increasing yield in mango. But another point to note here is that Brazilian soils have low pH and hence availability of applied B is high. Edward Raja et al (2005) observed a significant yield response to B in cultivar Alphonso in Konkan, which has climate and soil similar to that in Brazil.

Why is widespread B deficiency seen in mango in Konkan region (India)?

1. Since B is the only micronutrient lost to leaching, heavy rainfall (2200mm/yr) in the region results in low soil B status (<0-3 ppm)

Fig 3. Young fruits of mango cv. Van Dyke. Fruit with leatherycolor typical of low boron (left) and normal green fruit (right) Source: Rossetto et al (2000)

Table 4. Boron concentration in plant parts exhibiting B deficiency symptoms B in affected plant part(mg-1kg) <1 3­7 <6 <9 2­7 <20 Gupta and Cutcliffe (1972) Ram et al (1989) Reference Huang et al (1996) Rerkasem and Loneragan (1994) Rerkasem and Lordkaew (1996)

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Edward Raja

Table 5. Average yield of four mango cultivars, expressed in kilograms per hectare, over a six year period (1993-1998), showing the effect of soil boron application in half the blocks in the last three years, plus, the medium leaf-content of boron; Each figure is the mean of 27 observations (3 rootstocks, 3 blocks, 3 years) in Votuporanga, SP, Brazil Boron Blocks without boron Cultivar Winter TommyAtkins Van Dyke Haden 2H Mean Winter Tommy Atkins Van Dyke Haden 2H Mean kg ha -1 1993-94-95 8,379 a* 6,816 a 6,608 b 1,951 b 5,188 Leaf boron mg kg-1 kg ha -1 July 95 1996-97-98 8.2 9.0 8.4 8.7 8.5 19,489 a* 9,807 b 2,697 c 3,375 c 8,842 Leaf boron mg kg -1 Dec.98 7.7 7.6 8.2 8.1 8.1 Yield Increment 2.3 1.4 0.7 1.7 Yield increment 2.6 3.8 13.1 10.5

Block showing boron effect, from 1996

`Without boron' effect 6,426 a* 8.2 4,288 a 9.1 1,288 b 7.6 1,406 b 10.0 3,352 8.7

`With boron' effect 17,114 a* 26.2 16,272 a 29.9 16,874 a 23.9 14,820 a 29.6 16,270 27.4

Mean, followed by the same letter, does not differ by Tukey test at 5% Source: Rossetto et al (2000)


Since B uptake by xylem occurs through passive uptake, high humidity (60-80%) in the region also reduces B uptake by mango trees 3. Probable mismatch between need and availability; Boron is needed in Nov/Dec when flowering and fruitset occurs (as, it is important in pollination). Since 90% of mango is grown as rain-fed crop, the soil becomes dry in December when available is B low and B demand is highest. This mismatch between availability and need is probably another major reason for hidden hunger and visible deficiency of B in India, and in Konkan in particular Occurrence of boron deficiency and response in papaya Among fruit crops, papaya is extremely susceptible to boron deficiency common in latisols and old slate alluvial soils in upland areas of Taiwan (Wang and Ko, 1975; Chang, 1993). This is more likely when papaya trees are planted in sandy soils during dry season. One of the earliest signs of boron deficiency is mild chlorosis in mature leaves which become brittle, and tend to curl downwards. A white "latex" exudate may flow from cracks in the upper part of the trunk, from leaf stalk, and from the underside of main veins and petiole. Death of the growing points is followed by regeneration of side-shoots that ultimately die. In fruiting plants, the earliest indication is flower-shedding. When fruits develop, they are likely to secrete white latex. Later, the fruit becomes deformed and lumpy. The deformation is probably a result of incomplete fertilization, as most of the seeds in the seed-cavity are either abortive, poorly developed or absent. If symptoms begin when the fruit is very small, it does not grow to full size. Papaya fruits having a rugged surface and secreting latex are typical symptoms of boron

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deficiency. In studies on boron deficiency in papaya in Taiwan, samples were taken from the 10 th leaf blade (without petiole), counted from the 1st leaf (the mostrecently-matured leaf, with a leaf blade that has only just fully-developed, and which has a brownish colored petiole). Standard sampling of this kind can effectively reflect variations in boron content in different orchards. Boron content of the tenth blade of papaya trees with deformed fruits was always found to be lower than 20 ppm, while that of leaves from normal trees was generally 25-155 ppm. Curative management of boron deficiency For tree crops application of B as Borax at planting is suggested for example, Borax @ 10g/banana plant, 50100g/mango plant, 20-25g/papaya plant should be applied, supplemented with foliar spray at 25% flowering. At flowering, Solubor (20% B) is an ideal source of B for foliar spray, followed by boric acid (17% B). Boron is a phytotoxic element and care should be taken to avoid toxicity. Older leaves show toxic symptoms of necrosis of margins. Slow-release B source in soil, with foliar spray of Solubor, is an ideal approach to avoid toxicity and deficiency in highrainfall areas.


Zinc nutrition in horticultural crops Among micronutrients, Zn occupies an important place due to its ability to positively influence plant growth and development. Zinc enhances seed-viability, seedlingvigour and imparts resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses (Cakmak, 2008). Zinc is highly immobile in soil and its deficiency is common in mango, banana, guava, litchi, apple, grape and pomegranate. Little-leaf and rosette symptoms are the most common visual indicators of Zn deficiency.


Micronutrients in horticultural crops

Chemistry of Zn availability in horticultural crops a. Soil reaction (pH) Among soil chemical factors, soil pH plays the most important role in Zn solubility in soil solution. In pH range between 5.5 and 7.0, Zn concentration in soil solution decreases 30 to 45-fold for each unit increase in soil pH, thus increasing the risk of Zn deficiency in plants (Marschner, 1993). Increasing soil pH stimulates absorption of Zn to soil constituents (eg. metal oxides, clay minerals) and reduces adsorption of the adsorbed Zn. Lindsay (1991) reported that at pH 5.0, concentration of Zn2+ in soil solution is sufficiently high, about 10-4 M (6.5 mg/ kg). When soil pH increases from 5 to 8, concentration of soil solution Zn2+ reduces by nearly 1000 times and becomes nearly 10-10 M (approx. 0.007 mg kg­1). Consequently, increase in soil pH is associated with very sharp decrease in concentrations of Zn in plant tissues (Marschner, 1995). b. Moisture Transport of Zn to root-surface in soils occurs predominantly by diffusion, and this process is highly sensitive to soil pH and moisture (Wilkinson et al, 1968). Soil moisture is a key physical factor providing suitable medium for adequate Zn diffusion into plant roots. The role of soil moisture is very critical in soils with low Zn availability (Marschner, 1993). Zinc nutrition in plants is, therefore, adversely affected under water stress conditions, particularly in regions where topsoils are usually dry during later stages of crop growth. Occurrence of Zn deficiency stress and consequent decrease in crop yield were found to be more severe under rainfed (compared to irrigated) conditions (Bagchi et al, 2007). c. Organic matter Soil organic matter plays a critical role in solubility and transport of Zn to plant roots (Marscher, 1993). In a study with 18 different soils, there was a strong inverse relationship between content of soil organic matter and soluble Zn concentration in the rhizosphere (Catlett et al, 2002). These results indicate that the pool of readily available Zn to plant roots may be extremely low in soils with high pH, and, reduced levels of organic matter and soil moisture (Takkar, 1999; Cakmak et al, 1999). Removal of micronutrients by different crops indicates that removal of micronutrients is not substantial compared to soil reserves of both available and total micronutrients (Graham, 2002). Available Zn levels in mango orchards of peninsular India indicate adequate soil reserves of Zn, but leaf Zn status

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indicates deficiency in a majority of the soils, due to a combination of low moisture, low organic matter and high pH (Agarwala, 1988). Zinc deficiency correction in tree crops Confusion prevails in the minds of growers and scientists regarding the right choice for Zn amendment [ZnSO4 or ZnEDTA (chelate) and its mode of application]. All studies have indicated that 0.5% ZnSO4 as foliar spray is better than other treatments for correction of Zn deficiency, and this method is more efficient in economic and environmental terms. But, 2 ­ 4 foliar sprays are essential for consistent correction and to obtain leaf zinc concentration of 25 ­ 75 ppm, required for optimum yield. Apart form foliar spray, applying composted manure is essential for making soil Zn too available to the plant. Hence, no exclusive, single method is advisable. Use of chelated Zn sources for soil or as foliar spray is not needed, since these are par with ZnSO4. Zn-solublizing bacteria can mitigate the widespread zinc deficiency in fruit grapes. Subramaniam et al (2006) observed that a strain of Pseudomonas fluorescens solubilized soil-Zn. Along with Zn-solubiling bacteria, foliar spray of B, Mn and Fe resulted in increased yield and quality in grapes.


Iron nutrition in horticultural crops Iron deficiency is easy to identify but difficult to correct. Iron is chemically unavailable in the soil, and physiologically unavailable in the plant. The paradox is that soil has about 10000-100000 ppm total iron, but the plant needs only 30-50 ppm. It is not the quantity of Iron that is important but the quality. Description of the thirsty sailor crying in the midst of the seawater, "water, water everywhere, not a drop to drink" aptly describes availability of soil-iron to the plant. Another paradox in iron nutrition is lime-induced iron chlorosis in plants, wherein, deficient leaves have more Fe than healthy leaves, making leaf analysis for Fe unreliable for judging iron-nutrition. Diagnosis of iron chlorosis in tree crops Prognosis of Fe deficiency is a challenging task, since iron deficiency (iron-chlorosis) is an important nutritional disorder in horticultural crops, in general, and tree crops, in particular. It does not occur due to low level of Fe in the soil but from impaired acquisition and use by plants. The most prevalent cause of iron chlorosis is bicarbonate levels in soils (Pestana et al, 2003) or the bicarbonate present in irrigation water (Tagliarani and Rombola, 2001). Prognosis


Edward Raja

of iron deficiency is important, since correction is a costly and tedious process. Soil tests For annual crops, soil tests are useful but, for tree crops, it is of limited value since the roots are deep and unevenly distributed. Soil tests for lime-induced chlorosis need to focus on a. Use of extractants capable of chelating the metal b. Determination of active lime-content c. Lime in silt-clay and fractions of soil Plant analysis a. Visual scoring: This is a fast and economical method (Samz and Montanes, 1997). The score ranges from 0 (without symptom) to 5 (trees with dead branches and pale young leaves). It can be quantified by SPAD apparatus that measures leaf transmittance at two wavelengths, 650 and 950 nm, and is a measure of chlorophyll. But the limitation is that by the time chlorosis appears, correction is no longer possible. b. Plant analysis: Leaf analysis is still the common method and is based on growth rate of plants and their nutrient content. But, it has several limitations in lime-induced chlorosis, viz., i. Chlorosis Parad: This is the phenomenon of absence of correlation between leaf Fe concentration and degree of chlorosis. Iron concentrations on dry weight basis are frequently more in chlorotic leaves than in green leaves, which is due to inactivation of Fe. Analysis of active iron : Analysis of active iron [(Fe (II)] is carried out using extractants like acetic, nitric and hydrochloric acids, O-phenanthrolone (Rashid et al, 1990). But these methods also have limitations as they remove Fe from phytoferrin, which is part of the pigment and make Fe not available for other metabolic role. More over by the time the active Fe is estimated, it may be too late for correction. Flower analysis : Flower analysis is the currently more acceptable method for deciduous fruit trees and citrus, since correction is possible before fruit set. The Fe content in flowers is well correlated with leaf chlorophyll status in deciduous trees with the exception of sweet orange where it is negatively correlated (Pestana et al, 2003). Nutrient ratios in flowers : Since Fe analysis of flowers is not acceptable for both deciduous and



evergreen tree crops, some phenomena like increase in K in flowers due to iron chlorosis is used for prognosis. The K: Zn ratio in the flowers is fairly consistent and a value above 450 indicates the potential for preventive correction of iron chlorosis. Enzyme assay : Inspite of all the refinements in mineral analysis, the difficulty in differentiating metabolic / active Fe from non-active Fe is still difficult. The assay for enzyme chlorophyllase activity is another useful option for assaying for chlorosis for its prevention especially hidden hunger. This form of iron chlorosis is looming large over tree crops like grapes, mango, citrus and banana grown in winter months in calcareous soils.

Correction of Fe chlorosis

Though Fe is one of the most abundant elements in soil, its deficiency in plant tissues is a major challenge. Shortterm correction by organic manures (produced in India) is not suitable due to inadequate quality standards (CN ratio, humification, pH, exchange capacity). A wide CN ratio induces Fe deficiency rather than correct Fe deficiency, by producing bicarbonates from the CO 2 released from undecomposed carbon. Citrus, mango, grape and apple are known for their susceptibility to Fe deficiency, but prognosis is at its infancy. Presently, applying organic manure and use of multi-nutrient sprays are the only feeble attempts in iron deficiency management. The estimate of loss by hidden hunger for Fe has not been done, since, it is not recognized. Iron deficiency prevention by use of ideal rootstocks About 1/3rd of Indian soils are calcareous, and iron deficiency is a major nutritional problem in such soils (Ray Chaudry and Govindarajan, 1969). They are highly buffered, with pH 7.5 to 8.2, and have bicarbonate affecting soil and plant Fe availability. Chlorophyll content decreases and carotenoid pigment increases in such soils. The iron deficiency occurs as visible and hidden hunger. This limeinduced chlorosis delays fruit-ripening, resulting in impaired quality in peach and orange (Pestna et al, 2001). Mandarins, limes and lemons are moderately tolerant to Fe deficiency. Work of Pestana et al (2000) indicated that Troyer citrange rootstocks are very tolerant. Nikolic et al (2000) observed differential foliar tolerance to iron chlorosis in grape. Kadman and Gazit (1984) identified mango rootstocks tolerant to Fe deficiency. Edward Raja (2009) identified mango cultivars tolerant to Fe deficiency. Correction of Fe deficiency is the most difficult if suitable rootstock is not available.




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Micronutrients in horticultural crops

Iron chlorosis in ornamental crops Ornamental crops like rose, gerbera, gladiolus, and chrysanthemum are susceptible to Fe deficiency. Crops like jasmine (Jasminum auriculatum and J. sambac and Crossandra suffer Fe deficiency. Free calcium carbonate and high pH are the reasons for the incidence of iron chlorosis. Jasminum grandiflorum is tolerant to iron chlorosis (Kannan and Ramani, 1988). Remedial measures like soil or foliar application are only temporary. Identification of high yielding, efficient cultivars of crop plants should be the goal to manage iron chlorosis on a longterm basis. Edward Raja (1990) screened 22 chrysanthemum cultivars for tolerance to iron and observed that only four cultivars were tolerant to chlorosis. Since chrysanthemum is highly susceptible to Fe deficiency, crossing these tolerant cultivars with susceptible ones may help manage chlorosis by transferring the tolerance. In polyhouse grown rose, Fe deficiency is a serious problem, resulting in 20 ­ 30% of roses getting rejected as unmarketable. Of the ten cultivars screened for tolerance, cv. Kanfetti and First Red were found to be moderately tolerant. Chen and Barak (1983) observed that foliar spray of FeSO4 with a non-ionic surfactant L-77, and, application of Fe-1 EDDHA, were effective in correcting iron chlorosis in soil at pH 7.7. Chemical degradation in soil / irrigation water and iron deficiency Due to increasing use of chemical fertilizers, the quality of irrigation water is deteriorating. Monitoring irrigation-water quality in grape orchards around Bangalore indicated increasing level of bicarbonate (HCO3) 1.1 to 4.6 meq/l and NO3-N from traces to 0.8 meq/l over a period of 10 years from 1998 (Table 6). NO3-N enhances rhizosphere pH by physiological alkalinity and HCO3 makes Fe inactive in the leaf and results in chlorosis- paradox. This is danger in all horticultural crops, especially grape, since hidden hunger for Fe deficiency will only increase in future. A study on build-up of heavy metals like Zn and Cu in grape orchards of Rural Bangalore revealed that heavy metal content increased by 60 to 120% over a period of 10 years. These heavy metals, when present in excess induce iron chlorosis. Hence, balanced nutrition with adequate humified organic manures, alone can reduce the dangers of widespread iron chlorosis. Therefore, foliar correction of micronutrients, especially Zn, is recommended. Else, Zn toxicity induced Fe deficiency, coupled with poor quality irrigation, will further aggravate Fe-deficiency in horticultural crops.

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Table 6. Change in quality of irrigation water over a period of 10 years in grape orchards in Bangalore district Parameter pH EC Cl NO 3 SO4 CO 3 HCO 3 Ca Na RSC SAR Unit In 1998 -- dSm-1 meq/l meq/l meq/l meq/l meq/l meq/l meq/l meq/l meq/l meq/l 6.50 0.44 1.88 Traces 0.160 0 1.102 2.200 1.822 1.89 Traces 0.660 Value In 2008 7.12 0.909 2.572 0.820 0.180 0 4.590 2.699 1.922 2.464 Traces 1.666


Occurrence of Mn deficiency in acid lime in orchards of southern India have been reported by Edward Raja (1992). Mn deficiency in older trees (25-30) of mango has also been recorded (Edward Raja, unpublished data).


The beneficial effect of cobalt in nodulation is wellknown and hence it is imperative that adequate cobalt supply is made to lignin vegetables like French bean, garden pea, pea and other vegetable beans, and take advantage of their capacity for symbiotic N2 fixation. Economy in N also assures better soil-health due to reduced NO3 pollution and better organic matter status even in marginal soils.


Ni as a micronutrient It is becoming apparent that Ni is likely a far more limiting factor in agriculture than previously supposed (Bai et al, 2006; Wood and Reilly,2006). Thus potential sources of Ni fertilizers are likely to be increasingly required, depending on usage situations. Discovery of field-level nickel deficiency in agriculture provides an opportunity to correct micronutrient deficiencies using biomass of hyperaccumulating plants. Ni is increasingly recognized as an essential mineral nutrient element for higher plants. Ni deficiency was discovered to be the cause of a mysterious malady of pecan, termed "mouse-ear", and of an increasingly common replant malady in old or second generation, pecan orchards. This has established a need for commercial Ni fertilizers (Wood et al, 2004). Deficiency can also have a major impact on primary and secondary metabolism (Bai et al, 2006) and can also potentially influence plant resistance to certain diseases (Wood and Reilly, 2006). Walker et al


Edward Raja

(1985) observed that Ni was needed in cowpea in reproductive stages. According to Brown et al (1984), Ni has a wide range of functions in plant growth, plant senescence and N metabolism.


Micronutrient management at the field level involves prognosis and diagnosis, followed by correction of the disorder. For diagnosis of hidden hunger, leaf analysis is being practiced. According to Loneragan (1997), expertise in diagnosis of micronutrients is the most challenging aspect of micronutrient management, since, it poses more difficulties than macronutrients. Most of the difficulties arise from experimental material (seeds, fertilizers and sampling / analysis of farmers' crops) and experimental trials. The concept of `critical level' by Cate and Nelson (1962) and optimum leaf nutrient norms by Beaufils (1967) have been used by many research workers to develop leaf nutrient norms to diagnose leaf tissue to check whether it is deficient or healthy. Though these efforts are an improvement over the earlier diagnostic methods, we need to exercise circumspection in using these data. A perusal of Table 7 indicates leaf nutrient norms developed for mango for commercial cultivars of India and South Africa. The former is for a yield of 7-10/ha and the latter for a yield level of 30 t/ha. Productivity of mango in India is the lowest (6.8 t/ha) in the world. Therefore, development of leaf nutrient norms for such low yields is a point worth considering and hence the question. Is it relevant to analyze the leaf for low and unprofitable yield ? One more caution to be exercised is checking variability in leaf nutrient norms. The optimum value of manganese for Alphonso (Table 7) ranges between 13408 ppm. Can a plant be healthy at this vast range ? Also, the Fe value for Alphonso is vastly different from Fe value for Totapuri. In this context, only diagnosis based on some metabolic function like photosynthesis or, any enzyme in which the nutrient is structurally associated, is relevant. Valenzuele and Romero(1988) recommended the use of biochemical indicators like penexidare, catalane, chlorophyll, carotenoid and anthocynain to analyze Fe deficiency. Success in diagnosis is fundamental to success in correction and profitable yield/quality. DRIS and micronutrient diagnosis DRIS is one of the important methods for diagnosing the limiting nutrient and its strength lies in diagnosis by ratio norms. Though research work on DRIS as a tool for nutrient diagnosis, was initiated as early as in 1988 (Bhargava and Chadha, 1988) no leaf analysis lab in the country uses

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nutrient ratio norms for providing service to farmers. Leaf nutrient standards for low, optimum and high ranges in high yielding orchards (using standard deviation from the mean) also need to be validated in the field before being used in leaf analysis service. Identifying limiting nutrients without analyzing B content, the most important micronutrient for horticultural crops is also is of limited use. If the leaf is not analyzed for B, even if another nutrient is identified as most limiting may not help in the response to that nutrient, since B figures in the Liebig stress category. Soil test values and tree micronutrient status Since leaf analysis is more useful than soil test for making nutrient management decisions in perennial crops, not much work has been done on this aspect. But, work conducted earlier indicated poor relationship between soil test and plant micronutrient status. Conventional soil tests are generally done to predict soil capability for supplying micronutrients during growth. The fundamental requirement of a soil test is that it should extract all or proportionate amount of plant-available nutrient which should correlate with or predict crop-response to application of the nutrient tested. Viets (1952) opined suggested that micronutrients are found in five chemical pools : 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Water soluble Exchangeable Absorbed, chelated or complexed Secondary clay minerals and metal oxides Primary minerals Edward Raja and Iyengar (1986) fractionated alfisoils (red soil), vertisoils (black soil) and high altitude soils for native and applied Zn, and found that only the first 3 fractions (watersoluble, exchangeable and complexed Zn fractions) contributed to uptake by tomato, but more than 80-90% of applied Zn accumulated in the last two fractions. The incubation study on fate of applied Zn in seven different soil types established that bulk of the applied Zn became unavailable within 48 h of application to soil (Iyengar and Edward Raja, 1988). In calcearous and clayey soil, about 70-80% applied Zn became unavailable (DTPA extractable), whereas, in the acidic and high organic-matter rich coffee soils of Kodagu, 30-40% of the applied Zn was still available. Hence, soil application to correct Zn deficiency is recommended mainly in acid soils rich in organic matter. Since use-efficiency of applied micronutrients (Zn, Mn, Fe and Cu) is very low (3-5%), it is better to resort to foliar spray than soil application to correct micronutrient disorders in perennial fruits (Alloway, 2008).


Micronutrients in horticultural crops

Table. 7. Optimum leaf nutrient norms for important mango cultivars Parameter N % (Range) P % (Range) K % (Range) Ca % (Range) Mg % (Range) S % (Range) Fe mg/kg (Range) Mn mg/kg (Range) Zn mg/kg (Range) Cu mg/kg (Range) Boron mg/kg (Range) Yield (t/ha) Alphonso (India) 0.78 - 1.65 0.02 - 033 0.77 - 1.73 0.76 - 1.63 0.40 - 0.65 0.035 - 0.131 657 - 963 13 - 408 7.8 - 18.3 14.3 - 17.8 Totapuri (India) 0.84 - 1.53 0.064 - 0.147 0.52 - 1.10 1.67 - 3.20 0.40 - 0.65 0.0147 - 0.215 48 - 86 57 - 174 25 - 33 3.10 - 8.00 All varieties of South Africa 1.0 - 1.2 0.08 - 0.1 0.8 - 1.1 2.0 - 3.3 0.2 - 0.3 0.1 - 0.2 190 - 310 170 - 150 30 - 75 9 - 18 40-80 (3-0.6 Mo) 6 10 30

carried out field trials in L Rioja in 1999. Application of B resulted in better coloured red wine. As mentioned earlier, mango is a B-loving crop and, therefore, continuous adequate quantity of B is essential for yield, quantity and post-harvest life. Soil application in July at 100-150g Borax/plant followed by foliar spray in Dec. Jan. and March is essential for high yield, quality and postharvest life. Trials conducted in Konkan and Maharashtra indicated that adequate B resulted in reduction in spongy tissue from 35% to 10%. Work conducted in farmer-fields indicated that 1% Solubor resulted in higher yield (8t/ha) and enhanced post- harvest life from 4 days to 14 days in B-sprayed plants (Edward Raja, 2009). Flowering was early by 3 weeks and, therefore, harvest was advanced by 3 weeks, enabling farmers to market their produce early to get a better price. The quality of horticultural produce in terms of colour, size, TSS and nutrients/nutraceuticals are important factors in deciding consumer acceptance and marketability, ultimately deciding the profitability to the producer. Micronutrients have a definite and significant effect on quality. Fruit-cracking due to cuticle damage is a serious problem in tomato grown under protected cultivation in South Africa. The study by Jobin et al (2002) indicated that B+Ca spray on the fruit resulted in reduced fruitcracking. Application of micronutrients (Zn, Fe and B) by spray on Kinnow mandarin increased yield, juice and ascorbic acid content besides reducing acidity and improving TSS (Mishra et al, 2006). Boron is needed for cell-wall synthesis and reduction in cracking in tree fruits. Studies by Singh et al (2003) indicated that B application by spray @ 0.1 to 0.4% along with GA3 (10 to 100 ppm) resulted, in increase in yield and reduced cracking of fruits in pomegranate. The marketable yield increased by 10-15% and profit by 20%. A study conducted in Mexico on the effect of Ca, B and Zn on quality and storage of peach indicated that pulp firmness, TSS, titrable acidity and storage life improved with B applied as pre-harvest spray. In greenhouse production systems, yield and quality of tomato was a problem. In a study on the effect of B on tomato, Smith and Comtrink (2004) observed that B application increased Ca, Mg & Zn content, besides improving firmness, colour, total solids, and shelf-life in tomato.

Source: South Africa mango growers Year Book 2003 / IIHR, Folder No-45-0 2007

Photosynthesis and micronutrient deficiency Micronutrient deficiencies affect carbohydrate pools and photosynthesis. Reduction in chlorophyll content leads to chlorosis in leaves, ultimately affecting the chloroplast system and photosynthesis (Balakrishnan et al, 2000). Fe, Mn and Zn levels affect the chlorophyll content. Micronutrient disorders exercise their influence by affecting photosynthesis and carbohydrate accumulation/translocation and there is a need for determining adverse effects of micronutrient disorders by effect on photosynthetic apparatus and photosynthesis. This approach would give a better idea of adverse effects of deficiencies. Micronutrients and quality of horticultural crops Horticultural crops differ in quality, which can affect profitability for the same level of productivity. Micronutrients have the capacity to improve quality, size, colour, taste, and earliness of horticultural produce. Sufficient data are available to show the positive effect of boron on juice purity in sugar beet. This occurs due to decrease in excess nitrogen content in roots. It has been suggested that B might be involved in regulation and uptake of nitrate ions. Part of the effects of deficiency are due to toxic accumulation of nitrates in the plant. It has been amply demonstrated that increased doses of nitrogen in boron deficient condition (which may happen in intensive orchards among different European countries) may reduce B uptake and suppress yield. With an aim of studying the role of boron on sugar transport in grapes, and its effect on the coloration of red wines, Borax

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Micronutrients and input-use efficiency

All studies on response to micronutrients involve application of macronutrients, and, any yield increase due to application of micronutrient necessarily indicates that the efficiency of applied NPK fertilizers is enhanced. Indian


Edward Raja

farmers use about 2 million tons of fertilizers, valued at Rs.4,00,000 crore and a subsidy of Rs.48,000 crore is borne by the government, for fertilizers. If micronutrient application can save even 20% on fertilizers, the benefit is substantial, besides the added benefits to environment. More important is the fact that in B-deficient soils, water stress can damage crops more fiercely than in B-sufficient soils. In some studies on oilseed rape (Brassica napus) in B-deficient soils (without added boron), water stress treatment significantly increased root dry weight, but decreased shoot dry weight, resulting in decreased shoot/root ratio. Applied boron may improve the translocation of N compounds (Miley et al, 1969). French bean is a poor nodulating legume, hence, inorganic N fertilizer is applied (due to inadequate symbiotically-fixed N). Low availability of Fe and Zn in the soil were identified as one of the causes for poor nodulation. Supplying Fe and Zn resulted in better nodulation and N fixation, according to Hemantaranjan and Garg (1986). It is well-established that Fe is an integral part of the nitrogenfixing complex i.e, nitrogen-fixing enzyme (nitrogenase), leg hemoglobin and terridoxin (Evans and Russell, 1971). Subsequent study by Hemantaranjan (1988) indicated that application of chelated iron as Fe-EDTA and Fe-EDDHA at 5-10 ppm increased functional nodules and N-fixed symbiotically and total dry matter in French bean. Dry matter yield increased from 25 g to 46.3 g with Fe-EDDHA, nitrogen content from 360 mg N/pot to 673 mg N/pot, an increase of above 60% N fixed. Rai et al ( 1984 ) also recorded increased N fixation in lentil due to Fe application. But, excess Fe decreased N fixation, indicating a need for the correct dose of micronutrients and a possibility of toxicity. Application of 5 to 10 ppm Zn and Fe individually, and together, resulted in better `functional nodulation' and seed in Varanasi soils pH 7.5. These findings encourage us to focus on micronutrient nutrition of legumes in general, and French bean in particular, for reducing inorganic N use in vegetable cultivation. Molybdenum is also involved in functional nodulation and N fixation in legumes along with Fe and, hence, adequate Mo supply is also needed to encourage symbiotic N fixation and reduce dependence on fertilizer nitrogen. Molybdenum is needed in a very low quantity. In bold-seeded legumes like French bean, pea, cowpea and garden pea, the seed itself can be enriched, since seed legumes have the capacity to accumulate molybdenum to a very high level. When garden pea had 0.17 ppm molybdenum (which is low), it responded to soil application of Mo, whereas, it failed to

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respond to external application of Mo when the seed had 0.65 ppm of Mo. Gurley and Gidden (1969) corrected Mo deficiency in soybean by seed enrichment to 20-30 times the normal seed-Mo level, thereby avoiding the deficiency. Cobalt too has been involved in enhancing nitrogen fixation and improving N economy. Micronutrients and disease resistance / tolerance in plants Importance of adequate nutrition for disease resistance in humans is something most people accept from personal experience. Although this vital principle is also wellrecognized in plant science, it is often ignored in practical agriculture. This is especially true of micronutrients. Of the many reviews dealing with plant nutrition and disease (Graham, 1983), few have seriously considered micronutrients. However, the role of Mn was treated at length (Huber and Wilhelm, 1988), and the flurry of research on siderophores in disease control (Swinburne, 1986) has brought Fe to prominence in plant pathological literature. Manganese Of the micronutrients, Mn may prove to be the most important in development of resistance in plants to both root and foliar diseases of fungal origin. Availability of Mn to plant roots and soil microorganisms varies mercurially over time, depending on many environmental and soil biotic factors. Consequently, Mn availability is subject to manipulation by both higher plants and microorganisms. As Mn is required in larger concentrations by higher plants than by fungi and bacteria, there is an opportunity for the pathogen to exploit this difference in requirement. The role of Mn in mitigating diseases in horticultural crops has been presented in Table 8. Whereas, effects of nutrition on disease are normally limited to the deficiency range (Graham, 1983), there are a few indications in literature that suppressive effects of Mn operate well into the sufficiency range of the host plant. This would appear to indicate either that (i) Mn requirement of the host plant for disease resistance is higher than for yield (ii) that Mn is somehow involved in lowering the inoculum potential of soil-borne, pathogens. Several mechanisms have been proposed for the role of Mn in disease resistance, but lignification was found to be the most prominent. Some of the possible roles of manganese are outlined below:

Manganese is involved elsewhere in the biosynthetic pathway of phenols and lignin. Mn deficiency leads to a decrease in soluble phenols (Brown et al, 1984),


Micronutrients in horticultural crops

Table 8. Effects of Mn deficiency reported on plant diseases in horticultural crops Horticultural plant Grapes Palm Cucumber Cow pea Onion Legume vegetables Potato Disease Phylloxera Leaf spot Mildew Mildew Rot Canker Late Blight Stem Canker Swede Tomato Mildew Bacterial speck Wilt Wilt Virus Pumpkin Mildew Scab Late Blight Sugar beet Sugar beet Insect Leaf spot Storage fungi Erysitre polygone Rhizoctonia Phytophthora infestans Rhizoctonia solani Erysiphe cruciferarum Pseudomonas syringae Fusarium oxysporum Verticillium asbo-abum Tomato Mosaic virus Erysiphe sclerotiorum Streptomyces scabies Phytophthora infestans Root borer Cercospora sp. Pathogen Phylloxera Excerohilum rostratum Erysiphe Effect Decrease Decrease Decrease Decrease Decrease Decrease Decrease Decrease Decrease Decrease Decrease Decrease Decrease Decrease Decrease Decrease Decrease Decrease

lower than requirement in higher plants. Both organisms exploit this marked difference in requirement between host and pathogen Copper Control of foliar pathogens by topical applications of Cu salts was been well-established by the turn of the 20th Century. This was almost 30 years before Cu was recognized as an essential nutrient in both higher and lower plant life. Whereas Cu is required by lower plant forms in minute amounts (Bortels, 1927), it is particularly toxic in higher concentrations (Keast et al, 1985). Copper has been used extensively as a fungicide at concentrations 10 to 100 times greater than those normally needed as a foliar spray, to cure Cu deficiency (0.1-0.2kg ha-1). Most of its fungicidal properties have been used against foliar pathogens, since Cu added to soil is quickly adsorbed, and only a low concentration remains in the soil solution.


Zinc is important for integrity and stability of biological membranes (Chvapil, 1973; Bettger and O'Dell, 1981). In plant root membranes specifically, it has been suggested that Zn may be important in preventing root membranes from leaking (Graham et al, 1987). This hypothesis has particular relevance to the finding that zoospores of Phytophthora cinnamomi were attracted to Zn-deficient Eucalyptus marginata and E. sieberi roots than to Zn-adequate roots. Many studies showed that Zn reduced plant diseases, which probably may be related to the toxic effects of Zn directly on the pathogen, rather than through the plant's metabolism. Thus, studies on artificial media (usually agar) in the absence of host plants have shown that high concentrations of Zn can inhibit growth or development of microorganisms. Somashekar et al (1983) demonstrated that 50 ppm of Zn resulted in growth reduction in Penicillium citrinum by 28%, Cachliobolus miyabeanus by 89% and Cladosporium cladosporoides by 12%. Cripps et al (1983) showed that 3 ppm of ZnSO4 inhibited growth in Trametes versicolor and Stereum strigosazonatum by 100%, Trichoderma and Alternaria by 64%. Epicoccum by 43%, but did not inhibit the growth of Curvularia or Penicillium. Hooley and Shaw (1985) determined that more than 7.5m M Zn was required to inhibit one strain (6500P) of Phytophthora dreschsleri by 50%, but only 5.5 mM Zn was required to inhibit strain 6503IMI to the same degree. All these results showed that Zn could have a similar effect on pathogens that attack horticultural crops. In a survey, it was observed that level of Zn in the


Source: Huber and Wilhelm (1988)

which are frequently implicated in disease resistance (Bell, 1981) Photosynthesis is severely inhibited by Mn deficiency. It has been argued that decrease in root exudation of organic materials may follow and result in weaker rhizofloral population, less able to compete with potential root pathogens in the rhizosphere (Graham and Rovira, 1984). However, while photosynthetic capacity in Mn-deficient leaves responds quickly to foliar-applied Mn, evidence of ineffectiveness of foliar applied Mn in controlling take-all (Reis et al, 1982; Huber and Wilhelm, 1988) suggests that this mechanism is not important in this disease Direct inhibition of the pathogen is commonly suggested as a mechanism of Mn action. Although Mn is essential for microbial growth (Bertrand and Javillier, 1912), the requirement is nearly 100 times

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Edward Raja

soil was lower in soils conducive to root rot (Phymatotrichopsis omnivorum) of cotton (Smith and Hallmark, 1987) and infection of ginseng by Pseudomonas cichorii (Gvozdyak and Pindus, 1988). Although these reports are correlative, the interpretation is that Zn is important in reducing Fusarium root rot of chickpea, Cicer arietinum (Gaur and Vaidya, 1983) and Rhizoctonia bataticola rot of groundnut, Arachis hypogea (Murugesan and Mahadevan, 1987). Boron Boron has also been reported to have beneficial effects in reducing plant disease; many of these effects have previously been reported by Graham (1983), as have the lack of effects. These are (i) its role in formulation of carbohydrate-borate complexes controlling carbohydrate transport and cell membrane permeability or stability (ii) its role in metabolism of phenolics, with its primary role in synthesis of lignin (Lewis, 1980). Since then, B has also been shown to reduce diseases such as clubroot of cabbage, caused by Plasmodiaphora brassicae in Sweden (Vladimirskaya et al, 1982) and other crucifers (Dixon and Webster, 1988); Fusarium solani in bean Phaseolus vulgaris L. (Guerra and Anderson, 1985); Verticillium alboatrum in tomato (Dutta and Bremner, 1981); Rhizoctonia solani in mungbean, pea and cowpea (Kataria, 1982; Kataria and Grover, 1987); Rhizoctonia bataticola in groundnut (Murugesan and Mahadevan, 1987) and tomato yellow leaf curl virus in tomato (Zaher, 1985). Boron has been shown to decrease expression of the potato wart disease (Synchytrium endobioticum) of potato (Hampson and Hard, 1980) and club root of crucifers. In both cases, the disease is expressed by formation of a tumor or a gall; and in both reports, B decreased the severity of diseaseexpression. Boron did not, however, diminish initial infection of the host. One consequence of B deficiency is increase in indoleacetic acid (IAA) concentration because of inhibition of IAA oxidase activity (Coke and Wittington, 1968), presumably by accumulation of phenolics. Similar conditions may occur in tumors and galls. Potato wart tumors have elevated levels of auxin-like substances (Reingard and Pashkar, 1959). This increase in auxin (or auxin-like) activity has been explained by an increase in auxin protectors (Tandon, 1985). It is worthwhile to note that, in a variety of tomato in which tumors were not found following successful infection, tomatine, an auxin antagonist, was present (Hampson and Haard, 1980). The auxin protectors from

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potato wart have been isolated, and shown to contain ferulic acid and caffeic acids covalently bound to a protein and chlorogenic acid. Interestingly, both chlorogenic and caffeic acid have been identified in the necrotic areas of B-deficient celery, Apium graveolens L (Perkins and Aronoff, 1956), and ferulic and vanillic acid in B-deficient oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) (Rajaratnam and Lowry, 1974). In addition, it is common to use borate as a buffer during plant tissue extraction to prevent conjugation of phenolics with proteins. These observations suggest that B may suppress gall or tumor formation by suppressing high concentrations of auxin or auxin-like substances. Gall formation itself is not a defense mechanism of the plant i.e., galls are incited by the pathogen (Dixon, 1984). Thus B, by suppressing high levels of auxin or auxin-like substances, may also suppress gall formation. There is no conclusive evidence that explains how B decreases disease caused by vascular pathogens. The association of B with lignin synthesis (Lewis, 1980) makes it tempting to suggest that B may suppress infection of the stele by a lignified physical barrier at the endodermis. It may be argued that this barrier would be of little consequence if, as suggested by Mai and Abaci (1987), Fusarium enters just behind the root cap, a region of the root with little lignification. However, if B deficiency weakens the lignification of other parts of the root system, successful infection may be more likely at other locations on the root axis. Indeed, Dutta and Bremner (1981) observed that B depressed the symptoms of Verticillium wilt in tomato, and roots of B-supplied plants showed no vascular discoloration. This suggests that B inhibited invasion of xylem by the pathogen. Iron Older literature sheds little light on the role of Fe in disease resistance, since it is relatively sparse compared with that of Cu, Mn and B. However, the sophistication of microbial Fe-acquisition systems suggests that microbes have a high requirement compared to higher plants and higher utilization efficiency. In this respect, Fe appears to stand in contrast to Cu, Mn and B, for which microbial requirements are relatively low. Addition of Cu, Mn and B to deficient soils generally benefits the host, whereas the effect of Fe fertilization in disease resistance cannot be predicted. Copper was antagonistic to Fe in the F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici, although lycomarismin has no known function in Fusarium wilt disease. Fe decreased tolerance of Fusarium wilt in tomato without affecting development of the fungus (Waggoner and Dimond, 1953).


Micronutrients in horticultural crops

Iron stimulated and Cu inhibited spore germination (Strakhov and Yaroshenko, 1959; Halsall and Forrester, 1977; Vedie and Le Normand, 1984). Though its key role in oxidative phosphorylation is known, Fe is directly or indirectly involved in all plant synthesis, but especially high Fe requirement for syntheses of the phytoalexin wyerone is of interest in the present context (Swinburne, 1986). Iron is essential for production of the host-attacking exoenzymes of fungi, such as pectin methylesterase of Fusarium oxysporum (Sadasivam, 1965) and endo- and exo-glucanase by Phoma herbarum, a leaf spot pathogen of peanut (Shinde and Gangawane, 1987). Molybdenum There have been few reports associating Mo with response of plants to disease and no reports have been found to specifically address effects of Mo deficiency (Graham 1983). However, Dutta and Bremner (1981) demonstrated that Mo applied to tomato roots reduced the symptoms of Verticillium wilt. Miller and Becker (1983) also reported that Mo suppressed Verticillium wilt in tomato. Molybdenum had a direct effect by reducing production of roridin E, a toxin produced by Myrothecium roridum (Fernando, 1986) and in slightly inhibiting zoosporangia formation by Phytophthora cinnamomi and P. dreschleri (Halsall and Forrester, 1977). Soil-application of Mo decreased nematode populations (Haque and Mukhopadhyua, 1983). It is not known whether Mo within the host plays any specific role in protecting plants from disease. Because of the requirement for Mo by the enzymes nitrogenase and nitrate reductase, any effect of Mo deficiency on pathogenesis may be indirect through an effect on N metabolism (Shkolnik, 1984). Silicon (Si) Although Si is not regarded as a full-fledged essential element for growth of higher plants, it is evident from recent work that it plays a critical role in biochemical pathways leading to resistance to certain pathogens. Adatia and Besford (1986) observed that cucumber powdery mildew that could not be controlled by repeated application of fungicide, could be controlled by silica. Meyer et al (2008) observed that silicon helped in powdery mildew control in grape, strawberry and cucumber, but in gerbera, the reduced uptake limited its role in disease. In view of this, judicious use of silicon (separately, or along with biopesticides) and balanced nutrition can control diseases in horticultural crops in an integrated way.

Role of micronutrients in improving post-harvest life and marketability of horticultural produce Low storability of horticultural produce is wellknown in a tropical country like India, but, the energy intensive cold-storage units escalate cost of storage. However, the capabilities of some micronutrients in complementing these techniques are well-known. Boron has a synergistic role with Ca in fruit-tree nutrition, since both are needed for fruit quality. Brown heart disease of pear is a serious storage disorder affecting the storagelife when controlled atmosphere storage is done. Studies conducted in South Africa indicated that storage life of mango, citrus, avacodo and grape improved with increased Ca and B content in the fruit (Kruger et al, 2003). Wojcik and Wojick (2003) indicated that pre- and postharvest B spray on the fruit supplemented with soil B, resulted in better Ca status in pears and increased storage life, higher firmness and titrable acidity. The fruits also had lower membrane permeability and were less sensitive to internal browning than control fruits. Poor storability of melons in Brazil was solved by pre harvest spray of Ca and B from fruit-set to harvest. Storage life could be increased by higher Ca binding to the cell wall which, increased methoxylated pectin in cells of the melon skin (Chitara and Praca, 2004). India paid a heavy price by losing export market for Alphonso mango to spongy tissue. Micronutrients can prevent occurrence of some of the disorders, in that cause reduction in marketable yield, while simultaneously increasing the profit of farmers and exporters. Zinc and B play a direct role in reducing physiological disorders. Zinc stabilizes membrane permeability and B (by increasing the mobility of Ca to the fruits. Mn, Cu and Fe) also plays a positive role by increasing photosynthesis and providing carbohydrates supply for good Ca uptake. Internal browning (chocolate) of grape in Brazil was associated with plants having abnormal yellowing and malformed clusters, with small berries and dark- brown pulp. This was corrected by supplying B (0.1% spray at flowering). Edward Raja (2009) observed that spongy tissue in mango cv. Alphonso, a calcium-related disorder observed in acid soils of Konkan, India, could be rectified by correcting severe B and Zn deficiencies by foliar and soil application. Improving root health by dolomite application (to eliminate Al toxicity), and facilitating better light-penetration by pruning, resulted in enhanced carbohydrate accumulation, and translocation and better Ca uptake by roots.


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Bitter pit, a serious physiological disorder in apple, was reduced by sprays of Zn and Cu (Schmitz and Engel, 1973). The immobile calcium oxalate in fruits is solubilised by Zn and Ca is released to the fruit. Chvapil (1973) reported that Zn is tightly bound to cell membranes in leaves and it has the greatest affinity for cell membranes, followed by Cu, Fe, Ca and Co. This points out to the possibility of Zn and Cu sprays releasing Ca from various chelating and complexing agents. Smith and Green (1982) observed fewer cork spots in apples with higher B in the fruit-flesh and more of higher quality fruits. According to Shear (1975), both soil and foliar spray of B can increase fruit Ca and reduce Ca-related physiological disorders. Shear and Faust (1971) showed increased movement of Ca into leaves sprayed with B. Proper and timely application of micronutrients can help correct several physiological disorders of fruits, thereby increasing their marketability. Role of micronutrients in enhancing nutritional security through horticultural crops Horticulture products are protective tools which have to be nutrient-dense, since, nutritive value of the cereals is deteriorating due to growth-dilution and declining soilhealth. Horticultural crops have minerals in better availableform compared to cereals like wheat and rice. Enhancement of nutritional security by biofortification and organic farming is gaining ground in the present agricultural paradigm. Fe and Zn deficiencies are becoming public- health issues. These can be addressed to a great extent by consumption of fruits and vegetables. Seventeen minerals are needed for human health and even boron has qualified for 5 out of 6 criteria for essentiality in human nutrition (3rd International conference on Boron, 2005). Phloem-immobile micronutrients like Fe, B, V and Cr cannot be increased in food crops by spray-application. According to Welch (1997), macronutrient treatment can influence concentration of betacarotene and micronutrients in carrot. Root vegetables from acid soils have adequate Fe, Zn, N, Cu, Mo and Se for better human health. Biotechnology can play a major role in human nutrition by producing tangerines rich in micronutrients. Horticulture must change in ways that will closely link food production to human health and nutritional requirements. Holistic food system models hold promise in providing sustainable interventions to these complex nutrition and health problems. Sustainable solutions to micronutrient malnutrition can only be found in forming a nexus between agricultural production and human health. The magnitude of the problem is so great that we must use every tool at our disposal to eliminate this scourge from the world.

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Crop phenology and micronutrients The mean crop removal of all micronutrients does not exceed 600 g/ha, whereas the total micronutrients exceed more than several tons/meter depth, the maximum feeding zone of any horticultural crop. This opens up great potential for solving the problem of micronutrient disorders of horticultural crops in India, since micronutrient reserves in Indian soils are adequate for thousands of crops. When 5 ppm Zn can be adequate for 2500 crops of wheat in Australia, it is definitely adequate for 10000 crops of mango (considering its very low removal at 44 g/ha). It should be clear from Table 9 that perennial fruit crops like mango and grape remove much less micronutrients than to vegetables which, in turn, remove much less than a wheat crop does, since, dry matter produced by a cereal crop is much higher than that by fruits or vegetables. Though all micronutrients are essential for the entire crop growth, each nutrient is needed at some phenological stage of growth in larger quantity, to maintain crop productivity. Boron is needed both at the time of planting or sowing for root growth, at the reproductive stage for pollination and, at maturity stage, to avoid fruit-drop, cracking and, also, for mobilization of calcium for better shelf-life. Since it is highly immobile in the plant, it is continuously needed. But, reproductive parts need more B than do vegetative parts (Rerkasem et al, 1996). It is better to give a foliar spray at pre-bloom for pome fruits and, a pre-bloom and post-bloom spray for other fruits. Since B is phloemmobile, in some fruits like apple, one spray at flowering is sufficient, whereas, for B immobile crops like mango, prebloom and post-bloom sprays are essential (Edward Raja et al, 2005). Though Fe is needed throughout the plants life, Fe nutrition becomes a problem at flowering due to poor photosynthate supply to roots. Root-health is very important in iron and calcium nutrition, since these are taken up in the

Table 9. Micronutrient removal (g/ha) by major horticultural crops Crop Mango Papaya Banana Grape Tomato Cabbage Beans Mean Zn 44 68 110 130 110 140 95 99 Mn 68 110 380 240 180 220 128 189 Fe 150 140 190 180 210 240 120 176 Cu 13 22 14 22 48 22 48 27 B 28 48 68 62 64 68 48 55 Mo 2 3 4 4 7 7 4 4

Source: Cakmak (1993), South Africa Mango Growers Handbook (2002, 2003)


Micronutrients in horticultural crops

root-tip region only. Spray of Fe as 0.5% FeSO4 at flowering, along with B, is always helpful. For leguminous vegetables, it is needed at seed-sowing for nodulation (Hemantranjan, 1998). Since Mn is also phloem- immobile, it needs to be continuously available to the plant, more so, at fruit-set (since it is essential for photosynthesis). Leaves adjacent to fruits are important for fruit growth and their Mn level needs to be at an optimum. An acidified rhizosphere always ensures enough Mn. Nitrate N should be avoided at flowering. Since Mn is important for disease resistance, a continuous supply keeps the plant healthy. Copper is also needed, more at the reproductive stage than at the vegetative stage. It is immobile. Protection of plants with copper fungicide at flowering ensures copper availability for reproductive growth. Molybdenum is partially mobile and is needed for nodulation in legume vegetables. It is needed more in the early stage of crop-growth and in crops that need high N, like banana/ tomato that need it more in acid soils. If seeds are enriched with Mo or seed-dressing is done, there is less need for Mo at the late stage of a crop. Zinc is also a partially mobile; it is required at an early stage of crop growth or during early establishment of tree crops. In sensitive crops like grape, mango and citrus, a spray (0.3% ZnSO4) at pre-bloom, followed by a spray at the reproductive phase, is helpful, since it can protect leaves and fruits from reactive oxygen species (Cakmak, 2000). In situations where topsoil is removed by leveling during cold season, Zn deficiency affects crop establishment. Hence, Zn is needed more at the early and late stages for fruit membrance stability and to mobilize Ca for preventing physiological disorders. Micronutrient toxicity Micronutrient excess is as much a problem as deficiency and skill is needed in micronutrient correction. Since farmers are prone to using excess micronutrients, this creates a problem rather than solving a problem. Some of the common toxicity problems encountered with micronutrients are discussed below. Boron toxicity occurs due to saline irrigation water and saline soils. Citrus and beans are extremely sensitive to B toxicity. Copper toxicity occurs due to natural pollution by mine ores or anthropogenical reason due to use of fertilizers and fungicides. Copper accumulates more in the root and damages it more than the shoot. It induces K, Ca, Mg and Fe deficiencies and causes Fe chlorosis. New approaches in micronutrient nutrition According to Marshner (1995), rhizosphere modification in some crop species by Type I and Type II

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mechanisms is a Fe-stress response for better iron nutrition. In this process, a plant spices very susceptible to Fe deficiency may be grown adjacent to a Fe efficient genotype, to benefit from the rhizosphere modified with higher available iron. A banana cultivar with high available Mn in its rhizosphere can benefit an acid lime crop susceptible to Mn-deficiency. Thus, rhizosphere modification can help in micronutrient nutrition of crops by complementary existence. Bio-fortification in horticultural crops Nearly 40 ­ 50% of world population suffers from Fe and Zn deficiencies (Welch, 1999, 2002). Bio-fortification of food crops by breeding is one of the priority research areas of breeders (Welch and Graham, 2004). But bioavailability of Fe and Zn in grains is low due to the presence of phytic acid, which reduces their uptake in the digestive system (Cakmak, 2002). Due to low phytic acid content in fruits and vegetables, horticultural crops lend themselves for bio-fortification. Iyengar and Edward Raja (1988) observed some vegetables like okra getting enriched with Zn in pods (edible portion) when zinc level in soil was high. Hence, exploiting fruits and vegetables not only for vitamins but also for critically deficient Fe and Zn, has a great potential in addressing nutritional security of the nation. It is well- known that plants differ in their efficiency for uptake of nutrients from soils and in certain situation, options other than fertilizer-application (to correct micronutrient disorders) are considered. In tackling iron chlorosis (especially, induced chlorosis), breeding resistant varieties in soybean and sorghum is on for the past 25 years. Breeding is considered in the following situations : 1. When the cost of correction is high 2. When the method of correction is difficult 3. When the deficiency affects yield and quality very severely (Liebig stress) 4. When agronomic correction may result in environmental pollution 5. When agronomic correction produces produce with low nutritional value Discussing the present technologies and future prospects it can be observed that sustainable and cost effective correction of Fe deficiency is possible by developing Fe efficient cultivars or rootstocks for sensitive crops. Breeding for tolerance to zinc deficiency has been well-identified for managing Zn deficiency in beans (Hacisalihoglu et al, 2004). Another alternative is development of transgenic crops. The Zn transporter protein


Edward Raja

of Arabidopsis was transferred to barley, which resulted in correction of zinc deficiency (Ramesh et al, 2004). For enriching Fe content of rice seeds, transgenic rice was developed with ferritin gene, but increase in Fe content was inadequate (Qu et al, 2005). Micronutrient management in Acid Soils The western coast of peninsular India and parts of eastern and northeastern India has acidic soils, which need to be managed differently for micronutrient disorders. In these soils, aluminium and manganese are present at toxic levels (Pandey et al, 1994), while Mo and B are usually deficient (Edward Raja et al, 2005). Other micronutrients like Zn, Fe, Cu, are adequately available in these soils. Since B is the only mobile micronutrient in soil, it gets lost by leaching (like nitrogen). Since acid soils are distributed in high-rainfall regions, its deficiency is a perennial problem. But, the fact is that B-uptake by plants at identical watersoluble B content was greater at lower soil solution pH (Wear and Patterson, 1962). Hence, plants can manage with lower soil B in acid soils, than in high pH soils (calcareous soils). But, due to loss by leaching of fertilizer, slow release B sources like colemanite have a large potential for B-loving crops like, mango. Vegetables like cauliflower, carrot and turnip need to be supplied with adequate B. Deficiency of molybdenum is a problem in acid soils. But, liming for eliminating Al-toxicity can increase available Mo in soil and solve the problem. Use of molybdenum-rich seeds of legume vegetables, or seed treatment at sowing, also mitigates the problem. Foliar nutrition in micronutrient: An option or management compulsion in horticultural crops Hamilton et al (1943) were the first to establish potential of foliar nutrition in field- level nutrition management, by proving the influence of urea spray the Nnutrition in apple. Initial research on the potential of this technique was confined to supplying macronutrients like NPK, since, deciduous crops like apple (whose root systems are inactive throughout winter and early spring) have to be compensated for the time lost. This became all the more important when high-yielding clones were introduced and advances in horticultural technology doubled the yield of apple and there was a need for providing the extra nutritional requirement. Controlling physiological disorders by directly spraying on the fruits is also widely followed in apple. But, in India, foliar sprays are still optional as their vast potential is yet to be recognized in terms of increased yield, quality and post-harvest life.

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Crop-specific micronutrient foliar formulations Each crop is specific in its micronutrient requirement, based on its metabolic requirement, capacity to modify its root-soil interface, exploit the rhizosphere-soil nutrients, better root geometry, faster specific rate of absorption at low concentration (low Kw), improved internal root-distribution and superior utilization or low functionalrequirement for the nutrient (Graham et al, 1992). In the alfsoils of IIHR, Bangalore, abundant in available Mn, three crops growing side-by-side exhibited contrasting response to Mn application. While acid lime exhibited deficiency, guava exhibited sufficiency and banana exhibited toxicity for Mn (Edward Raja, unpublished data). The most scientific approach would be to identify micronutrient disorder at the micro-farming level by leaf and soil analysis and suggest a farm/site specific recommendation. In the Indian context, with more than 2 million farm holdings in horticulture, it is impossible to provide farm-specific advice, due to lack of infrastructure for leaf/soil analysis and lack of manpower to interpret it. Hence, crop-specific foliar micronutrient strategy was proposed as one of the strategies to overcome this problem (Edward Raja, 2009) This involves identification of the predominant micronutrient disorder of a crop in agroecologically similar regions, developing a micronutrient formulation, incorporating the deficient nutrient in proportion to intensity of the deficient nutrition. This is similar to iodinefortified common-salt promoted for public health. This concept is totally different from the existing market for micronutrient foliar formulations in India, which have following basic inadequacies : 1. All the existing market micronutrient formulations in India are meant to correct Zn deficiency, which is the predominant disorder in rice, wheat and maize, whereas, the predominant micronutrient disorder affecting both vegetative and reproductive growth in horticultural crops is that of Boron deficiency. This is a basic and fundamental flaw in the existing foliar micronutrient correction strategy in India Reproductive parts need 2-3 times more B than do vegetative parts. Hence, foliar spray of B is a must In rainfed crops like mango, foliar spray is the only efficient method for correction of micronutrient disorders In view of chemical, physical and biological soil degradation, root health will become a problem in the future and foliar nutrition will gain significance Soil-applied micronutrients like Zn, Fe, Cu and Mn have

2. 3.




Micronutrients in horticultural crops

low efficiency (3-5%), whereas, foliar nutrients have an efficiency of 20-40%. In view of this foliar nutrients having micronutrients are more of a compulsion than an option, especially in crop- specific foliar formulations Micronutrient management in organic farming of horticultural crops Organic farming has an in-built advantage of providing balanced nutrition especially for micronutrients, since, presence of adequate organic matter makes them available to the plant. Except copper, all micronutrients are available adequately in organically-farmed soils. Why micronutrient disorders are not common in organic farming ? 1. Moderate and severe micronutrient disorders are uncommon in organic farming since crop growth rate is not as fast as in conventional farming. In the latter, application of fertilizers of high nutrient content (urea: 44% N; DAP: 46% N) results in accelerated growth rate. High organic-manure (FYM+ Vermicompost) application results in many organic acids, which complexes micronutrients in the soil (especially Fe, Mn, Cu, and Mn) and makes available to plants. Humic acid and fulvic acid levels are very high, resulting in adequate available micronutrients. In organic farming, balanced nutrition is achieved by avoiding extreme nutrient deficiencies like P-induced Zn deficiency, N-induced B deficiency and heavy-metal induced Fe deficiency. Due to crop residue recycling and application of composts like vermicompost, nutrient reserves are recycled and made available to the plant. Soils have Zn, Cu, Mo Fe and Mn in abundant quantity. But since crop residue recycling is the basic credo of organic farming, micronutrient depletion does not occur. Deficiency of B is likely to be encountered in organic farming practiced in high-rainfall areas, with coarse soil texture and an undulating topography. The rhizospheric pH is maintained near neutral (<>) in organic farms due to crop rotation, avoiding some organic inputs which form acid in soils, thereby resulting in better micronutrient nutrition. Microbial activity, is very high and this also releases minerals from soil. Root health is very good in organic farming, and therefore, nutrient uptake is higher. Toxic elements like Al, Mn and Na are generally absent.






5. 6. 7.

Less leaching-loss or run-off loss of B due to better soil structure. 9. Root-penetration upto deep sub-soils, which thereby supplies micronutrients. Techniques to enhance micronutrient uptake in organic farming 1. Use of mycorrhiza (VAM) for mobilization of Zn and P 2. Enriching FYM with rock phosphate releases Zn, Ca and Mg/ s into soil 3. Use of gypsum for supplying calcium and sulphur 4. Use of dolomite provides Ca and Mg wherever needed and increases availability of molybdenum 5. Since mango is highly susceptible to Fe deficiency, use 13-1, Fe-deficiency resistant rootstock from Israel when mango is grown in calcareous soils 6. Use of Boradeaux mixture/Burgundy mixture should be encouraged for controlling diseases in soils of high pH, so that copper deficiency is eliminated 7. By leaf analysis, the limiting micronutrient is identified and a spray of such micronutrients can be given (Zn, Mn, Fe, Ca, B and Mo) in consultation with an organic certifying agency 8. Use of neem cake is recommended in high pH calcareous soils, since it can recycle soil Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu and make them available to the plant by rhizosphere acidification. Fe deficiency in fruits and flower crops has been corrected by this method. Neem decoction can be used for drenching, if chlorosis is seen When a farm is converted from a conventional one to organic-farming system certain modifications have to be made in nutrient management to overcome problems caused by the earlier system. A 3-year period is required to correct the system. Conventional farms have depleted organic matter and high available-phosphorus, which creates problems of availability, uptake and translocation of micronutrients. Increasing N and K to the level of P is one method; another is to encourage availability, uptake and translocation of micronutrients by increasing organic-matter status. The key for exploiting the enormous micronutrient reserves of Indian soils is to increase the organic matter status through on-farm and off-farm bulky, organic inputs viz., crop residues and green manures. Crop residues like fallen leaves, pruned crop-wastes etc., are to be used for increasing soil organic matter status. Instead of adding inorganic P fertilizer to soil, FYM can be enriched with rock phosphate at 20% ratio (so that excess P in the soil is

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Edward Raja

avoided) thereby reducing the risk of P-induced zinc deficiency. The increase in organic-matter status itself increases availability of soil micronutrients owing to the chelating ability of humic and fulvic acids in the compost. Micronutrients and future challenges in horticulture production Though some more essential micronutrient is added to the existing list, it is doubtful if they will have as much importance as the already identified ones. Hence, it is essential to tap expertise in diagnosis and treatment of micronutrient deficiencies and toxicities. Experimental techniques for detecting micronutrient disorders need to be refined. Analysis of leaves for manganese and boron deficiency detection presents a severe problem, since old leaves accumulate B and Mn in the margins and give a wrong picture. Delayed sampling of deficient leaves also presents a problem in diagnosis. Fertilizers and additives affect availability of micronutrients indirectly and these problems are attributed to other factors. The present strategy on micronutrients revolves only around increasing the yield of horticultural crops. Farmers' interest will be taken care of when micronutrients are used not only to increase biological yield, but also marketable yield, by improving quality and post- harvest life, ultimately bringing profits to the farmer. As discussed earlier, the role of B. Zn, Mn and Fe is paramount in realizing this objective. Public interest will be adequately taken care of if it receives horticultural produce of high quality, since worldwide, clinical and subclinical deficiencies of these micronutrients have been noticed (Cakmak, 2008). Besides, pesticide residues are increasing to harmful levels due to exclusive dependence on curative management by chemical pesticides. A shift to preventive management, using balanced lignin biosynthesis and preventing oxidative stress nutrition and using Mn, B, Zn and Cu, as part of Integrated Disease and Pest Management will go a long way in implementing "value addition" at the farm level. To operationalize the strategy, following action is required: 1. Micronutrient correction should be done by mobilizing soil reserves of Fe, Zn, Mn, Cu and B by humidified organic manures (vermicompost) Use of Zn-enriched NPK fertilizers (like iodized common salt) as was done in Turkey (Cakmak et al, 1999). This will also simultaneously enhance the useefficiency of NPK fertilizers due to removal of Zn deficiency on mild or moderate stress [Mitscherlich type or Bevere stress (Lieberg type)]



Use crop-specific foliar formulations for correction of predominant micronutrient disorders as a complementary strategy to supply from soil and also as disease tolerance strategy due to balanced nutrition 4. Agronomic bio-fortification by foliar spray and increasing soil availability of Fe and Zn so that consumers get fortified value-added food at reduced cost (Cakmak, 2002) 5. Increased shelf-life/post-harvest life by directly enriching fruits with Ca and B to reduce dependence on energy consuming cold-storage systems. It can be also part of integrated post-harvest management REFERENCES Adatia, M.H. and Besford, R. 1986. The effects of silicon on cucumber plants grown in recirculating nutrient solution. Ann. Bot., 58:343-351 Agarwala, S.C. 1988. Iron, manganese and magnesium interaction in cauliflower J. Pl. Nutr., 11:1005-1014 Alloway, B.J. 2008. Micronutrient deficiencies in global crop production. Springer, New York Anderson, A.J. 1956. Molybdenum as a fertilizer. Adv. Agron., 8:163-202 Bagci, H. Ekiz, Yilmaz, A., and Cakmak, I. 2007. Effects of zinc deficiency and drought on grain yield of fieldgrown wheat cultivars in central Anatolia. J. Agron. & Crop Sci., 193:198-206 Bai, C.C., Reilly, C. and Wood, B .W. 2006 Nickel deficiency disrupts metabolism of urides, amino acids, and organic acids of young pecan foliage. Pl. Physiol., 140:433-443 Balakrishnan, K., Rajendran, R. and Kulandaivelu, G. 2000. Differential responses to iron, magnesium and zinc deficiency on pigment composition, nutrient content & photosynthetic activity in tropical fruit crops. Photosynthetica, 38:477-479 Beaufils, E.R. 1973. Diagnosis and Recommendation Integrated System (DRIS). Soil Sci. Bull. No. 1, University of Natal Bell, A.A. 1981. Biochemical mechanisms of disease resistance. Ann. Rev. Pl. Physiol. 32:21-81 Benjavan Rerkasem and Jack F. Loneragan. 1994. Boron deficiency in two wheat genotypes in a warm, subtropical region. Agron. J., 86:887-890 Berger, K.C. and Truog, E. 1945. Boron availability in relation to soil reaction and organic matter content. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Proc., 1:113-116 Bertrand, G. and Javillier, M. 1912.Action of manganese and the development of Aspergillus niger, Bull. Soc. Chim. Fr., 4:212-221


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J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 28-31, 2009

Expression of genetic variability and character association in raspberry (Rubus ellipticus Smith) growing wild in North-Western Himalayas

Dinesh Singh, K. Kumar, Vikas Kumar Sharma and Mohar Singh

Department of Fruit Breeding and Genetic Resources Dr Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry Nauni, Solan-173 230 (HP), India E-mail:[email protected]


The present investigation was carried out in various districts of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand States falling under north-western Himalayan region of India. As a result of sustained exploration, 170 wild raspberry genotypes were marked and studied for berry quality attributes. Variation ranged from 0.25 g - 0.93 g for berry weight. Berry length varied between 6.31 mm and 14.46 mm, while, berry breadth was 7.02 mm to 15.91 mm. Variation in Total Soluble Solids (TSS) in berry ranged between 9.6oB and 18.6oB whereas, acidity in berries ranged between 1.02 and 1.72%. The range of variation was 2 - 4.90% for reducing sugars, 4.2o - 11.6o for non-reducing sugars and 2.4- 5.2 mg / 100 g for ascorbic acid. Berry weight had significant and positive correlation with its length and its breadth. Berry length exhibited positively significant correlation with berry breadth. Key words: Raspberry, variation, heritability, berry quality, correlation


Raspberry (Rubus ellipticus Smith) is one of the tastiest wild fruits growing in abundance throughout North-western Himalayas. Besides providing essential nutrients for human diet, it has great potential in agroprocessing industries in preparation of squash, jam, yoghurt and ice-cream. Worldwide, this small fruit is distributed throughout the sub-temperate Himalayas between 700 m to 2000 m above mean sea level and in West Sikkim, Bhutan, Khasi hills and Burma upto Yunnan province of China. In the South, it grows in the Western Ghats from Kanara to Ceylon. This fruit has successfully been introduced into Florida, USA, for edible and ornamental purposes and for breeding in Australia (Jennings, 1988). Though raspberry has captured the interest of botanists and herbalists, it remains a neglected and unexploited fruit crop for fruit breeders in India (Singh and Kumar, 2001). The existing, wild population of raspberry comprising shrubs of unknown origin exhibits tremendous variability in growth, flowering, yield and fruit quality attributes, thereby providing a platform for exploitation. Till date, no

systematic research work has been conducted from the standpoint of developing this as a new crop, in particular, through collection and selection of superior clones. It is, therefore, imperative to study genetic parameters like heritability, correlations, and path coefficient analysis for identification and selection of superior genotypes for use either as cultivars or as suitable parents in future hybridization programmes. Findings presented in this communication are a part of the first ever study conducted in India on Rubus ellipticus Smith.


A field survey of North-western Himalayas was undertaken during the years 2007 and 2008 in sub-tropical to wet-temperate areas of Solan, Shimla, Mandi, Kullu and Chamba districts of Himachal Pradesh; Kathua, Udhampur, Samba, Jammu and Reasi districts of Jammu and Kashmir; and Dehradun, Rishikesh, Uttarkashi and Tehri Garhwal districts of Uttarakhand. Geographical Information System data of the areas surveyed were recorded with the help of GPS (GPS MAP-76, Germin, Taiwan). Geographical features of the area surveyed are as under:

Genetic variation in wild Himalayan raspberry

Altitude : 760 to 1950 m amsl Latitude : 30010'159" to 33004'693"N Longitude : 74044'076" to 78025'681"E As a result of sustained exploration in collaboration with local inhabitants, as many as 170 raspberry genotypes growing scattered were marked. On the basis of berry quality traits, 37 genotypes were further shortlisted for study. A random sample of 30 fruits in three replicates was taken from each raspberry genotype and observations were recorded on fruit quality characters viz., berry weight (g), berry length (mm), berry breadth (mm), TSS (0B), acidity (%), reducing sugars (%), non-reducing sugars (%), vitamin C (mg/100g) and berry colour. Berry size was measured with digital Vernier calipers (Mitutoyo, Japan-CD-6"CS), berry weight with electronic balance, TSS by digital refractometer and acidity, sugars and ascorbic acid as per standard procedures given by Ranganna (1986). The contribution of each character for every genotype was subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) as per standard statistical procedures. The genotypic and phenotypic coefficients of variation were estimated using standard formulae. Heritability in a broad sense was calculated according to the formula suggested by Hansen et al (1956) at 5% selection intensity, while, direct and indirect effects of independent traits on berry weight were also estimated.

et al, 2008). Berry length varied between 6.31 and 14.46 mm while berry breadth was 7.02-15.91 mm. Earlier studies by Mladin and Mladin (2008), Kim et al (2008), and Milutinovic et al (2008) revealed variation in berry length and berry breadth ranging between 7.3 and 26.9 mm and 12.2 and 27.4 mm, respectively. Relatively lower values of physical berry characters of berry recorded are perhaps due to the fact that the plants studied grew under minimal cultural conditions as against well-managed cultural conditions reported from elsewhere. Variation in berry TSS was between 9.60 and18.60 0B whereas, acidity per cent in the berries ranged between 1.02 and1.72%. Berry TSS and acidity ranging between 5.1 and 16.8OB and 0.3 and 3.09% has been reported by various workers in different Rubus species (Mladin, 2002 and Dossett, 2007). The range of variation was 2.00-4.90% for reducing sugars, 4.20-11.60% for non-reducing sugars and 2.40-5.20mg / 100 g for ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid content ranging from 23.5 to 63.66 mg / 100 g was observed by Mladin (2002). However, overall mean performance was 0.54 g for berry weight and 13.740B for TSS. This variation offers scope for wild raspberry genetic improvement even within indigenous populations and, suitable donors can be identified accordingly. In addition, genotypic and phenotypic coefficients of variation were almost identical in expression. The high estimates of

Table 1. Analysis of variance for some quantitative traits of horticultural importance in raspberry (Rubus ellipticus Smith) Trait Degree of Freedom (d.f.) Berry weight (g) Berry length (mm) Berry breadth (mm) TSS (0B) Acidity (%) Reducing sugars (%) Non- reducing sugars (%) Ascorbic acid (mg /100 g) *P < 0.05 Mean squares Replication Treatment 2 0.003 0.062 0.053 0.0001 0.0004 0.076 0.048 0.096 169 0.048* 5.462* 5.851* 10.594* 0.050* 1.079* 2.996* 0.602* Error 338 0.001 0.039 0.044 0.06 0.002 0.032 0.04 0.027


The analysis of variance showed that mean squares due to genotypes were significant for all the traits included in the study (Table 1). Estimates of range in variation, average mean performance, genotypic and phenotypic coefficients of variation, heritability and genetic advance at 5% selection intensity, are presented in Table 2. The range in variation was 0.25-0.93 g for berry weight. Various workers have reported berry weight ranging between 0.72 and 9.00 g (Mladin, 2002; Dossett, 2007; Mladin and Mladin, 2008; Kim et al, 2008; Milutinovic et al, 2008; and Weber

Trait Berry weight (g) Berry length (mm) Berry breadth (mm) TSS (0B) Acidity (%) Reducing sugars (%) Non- reducing sugars (%) Ascorbic acid (mg /100 g) Range 0.25-0.93 6.31-14.46 7.02-15.91 9.60-18.60 1.02-1.72 2.00-4.90 4.20-11.60 2.40-5.20 Mean ±SE 0.54±0.02 10.15±0.11 12.17±0.12 13.74±0.14 1.32±0.03 3.07±0.10 7.08±0.12 3.86±0.10

Table 2. Estimation of range, mean, PCV, GCV, heritability and genetic advance for berry weight and component traits PCV 24.11 13.38 11.56 13.76 10.18 20.13 14.31 12.14 GCV 23.13 13.24 11.43 13.64 9.59 19.28 14.03 11.35 Heritability(%) 0.92 0.98 0.98 0.98 0.89 0.92 0.96 0.87 Genetic advance 9.70 7.46 6.93 7.57 6.19 8.85 7.64 6.71

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Dinesh Singh et al

Table 3. Correlation coefficient at genotypic (G) and phenotypic (P) level for berry weight and component traits Trait X1 X2 X3 X4 X5 X6 X7 X8 X1 X2 X3 X4 G P G P G P G P G P G P G P G P X1 1.000 1.000 X2 0.390* 0.368* 1.000 1.000 X3 0.332* 0.316* 0.633** 0.622** 1.000 1.000 X4 -0.005 -0.001 -0.058 -0.056 0.028 0.028 1.000 1.000 X5 0.040 0.029 -0.060 -0.057 -0.019 -0.020 0.069 0.062 1.000 1.000 X6 0.097 0.087 -0.036 -0.030 -0.141 -0.133 -0.191 -0.180 0.076 0.065 1.000 1.000 X7 0.095 0.090 0.095 0.092 0.055 0.054 0.063 0.062 -0.011 -0.016 0.291 0.272 1.000 1.000 X8 -0.093 -0.080 0.000 0.001 -0.053 -0.051 0.082 0.078 -0.039 -0.036 -0.101 -0.091 0.145 0.131 1.000 1.000

= Berry weight (g) = Berry length (mm) = Berry breadth (mm) = TSS (0B)

X5 X6 X7 X8

= Acidity (%) = Reducing sugars (%) = Non-reducing sugars (%) = Ascorbic acid (mg /100g)

* Significant at 5% level ** Significant at 1% and 5% level Table 4. Direct (in diagonal) and indirect (other values) effect of berry weight and component traits in Rubus ellipticus Smith Trait Effect via: Correlation with berry weight Berry length (mm) Berry breadth (mm) TSS (0B) Acidity (%) Reducing sugars (%) Non- reducing sugars (%) Ascorbic acid (mg /100 g) * Significant at 5% level Residual Effect 0.8997 0.299 0.189 -0.017 -0.018 -0.011 0.028 0.000 0.097 0.153 0.004 -0.003 -0.022 0.008 -0.008 -0.002 0.001 0.030 0.002 -0.006 0.002 0.003 -0.003 -0.001 0.003 0.048 0.004 -0.001 -0.002 -0.004 -0.016 -0.022 0.009 0.113 0.033 -0.011 0.003 0.002 0.002 0.000 0.010 0.035 0.005 0.000 0.004 -0.006 0.003 0.008 -0.011 -0.079 0.390* 0.332* -0.005 0.040 0.097 0.095 -0.093

heritability coupled with low genetic advance observed in all the traits reveal presence of non-additive gene effects. High percentage of heritability is due to favourable influence of environment rather than due to genotype and selection for such traits may not be effective. Genotypic and phenotypic correlation coefficients among eight traits are presented in Table 3. Berry weight had significant and positive correlation with berry length and berry breadth. Berry length exhibited positively significant correlation with berry breadth. Similar association among these characters was observed by Kim et al (2008) in Rubus coreanus Miq. and by Moore et al (2008) in Rubus idaeus L. In path analysis, seven of the eight berry traits were considered as casual variables and berry weight was taken

J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 28-31, 2009

as a dependent variable. Direct and indirect effects of various traits are presented in Table 4. Berry length and berry breadth had significant and positive effect on berry weight. Significant and positive correlation between different pairs can prove helpful for genetic improvement of different characters, in a single step, if the higher or lower value of each is required, while the negatively associated traits where increased or decreased value of both characters is required cannot be improved in a single step. Characters having non-significant correlation suggest that these are independent of each other.


The authors are thankful to Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, New Delhi, for providing necessary financial help during the course of investigation


Genetic variation in wild Himalayan raspberry

under the project entitled, "Studies on biodiversity of raspberry (Rubus ellipticus Smith) for selection of superior genotypes growing wild in north-western Himalayas".


Dossett, M. 2007. Variation and heritability of vegetative, reproductive and fruit chemistry traits in black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis L.), M.Sc. Thesis, Oregon State University, USA Hanson, C.H, Robinson, H.F. and Comstock, R.E. 1956. Biometrical studies of yield in segregating population of Korean Lespedeza. Agron. J., 48:268-272 Jennings, D.L. 1988. Raspberries and blackberries : Their breeding, diseases and growth, Academic Press, London Kim, S.H., Chung, H.G. and Han, J. 2008. Breeding of Korean black raspberry (Rubus coreanus Miq.) for high productivity in Korea. Acta Hort., 777:141-146 Milutinovic, M.D., Milivojevic, J., Dekovic, G., Milutinovic,

M.M., Miletic, R. and Novakovic, M. 2008. Pomological properties of introduced raspberry cultivars grown in West Serbia. Acta Hort., 777 :193196 Mladin, P. and Mladin, G., 2008. Improvement of raspberry cultivars in Romania. Acta Hort., 777:115-120 Mladin, P. 2002. Progress in black currant and raspberry breeding in Romania. Acta Hort., 585:149-154 Moore, P.P., Perkins-Veazie, P., Weber, C.A. and Howard, L., 2008. Environmental effect on antioxidant content of ten raspberry cultivars. Acta Hort., 777:493-504 Ranganna, S.1986. Handbook of analysis and quality control for fruit and vegetable products (2 nd ed.), Tata McGraw Hill, New Delhi Singh, D. and Kumar, K. 2001. Domestication of wild raspberry. Kisan World, 28:29 Weber, C.A., Perkins-Veazie, P., Moore, P. P. and Howard, L. 2008. Variability of antioxidant content in raspberry germplasm. Acta Hort., 777:493-498

(MS Received 21 January 2009, Revised 15 May 2009)

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J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 32-35, 2009

Acclimatization and field evaluation of micropropagated plants of chrysanthemum cv.`Arka Swarna'

Bindu Panicker, Pious Thomas and T. Janakiram1

Division of Biotechnology Indian Institute of Horticultural Research Hessarghatta Lake, Bangalore -560089, India E-mail: [email protected]


Chrysanthemum cv.`Arka Swarna' was micropropagated using shoot-tip and nodal microcuttings on MS medium containing 3% sucrose and 0.25% Phytagel® in the absence of externally supplied plant growth regulators, yielding 90 - 100% rooted plantlets, or in medium containing 1 µM benzyladenine or kinetin yielding 20 - 32% plantlets within 2 - 4 weeks of subculture. The stocks were acclimatized employing sachet technique wherein the rooted plantlets (2.5 - 4 cm) were planted in polythene bags of 5"×9" filled to one-third height with planting mixture. The closed bags with 1 - 5 plants were incubated under conditions similar to the in vitro stocks. The plantlets recorded 90 - 100% establishment within 4 weeks. The ex vitro established plants were evaluated in the field a month later by direct planting , or after one month in a field nursery-bed, along with conventional suckers. While field establishment (80 - 95%) was not significantly influenced by the treatments, micropropagated plants put through the nursery appeared to be the best among the three treatments in vegetative growth, floral characteristics and flower yield, demonstrating advantage of micropropagation over conventional propagation for shy-suckering chrysanthemums. Key words : Acclimatization, chrysanthemum, Dendranthema grandiflora, hardening, micropropagation


Chrysanthemum (Dendranthema grandiflora) is the second largest cut flower crop grown all over the globe and one of the most popular commercial flower crops in India (Kher, 1988). Conventionally the crop is propagated through suckers, which is quite slow for rapid multiplication of new varieties and exotic introductions, particularly, if the variety does not actively sucker. Micropropagation is an alternate approach for rapid cloning of chrysanthemums (Ben Jaacov and Langhans, 1972; Rout and Das, 1997; Teixeira da Silva, 2004). An elite Pompon type chrysanthemum cv. Arka Swarna with attractive golden flowers was developed at the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore, valued for both cut and loose flowers (Janakiram and Rao, 2001), but is a shy suckering type. Panicker et al (2007) evolved a micropropagation protocol for cv.`Arka Swarna' which involved culture of shoot-tip and nodal segments on MS basal medium devoid of any plant growth regulators.The microcuttings gave rise to a single shoot coupled with rooting, yielding 90 - 100% rooted plantlets within 2 - 4 weeks, all of which were suitable for acclimatization. The cultures showed reduction in rooting with cytokinins in the medium bringing

down the yield of hardenable plantlets to 20-32% at 1 µM benzyl adenine (BA) or kinetin. No rooting was observed above 5 µM. All the cultures showed covertly residing endophytic bacteria with no apparent adverse effect (Panicker et al, 2007). Tissue culture derived plants are very delicate and need to go through slow transition from the protected in vitro condition to the ex vitro environment, termed as hardening or acclimatization (Preece and Sutter1991; Ravindra and Thomas, 1995; Thomas, 1998). Further, a successful micropropagation protocol warrants that performance of tissue culture derived plants is matched to or is better than conventionally propagated plants. The present study was taken up to assess establishment of micropropagated chrysanthemumplants ex vitro and to test field performance of tissue-culture derived plants in comparison to conventionally propagated plants.


Plant material Studies were carried out using micropropagated plantlets of chrysanthemum cv. `Arka Swarna' which


Division of Ornamental Crops, IIHR, Bangalore ­ 560 089

Acclimatization of micropropagated chrysanthemum

initiated in vitro from field had been derived nodal explants and were further propagated in vitro for a period of one year, as described in an earlier study (Panicker et al, 2007). Rooted plantlets were derived from shoot-tip and nodal segments after cultured on MS basal medium supplied with 3% sucrose and gelled with 2.5 gl-1 Phytagel ® (Sigma Chemical Co, St. Louis, USA) with no added plant growth regulators, or, on medium supplied with 1 µM BA / kinetin. Such plantlets, with a shoot height of 2.5 - 4 cm, 3 - 5 nodes and 1 - 10 or more roots, were used for acclimatization. Acclimatization Sachet method, as described by Ravindra and Thomas (1995), was employed for acclimatization. Rooted plantlets were briefly washed under tap water and planted in potting mixture comprising 2:1:1 parts of autoclaved sand, soil and SoilriteTCÒ (Karnataka Explosives, Ltd., Perlite Division, Bangalore) filled to one-third capacity in polythene bags (9 inch height × 5 inch width). These in turn, were provided with drainage holes and watered to field capacity. Only a single plantlet was used per bag unless mentioned otherwise. The upper open end of the polybag was closed with a staple pin and the sachets were incubated under ambient conditions (25-30°C) and provided with 16 h of light (30-50 µE m-2 s-1) using cool, white fluorescent lamps (Thomas, 1998). The top of the sachet was opened two weeks after planting and ex-vitro establishment % was recorded one month from planting. The plants were shifted to a glasshouse and placed there for another a month, or, were transplanted to a nursery bed, under shadenets (approx. 400 µE m-2 s-1 light). Planting of upto five rooted plantlets per polythene bag and pruning of in-vitro formed roots at planting (Thomas and Ravindra, 1997) was also tried. Field evaluation of micropropagated conventionally propagated plants and

The experiment was laid out in completely randomized design (CRD) in a single bed of red loamy soil supplemented with sand and farm yard manure. Six replications with four plants constituted one replication. Percent establishment was recorded taking into account the whole population of plants in a treatment. Other plant growth variables (plant height, plant spread, number of primary branches and buds) were recorded from all four plants in a replication and floral characteristics (flower diameter, number of ray florets and flower weight) were recorded on five flowers from five representative plants in each replication. Flower yield / plant and duration of flowering were also assessed. Statistical analysis Statistical analysis was performed as per Gomez and Gomez (1984). CRD design was followed for the field experiment on account of accommodating all the treatments and their replications in a uniform bed. Percent values were subjected to arc-sine transformation before statistical analysis to stabilize the variance.


The shoot-tip and nodal segments that were cultured on MS basal medium gave rise to a single shoot 2 - 3.5 cm long coupled with rooting in 90 - 100% microcuttings, and 20 - 32% rooting in medium supplied with 1 µM BA or kinetin with shoot height of 2 - 2.5 cm. No rooting was observed at higher BA/ kinetin (5 - 20 µM) cones. Micropropagated plants showed 90 - 100% establishment in sachet method of acclimatization in different batches (Fig. 1A). The top of the sachet was opened, exposing the plants to ambient environment, 10-14 days after planting. The plants kept in the same bags for one month or more displayed good growth (Fig. 1B). Tissue culture derived plants showed relatively better field establishment over conventional suckers, although, the effect was not significant (Table 1). Overall, tissue culture derived plants were comparable to or superior to conventionally propagated plants, depending on whether these were planted directly (TC-D) or after going though a nursery (TC-N). TC-N plants outperformed TC-D plants in plant height, plant spread, number of flower buds, flower diameter, number of florets, flower weight and yield per plant. Compared to conventionally propagated plants, TCN plants were better in respect of flower diameter, flower weight, number of florets and yield per plant. TC plants,


Acclimatized plants were evaluated in field either directly (one month from opening sachets) or after planting in a nursery for a month, along with conventionally propagated suckers. T1 : Tissue culture derived, one-month old plants post acclimatization, planted directly in field (Code: TC-D) T2: Tissue culture derived, acclimatized plants planted in nursery bed under shade and after a month transplanted to experimental field (Code: TC-N) T3: Conventionally propagated suckers from mother plants raised in nursery for a month and subsequently transplanted to experimental field (Code: CP-S).

J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 32-35, 2009

Bindu Panikar et at

Fig 1. Acclimatization of micropropagated chrysanthemum through sachet technique (A) and the established plants showing growth during their maintenance in the same sachets (B). (Bar = approx. 10 cm)

Fig 2. Performance of chrysanthemum plants in the field following direct planting of acclimatized plants (A), acclimatized plants after a month in field nursery (B), and, conventional sucker-derived plants at one month in field nursery (C) Table 1. Performance of tissue culture derived and conventionally propagated plants of chrysanthemum cv. Arka Swarna Treatment Field establishment (%) 95(84.0) Plant height (cm) 58.5 No. of branches 13.9 Plants pread (cm) N-S E-W 27.5 30.3 Flower buds (no.) 76.3 Flower Florets Flowering Flower Floweryield / Sucker diameter (no.) duration wt.(g) plant(g) (no.) (cm) (days) 4.66 215.1 41.80 3.53 269.71 8.55

TC PlantDirect (TC-D) TC PlantNursery (TC-N) Conventional Sucker (CP-S) Significance SED ± CD (P = 0.05)













80(69.0) NS 7.14 30.86






4.21 ** 0.07 0.31**

191.5 ** 1.29 6.13**

39.20 ** 0.42 2.01**

2.75 ** 0.25 0.20**

241.92 ** 18.77 81.02**

5.95 ** 0.26 0.78**

** NS 1.22 3.21 5.77** 5.25

** ** ** 0.90 0.54 2.84 4.29** 2.56** 13.50**

whether planted directly or after pre-nursery, displayed significantly higher sucker production than conventional sucker derived plants. Overall, tissue culture-derived plants transplanted after a span in the nursery bed appeared to be better than those in the other two treatments (Fig. 2).

J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 32-35, 2009

In a subsequent trial, it was found that pruning invitro formed roots made planting into the sachets easier with no apparent negative effects on establishment (90 100%) or growth. Upto five plantlets could be planted per sachet, giving similar establishment rate as with single


Acclimatization of micropropagated chrysanthemum

plants. Post establishment (2-3 weeks), these could be transplanted to the nursery bed under shade, thus serving as a source of plants for subsequent field planting. The present study demonstrates suitability of micropropagation for rapid clonal propagation of shysuckering `Arka Swarna' based on results from field evaluation. A phase of one month in nursery bed subsequent to primary acclimatization was desirable in micropropagated chrysanthemum. Performance of acclimatized plants was not satisfactory in direct field-planting, possibly due to their delicate nature and delay in adjusting to field conditions. Tissue cultured plants of pepper, cardamom and vanilla also have shown similar results of better performance compared to conventionally propagated material (Rathy et al, 2005; Kuruvilla et al, 2005; Madhusoodanan et al, 2005). Planting as many as five rooted plantlets in a polythene bag and their transplantation to nursery appeared feasible, serving as an alternative to conventional sucker propagation in this shysuckering cultivar.


Ben-Jaacov, J. and Langhans, R.W. 1972. Rapid multiplication of chrysanthemum plants by stem-tip proliferation. Hort. Sci., 7:289-290 Gomez, A. K. and Gomez, A. A. 1984. Statistical procedures for agricultural research, 2nd ed., John Wiley and Sons Publication, 680p Janakiram, T. and Rao, T.M. 2001. Chrysanthemum. Technical bulletin. Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore, India, 18p Kher, M.A. 1988. Chrysanthemum in India. Associated Publishers Co., New Delhi, 79p Kuruvilla, K.M., Madhusoodanan, K.J., Sudharshan, M.R., Natarajan, P. and Thomas, J. 2005. Performance evaluation of tissue culture vs. open pollinated seedlings of cardamom. National Symposium on Biotechnological Interventions for Improvement of Horticultural Crops - Issues and Strategies, 10-12 Jan, 2005, Thrissur, pp 81-83 Madhusoodanan, K.J., Kuruvilla, K.M., Vadiraj, B.A., Radhakrishnan, V.V. and Thomas, J. 2005. On farm

evaluation of tissue culture vanilla plants vis-a-vis vegetative cuttings. National Symposium on Biotechnological Interventions for Improvement of Horticultural Crops - Issues and Strategies, 10-12 Jan, 2005, Thrissur, pp 89-90 Panicker, B., Thomas, P., Janakiram, T., Venugopalan, R. and Sathyanarayana, B.N. 2007. Influence of cytokinin levels on in vitro propagation of shy suckering chrysanthemum `Arka Swarna' and activation of endophytic bacteria. In Vitro Cell. Dev. Biol.- Plant, 43:614-622 Preece, J.E. and Sutter, E.G. 1991. Acclimatization of micropropagated plants to the glasshouse and field. p71-93. In: Micropropagation: Technology and Application. Debergh, P.C. and Zimmerman, R.H. (ed). Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands. Ravindra, M.B. and Thomas, P. 1995. Sachet technique an efficient method for the acclimatization of micropropagated grapes (Vitis vinifera L.). Curr. Sci., 68:546-548 Rathy, K., Jini, P. J., Shaiju, K.V., Rajesh, P.K., Sreekumar, P. K., Maji, A. and Nazeem, P. A. 2005. Comparative evaluation of tissue culture derived black pepper plants with conventional plants. National Symposium on Biotechnological Interventions for Improvement of Horticultural Crops - Issues and Strategies, 10-12 Jan 2005, Thrissur, pp 159-160 Rout, G.R. and Das, P. 1997. Recent trends in the biotechnology of Chrysanthemum: a critical review. Sci. Hort., 69:239-257 Teixeira da Silva, J. A. 2004. Ornamental chrysanthemums: improvement by biotechnology. Pl. Cell Tiss. Org. Cult., 79:1-18 Thomas, P. 1998. Humid incubation period and plantlet age influence acclimatization and establishment of micropropagated grapes. In Vitro Cell. Dev. Biol.Plant, 34:52-56 Thomas, P. and Ravindra, M.B. 1997. Effect of pruning or removal of in vitro formed roots on ex vitro root regeneration and growth in micropropagated grapes. Pl. Cell Tiss. Org. Cult., 51: 177-180

(MS Received 20 December 2008, Revised 15 June 2009)

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J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 36-40, 2009

Effect of gamma irradiation on African marigold (Tagetes erecta L.) cv. Pusa Narangi Gainda

Viveka Nand Singh, B. K. Banerji, A. K. Dwivedi and A. K. Verma

Floriculture Section National Botanical Research Institute Rana Pratap Marg, Lucknow-226 001, India E-mail: [email protected]


Seeds of African marigold cv. `Pusa Narangi Gainda' were irradiated with 0, 100, 200, 300 and 400 Grays of gamma rays to induce mutation. Seeds were sown just after irradiation and 30-day old seedlings were transplanted into beds. Reduction in survival percentage, plant height, number of branches, leaf number, leaf size, plant-spread, stem diameter, increased foliage and floral abnormalities were observed upon irradiation and with increase in dose of gamma rays. LD50 was determined on survival basis. Leaf abnormality manifested itself as leathery texture of leaf, enhanced and irregular leaf thickness, asymmetric development of pinnate leaflets, reduction in pinnae number, chlorophyll variegation, pale and deep green leaves, narrow leaves and small leaves. Percentage of abnormal leaves and plants increased with increase in dose of gamma rays. Fasciation of stem was a common abnormality observed in all the treatments. Days to bud initiation, earliness in colour-appearance and days to full bloom were all significantly delayed upon exposure to gamma rays. Flower-head size, height and weight were highest at the lowest dose. Number of ray florets and size (length and width) decreased with increasing radiation dose. Floral abnormalities and % of plants with abnormal flower-heads increased with increasing dose of gamma irradiation. Floral abnormality included fasciation of flower-head and asymmetric development of ray florets. Stimulating effect of gamma irradiation was observed at 100 Grays where almost all the characters studied showed positive correlation, including growth and yield attributes. It is concluded that exposure to 100 Grays of gamma rays in African marigold cv. Pusa Narangi Gainda results in higher yield and marketable bloom. Key words: Tagetes erecta, African marigold, Pusa Narangi Gainda, gamma irradiation induced mutation


Marigold, a member of the family Asteraceae, is native to Central and South America especially Mexico (Kaplan, 1960). The genus comprises thirty species of strongly scented annual and perennial herbs (Anonymous, 1976). Cultivated genera include Tagetes erecta L., commonly referred to as African marigold. In addition, the genus is recognized as a source of natural colourant, essential oil and thiophenes. It is one of the most important looseflower crops grown commercially in many parts of the country. Flowers of marigold are used in garland-making, wreaths, as religious offering, in hall decoration, etc. It is in great demand as loose flower throughout the year. Carotenoids extracted from flowers are used commercially in pharmaceuticals, foods supplements, as animal feed additives and colourants in food and cosmetics. Many workers have tried to improve marigold by breeding resulting

in novel cultivars, but, very little work has been done on mutation breeding. Several workers have examined effects of mutagens like gamma irradiation, ethyl methane sulphonate (EMS) and nitrosomethyle urea (NMU) on marigold (Heslot, 1968). Chlorophyll-deficient effects have been noticed in coleoptile of Tagetes erecta L. with gamma irradiation by Zaharia (1991). Since few attempts have been made to improve Tagetes erecta L. (African marigold) cv. `Pusa Narangi Gainda', the present investigation was carried out using gamma irradiation as a tool to induce mutation.


Dry and healthy seeds of African marigold cv. Pusa Narangi Gainda were irradiated with 0, 100, 200, 300 and 400 Grays of gamma rays (60Co). The experiment was conducted at Floriculture Section, National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, during the winter of 2007-08

Effect of gamma rays on marigold

to evaluate effects of gamma irradiation on quantitative traits. Treated seeds were sown along with the control (unirradiated) immediately after irradiation in 30 cm earthen pots and irrigated with a fine spray of water. Transplanting was done at thirty days from sowing. The experiment was conducted in a randomized block design with three replications spacd at 30 cm x 30 cm. In the M1 population, observations were recorded on various quantitative traits viz., plant height and spread, number of branches/leaves per plant, leaf size, stem diameter, morphological abnormalities in foliage and flower, flowering behaviour (days to bud-initiation, colour appearance and full-bloom); flowerhead height, weight and size (length and width), number of ray and disc florets, size of ray florets, fresh and dry weight the flower-head, number of seeds per flower-head and per cent fertile and sterile seeds per flower-head. Chlorophyll was estimated by the method of Arnon (1949).


Reduction in % plant survival, plant height, branch number, plant-spread, leaf number and size and stem diameter was observed at 100 Grays exposure of gamma rays. Maximum reduction in these traits was observed in the highest dose (400 Grays). Control plants exhibited hundred per cent survival, with normal growth (Plate 1) and no morphological abnormalities either in leaf or in stem, during various stages of plant growth (right from seedling upto mature flowering stage) while, leaf and stem abnormalities were quite clear and visible during various stages of vegetative growth in the treated population. Survival of plants was with increase in dose. Highest mortality was recorded with 400 Grays of gamma rays where only 68.5% of the plants survived. LD50 on survival basis

was determined above 400 Grays of gamma rays. Morphological abnormality in leaves manifested as asymmetrical leaf lamina, reduction in leaf size, narrow leaves, laminar fission, leathery texture, deep and pale green leaves and chlorophyll variegation of different grades (Plates 2-4). No significant differences in Chlorophyll a, b or total chlorophyll content were observed upon irradiation. This is in concurrence with findings of Geetha (1992) who reported chlorophyll deficient effects of gamma irradiation on Tagetes patula L. Cetl (1985) examined the effect of various concentrations of NMU on Tagetes erecta seeds and reported similar results for almost all the parameters studied (plant-height, stem diameter, flower-head size, flower-head height, time of flowering, branching habit, leaf size and flower-stalk length). Stem abnormalities included fasciation and forking (Plate 4). Per cent leaf abnormalities and percentage of plants with morphological abnormalities increased with increas in dose of gamma rays. Higher leaf abnormalities of 53.5% were observed with 400 Grays, in which 82.8% of the population exhibited abnormal plant type (Table 1). Plant-spread significantly (P<0.001) declined upon irradiation and with increased dose of gamma rays. Maximum reduction in plant-spread was observed with 400 Grays exposure (Table 1). Growth rate was measured using two parameters, viz. plant height and development of new leaves at fortnightly intervals. At the end of the first fortnight, growth rate was identical in both untreated and treated plants (Fig 1 & 2). In the second fortnight (30 days of growth), difference in plant growth was prominent and effect of gamma irradiation was quite clear. A sharp decline in plant-height and leaf-number was recorded here in the treated population in comparison

Plant height (cm) at different days from exposure

Number of leaves per plant at different days from exposure

Treatment (Gamma rays) Grays

Treatment (Gamma rays) Grays

Fig 1. Effect of Gamma irradiation on plant height (cm)

J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 36-40, 2009

Fig 2. Effect of Gamma irradiation on number of leaves per plant


Viveka Nand Singh et al

Table 1. Effect of gamma irradiation on vegetative characters of African marigold cv. Pusa Narangi Gainda Trait 0 (Control) Survival (%) Plant height (cm) ± SE Number of branches/plant ±SE N - S Plant-spread (cm) ±SE E - W Plant-spread (cm) ±SE Number of leaves/plant ±SE Leaf length (cm) ± SE Leaf width (cm) ± SE Stem diameter (cm) ± SE % Leaf abnormalities ±SE % Morphologically abnormal plants ±SE Chlorophyll `a' Chlorophyll `b' Total chlorophyll 100.00 62.09 ±1.41 5.45 ±0.52 29.24 ±0.81 28.35 ±0.87 59.90 ±4.78 15.94 ±0.27 6.94 ±0.19 0.63 ±0.02 0.00 0.00 0.035 0.061 0.098 100 Treatment with Gamma ray (Grays) 200 300 400

Vegetative parameters 100.00 64.43 ±1.71 6.00 ±0.31 31.26 ±0.77 29.51 ±0.79 63.40 ±3.73 16.70 ±0.25 7.04 ±0.16 0.67 ±0.01 9.37 9.37 0.034 0.061 0.105 88.45 48.04*** ±1.56 4.80 ±0.36 20.35*** ±0.81 21.07*** ±0.84 45.27*** ±3.45 12.76*** ±0.14 5.81*** ±0.22 0.50*** ±0.01 28.12 37.18 0.044 0.063 0.101 79.12 45.65*** ±1.47 4.33 ±0.30 18.63*** ±0.57 18.32*** ±0.61 36.70*** ±4.32 10.90*** ±0.27 5.30*** ±0.17 0.42*** ±0.01 31.03 44.82 0.036 0.064 0.103 68.53 40.32*** ±1.38 3.77 ±0.66 17.59*** ±0.75 17.20*** ±0.64 30.90*** ±2.06 9.78*** ±0.27 4.52*** ±0.19 0.38*** ±0.02 53.57 82.80 0.034 0.059 0.095

Chlorophyll content (mg/g fresh weight)

*=P < 0.05; =P < 0.02; **= P < 0.01; ***= P < 0.001

Cholorophyll content (mg/g fresh wt.)

Chlorophyll estimation was carried out in fresh leaves in both the control and irradiated plants using spectrophotometer (Ultrospec 2000). No significant difference in chlorophylls a, b and total chlorophyll content was observed upon gamma irradiation and with increase in dose. However, a slight increase in chlorophyll `a' content was observed with 200 Grays exposure. Bud-initiation was seen at 36 days from planting in the control population. It was significantly (P< 0.01) delayed with 200 Grays exposure to gamma rays. The maximum delay of 6 days was observed in the highest dose i.e., 400 Grays (Table 1). First floral-bud colour expression was observed at 49 days from planting and was delayed with 200 Grays exposure. Significant (P< 0.01) delay in first floralbud colour expression of 9 days was observed (400 Grays) exposure. Full-bloom was noticed at two months from planting in the control population, which was significantly (P< 0.01) delayed with exposure to gamma rays at 100 Grays. Maximum delay of 8 days was observed in the highest dose of 400 Grays. In general, flowering was delayed upon irradiation. Banerji and Datta (1991, 1993, 1995 and 2002) reported similar results in chrysanthemum. Number of flower-heads per plant increased slightly at the lowest dose


Fig 3. Effect of Gamma irradiation on chlorophyll content

to the control. Plant-height and number of leaves per plant decreased with increasing dose of gamma rays at 200 Grays. At the lowest dose of 100 Grays, stimulation in plant-height and increase in number of leaves per plant was recorded. In the third fortnight (45 days of growth), plant-height and number of leaves per plant were quite similar to that in the second fortnight (Fig 1 and 2).

J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 36-40, 2009

Effect of gamma rays on marigold

(100 Grays), and, progressively decreased with increase in dose. Maximum reduction in flower number, i.e., 50%, was observed at 400 Grays. Flower-head size decreased with increase in gamma ray dose and was significant (P< 0.01) at 200 Grays. Flowerhead weight was not overly affected with irradiation. However, number of ray florets per head increased at 100 Grays exposure. Here, an increase of 19 ray florets per head was recorded. But, at 200 Grays exposure, a sharp decline in ray-floret number was observed (25 ray florets fewer per head). Both reduction and increase in ray-floret number was observed with differential irradiation. Number of ray-florets per head increased at 200 Grays (Table 2). Length and width of ray floret significantly (P< 0.01) declined at 200 Grays. Fresh and dry weight of flower was found to increase at 100 Grays, and, a decreasing trend was observed at 2900 Grays. Number of seeds per head was higher at

irradiation upto 300 Grays and decreased significantly (P< 0.01) at 400 Grays exposure. Number of fertile seeds significantly (P< 0.01) increased at 100 Grays, fell sharp thereafter. In the control flower-head, 32% seed sterility was observed, while, it declined at 100 Grays and increased again to double that of the control at 400 Grays exposure. Plant survival, height, leaf-size, number of branches and leaves, and flower-head size declined upon gamma irradiation. Reduction was significant mostly at higher doses. Different types of morphological abnormalities in leaves (changes in shape, size, margin, apex and fission of leaves) and flower-head (shape and size of flower-head, asymmetric development of floret, fasciation of flower-head) were recorded with irradiation (Plate 5-7). Frequency of leaf and floral abnormalities and per cent plants with morphological abnormalities increased with increase in dose. Flowering behaviour was also affected upon irradiation.

Table 2. Effect of gamma irradiation on flowering behaviour and flower yield attributes of African marigold cv. Pusa Narangi Gainda Trait 0 (Control) Days to bud initiation ±SE Days to first-colour ± SE Days to full-bloom ± SE Number of flower heads/plant ±SE Flower-head size (cm) ± SE Flower-head height (cm) ± SE Number of ray florets/head ±SE Number of disc florat/head ±SE Ray floret length (cm) ±SE Ray floret width (cm) ±SE Fresh weight of flower-head (g) ±SE Dry weight of flower-head (g) ±SE Number of seeds/head ±SE % Fertile seed ±SE % Sterile seed ±SE 36.32 ±0.96 49.17 ±0.92 61.40 ±0.97 7.67 ±0.44 7.04 ±0.16 4.88 ± 0.07 115.80 ±7.85 98.80 ±7.60 2.69 ±0.10 1.84 ±0.01 7.54 ±0.17 1.05 ± 0.31 198.50 ± 6.20 68.18 ± 0.95 31.82 ±0.49 100 Treatment with Gamma ray (Grays) 200 300 400

Flowering behaviour 36.22 ±0.77 48.90 ±0.77 60.36 ±0.36 9.14* ±0.49 7.64 ±0.09 5.02 ± 0.05 134.80* ±3.38 91.80 ±6.44 2.88 ±0.01 2.02 ±0.02 8.16 ±0.20 1.13 ± 0.50 213.60 ± 5.41 75.86*** ± 0.85 24.14** ±0.58 40.46** ±0.78 54.24*** ±0.87 66.56*** ±0.49 5.67*** ±0.36 6.60** ±0.11 4.60 ± 0.15 98.20 ±6.44 125.60** ±2.99 2.58 ±0.01 1.54*** ±0.02 6.80** ±0.20 0.91 ± 0.29 205.10 ±5.20 58.33*** ±0.91 41.67*** ±0.41 39.89** ±0.88 56.06*** ±0.99 65.78*** ±0.64 4.77*** ±0.29 6.52*** ±0.05 4.38*** ± 0.10 96.20 ±6.80 131.60*** ±4.62 2.10*** ±0.02 1.41*** ±0.03 6.52*** ±0.21 0.80 ± 0.42 207.60 ±7.49 51.33*** ± 0.86 48.67*** ±0.39 42.43*** ±0.98 58.52*** ±1.08 69.03*** ±0.83 3.39*** ±0.19 5.66*** ±0.12 4.28*** ± 0.20 90.80 ±5.37 111.50 ±2.28 1.52*** ±0.05 1.40*** ±0.02 5.28*** ±0.37 0.53 ± 0.53 170.50*** ± 5.80 40.87*** ±0.80 59.13*** ±0.51

*=P < 0.05; =P < 0.02; **= P < 0.01; ***= P < 0.001

J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 36-40, 2009


Viveka Nand Singh et al

Reduction in `survival to maturity' and plant-height upon treatment with gamma rays may be due to inactivation of auxins and a decrease in auxin content with increased irradiation dose. Banerji and Datta (1993, 2002) explained that survival of plants to maturity and plant- height depended upon the nature and extent of chromosome damage. Percentage of abnormal leaves/plant increased with increase in exposure to gamma rays. Increase in plant-height and flower-production at lower doses was due to the stimulating effect of gamma rays. This effect of gamma rays has been recorded with 100 Grays exposure where plant-height, branch number, plant-spread (N-S & E-W), number of leaves, flowerheads, ray florets and seeds per flower increased (Tables 1 & 2). Sax (1963) and Sparrow (1954) reported stimulation of plant-growth with lower doses of ionizing radiation. Decrease in leaf and flower-head number with higher doses might be due to decrease in branch number (Banerji and Datta, 2001). Floral abnormalities increased upon irradiation. Banerji and Datta (1990, 1992, 2002 and 2003) also reported similar type of floral abnormalities in different cultivars of chrysanthemum with gamma irradiation. On the whole, this study revealed that exposure of seeds at 100 Grays is best among the doses studied, for improving growth and yield in the above stated variety of marigold.


The authors are thankful to Director, NBRI, Lucknow, for providing facilities to carry out the research.


Anonymous. 1976. Hortus Third - A Concise Dictionary of plants cultivated in the United States and Canada. MacMillan Publishing Company Arnon, D.I. 1949. Copper enzymes in isolated chloroplast polyphenyl oxidase in Beta vulgaris. Pl. Physiol., 24:1-15 Banerji, B.K. and Datta, S.K. 1990. Induction of mutation in Chrysanthemum cultivar `Anupam'. J. Nuclear Agri. and Biol., 19:252-256 Banerji, B.K. and Datta, S.K. 1992. Gamma ray induced flower shape mutation in chrysanthemum cv. `Jaya'. J. Nuclear Agri. and Biol., 21:73-79

Banerji, B.K. and Datta, S.K. 1993. Varietal differences in radio sensitivity of garden chrysanthemum. J. Nuclear Agri. and Biol., 36:114-117 Banerji, B.K. and Datta, S.K. 2001. Induction and analysis of somatic mutation in chrysanthemum cultivar `Surekha'. J. Nuclear Agri. and Biol., 30:88-95 Banerji, B.K. and Datta, S.K. 2002. Induction and analysis of gamma ray induced flower head shape mutation in `Lalima' chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum monifolium). Ind. J. Agril. Sci., 72:6-10 Banerji, B.K. and Datta, S.K. 2003. Tubular flower head mutation in chrysanthemum. J. Nuclear Agri. and Biology., 32:56-59 Cetl, B. 1985. Genetic and cytogenetic problems of Tagetes L. Breeding Folia Fac. Sci. Natl. Univ. Purkynianae Brun. Biol., 21:5-56 Datta, S.K. and Banerji, B.K. 1993. Gamma ray induced somatic mutation in chrysanthemum cv. `Kalyani Mauve'. J. Nuclear Agri. and Biol., 22:19-27 Datta, S.K. and Banerji, B.K. 1995. Improvement of garden chrysanthemum through induced mutation. Flora and Fauna, 1:1-4 Datta, S.K. and Banerji, B.K. 1991. Analysis of induced mutation in chrysanthemum. J. Ind. Bot. Soc.,70:5962 Geetha, C. 1992. Induced chlorophyll and viable mutation in Tagetes patula L. Acta Botanica Indica. 20:312314 Heslot, H. 1968. Mutation research done in 1967 on barley, rose and marigold. pp. 153-159. In: Mutation in plant breeding: A Progress Report, IAEA, Vienna Kaplan, L. 1960. Marigold. In: Commercial flower, (Eds. Bose, T. K. and Yadav, L. P.), Naya Prokash, Calcutta, pp. 714 Sax, K. 1963. The stimulation of plant growth by ionizing radiation. Radiation Bot., 3:179-186 Sparrow, A.H. 1954. Stimulation and inhibition of plant growth by ionizing radiation. Radiation Bot., 1:562 Zaharia, I. 1991. "Actiunea Radiathlor Gamma Asupra Germinatiei Si Biosintezei Pigmentilor Assimilatory Da Unele Plante Floricole" Seria Agricultura, 44:107-114

(MS Received 7 July 2008, Revised 5 December, 2008)

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J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 41-44, 2009

Induction of mutation in Rough lemon (Citrus jambhiri Lush.) using gamma rays

H.K. Saini and M.I.S. Gill

Department of Horticulture Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana ­ 141 004, India E-mail: [email protected]


The present investigation was carried out to study variability induced by gamma rays with respect to vegetative characters and LD50 dose in Rough lemon. Rough lemon seeds were gamma irradiated at doses of 0, 4, 6 and 8 kr along with control. Seed germination decreased with increasing dose of gamma radiation. Seedling height and leaf size also decreased with increasing dose of gamma radiation, whereas, apical branching, number of branches/seedling, number of variegated / albino seedlings and number of leaves increased with increasing dose of gamma radiation. Maximum variability for seedling height, number of leaves, leaf size, colour, internode length, and per cent apical branching was observed at two months from sowing in seeds treated with 8 kr dose of gamma radiation. Variability for all characters was, however, found to be minimum in the control. Keywords: Gamma rays, citrus, rough lemon, variability, seeds


In vitro mutagenesis is a valuable tool for improvement of a crop, especially when these is a need to add one or two easily identifiable characters in an otherwise well adapted variety, without disturbing its basic genotype. At current levels of plant breeding research, mutation breeding is highly suitable, when natural variation does not provide gene(s) for desired traits. Mutation breeding is more effective than hybridization even when desired genes are present, but, tightly linked to undesirable genes. Frequency of spontaneous mutation is quite low (approximately 10-6 for an individual gene), hence, attempts have been made to accelerate the rate artificially using physical and chemical mutagens. Attempts to induce variability in citrus have been made by various workers with desirable results like seedlessness in sweet orange and grapefruit cultivars (Davis and Albrigo, 1994) and salt tolerance in Troyer citrange (Garcia-Augustin and Primo-Millo, 1995). However, in rough lemon no specific information is available about LD50 dose and the degree and direction of variation caused. In the present study, variability induced by gamma rays was studied with respect

to vegetative characters and LD 50 dose in Rough lemon seeds.


The present research was conducted at the Tissue Culture Laboratory, Department of Horticulture, PAU, Ludhiana, during 2007-08. Seeds from healthy fruits of Rough lemon were collected in August-September and exposed to gamma rays (after air-drying) at dosage of 0, 4, 6 and 8 kr from 60Co source emitting 110 kr per hour. A hundred seeds were cultured on MS medium and each treatment was replicated thrice, so that there were three hundred seeds receiving each treatment. Emerging seedlings were counted, at 10 day interval from sowing. LD50 dose was determined from the number of seed germinated upto 45 days from sowing, as, no seedling emerged after this period. In vitro grown two-month old seedlings were used for measuring various growth parameters like height, internode length, number of leaves per seedling, and, leaf length and width, number of apical shoots per seedling, per cent apical shooting and per cent variegated and albino seedlings were recorded. Data were analyzed as per completely randomized block design (Snedecor and Cochran, 1999).

Saini and Gill


Germination of seeds was severely affected with increasing dose of gamma radiation. At 45 days from sowing, seed germination was maximum in control (63.45%), followed by 4 kr (58.48%) treatment. LD50 value was observed at 8 kr. Seed germination decreased with increase in dose of gamma-radiation. Similar results were reported by Gregory and Gregory (1965) using X-ray treatment and Hearn (1984) with gamma radiation in citrus. Data on seedling height in gamma irradiated rough lemon seeds after two months of sowing are presented in Table 1. Maximum seedling height was observed in control (7.79 cm) and minimum in 8 kr (3.76 cm) treatment (Fig 1a). Seedling height in different gamma ray treatments ranged from 5.8-9.0 cm in the control, 5.3-8.8 cm in 4 kr, 2.0-9.4 cm in 6kr and 0.4-7.0 cm in 8 kr treatment. Likewise, Kerkadzi (1985) observed decrease in seedling height with increasing gamma radiation dose in citrus. Reduction in height was also reported by Legave et al (1989) and Waqar et al (1992) in kinnow seedlings. A majority of the seedlings in control were of medium height, while, in 8kr treatment seedlings were dwarf. The proportion of dwarf seedlings varied from none in control to 64.90% in 8 kr treatment. In the medium height category, proportion of seedling varied from 35.37% in 8 kr to 100% in control, whereas, their proportion ranged from none (control, 4 kr and 8 kr) to 12.43% in 6 kr treatment under the tall seedlings category. Radiation treatments probably induced some changes at the gene level that ultimately reflected in substances that trigger biochemical processes controlling different aspects of growth. These substances, identified as auxins, gibberellins, ethylene and abscisic acid called phytohormones, initiates biochemical reactions and induce changes in chemical patterns that lead to various modifications and variations in plant characters, viz., height, branching and stem thickness, as reported by Whittwer (1971).

Treatment Control 4 kr 6 kr 8 kr CD (P=0.05) Germination (%) 80.00 (63.45)* 68.60 (58.48) 65.80 (53.58) 55.62 (50.06) 7.31 Seedling height (cm) Average Range 7.79 6.70 5.52 3.76 1.55 5.8-9.0 5.3-8.8 2.0-9.4 0.4-7.0 1.25

Significant reduction in leaf size was found with increasing dose of gamma rays (Table 2) and, thus, the minimum leaf size (length 0.93 and breadth 0.43 cm) was observed in 8 kr treatment, followed by 6 kr. Variability for leaf colour was maximum in 8 kr treated seedlings, while, it was minimum in control (Table 2, Fig 1c). The proportion of variegated leaves varied from none in control to a maximum of 59.54% in 8 kr treatment. In the albino category, the proportion varied from none













Fig 1. Effect of different doses of gamma radiation on (a) seedling height (b) branching and (c) leaf colour

Table 1. Effect of different doses of gamma rays on germination and height in Rough lemon seedling Per cent seedlings in each category Low<3 cm Medium 3-9 cm High >9 cm 0.00 (0.00) 44.75 (41.96) 33.53 (35.37) 64.90 (53.65) 1.37 100.00 (89.96) 52.75 (46.56) 55.12 (47.92) 35.37 (36.48) __ 0.00 (0.00) 0.00 (0.00) 12.43 (20.63) 0.00 (0.00) __

* Figures in parentheses are transformed values

J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 41-44, 2009


Gamma ray induced mutation in Rough lemon

Table 2. Effect of different doses of gamma rays on number of leaves, leaf size and leaf colour in Rough lemon seedling Treatment Control 4 kr 6 kr 8 kr CD (P=0.05) Number of leaves /seedling 2.23 9.73 9.63 11.30 1.86 Length (cm) 2.07 1.80 1.21 0.93 0.43 Leaf size Breadth (cm) 1.07 0.85 0.61 0.43 0.13 Variegated 0.00 15.16 73.79 31.09 7.03 (0.00)* (22.90) (59.54) (33.87) __ Leaf colour (%) Albino 0.00 (0.00) 0.00 (0.00) 11.65 (19.94) 0.00 (0.00) 3.60 Normal 100.00 (89.96) 79.69 (63.30) 63.02 (52.52) 47.14 (43.34)

* Figures in parentheses are transformed values

(control, 4 kr and 6 kr) to 19.34% in 8 kr treatment. In the normal leaf category, proportion varied from 43.34% in 8kr treatment to 100 per cent in control. The maximum average number of leaves per seedling 2 months from sowing was observed in 8 kr treatment (8.20), followed by 6 kr (7.60), whereas, the minimum average number of leaves per seedling was observed in the control (Table 2). Swaminathan (1965) reported that besides causing various phytohormones to malfunction and cause changes in chemical patterns leading to morphological variations, radiation treatments also caused quantitative and qualitative alteration in hereditary material. Morphological effects due to radiation treatment have been reported in leaves and branches (Sparrow and Gunckel, 1956). These are generally recessive to the normal type or the condition they arise from, thereby suggesting that mutations induced are due to destruction of the gene. Non-significant results were obtained for internode length in gamma ray treated Rough lemon seedlings. The present findings are in conformity with Jawaharlal et al (1991) in acid lime, thereby, indicating varietal or genetic specificity of each genotype to radiation. Most of the illeffects of gamma radiation treatment started immediately after treatment and were manifest in terms of decreased sprouting capacity with increasing the dose.

Table 3. Effect of different doses of gamma rays on internode length, apical branching and number of branches/seedling in Rough lemon Treatment Internode length (cm) 0.42 0.56 0.63 0.93 NS Apical branching (%) 0.00(0.00)* 44.40(41.76) 11.00(19.34) 5.00(12.87) 1.54 Number of branches/ seedling 0.00 1.10 1.66 3.90 0.19

With increase in the dose of gamma rays, there was increase in per cent apical branching and the number of apical branches per seedling (Table 3, Fig 1b). Maximum per cent branching was observed in 8 kr (41.76%) treatment with (3.90) apical branches per seedling, followed by 6 kr (19.34%) with 0.66 apical branches per seedling. Results indicate that Gamma rays at doses of 6 and 8 Kr can be used to create sufficient variability in Rough lemon genotypes. These mutants can be further exploited for abiotic and biotic stress tolerance.


Davis, F.S. and Albrigo, I.G. 1994. Citrus. CAB International, Wallingford, UK, pp 254 Garcia-Augustin, P. and Primo-Millo, E. 1995. Selection of a NaCl tolerant citrus plant. Pl. Cell Rep., 14: 314-18 Gregory, W.C. and Gregory, M.P. 1965. Induced mutation in quantitative characters. Experimental basis for mutations to hardiness in citrus. Proc. Soil Crop Sci. Soc. Fla., 25:372-76 Hearn, C.J. 1984. Development of seedless orange and grapefruit cultivars through seed irradiation. J. Amer. Soc. Hortl. Sci., 109:270-73 Jawaharlal, M., Sambandamoorthy, S. and Irulappan, T. 1991. Effect of gamma-ray and EMS on seed germination and seedling growth in acid lime (Citrus aurantifolia Swingle). South Ind. Hort., 39:332-36 Kerkadzi, I.G. 1985. Induced mutations in subtropical crops. V. Biological and genetic effect of treating citrus with gamma-radiation. Subtrop Kul., 4:104-10 Legave, J.M., Tisne-Agostini, D. and Jacquemond, C. 1989. Physiological effects induced by acute gammairradiation of Clementine (Citrus reticulata Blanco). Fruits Paris., 44:329-33

Control 4 kr 6 kr 8 kr CD (P= 0.05)

*Figures in parentheses are transformed values

J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 41-44, 2009


Saini and Gill

Snedecor CW and Cochran WG. 1999. Statistical methods. 6th edition. Oxford and IBH Publ. Co, Calcutta, pp 593 Sparrow, A.H. and Gunckel, J.E. 1956. The effect of plants on chronic exposure to gamma-radiation from radio cobalt. Proc Int Conf Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, 17:52-59 Swaminathan, M.S. 1965. A comparison of mutation

induction in diploid and polyploids. Radiation Bot., 5:619-41 Waqar, A., Wasim, A. Farooqi and Sattar (Jr), A. 1992. Effect of gamma irradiation on the morphology of Kinnow seedlings. Proc First Intl. Seminar on Citriculture in Pakistan, 2-5 Dec, 1992 Whittwer, S.H. 1971. Radiation induced mutation in crop plants. Outlook Agri.,6:205-17

(MS Received 4 November 2008, Revised 18 February 2009)

J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 41-44, 2009


J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 45-49, 2009

Distribution of staminate and hermaphrodite flowers and fruit-set in the canopy of cashew genotypes

D. Sharma1

S.G. College of Agriculture and Research Station Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya Jagdalpur ­ 495 006, Chhattisgarh, India E-mail:[email protected]


Production of staminate(S) and hermaphrodite (H) flowers was studied in the north, east, south and west sides of the cashew tree canopy from December 2003 to May 2005 at S.G. College of Agriculture and Research Station, IGKVV, Jagdalpur (C.G.). Flower production was recorded daily on selected plants throughout the main flowering season and, subsequently, yield of each plant was recorded. Results showed differences in number of flower types on different sides of the tree. However, there was consistently greater number of staminate flowers than hermaphrodite flowers during both early and late flowering . Significant variability between genotypes and sides was recorded for sex ratio (S/H). Hybrid-255 showed highest sex ratio for north, south and west sides and Vridhachalam-2 for the east side. Differences in fruit-set and nut-yield were also found between sides. Hybrid 30/1 had highest per cent fruit-set. Highest number of fruits carried to maturity was recorded in Hybrid-30/1. Distribution of yield over the tree-canopy showed that south side had significantly high nut yield, followed by west side. Key words: Anacardium occidentale, cashew, flower distribution, sex type, side of canopy


Cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) is a highvalue export crop. Yields in fruit crops is determined primarily by flowering and subsequent fruit-set from these flowers. The cashew produces innumerable flowers, of which less than 10% are bisexual. Under normal conditions, nearly 85% of the flowers are fertilized of which only 4-6% reache maturity. Very little is known about factors controlling yield in cashew and in particular the extent to which yield is influenced by flowering behaviour. Cashew is reported to be a cross-pollinating tree crop (Pavithran and Ravindranathan, 1974; Free and Williams, 1976; Palaniswami et al, 1979). Cashew flowers are borne on an inflorescence that is an indeterminate panicle. Each flowering panicle possesses both hermaphrodite and male flowers (Rao and Hassan, 1957; Ascenso and Mota, 1972; Kumaran et al, 1976; Thimmaraju et al, 1980), and, other than these, abnormal flowers have also been reported (Masawe, 1994; Mota, 1973). Cashew trees require 4-5 months to complete equential anthesis in the panicle (Pavithran and Ravindranathan, 1974).


The cashew tree normally bears nuts with attached false fruit (the cashew `apple') on the periphery of the canopy. Casual observation suggests that one side of the tree may have higher nut-set than another. Existence of such differences has not been established, nor is the distribution of flower types between sides (e.g. sunny or shaded side) or whether yield is directly related to flower distribution. It is important for future breeding work or developing cashew ideotype, as well as orchard establishment to determine whether high yield is predetermined by number, distribution in time and / or ratio among flower types.


The present investigation was carried out at S.G. College of Agriculture and Research Station, IGKV, Jagdalpur (C.G.) during flowering seasons of 2003-04 and 2004-05. The material comprised of 14 varieties of cashew, released from different parts of the country, receiving the same cultural treatment. The experiment was carried out in randomized block design with three replications. Fourteen cashew genotypes, each represented by four individuals,

Present address: Department of Horticulture, Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Raipur ­ 492 006


vegetatively propagated by softwood grafting were selected. The genotypes were Hybrid-3/28, Hybrid-3/33, Hybrid-30/ 1, Hybrid-10/19, Vridhachalam-1, Vridhachalam-2, Hybrid68, Hybrid-255, Hybrid-367, Hybrid-320, Hybrid-303, Selection-1, Selection-2 and Vengurla-4. Each genotype was planted in a block of four trees at spacing of 7.5 x 7.5 m. The cashew tree canopy of each selected tree was marked on four sides i.e., north, south, east and west using a compass. From each marked side, a total of four young panicles (2 for flowering and 2 for fruiting) of almost the same size by (visual appearance) were selected at random for taking observation during the entire flowering and fruiting period (December to May). Each panicle was tagged and numbered. Counting of the type of opened flower within each panicle was carried out daily by detaching them from the cashew panicle using fine forceps. Care was taken to ensure that the residual parts of labelled panicles were not physically damaged. Two types of flowers namely, staminate and hermaphrodite, were observed throughout the flowering period. Both flower types were morphologically distinct with each other, male flowers usually having five sepals, five petals, one large exerted stamen and 7-9 small inserted stamens, with each stamen comprising an anther and a short filament. The large stamen was nearly twice the length of small stamens. The large stamen and most of the small stamens produced pollen. Hermaphrodite flowers were similar to the staminate flowers but had a well-developed gynoecium, which consisted of an ovary, style and a stigma that was normally longer than the large stamen but occasionally shorter or of equal size. Analysis of variance was carried out as per Panse and Sukhatme (1978).

of the first flower of each type (staminate or hermaphrodite) to open. Thus, 1st December was considered as the first day, and so on. Number of days to flower varied between genotypes (Table 1). Among the genotypes, Hybrid-30/1 was clearly the earliest, producing the first flowers on sixth day on the north side, together with production of male flowers on the east side. Vridhachalam-1 was the next earliest. There were differences between genotypes in the date of first flower opening and in the time and duration of peak flowering. There is, therefore, a possibility for carrying out selection for earliness to flower as well as duration of flowering. This characteristic is important, as extended flowering may lead to undesirably late nut/fruit production. Some genotypes such as Hybrid-30/1 and Vridhachalam-1 peaked early and yielded over a short period, while others, like Selection-1 and Vengurla-4, yielded over a wider span of time. The genotype Selection-1 was considerably later than all other 13 genotypes, taking nearly 36 days. With respect to sides of a tree, the east side produced flowers first, taking on average 22.56 days, followed by south (26.18 days) which was very close to the west side (26.93 days). Flowering in the north side took more time (35.07 days) than other sides. In terms of different flower types, all genotypes produced staminate flowers first followed by hermaphrodite ones. Flower type: It was observed that at Bastar, flowering was early on the east and south sides of the tree. Production of all flower types increased with time, as shown in Fig. 1. The figure shows mean number of flowers per panicle on each side (of on average over all fourteen genotypes). However, it was seen that the production of staminate flowers increased dramatically compared to hermaphrodite flowers. The trend in production of staminate flowers was similar in all the genotypes, with two phases, i.e. an early peak and a late peak. Major production of


Flowering : Number of days to flower was taken as the number of days, from 30th November, for appearance

Table 1. Mean number of days taken from 30 Nov. (2004 and 2005) for first flower to open on different sides in various cashew genotypes Side North South East West Mean Type 3/28 S H S H S H S H S H OA 39 42 28 31 23 27 29 33 29.75 33.25 31.5 3/33 28 31 20 23 18 24 23 29 22.3 26.8 24.5 30/1 10/19 VRI-1 VRI-2 14 18 8 14 6 12 10 14 9.5 14.5 12 30 36 18 25 15 21 20 26 20.75 27 23.88 15 22 9 12 8 12 10 15 10.5 15.25 12.88 39 46 29 32 26 31 32 37 31.5 36.5 34 Genotype H-68 H-255 H-367 H-320 H-303 Sel-1 29 38 23 30 18 27 27 34 24.25 32.25 28.25 34 39 22 29 17 19 23 25 24 28 26 36 46 28 32 26 31 29 34 29.75 35.75 32.75 33 39 27 34 24 31 27 35 27.75 34.75 31.25 30 38 22 29 19 24 23 29 23.5 30 26.75 52 56 39 45 36 40 41.8 50.5 46.1 Sel-2 33 38 24 30 22 25 25 28 26 30.3 28.1 V-4 39 42 34 36 32 35 34 36 34.8 37.3 36 Mean Type Side 32.21 37.93 23.64 28.71 20.71 24.54 25.14 28.85 35.07 26.18 22.56 26.93

S= Staminate, H= Hermaphrodite, OA= Overall average

J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 45-49, 2009


Reproductive biology in cashew genotypes

Fig 1. Comparison of flower-sex type during flowering in cashew

staminate flowers was more pronounced in the early part of flowering season. But, during the middle part, all genotypes tended to produce more hermaphrodite flowers. However, the number of hermaphrodite flowers was relatively low compared to the number of staminate flowers. Later, all the genotypes showed higher production of staminate flowers. The total number for each type of flower is given in Table 2. The proportion of staminate and hermaphrodite flowers also varied with genotype. Staminate flowers were always more in number and ranged from 1005.25 to 1977.83, while hermaphrodite flowers ranged from 150 to 613 per panicle. Genotype Vridhachalam-2, produced the lowest number of total flowers (1274.25) and staminate flowers (1005.25). The lowest number of hermaphrodite flowers (150) was produced by Hybrid-10/19. Hybrid-255 produced the highest total number of flowers (2590.83) and hermaphrodite flowers (613). In India, Damodaran (1966) observed 486 flowers per healthy panicle, while, Hanamashetti et al (1986) reported a range of 165 to 837flowers. Heard et al (1990) observed 16 panicles over 50 days in Australia and noted a mean number of 443 flowers per panicle. In most cases, the first flowers to open were staminate, as reported by Moranda (1941), Rao and Hassan (1957), Northwood (1966) and Pavithran and Ravindranathan (1974). For most of the season, staminate and hermaphrodite flowers opened at the same time, but the number of staminate flowers was considerably greater than number of hermaphrodite flowers. There were highly significant differences in the number of male flowers between genotypes and between the sides in the same clone. By contrast, difference in number of hermaphrodite flowers varied significantly between clones while there were was significant difference between sides.

J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 45-49, 2009

Sex ratio: The ratio of hermaphrodite to staminate flowers is shown in Table 2 which shows significant variability between genotypes and sides. On an average, it ranged from 0.10 to 0.31 among genotypes, whereas, for the east side from 0.09 to 0.29, west side from 0.10 to 0.40, south side from 0.14 to 0.40 and north side 0.05 to 0.26. Mean sex ratio was observed to be highest for the south side (0.25) and lowest for north side (0.14). Hybrid-255 showed highest sex ratio for north, south and west sides and Vridhachalam-2 for east side whereas, Selection-1 had low sex ratio for all the four sides. However, considering overall number of flowers, summed over sides, Hybrid-255 stood out with high sex ratio (0.31) and Selection-1 lowest (0.10). The others had moderate ratios. The ratio of hermaphrodite to staminate flowers varied between genotypes and different sides in the same genotype. In most genotypes, higher ratio was found on the south side. Present results are in agreement with those reported by Chakraborty et al (1981)who reported that panicles on the south side gave maximum number of hermaphrodite flowers and higher sex ratio. They also suggested that distribution of flowers was influenced by light and temperature. It has been claimed by Wunnachit and Sedgeley (1992) that the number of hermaphrodite flowers can be used as a selection criterion. Heard et al (1990) reported that pollination was not a limiting factor in cashew production. Nut yield: The distribution of nut yield (kg) on different sides of the tree, number of hermaphrodite flowers and fruit set is presented in Table 3. Average fruit set (%) ranged from 2.23 to 4.28% among genotypes and, on the east side, it varied from 1.56 to 2.67; west side from 1.56 to 3.34, south side from 4.67 to 9.12 and north side, 1.20 to 2.10. In general the south side had highest fruit set, followed by west, east and north, in all the genotypes. Hybrid 30/1 had highest per cent fruit set (4.28), followed by Hybrid303 (4.02). Selection-1 had the lowest fruit set (2.23). Highest fruit set in north was recorded in Hybrid- 3/33 (2.10), whereas, highest values for south (9.12), east (2.67) and west sides (3.34) were observed in Hybrid-30/1. Distribution of yield over tree canopy showed the south side as having significantly highest nut yield, followed by the west side. Nut yield increased with increase in number of hermaphrodite flowers and fruit set. Data on average yield data showed that Hybrid- 303 gave maximum nut yield (4.02), followed by Hybrid-68 (3.94), and the lowest was recorded in Vridhachalam-2 (0.72). In the present study the yield of cashew genotypes showed significant differences between the genotypes or between the sides of the same


Number of flowers

Table 2. Number of staminate and hermaphrodite flowers per panicle (from four trees) of cashew genotypes from different sides of tree canopy

SE(m)+ CD (5%) H-367 28.01 8.37 67.10 38.03 43.94 17.21 46.03 23.83 46.29 21.86 0.016 60.52 18.08 949.10 129.68 539.39 H-320 H-303 Sel-1 Sel-2 V-4 Type Side Mean 10/19 VRI-1 VRI-2 Genotype H-68 H-255






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0.14 144.96 2274.11 1431.44 82.16 588.78 0.25 94.92 1489.07 877.74 37.16 266.42 0.19 99.44 1559.87 964.35 51.44 368.83 0.23 99.98 1568.03 47.21 338.43 0.035


880.32 152.96 0.17 2452.32 822.16 0.34 1320.48 382.40 0.29 1634.88 554.48 0.34 1572.00 478.00 0.30 2050.00

1113.55 128.48 0.12 2358.12 432.16 0.18 1310.06 292.00 0.22 1768.59 315.36 0.18 1637.58 292.00 0.18 1929.58

1137.09 241.26 0.21 2974.61 967.30 0.33 2774.49 357.33 0.13 2210.49 710.11 0.32 2274.17 569.00 0.25 2843.17

665.18 57.00 0.09 1722.93 270.00 0.16 1441.55 129.60 0.09 1047.02 143.40 0.14 1219.17 150.00 0.12 1369.17

1007.74 627.28 876.56 988.92 1026.66 802.09 87.03 114.06 100.08 259.91 151.36 87.56 0.09 0.18 0.11 0.26 0.15 0.11 1924.65 1592.32 2487.89 2587.00 2859.99 1698.55 481.71 479.90 502.62 1042.10 813.56 294.52 0.25 0.30 0.20 0.40 0.28 0.17 1135.33 804.20 1321.29 2412.95 1540.00 943.64 197.34 220.58 227.96 384.96 378.40 199.00 0.17 0.27 0.17 0.16 0.25 0.21 1340.77 997.21 1727.35 1922.45 1906.66 1273.91 245.92 261.47 281.34 765.02 548.68 214.92 0.18 0.26 0.16 0.40 0.29 0.17 1352.12 1005.25 1603.27 1977.83 1833.33 1179.55 253.00 269.00 278.00 613.00 473.00 199.00 0.19 0.27 0.17 0.31 0.26 0.17 1605.12 1274.25 1881.27 2590.83 2306.33 1378.55

974.16 199.88 0.21 2523.25 946.80 0.38 2111.16 454.46 0.22 1533.38 502.86 0.33 1785.49 526.00 0.29 2311.49

1308.53 62.26 0.05 2499.12 344.62 0.14 1474.20 141.18 0.10 1740.96 175.93 0.10 1755.70 181.00 0.10 1936.70

903.08 87.34 0.10 2292.44 367.50 0.16 1157.80 168.92 0.15 1435.67 200.23 0.14 1447.25 206.00 0.14 1653.25

976.18 86.34 0.09 1864.37 477.90 0.26 1099.77 195.78 0.18 1298.78 243.97 0.19 1309.77 251.00 0.19 1560.77

S= Staminate, H= Hermaphrodite, SR= Sex ratio



SE(m)+ CD (5%) 8.37 18.08 38.03 82.16 17.21 37.16 23.83 51.44 10/19 57.00 1.87 1.44 270.00 6.08 4.69 129.60 1.97 1.52 143.40 2.06 1.59 150.00 2.99 34.42 2.31 VRI-1 87.03 1.44 0.40 481.71 6.98 1.94 197.34 1.79 0.50 245.92 2.14 0.60 253.00 3.09 36.82 0.86 VRI-2 114.06 1.56 0.40 479.90 5.58 1.43 220.58 1.88 0.48 261.47 2.20 0.56 269.00 2.80 30.24 0.72 Genotype H-68 H-255 100.08 259.91 1.87 1.42 1.91 0.79 502.62 1042.10 8.45 7.71 8.64 4.31 227.96 384.96 2.33 1.85 2.37 1.03 281.34 765.02 2.78 2.27 2.84 1.27 278.00 613.00 3.86 3.31 46.42 42.48 3.94 1.85 H-367 151.36 1.50 0.78 813.56 7.02 3.65 378.40 2.08 1.08 548.68 2.65 1.38 473.00 3.31 42.01 1.72 H-320 87.56 1.64 1.07 294.52 7.14 4.65 199.00 2.05 1.33 214.92 2.45 1.59 199.00 3.32 40.66 2.16 H-303 199.88 2.12 2.12 946.80 8.36 8.35 454.46 2.58 2.58 502.86 3.04 3.04 526.00 4.02 51.15 4.02 Sel-1 62.26 1.12 0.78 344.62 4.67 2.17 141.18 1.56 0.78 175.93 1.56 0.78 181.00 2.23 34.97 1.13 Sel-2 87.34 1.42 0.60 367.50 8.51 3.62 168.92 1.77 0.75 200.23 2.11 0.90 206.00 3.45 47.48 1.47 V-4 86.34 1.78 1.43 477.90 8.78 7.07 195.78 2.06 1.66 243.97 2.34 1.88 251.00 3.74 46.40 3.01 21.86 0.82 5.03 0.36 47.21 1.69 10.36 0.75

Table 3. Comparison of number of hermaphrodite flowers and fruit-set per panicle to yield (kg per tree) of cashew genotypes on different sides of tree canopy









3/28 152.96 1.33 0.60 822.16 5.75 3.53 382.40 1.74 0.78 554.48 2.14 0.97 478.00 2.74 40.27 1.47

3/33 128.48 2.10 1.00 432.16 7.50 2.61 292.00 2.27 0.98 315.36 3.14 0.97 292.00 3.75 34.72 1.39

30/1 241.26 2.00 1.06 967.30 9.12 4.85 357.33 2.67 1.42 710.11 3.34 1.78 569.00 4.28 56.49 2.28

NHF= Number of hermaphrodite flowers, FS= fruit set, Y= Yield, PFR= Per cent fruit retention

Reproductive biology in cashew genotypes

genotype. This could be related to the pattern of flowering. However, it is worth noting that the south side recorded highest yield. There was continuous production of hermaphrodite flowers from tonset of flowering till the end, while, production of male flowers decreased over time. Further, it was seen that hermaphrodite flowers produced very early or too late had few or no nuts thus indicating the importance of hermaphrodite rather than staminate flowers in determining yield potential as in the Philippines (Moranda, 1941). The highest magnitude of fruits carried to maturity (% fruit retention) was recorded in Hybrid -30/1 (56.49%) and was at par with Hybrid -303, Selection-2, Hybrid -68 and Vengurla-4. Lowest fruit retention was noted in Vridhachalam-2 (30.21%). It would greatly help devise future strategies if more studies are carried out on yield performance on different sides of cashew tree across a wide range of locations. Nevertheless, present results are in agreement with earlier reports and further show that selection for floral behaviour could give beneficial results for cashew production and for development ofa cashew ideotype.


Ascenso, J.C. and Mota I.M. 1972. Studies on the flower morphology of cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.). Agronomia Moçambicana, 6:107-118 Chakraborty, D.K, Sadhu, M.S. and Bose, T.K. 1981. Studies on sex expression in cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.). Prog. Hort., 13:1-3 Damodaran, V.K. 1966. The morphology and biology of the cashew flower, Anacardium occidentale L. II. Anthesis, dehiscence, receptivity of stigma, pollination, fruit set and fruit development. Agri. J. Kerala, 4:78-84 Free, J.B. and Williams, I.H. 1976. Insect pollination of Anacardium occidentale L., Mangifera indica L., Blighia sapida Koeng and Persea americana Mill. Trop. Agri.., 53:125-139 Hanamashetti, S.I., Khan, M.M., Mahabaleshwar, H., Mallik,

B. and Sulladmath, U.V. 1986. Flowering and sex ratio in some cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) selections. J. Plantation Crops, 14:68-70 Heard, T.A., Vithanage, V. and Chacko, E.K. 1990. Pollination biology of cashew in the northern territory of Australia. Austr. J. Agril. Res., 41:101-1114 Kumaran, P.M., Vimala, B. and Murthy, K.N. 1976. On occurrence of pistillate and neutral flowers in cashew. J. Plantation Crops, 4:82-84 Masawe, P.A.L. 1994. Aspects of breeding and selecting improved cashew genotypes. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Reading Moranda, E.K. 1941. Cashew culture. Philippine J. Agri., 12:89-106 Mota, M.I. 1973. Flower abnormalities in cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.). Agronomia Mocambicana, 7:21-35 Northwood, P.J. 1966. Some observations on flowering and fruit-setting in the cashew, (Anacardium occidentale L.), Trop. Agri., 43:35-42 Palaniswami, V., Shahul Hameed, A. and Vijayakumar, M. 1979. Vegetative propagation in cashew-work done at Vridhachalam. In: Bhaskara Rao, E.V.V., Hameed Khan,H. (eds.) Proc. International Cashew Symposium, Kerala, India. Acta Hort.,108: 67-70. Panse, V.G. and Sukhatme. P. 1978. Statistical Method for Agricultural Workers. ICAR, New Delhi, pp : 70-99 Pavithran, K. and Ravindranathan, P.P. 1974. Studies on floral biology in cashew, (Anacardium occidentale L.). J. Plantation Crops, 2:32-33 Rao, V.N.M. and Hassan, M.V. 1957. Preliminary studies on the floral biology of cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.). Ind. J. Agril. Sci., 27: 277-288 Thimmaraju, K.R., Narayana Reddy, M.A., Suryanarayana Reddy, B.G. and Sulladmath, U.V. 1980. Studies on the floral biology of cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.). Mysore J. Agril. Sci., 14:490-497 Wunnachit, W. and Sedgley, M. 1992. Floral structure and phenology of cashew in relation to yield. J. Hortl. Sci., 67:769-777

(MS Received 28 January 2009, Revised 5 June 2009)

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J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 50-53, 2009

Evaluation of Dolichos (Lablab purpureus L.) germplasm for pod yield and pod related traits

N. Mohan, T.S. Aghora and Devaraju

Division of Vegetable Crops Indian Institute of Horticultural Research Hesarghatta Lake Post, Bangalore - 560 089, India E-mail: [email protected]


Fifty seven pole type vegetable dolichos bean (Lablab purpureus var. typicus) germplasm lines collected from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Pondicherry were evaluated in a replicated experiment at Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore, for pod yield and pod -related traits during 2006-08. Significant differences were recorded for all traits studied. IIHR 177 was the earliest to flower in 43 days and pods matured in 65 days. IIHR 6 recorded maximum pod length (16.5 cm) , and, ten-pod weight was maximum in IIHR 7 (122 g). Pod width was high in IIHR 11 (4.05 cm). Number of pods per plant ranged from 10 to 91, with the maximum in IIHR 159. Maximum pod-yield was recorded in IIHR 150 and IIHR 159 (576.0 g/plant). Six different pod-colors (green, light green, purple, purple green, pink and creamy- white) were recorded. Maximum number of lines (52.63%) had green pod. The present study indicates existence of a wide range of variability for pod characters, namely, pod-maturity, pod -length, tenpod weight, number of pods per plant and pod- colour. High yielding lines with different pod types can serve as potentially useful parents in further breeding. Key words: Dolichos, germplasm, variability


Dolichos bean (Lablab purpureus L.), also known as lablab bean or Indian bean, is one of the important indigenous legume vegetables of India, grown for its tender green pods. Besides fresh pods, immature green seeds are also used as vegetable and dry seeds as pulse. Both pods and seeds of dolichos are a rich source of protein, minerals, vitamins and fiber. India is one of the primary centers of origin and diversity of pole-type vegetable dolichos bean (Lablab purpureus var. typicus). The present study was initiated with the objective of understanding extent of variability for pod-yield and pod-colour in the germplasm recently collected from different sources.

experimental design was RBD with three replications, with each of the lines in a row of three meter length, with a spacing of 15 cm between plants and 1.5 m between rows. The crop was staked and supported and recommended package of practices was followed to raise the crop. Five plants were randomly labeled in each line and data were recorded on seven characters, namely, days to 50% flowering, days to pod maturity, pod-length, pod-width, 10 pod-weight, and, number of pods and pod-yield per plant. The mean value from five plants of each line for each trait in three replications, was computed. The replicated mean data was subjected to statistical analysis. Pod-colour was recorded for all 57 accessions by visual observation.


Analyzed mean data, and, range for the 57 accessions with respect to seven characters (along with place of collection and pod-colour) are given in Table 1. Significant differences were observed in all the characters studied. Days to 50% flowering ranged from 43 to 83 days. IIHR 177 was the earliest to flower in 43 days, followed by


Fifty seven germplasm lines of dolichos bean collected from different geographical regions of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Karnataka were evaluated during 200608 (between September-February) in the experimental farm at Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore. The

Germplasm evaluation in Dolichos

Table 1. Source of collection, pod-yield and pod-related traits in 57 Sl. Line Place from which collected Days to Days to No. 50% podflowering maturity 1. IIHR-1 Tirchy, Tamil Nadu 61.5 81.5 2. IIHR 2 Dindigul, Tamil Nadu 63.0 82.0 3. IIHR 3 Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 76.0 93.0 4. IIHR 4 Trichy, Tamil Nadu 65.5 84.5 5. IIHR 5 Dindigul, Tamil Nadu 83.0 100.0 6. IIHR 6 Dindigul, Tamil Nadu 65.0 83.0 7. IIHR 7 Dindigul, Tamil Nadu 63.0 83.5 8. IIHR 8 Siva gangai, Tamil Nadu 63.5 84.5 9. IIHR 9 Pollachi, Tamil Nadu 54.0 74.5 10. IIHR 10 Dindugal, Tamil Nadu 58.5 78.5 11. IIHR 11 Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu 64.0 83.5 12. IIHR 12 Trichy, Tamil Nadu 63.5 83.5 13. IIHR 13 Lalgudi, Tamil Nadu 64.0 84.0 14. IIHR 14 Madurai, Tamil Nadu 69.5 89.5 15. IIHR 15 Madurai, Tamil Nadu 64.0 83.5 16. IIHR 16 Thiruvarur, Tamil Nadu 54.5 75.0 17. IIHR 17 Madurai, Tamil Nadu 64.0 84.5 18. IIHR 18 Sivagangai, Tamil Nadu 61.5 82.5 19. IIHR 19 Thiruvarur, Tamil Nadu 55.5 75.0 20. IIHR 139 Vellore, Tamil Nadu 62.5 80.0 21. IIHR 140 Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu 65.0 79.5 22. IIHR 141 Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu 59.5 78.0 23. IIHR 142 Pondicherry 64.5 82.0 24. IIHR 143 Pondicherry 53.5 73.5 25. IIHR 144 Pondicherry 63.5 82.0 26. IIHR 145 Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu 62.5 80.0 27. IIHR 146 Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu 61.5 80.0 28. IIHR 147 Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu 63.5 83.5 29. IIHR 148 Villupuram, Tamil Nadu 61.5 81.0 30. IIHR 149 Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu 66.5 85.5 31. IIHR 150 Villupauram, Tamil Nadu 66.5 85.0 32. IIHR 151 Pondicherry 62.0 81.5 33. IIHR 152 Salem, Tamil Nadu 60.0 80.0 34. IIHR 153 Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu 62.5 82.0 35. IIHR 154 Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu 60.5 80.5 36. IIHR 155 Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu 63.0 82.0 37. IIHR 156 Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu 67.5 86.5 38. IIHR 157 Chennai, Tamil Nadu 62.5 82.5 39. IIHR 158 Villupuram, Tamil Nadu 58.5 87.5 40. IIHR 159 Pondicherry 60.0 80.5 41. IIHR 160 Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu 62.0 80.0 42. IIHR 161 Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu 64.0 84.5 43. IIHR 162 Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu 55.5 75.5 44. IIHR 163 Nelamangala, Kanataka 64.0 83.5 45. IIHR 164 Dobbsspet, Karnataka 61.5 81.0 46. IIHR 165 Tumkur, Karnataka 62.0 82.0 47. IIHR 167 Tumkur, Karnataka 58.5 78.5 48. IIHR 168 Tumkur, Karnataka 64.5 84.0 49. IIHR 169 Nelamangala, Karnataka 58.5 78.5 50. IIHR 170 Nelamangala, Karnataka 65.5 83.5 51. IIHR 171 Nelamangala, Karnataka 62.0 81.5 52. IIHR 172 Nelamangala, Karnataka 64.5 83.0 53. IIHR 173 Nelamangala, Karnataka 65.5 83.5 54. IIHR 174 Tumkur, Karnataka 63.0 83.5 55. IIHR 175 Tumkur, Karnataka 63.5 83.5 56. IIHR 176 Tumkur, Karnataka 57.0 76.0 57. IIHR 177 Tumkur, Karnataka 43.0 65.0 Mean 62.4 81.9 Range 43.0 65.0 ­83.0 -100 CD (P=0.05) 2.2 2.57 CV % 1.8 1.6 germplasm accessions in Dolichos PodPod10No.of Yield length width pod pods per (cm) (cm) weight (g) per plant plant (g) 9.0 3.9 92.0 15.5 141.5 5.9 2.5 93.0 33.5 306.0 5.8 2.2 54.0 41.0 210.5 5.8 1.8 72.0 21.0 150.6 10.0 1.7 62.0 31.5 192.7 16.5 2.9 91.0 30.5 270.5 14.5 3.5 122.0 18.5 230.5 10.5 3.7 92.5 38.5 364.0 6.0 2.3 53.0 45.5 236.9 16.0 3.2 112.0 25.5 278.0 11.5 4.1 111.0 13.5 155.0 11.5 1.5 61.0 27.0 172.5 11.0 3.4 82.0 20.5 171.5 11.0 3.5 81.5 20.0 167.0 12.5 2.5 83.0 22.5 188.5 14.5 1.3 65.5 24.0 161.7 10.3 3.8 102.5 18.5 185.5 12.5 2.2 76.0 27.5 199.5 12.5 1.4 73.0 31.5 320.0 11.5 3.0 79.0 25.5 198.3 6.5 1.9 80.5 23.5 185.2 12.5 1.5 82.0 18.5 148.4 6.5 1.5 59.0 73.5 429.4 13.5 1.7 92.5 34.0 308.1 9.8 3.0 83.5 26.5 211.3 10.5 2.0 69.5 34.0 228.2 11.0 1.7 74.5 42.0 241.5 11.5 1.9 71.5 25.0 177.5 14.5 1.7 49.5 31.5 153.8 9.3 2.0 92.5 41.5 380.5 9.8 2.2 105.0 57.5 576.9 7.5 2.3 66.0 23.5 147.5 13.5 1.4 73.0 29.5 207.7 14.5 1.9 69.5 34.5 232.4 16.0 1.9 108.0 36.5 387.1 16.0 2.5 109.5 37.5 398.8 11.5 2.7 82.5 57.5 471.2 12.5 2.7 104.0 51.0 515.2 13.5 1.6 73.0 37.5 269.4 9.5 1.8 64.0 91.0 576.2 9.0 4.0 83.5 26.5 211.3 10.0 3.1 83.0 24.5 194.2 8.5 1.6 54.5 44.5 239.9 15.5 2.3 73.0 51.5 370.5 11.0 2.0 72.5 25.5 183.1 14.5 2.0 64.0 25.5 156.6 10.0 1.9 52.5 53.0 275.5 8.5 3.3 92.0 18.0 160.3 7.0 1.2 64.0 10.0 69.5 7.5 1.8 62.0 82.5 501.0 7.5 1.8 54.5 67.5 365.5 14.5 2.4 92.5 43.5 397.5 7.5 2.1 57.0 38.5 210.0 15.8 2.5 111.0 32.5 355.5 8.2 2.4 62.0 25.5 151.5 10.5 2.0 63.5 76.5 486.5 9.0 1.8 71.5 75.0 535.0 11.0 2.3 78.6 36.1 270.4 5.75 1.15 49.5 10.0 69.5 -16.5 - 4.1 -122.0 -91.0 -576.9 1.32 0.59 5.19 3.21 34.08 6.19 13.07 3.37 4.54 6.45

Pod colour

Light green Green Green Green Light green Green Purple Green Green Green Green Purple Green Green Purple Purple green Green, broad Green Purple Green Green Green Purple Green Green Green Creamy-white Creamy-white Purple Purple Creamy-white Green Purple green Purple Purple Green Green Green Green Green Green Pink Green Green Purple Purple Light green Light green Light green| Creamy-white Creamy-white Creamy-white Light green Creamy-white Green Green Green -

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Mohan et al

Table 2. Grouping of dolichos germplasm for pod maturity, yield and pod related traits Traits Early maturity (65-75 days) Pod length (>15 cm) Pod width (> 3.0 cm) Ten pod weight (> 100 g) Pod number /plant ( >65) Pod yield per plant (>400 g) Germplasm IIHR 9, IIHR 16, IIHR 19, IIHR 143, IIHR 177 IIHR 6, IIHR 10, IIHR 154, IIHR 155, IIHR 163, IIHR 174 IIHR 1, IIHR 7, IIHR 8, IIHR 10, IIHR 11, IIHR 13, IIHR 14, IIHR 17, IIHR 144, IIHR 160, IIHR 161, IIHR 168 IIHR 7, IIHR 10, IIHR 11, IIHR 17, IIHR 150, IIHR 154, IIHR 155, IIHR 157, IIHR 174 IIHR 142, IIHR 159, IIHR 170, IIHR 171, IIHR 176, IIHR 177 IIHR 142, IIHR150, IIHR 156, IIHR 157, IIHR 159, IIHR 170, IIHR 176, IIHR 177 No. of Lines 5 6 12 9 6 8

Fig 1. IIHR-150 (pod-yield 576.9 g /plant)

Fig 2. IIHR-159 (pod-yield 576.2 g/plant)

Fig 3.Variation in podin some germplasm lines of dolichos

IIHR 143 (53.5 days). Pod-maturity ranged from 65 to 100 days. IIHR 177 was early to pod maturity in 65.0 days, followed by IIHR 143 (73.5 days). Pod-length ranged from 5.75 to 16.5 cm and IIHR 6 recorded maximum pod length. Pod-width ranged from 1.15 to 4.05 cm with maximum pod-width recorded in IIHR 11. Pods were narrow in IIHR 169. Ten pod weight ranged from 49.5 -122 g and maximum ten-pod weight was recorded in IIHR 7. Number of pods per plant ranged from 10 to 91, with maximum pod number in IIHR 159. Pod-yield per plant ranged from 69 to 576.9 g and maximum pod-yield was recorded in IIHR 150 and IIHR 159 with 576.9 and 576.2 g/plant, respectively (Fig.1 and 2). The results indicated existence of wide variability for each of the seven traits studied. Similar findings were reported (Baswana et al, 1980; Desai et al, 1996; Anon. 2000; Singh et al, 2004; Bendale et al, 2004; Nahar and Newaz, 2005). Lines found promising for six of the characters are shown in Table 2. There are five lines for earliness; six lines for pod-length; 12 for pod-width; nine for high podweight; six for high pod-number and eight lines for high pod-yield. Wide variations were recorded for pod-colour with six types, namely, green, light-green, purple, purpleJ. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 50-53, 2009

green, pink and creamy-white. Details for pod-colour are presented in Table 3. In 30 lines (52.63%), pod colour was green. 11 lines (19.3%) had purple pods, seven lines creamwhite pods and six lines had light-green pod-colour (Fig. 3). Two lines had purple- green pods and one line with deep pink pods, indicating wide variation for pod-colour. Similar variation in pod-colour was observed in dolichos germplasm collected by AVRDC in Bangladesh (Anon, 2000). The present study on 57 lines of dolichos revealed occurrence of wide variability for pod-yield, pod-maturity, podlength, ten-pod weight, number of pods per plant and podcolour. High-yielding germplasm lines and lines with different pod-types can be utilized further in breeding programmes. Lines with colour variation can be used as phenotypic markers in genetic and hybridization studies.

Table 3. Grouping of Dolichos germplasm based on pod-colour Green No. of germplasm lines Per cent Lightgreen Pod colour Purple Purplegreen Deep Creamypink white

30 52.63

6 10.53

11 19.30

2 3.51

1 1.75

7 12.28


Germplasm evaluation in Dolichos


Anonymous, 2000. Annual Report, AVRDC, World Vegetable Center, Tainan, Taiwan, p. 82 Baswana, K.S., Pandita, M. L., Dhankhar, B.S. and Partap, P. S. 1980. Genetic variability and heritability studies on Indian bean (Dolichos lablab var. lignosus L.) Haryana J. Hortl. Sci., 9:52-55 Bendale, V.W., Topare, S.S., Bhave, S.G., Mehta, J.K. and Madav, R.R. 2004. Genetic analysis of yield and yield components in lablab bean [Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet]. Orissa. J. Hort., 32:99-101

Desai, N.C., Tikka, S.B.S and Chauhan, R.M. 1996. Genetic variability and correlation studies in Indian beans (Dolichos lablab. var. lignosus). New Botanist, 23:197-204 Nahar, K and Newaz, M.A. 2005. Genetic variability, character association and path analysis in lablab bean (Lablab purpureus L.) Intl. J. Sustain. Agril. Tech., 1:35-40 Singh, D., Dhillon, N.P.S., Singh, G.J and Dhaliwal, H.S. 2004. Evaluation of semphali (Dolichos lablab L.) germplasm under rainfed conditions. Haryana J. Hortl. Sci., 33:267-268

(MS Received 6 October, 2008 Revised 15 June 2009)

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Studies on yield and yield components of spray chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat.) cv. Amal under various sources of nitrogen

Subhendu S. Gantait and P. Pal1

Department of Floriculture, Medicinal & Aromatic Plants Faculty of Horticulture, Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya Pundibari, Cooch Behar ­ 736165, India E-mail:[email protected]


An investigation was undertaken to study the yield and yield components of spray-type chrysanthemum cv. Amal under variaous sources of nitrogen. The treatments considered different levels (100%, 75%, 50% or 25%) of four sources of nitrogen viz., urea, calcium ammonium nitrate, mustard cake and neem cake, alone or in combination of two or more of these. Results revealed that maximum stem length (62 cm) of cut flower and flower yield, number of flower heads (6387) and weight (4071.48 g/sqm) were mostly achiveved by application of total recommended dose of nitrogen through a combination of 25% N as neem cake + 25% N as mustard cake + 25% N as CAN + 25% as urea, and the treatment increased flower yield by 57.96% over treatment with nitrogen solely through urea. Flower size, individual flower weight, shelf and vase life of flower as well as anthocyanin content in floral tissue were higher in combined application of all oil cakes and urea and maximum under treatment combination of 50% recommended dose of nitrogen supplied through mustard cake, 25% N through neem cake and 25% N through urea. Anthocyanin content of flower tissues increased gradually upto 20 days from opening of the flower and, thereafter, declined sharply. Key words: Chrysanthemum, nitrogen source, oil cake, organic


Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat.) also known as "Queen of the East" (Anderson, 1987) belongs to the family Asteraceae and is a popular flower crop having its admireres and enthusiasts all over the world. In the current scenario, lower productivity and inferior flower quality of spray-type chrysanthemum is due to inefficient and frequent use of inorganic fertilizers, especially the quick-release nitrogenous fertilizers. In order to minimize these ill effects, organic farming practices involving oil cakes, organic manures etc. must be adopted for sustainable production. Neither chemical fertilizer alone nor organic sources exclusively can achieve sustainable production at the present level. The interactive advantages of combining organic and inorganic sources of nitrogen in integrated nutrient management systems are superior to inorganic fertilizer application alone. In view of the above objectives, we undertook an investigation to study yield and yield components of spray chrysanthemum in response to various sources of organic and inorganic nitrogenous fertilizers.



The field experiment was conducted at Horticultural Research Station, Mondouri (23o N, 83o E and 9.75 mamsl altitude), Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Nadia, West Bengal, India, during two consecutive winter seasons of 200305. The soil texture was clay-loam, having pH 6.8, organic carbon 0.58, total N 156.8 Kg/ha, available P2O5 50.4 Kg/ha and available K 2O 208.5 Kg/ha. The experiment was conducted using cultivar `Amal' in a factorial RBD design (FRBD) with 16 treatments, and replicated thrice. All plots of the experiment were supplied with the recommended dose of N:P:K @ 20:10:10 g/sqm in both years of experiment. The treatments consisted of different levels (100%, 75%, 50% or 25%) of four sources of nitrogen, viz., urea (UR), calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN), mustard cake (MC) and neem cake (NC) alone or in combination of two or more of these. Treatment combinations were as follows: Nitrogen sources like neem cake and mustard cake were applied during land preparation two weeks before planting, and calcium ammonium nitrate was applied as basal

Department of Floriculture & Landscaping, Faculty of Horticulture, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mohanpur, Nadia, West Bengal, India.

Chrysanthemum yield under different nitrogen sources T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 100% N of RDN through UR (50% basal + 50% in two top-dress) 100% N of RDN through NC (50% basal + 50% top dressing) 100% N of RDN through MC (50% basal + 50% top dressing) 100% N of RDN through CAN (50% basal + 50% top dressing) 50% N through NC (basal) + 50% N through UR (25x% basal + 25% in two top-dress) 50% N through MC (basal) + 50% N through UR (25% basal + 25% in two top-dress) 50% N through MC (basal) + 50% N through CAN (basal) 50% N through NC (basal) + 50% N through CAN ( basal ) 50% N through NC (basal) + 50% N through MC ( basal )

T10 75% N through MC (basal) + 25% N through CAN (basal ) T11 75% N through NC (basal) + 25% N through CAN (basal ) T12 50% N through MC (basal) + 25% N through CAN (basal)+25% N through UR (two top-dress) T13 50% N through NC (basal) + 25% N through CAN (basal)+25% N through UR (two top-dress) T14 50% N through MC (basal) + 25% N through NC (basal)+25% N through UR (two top-dress) T15 50% N through NC (basal) + 25% N through MC (basal)+25% N through UR (two top-dress) T16 25% N through NC (basal) + 25% N through MC(basal) +25% N through CAN (basal) + 25% N through UR (two top-dress) where N= Nitrogen, RDN= Recommended dose of nitrogen

during final land preparation. First top dressing of CAN and urea was made 15 days after transplanting (DAT) and second top dressing of urea at 30 DAT. Full dose of P2O5 and K2O was applied through single super phosphate (SSP) and muriate of potash (MOP), respectively, as basal application. Observations on growth and yield parameters were recorded and subjected to statistical analysis as per Panse and Sukhatme (1967). Anthocyanin was estimated from freshly-harvested petals starting at flower opening upto colour fading stage, harvested at five days intervals. Anthocyanin was estimated by using the method of Thimmaiah (2004).

plants treated with a combination of 50% N as MC + 25% N as CAN + 25% N as urea (T12) showing 89.75 cm and 56.63 cm, respectively. Plant height was lowest (65.88 cm) in plants that received with 100% N, supplied solely as neem cake (T2). With regard to sources of nitrogen, plants treated with full dose of recommended nitrogen solely through urea (T1) produced earliest flowering (125.13 days) compared to other treatments, whereas, plants raised on 50% N as

Table 1. Plant height (cm) and canopy spread (cm) of spray chrysanthemum cv. Amal under various sources of nitrogen Treatment Plant height (cm) 1st yr T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T 10 T 11 T 12 T 13 T 14 T 15 T 16 SEm ± CD (P=0.05) 71.50 66.50 68.00 73.50 74.50 76.00 80.00 78.50 76.50 84.00 82.50 91.50 90.50 87.50 86.00 95.25 1.085 2.31 2nd yr 66.00 63.25 64.50 68.50 69.00 70.50 75.50 74.00 71.50 81.50 80.00 88.00 87.25 84.50 83.50 91.15 1.482 3.16 Pool 69.00 65.88 66.25 71.00 71.75 73.25 77.75 76.25 74.00 82.75 81.75 89.75 88.88 86.00 84.75 93.20 0.918 2.54 Canopy spread (cm) per plant 1st yr 2nd yr Pool 43.50 42.00 42.50 45.50 46.00 47.00 50.00 49.00 47.00 53.50 52.00 59.25 58.00 56.50 55.50 62.50 1.113 2.41 35.50 34.00 33.25 38.00 39.00 40.00 43.50 42.50 40.50 47.50 46.00 54.00 53.00 51.00 50.00 56.50 1.474 3.14 39.50 38.00 37.88 41.75 42.50 43.50 46.75 45.75 44.00 50.50 49.00 56.63 55.50 53.75 52.75 59.50 0.924 1.97


A perusal of results presented in Tables 1, 2, 3 and 4 and Fig. 1 and 2 on plant height, canopy spread plant-1, days to optimum bloom, stem-length of flower, flower size, individual flower weight and flower yield (number and weight of flowers heads sqm-1), shelf-life and vase-life of flowers and anthocyanin content of petal revealed significant differences between sole application of inorganic and organic fertilizer and their combinations. Maximum plant height and canopy spread plant-1 of 93.20 cm and 59.50 cm, respectively, in pooled data was observed in treatment T16 in which plants were supplied with total RDN through 25% each of neem cake, mustard cake, CAN and urea closely followed by the

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Gantait and Pal

Table 2. Days required to full-bloom and stem-length (cm) in flower of spray chrysanthemum cv. Amal under various sources of nitrogen Treatment 1st yr T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T 10 T 11 T 12 T 13 T 14 T 15 T 16 SEm ± CD (P=0.05) 136.75 139.25 140.00 137.00 137.50 138.00 139.00 138.50 144.75 142.00 141.00 144.00 142.50 146.00 145.25 143.50 0.716 1.53 Daysto full-bloom 2nd yr Pool 113.50 116.50 117.00 114.00 114.50 115.50 116.00 115.75 120.00 117.75 117.25 119.25 118.25 121.00 120.50 119.00 0.653 1.39 125.13 127.88 128.50 125.50 126.00 126.75 127.50 127.13 132.38 129.88 129.13 131.68 130.38 133.50 132.88 131.25 0.485 1.03 Stem-length (cm) of cut-flower 1st yr 2nd yr Pool 45.50 43.00 44.00 47.00 47.50 48.00 52.00 51.00 49.00 55.50 54.50 62.00 61.00 59.00 57.50 64.50 1.008 2.15 42.50 40.50 41.00 44.50 45.00 46.00 49.50 48.50 46.50 52.00 51.00 57.50 56.50 55.00 54.00 59.50 0.758 1.61 44.00 41.75 42.50 45.75 46.25 47.00 50.75 49.75 47.75 53.75 52.75 59.75 58.75 57.00 55.75 62.00 0.631 1.34 Table 3. Size (cm) and weight (g) of individual flowers of spray chrysanthemum cv. Amal under various sources of nitrogen Weight (g) of individual flower __________________________________________________________ 2nd yr Pool 1st yr 2nd yr Pool 1st yr T1 4.00 4.15 4.08 1.35 1.51 1.43 T2 4.60 4.70 4.65 1.47 1.67 1.57 T3 4.75 4.90 4.83 1.53 1.75 1.64 T4 4.10 4.20 4.15 1.36 1.53 1.45 T5 4.20 4.30 4.25 1.37 1.55 1.46 T6 4.40 4.50 4.45 1.40 1.59 1.50 T7 4.55 4.65 4.60 1.45 1.65 1.55 T8 4.45 4.55 4.50 1.41 1.61 1.51 T9 5.45 5.60 5.53 1.87 2.14 2.01 T 10 5.00 5.15 5.08 1.62 1.85 1.74 T 11 4.85 5.00 4.93 1.57 1.79 1.68 T 12 5.35 5.55 5.45 1.79 2.05 1.92 T 13 5.10 5.25 5.18 1.66 1.88 1.77 T 14 5.75 5.80 5.78 2.10 2.40 2.25 T 15 5.50 5.65 5.58 1.95 2.20 2.08 T 16 5.25 5.40 5.33 1.73 2.00 1.87 SEm ± 1.111 0.961 0.073 0.078 0.066 0.063 CD (P=0.05) 2.37 2.05 0.16 0.17 0.14 0.13 Treatment Flower-size (cm)

Fig 2. Changes in anthocyanin content (mg/100 g) in flower tissue of spray chrysanthemum cv. Amal under varioussources of nitrogen Fig 1. Self-life and vase-life of flower of spray chrysanthemum cv. Amal under various sources of nitrogen

MC + 25% N as NC + 25% N as urea (T14) took maximum number of days (133.50 days) to flower. Plants treated with 25% N as NC + 25% N as MC + 25 % N as CAN + 25% N as urea (T16) produced maximum stem length (62 cm) in flowers which was at par with treatment T12. Plants raised on total RDN with neem cake (T2) recorded minimum (41.75 cm) stem-length in flower. Largest size in flower (5.78 cm) was recorded in plants under treatment T14 (50 % N as MC + 25% N as NC + 25% N as urea), closely followed by plants under treatment T15 (50 % N as NC +

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25% N as MC + 25 % N as urea), whereas, plants treated with total RDN as urea (T1) produced smallest size of flower (4.08 cm). Heaviest flower (2.25 g) was produced in T14 treatment and flower weight was minimum (1.43 g) with T1 treatment. Maximum number of flowers (6387) sqm-1 was recorded in plants treated with 25% N as NC + 25% N as MC + 25% N as CAN + 25% N as urea (T16), whereas, plants supplied with total RDN solely through neem cake (T2) produced lowest number (2001) of flowers which was closest to treatment T3 (100% N as MC) with 2230.95 flowers. Plants grown on treatment T16 recorded 218.89%


Chrysanthemum yield under different nitrogen sources

Table 4. Number of flowers per sqm and flower-yield (g) per sqm of spray chrysanthemum cv. Amal under varioussources of nitrogen Treatment 1st yr T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T 10 T 11 T 12 T 13 T 14 T 15 T 16 SEm ± CD (P=0.05) 2880.20 2186.50 2480.30 3181.65 3386.55 3750.55 4453.40 4266.70 3920.40 4906.35 4764.35 5985.55 5768.45 5324.25 5137.55 6720.45 145.055 308.97 Number of flowers per sqm 2nd yr 2320.60 1815.50 1981.50 2515.40 2774.40 3190.50 4008.55 3804.40 3386.30 4524.45 4248.40 5635.45 5350.60 5075.50 4870.55 6053.55 146.091 311.17 Pool 2600.40 2001.00 2230.95 2848.53 3080.48 3470.53 4230.98 4035.55 3653.35 4715.40 4506.38 5810.50 5559.53 5199.88 5004.05 6387.00 102.937 219.26 1st yr 2730.40 2566.60 2645.45 2780.30 2865.45 2993.35 3306.35 3206.65 3057.55 3520.30 3427.60 4060.30 3974.55 3797.65 3669.40 4238.30 95.68 203.80 Flower yield (g) per sqm 2nd yr 2424.60 2197.40 2318.30 2524.55 2587.80 2694.65 3001.40 2908.45 2766.60 3242.45 3157.65 3761.50 3640.35 3477.35 3392.55 3904.65 123.387 262.81 Pool 2577.50 2382.00 2481.88 2652.43 2736.63 2844.00 3153.88 3057.55 2912.08 3381.38 3292.63 3910.90 3807.45 3637.50 3530.98 4071.48 78.070 166.29

and 145.62% greater number of flowers compared to T2 and T 3 treatments, respectively. Among different treatments, maximum flower yield (4071.48 g sqm-1) was recorded with T16 treatment. Plants under T16 treatment produced 70.93% and 57.96% more yield over T2 and T1 treatments respectively. Both shelf-life and vase-life of flowers was found to be maximum (30 days and 25 days, respectively) in plants under T14 treatment and the minimum in plants under T1 treatment (Fig.1). Plants raised on 100% N solely through neem cake (T2) recorded lowest flower yield by weight (2382 g sqm-1), followed by application of full dose of N in the form of mustard cake (T3). Anthocyanin content in floral tissues was estimated from flower opening to flower colour fading stage (Fig. 2). Anthocyanin content increased gradually upto 20 days from opening of the flower and, thereafter, declined sharply till flower colour fading stage, irrespective of source of nitrogen or combination. Flowers under treatment T14 recorded maximum anthocyanin content, followed by treatment T15 and, the lowest in flower tepals of plants supplied with total RDN solely through urea (T1). In the present investigation, different sources of nitrogen, alone or in combination, were found to significantly influence all the vegetative and flowering attributes. Plants on 75% of recommended dose of nitrogen through equal parts neem cake, mustard cake and CAN and remaining 25% as top dressing of urea (T16) were outstanding in respect of plant growth, flower yield and yield components. Application of total RDN solely through urea (T1) registered early blooming and low quality of flowers as well as lowest

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anthocyanin content solely in flower tepals at all stages of sampling, followed by T4 (100% N as CAN) treatment. Oil cakes contain some percentage of oil, which prevents rapid conversion of organic nitrogen into the available form. As nitrogen present in the oil-cake is slow-releasing, nitrogen supply to the plant continued throughout the growing period. Several studies have shown that oilcake, in general, increased organic carbon, total and inorganic nitrogen and available phosphorus, exchangeable potassium, calcium and magnesium content of the soil (Herron and Ehrhart, 1965; Olsen et al, 1970; Mays et al, 1973). Higher proportion of mustard cake in combination with urea and CAN (T12) registered better performance compared to neem cake combined with urea and CAN (T13). Application of total RDN through neem cake (T2) showed poor vegetative growth and yield of flowers, followed by application of total RDN through mustard cake (T 3) compared to other treatments. This might be due to a low level of leaf-N at all the stages of sampling. Das and Mukherjee (1990) noted adverse effects of neem cake on beneficial micro-organisms present in the soil. Mukherjee et al (1991) reported that different groups of soil microorganisms responded differently to addition of different types of oil-cake to soil. Mustard cake was superior to neem cake in terms of preponderance of soil organisms, while, neem cake caused adverse effects on beneficial organisms and maintained least amount of total nitrogen in the soil. The presence of lipids and bioregulators like meliacins, epinmbin, salin and azadirachtin associated with oil cake may be responsible for inhibition of bacterial growth.


Gantait and Pal

Based on results of this study it can be concluded that maximum plant growth, flower, stem length and floweryield were influenced by combined application of total RDN through 25% N as neem cake + 25% N as mustard cake + 25% N as CAN + 25% as urea and this treatment increased 57.96% of flower yield over application of total RDN solely through urea. Flower size, individual flower-weight, shelfand vase-life of flowers as well as anthocyanin content in flower tepals were found to be higher in plants under sole or combined application of oil cakes (mustard cake and neem cake) than under urea and those characters were recorded to be maximum under treatment combination of 50% N of RDN supplied through mustard cake, 25% N through neem cake and 25% N through urea. Anthocyanin content of flower tepals increased gradually upto 20 days from opening of the flower and, thereafter, declined sharply till flower colour fading stage, irrespective of the nitrogen source.


Anderson, N.O. 1987. Reclassification of genus Chrysanthemum. Hort. Sci., 22:313

Das, A.C. and Mukherjee, D. 1990. Microbiological changes during decomposition of wheat straw and neem cake in soil. Environ. Ecol., 8:1012-1015 Herron, G.M. and Ehrhart, A.B. 1965. Value of manure on an irrigated calcareous soil. Proc. Soil Sci. Amer., 29:278-81 Mays, D.A., Tenman, G.L. and Duggan, J.C. 1973. Municipal compost: Effect on crop yield and soil properties. J. Environ. Qual., 2:89-81 Mukherjee, D., Mitra, S. and Das, A.C. 1991. Effects of oil cakes on changes in carbon, nitrogen and microbial population in soil. J. Ind. Soc. Soil Sci., 39:457-62 Olsen, R.J., Hensler, R.F. and Attoe, O.J. 1970. Effect of manure application, aeration and soil pH on soil nitrogen transformations and on certain test values. Proc. Soil Sci.Comm. Amer., 34:22-25 Panse, V.G. and Sukhatme, P.V. 1967. Statistical Methods for Agricultural Workers. ICAR, New Delhi, India, p. 381 Thimmaiah, S.R. 2004. Pigments. Standard methods of biochemical analysis. Kalyani Publishers, New Delhi

(MS Received 15 September 2008, Revised 1 June 2009)

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J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 59-62, 2009

Effect of FYM and GA3 on growth and yield of Sweet flag (Acorus calamus L.) under Terai zone of West Bengal

S. Datta, A.N. Dey and S. Maitra

Faculty of Horticulture Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya Pundibari, Cooch Behar -736 165, India E-mail : [email protected]


A field experiment was conducted during 2003 - 04 and 2004 - 05 at the Instructional Farm of Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Pundibari, Cooch Behar, West Bengal, to study the effect of different levels of Farm Yard Manure (FYM) (0, 12.5, 25, 37.5 and 50 t ha-1) and GA3 (0 and 100 ppm) on production in Sweet Flag. The experiment was laid out in Factorial Randomized Block Design with three replications. Farm Yard Manure significantly affected yield and vegetative characters. GA3 also showed similar effect, except, that rhizome diameter and dry-recovery percentage were found non-significant. Interaction effect between FYM and GA3 for growth and yield parameters was found nonsignificant. Plant height, number of leaves, rhizome length, rhizome diameter and yield increased with increase in dose of FYM from 0 to 50 t ha-1 but was reverse in the case of dry recovery. Similarly, these parameters increased with application of GA3 but showed non-significant relationship, except in rhizome yield. Maximum fresh and dry rhizome yield (3013.23 kg ha-1, 1389.15 kg ha-1 respectively) was recorded with 50 t ha-1 FYM supplemented with 100 ppm GA3-, followed by application of 50 t ha-1 FYM (2879.80 and 1342.65 kg ha-1, respectively). Key words : Acorus calamus L., dry recovery, FYM, GA3, growth, Sweet flag, yield


Sweet flag (Acorus calamus L.), commonly known as `Batch', is an important minor spice cum medicinal and aromatic plant belonging to the family Araceae. It is a semiaquatic perennial herb with long, creeping, much branched, aromatic rhizomes and fibrous root and occurs widely all over India, especially in hilly tracts (Selvi et al. 2003). It is mainly cultivated in the Netherlands, Persia, United Kingdom, India and Sri Lanka. In India, it is common in Kashmir and the Kumayun region of Himalayas. However, it is cultivated in Karnataka, Kashmir, Manipur and Nagaland. Root is used for treatment of Kwashiorkor disease in children. The rhizomes are used as carminative, stimulant and tonic (Jain, 2001). Rhizome extracts are used against feeling of over-fullness, flatulence and colic pain. It contains 1.5 to 3.5% essential oil. The essential oil extracted from the rhizome is utilized in perfumery. At lower dose, it also has a stimulating effect. It has been used in purifying water. Due to presence of acorin in its essential oil, it is commonly used as a remedy for asthma and chronic diarrhoea. "Bach" is a commercial product available in the

market, also prepared from sweet flag. Fresh rhizomes are used in confectionery and also used as a substitute for ginger (Farooqui et al, 2000). In West Bengal, ground dried rhizome and rhizome powder is used in bait for fishing. The smoke of Sweet flag, taken orally through a funnel, relieves cough. It can be a good source of earning from lands that are low-lying and where other crops cannot grow. Application of organic matter improves soil physical and chemical properties and also improves the productivity of the crop (Deka and Patgiri, 2002). Productivity in this crop is very low compared to other root crops. Use of plant growth regulators, in addition to other package of practices, is an important factor for increasing productivity and quality of the produce manifold (Krishnamurthy, 1975). Beneficial effect of GA3 on yield has been well-established in many crops like potato (Tomar and Ramgiry, 1977), onion (Gawad et al, 1986; Singh et al, 2002) and garlic (Rahman et al, 2004). For along crop duration (about 10 months) and its rhizomatous nature, it requires heavy input of fertilizers. But, continuous use of inorganic chemical fertilizer negatively affects soil environment and pollutes underground water. It

Datta et al

is essential to reduce indiscriminate use of inorganic chemical fertilizer and to simultaneously increase the use of organic manures which improve soil, plant health and plant growth regulators. Therefore, the present investigation was carried out to assess efficacy of Gibberelic acid (GA3) with FYM on growth, yield and quality of Sweet flag in Terai zone of West Bengal.

recorded in plants received no FYM and highest values (59.23, 19.35, 22.87 and 14.21 cm, respectively) observed in plants with the highest doses of FYM (50 t ha-1). Excepting rhizome diameter, all three growth and yield characters were significantly affected by application of GA3 . Maximum plant height (51.85 cm), number of leaves per plant (16.07) and rhizome length (20.74 cm) were recorded in100 ppm GA3 treatment. Application of GA3 also increased number of leaves as in case of potato (Singh et al, 2003). The interaction effect between GA3 and FYM was non-significant for all the parameters recorded except for rhizome length of Sweet flag in the second year. The results on fresh and dry yield and dry recovery have been presented in Table 2. Dry recovery percentage was inversely proportional to incremental doses of FYM. The highest dry recovery percentage (48.88%) was recorded from plants received no FYM and it was lowest (46.41%) in the highest doses (50 t ha -1 ) of FYM, which was statistically at par with the 37.5 t ha-1 FYM treatment (46.97%). GA3 had no significant effect on dry recovery percentage. The interaction effect between FYM and GA3 was also found statistically significant, however, maximum dry recovery was obtained from the untreated plants. Though non significant, the maximum plant height (60.44 cm), rhizome diameter (14.26 mm) and number of leaves (19.77) were recorded in the plants treated with 50 t ha-1 FYM along with 100 ppm GA 3 . Same treatment combination also showed maximum rhizome length (23.05 cm) of Sweet flag. Fresh and dry yield of Sweet flag is significantly affected by FYM treatment. Fresh and dry yield increases with the increase in the doses of FYM from 0 to 50 t ha-1. Maximum fresh and dry yield (2946 kg ha-1 and 1365.90 kg ha-1, respectively) was recorded with 50 t ha-1 FYM followed by 37.5 t ha-1 FYM (2524.50 kg ha-1 and 1271.60 kg ha-1, respectively) treatment. GA3 also showed significant effect on fresh and dry yield of Sweet flag. The maximum fresh and dry yield (2568.75 kg ha-1 and 1212.84 kg ha-1, respectively) was recorded with 100 ppm GA3 treated plants. Interaction effect of GA3 and FYM on fresh and dry weight of Sweet flag was found statistically nonsignificant. However, maximum fresh and dry yield (3013.23 kg ha-1 and 1389.15 kg ha-1, respectively) was obtained with the plants treated with 50 t ha-1 FYM along with 100 ppm GA3. Higher rate of FYM increased the yield significantly and this might be due to higher availability of macro and micro plant nutrients throughout the growth period which



The experiment was conducted during 2003 - 04 and 2004 - 05 at the Instructional Farm (26019'86" N latitude, 89023'53" E longitude, altitude of 43 m amsl) of Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Pundibari, Cooch Behar, West Bengal to study the effect of different levels of FYM (0, 12.5, 25, 37.5 and 50 t ha-1) and GA3 (0 and 100 ppm) on production in Sweet flag. The crop was grown under rainfed condition. The total amount of rainfall received was 323.21 cm during 2003 - 04 and 301.09 cm during 2004-05, respectively. The experiment was laid out in Factorial Randomized Block Design with three replications. The soil was sandy-loam and coarse with poor water-holding capacity and the climate was humid tropical. All the doses of FYM were applied during final land preparation. GA3 was applied one month after planting of Sweet flag as spray in GA3 treated plots and only water was sprayed in control plots. Rhizome bits of 5 cm with growing tops were transplanted in the field in a plot of 1.50 m x 2.10 m size with a spacing of 30 cm x 30 cm. In both years the crop was transplanted during the third week of March and harvested during the 3rd week of January. The crop was given recommended package of practices excluding the fertilizer schedule. No inorganic fertilizers were added. Observations on various growth and yield characters were recorded twice, from ten randomly selected plants in each replication ( excluding the border row) at 180 days after transplanting and at harvest, respectively. Dry-recovery percentage was taken as dryweight over fresh-weight of rhizomes. Statistical analysis was done as per Gomez and Gomez (1984).


It has been found that growth and yield parameters are somewhat higher in the second year of study might be due to the favourable climatic condition like higher average sunshine hour. The results on plant height, numbers of leaves, rhizome length and diameter have been presented in Table 1. Plant height, number of leaves, rhizome length and diameter increased significantly with the increasing doses of FYM (0 to 50 t ha-1). Lower growth and yield parameters (44.92, 12.64, 17.81 and 12.62 cm, respectively) were

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Effect of FYM and GA3 on Sweet flag

Table 1. Effect of Farm Yard Manure and GA3 on plant height, leaf number, rhizome length and diameter in Sweet Flag Treatment Plant height (cm) Number of leaves Rhizome length (cm) Rhizome diameter (mm) 2003-04 2004-05 Pooled 2003-04 2004-05 Pooled 2003-04 2004-05 Pooled 2003-04 2004-05 Pooled FYM (t ha-1) 40.37 49.47 44.92 12.32 12.95 12.64 17.47 18.15 17.81 12.41 12.83 12.62 F0 (0) 42.80 50.70 46.75 13.50 14.13 13.82 19.47 20.02 19.75 13.08 13.38 13.23 F1 (12.5) F2 (25) 47.93 52.20 50.07 15.02 15.53 15.28 19.89 20.89 20.39 13.47 13.82 13.65 50.67 57.07 53.87 17.10 17.57 17.34 21.88 21.75 21.82 13.82 14.13 13.98 F3 (37.5) 57.28 61.18 59.23 18.43 20.27 19.35 22.62 23.11 22.87 13.84 14.58 14.21 F4 (50) SEm± 0.95 1.05 0.71 0.42 0.53 0.34 0.48 0.35 0.31 0.31 0.24 0.25 CD (P= 0.05) 2.85 4.14 2.13 1.27 1.59 1.02 1.44 1.05 0.93 0.94 0.72 0.74 GA3 (ppm) 46.88 53.39 50.14 14.89 15.64 15.27 20.07 20.55 20.31 13.27 13.64 13.46 G0 (0) 48.83 54.86 51.85 15.60 16.53 16.07 20.46 21.02 20.74 13.39 13.80 13.60 G1 (100) SEm± 0.60 0.67 0.45 0.27 0.33 0.21 0.31 0.13 0.13 0.19 0.15 0.19 CD (P= 0.05) 1.79 2.01 1.34 0.81 1.00 0.62 N.S. 0.39 0.38 N.S. N. S. N. S. FYM x GA3 F0 G0 39.67 49.07 44.37 11.97 12.37 12.17 17.18 17.49 17.34 12.38 12.67 12.53 41.07 49.87 45.47 12.67 13.53 13.10 17.75 18.51 18.13 12.45 12.99 12.72 F0 G 1 42.00 49.77 45.89 12.93 13.67 13.30 19.31 19.86 19.59 13.01 13.34 13.18 F1 G 0 43.60 51.63 47.62 13.77 14.60 14.18 19.63 20.18 19.91 13.16 13.42 13.29 F1 G 1 F2 G 0 47.27 51.27 49.27 14.43 15.07 14.75 19.67 20.74 20.21 13.29 13.71 13.50 48.60 53.13 50.87 15.60 16.0 15.80 20.10 21.03 20.57 13.65 13.93 13.79 F2 G 1 49.0 56.67 52.84 17.2 17.17 17.18 21.64 21.52 21.58 13.80 14.01 13.91 F3 G 0 52.33 57.47 54.90 17.00 17.97 17.48 22.11 21.98 22.05 13.85 14.25 14.05 F3 G 1 56.00 60.17 58.09 17.90 19.97 18.93 22.56 22.81 22.69 13.85 14.47 14.16 F4 G 0 58.67 62.20 60.44 18.97 20.57 19.77 22.68 23.42 23.05 13.82 14.69 14.26 F4 G 1 S Em± 1.34 1.49 1.00 0.59 0.74 0.48 0.68 0.49 0.34 0.43 0.34 0.29 CD (P= 0.05) NS NS NS NS NS NS NS NS NS NS NS NS N S =Non-significant Table 2. Effect of Farm Yard Manure and GA3 on yield and recovery in Sweet flag Dry recovery (%) Treatment Yield (kg ha-1) 2003-04 2004-05 Pooled 2003-04 2004-05 FYM (t ha-1) 1917.14 2285.59 2101.37 48.58 49.18 F0 (0) 2113.76 2441.80 2277.78 47.88 48.67 F1 (12.5) 2272.49 2685.18 2478.84 47.30 47.92 F2 (25) 2487.88 2944.44 2716.16 46.40 47.53 F3 (37.5) 2705.00 3187.83 2946.42 45.87 46.95 F4 (50) SEm± 54.88 49.73 86.38 0.40 0.36 CD (P= 0.05) 163.07 147.74 256.64 1.19 1.07 GA3 (ppm) 2242.91 2637.03 2439.97 47.43 48.23 G0 (0) 2356.60 2780.90 2568.75 46.98 47.87 G1 (100) SEm± 34.71 31.45 63.91 0.25 0.23 CD (P= 0.05) 103.14 93.44 191.73 NS N. S. FYM x GA3 F0 G0 1862.34 2232.81 2047.58 49.20 49.53 F0 G 1 1973.55 2338.38 2155.97 47.97 48.83 2079.37 2354.50 2216.94 48.07 48.73 F1 G 0 2148.15 2529.10 2338.63 47.70 48.60 F1 G 1 2206.35 2597.83 2402.09 47.30 48.07 F2 G 0 2338.62 2772.49 2555.56 47.30 47.77 F2 G 1 2417.99 2888.89 2653.44 46.47 47.73 F3 G 0 F3 G 1 2557.77 3000.00 2778.89 46.33 47.33 2648.50 3111.10 2879.80 46.13 47.10 F4 G 0 2761.91 3264.55 3013.23 45.60 46.80 F4 G 1 SEm± 77.62 70.32 84.08 0.57 0.51 CD (P= 0.05) NS NS NS NS NS NS =Non-significant

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Pooled 48.88 48.28 47.61 46.97 46.41 0.27 0.82 47.83 47.43 0.17 N.S. 49.37 48.40 48.40 48.15 47.69 47.54 47.10 46.83 46.62 46.20 0.38 NS

2003-04 931.20 101.93 1074.34 1148.35 1239.90 27.13 80.61 1060.66 1101.62 12.35 37.05 916.04 946.35 999.35 1024.50 1043.09 1105.60 1124.67 1172.04 1220.16 1259.65 38.37 NS

Dry yield (kg ha-1) 2004-05 Pooled 1120.59 1188.43 1285.99 1394.85 1491.89 25.27 75.09 1268.64 1324.05 15.98 47.49 1105.14 1136.04 1147.19 1229.66 1247.33 1324.64 1378.41 1411.29 1465.14 1518.64 35.74 NS 1025.90 645.18 1180.17 1271.60 1365.90 24.52 72.86 1164.65 1212.84 17.50 51.63 1010.59 1041.20 1073.27 1127.08 1145.21 1215.12 1251.54 1291.67 1342.65 1389.15 27.67 NS


Datta et al

increased the available nutrient status of the soil resulting better growth and yield of the crop. Application of GA3 enhanced growth parameters like plant height, number of leaves which ultimately enhanced canopy photosynthesis and consequently increased the length and diameter of rhizome which ultimately increased yield as observed by Gawad et al (1986) and Singh et al (2002) in onion and Rahman et al (2004) in garlic. From the above discussion, it may be concluded that increase in application of FYM from 0 to 50 t ha-1 along with GA3 has increased rhizome yield of Sweet flag and an application of 50 t ha-1 FYM along with 100 ppm GA3 exhibited maximum yield (3013.23 kg ha-1 and 1389.15 kg ha-1 fresh and dry, respectively) and hence, both FYM and GA3 are beneficial for increasing the rhizome yield of Sweet flag for the zone of study.


Deka, P.K. and Patgiri, D.K. 2002. Effect of sources of organic matter as soil amendments on soil water transmission in inceptisols. Ind. J. Soil Conservation, 30:280-282 Farooqui, A. A., Sreerammu, B. S. and Srivasapa, K.N. 2000. Cultivation practices of Sweet flag. Spice India, 13:18-21 Gawad, A. E. A. A., El Tabbakh, A. M., El Habbal, M. S. and Thabet, E. M. A. 1986. Effect of spraying onion

plants with IAA and GA3 on yield and chemical composition of onion bulbs. Ann. Agril. Sci., 31: 1021-1031 Gomez, K.A. and Gomez, A. A. 1984. Statistical Producers for Biological Research. John Wiley and Sons (2nd Ed), New York, 97 - 107p Jain, S. K. 2001. Calamus. p11-12. In : Medicinal Plants. National Book Trust Publishers, New Delhi, India Krishnamurthy, H. N. 1975. Gibberellins and plant growth. John Wiley and Sons. New Delhi, 356 p Rahman, M. S., Islam, M. A., Haque, M. S. and Karim, M. A. 2004. Effects of planting dates and gibberellic acid on growth and yield of garlic. Asian J. Pl. Sci., 3:344-352 Selvi, B. S., Selvaraj, N. and Raghu, R. 2003. Sweetflag. Spice India, 14:4 Singh, P., Tewari, N. and Katiyar, P.K. 2002. Pretransplanting seedling treatment with growth regulators and their effect on growth and bulb production of onion (Allium cepa L.). Progressive Hort., 2:181-182 Singh, B., Kushwah, V. S. and Pandey, S. K. 2003. Effect of plant growth regulators on potato production. J. Potato Assoc., 30:195-196 Tomar, I.S. and Ramgiry, S.R. 1977. Effect of growth regulators on growth and yield of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). Adv. in Pl. Sci., 10:51-54.

(MS Received 29 October 2008, Revised 16 June 2009)

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J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 63-67, 2009

Studies on correlation and path analysis in mutants of Coleus (Coleus forskohlii Briq.) for yield and forskolin content in V2M1 generation

M. Velmurugan, K. Rajamani, P. Paramaguru, R.Gnanam1 and J.R. Kannan Bapu2

Department of Spices, Plantation crops and Medicinal plant Unit Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore ­ 641 003, India E-mail: [email protected]


The present investigation was carried out during 2003-2007 involving terminal cuttings of coleus ecotype `Garmai'. Genotypic correlation coefficient between yield and its components in mutants of coleus was studied, viz., plant height, number of branches plant-1, number of leaves plant-1, number of tubers plant-1, tuber length and tuber girth were found to have positive and highly significant correlation with yield. However, forskolin and essential oil content showed negative correlation with yield. Path analysis of component characters on yield of Coleus in V2M1 generation exerted positive direct effect through the characters plant height, number of leaves plant-1 and number of tubers plant1 . Similarly, direct effect was observed to be negative through number of branches plant-1 (-0.930), total amount of alkaloids (-0.066) and forskolin content (-0.026). The current investigation resulted in residual effect of 0.158 indicating the accuracy and appropriate selection of component character for crop improvement programme. Weightage must be given to component characters exhibiting positive attributes towards fresh tuber yield in Coleus. However, some traits with negative attributes are also chosen for getting improved quality, i.e., forskolin content, without much inhibition on fresh tuber yield plant-1. Key words: Coleus forskohlii, correlation, Path analysis


Medicinal plants traditionally occupied an important position in rural and tribal lives of India and are considered as one of the most important sources of medicines since the dawn of human civilization. One such an important medicinal plant is medicinal coleus (Coleus forskohlii Briq.). The tuberous roots of coleus are rich source of forskolin, a diterpenoid activates Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate or AMP in the cells (Bhat et al, 1977). Coleus forskohlii is the only known natural source of forskolin. Due to its multifaceted pharmacological effects, forskolin is used for treatment of eczema (atopic dermatitis), asthma, psoriasis, cardiovascular disorders and hypertension, where decreased intracellular cAMP level is believed to be a major factor in the development of disease process (Rupp et al, 1986). Extent of genetic variation in Coleus forskohlii is limited. Continuous vegetative propagation for many years has reduced the vigour and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress, causing low yields. Hence, yield and quality is enhanced possibly by developing

Present address: 1 Agricultural College and Research Institute, Madurai 2 Agricultural Research Station, Aliyarnagar

a mutant in this species with high tuber yield and improved forskolin content through induced mutations. The ultimate goal of crop improvement in coleus is to improved tuber yield and forskolin content. Being a complex trait, the tuber yield is largely influenced by many component characters. Information on strength and direction of correlation of these component characters on tuber yield and inter se association among them would be useful in designing breeding programmes for yield improvement. The relationship between yield and its component characters is likely to vary according to the genetic material used and environment under which the material is evaluated as well as due to interaction of these factors. Therefore, it is worthwhile to study the heritable association between variables (Genotypic correlation) for identification of important yield components so that weightage can be given to these characters of importance in further breeding programmes (Johnson et al, 1955). The current investigation confines to correlation and path analysis in mutants of coleus in V2M1 generation.

Datta et al


The present investigation was carried out at Medicinal plant unit, Horticultural College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore during 2003-2007. Terminal cuttings of coleus ecotype `Garmai' was obtained from Manjini in Salem district of Tamil Nadu, where this crop is grown commercially by the farmers in a larger extent. Based on preliminary experiments, it is concluded that the LD50 value for gamma rays was 3.00 kR and for EMS it was noticed at 1.00 % concentration which was exposed for a period of 3.00 h. Based on the sensitivity studies, mutagenic treatments were formulated viz., AT1 ­ Control, AT2 - 2.50 kR gamma rays, AT3 - 3.00 kR gamma rays, AT4 - 3.50 kR gamma rays, AT5 - 0.50 % EMS, AT6 - 1.00 % EMS, AT7 - 1.50 % EMS, AT8 - 2.50 kR gamma rays + 0.50% EMS, AT9 - 2.50 kR gamma rays + 1.00% EMS, AT10 - 2.50 kR gamma rays + 1.50% EMS, AT11 - 3.00 kR gamma rays + 0.50% EMS, AT12 3.00 kR gamma rays + 1.00% EMS, AT13 - 3.00 kR gamma rays + 1.50% EMS, AT14 - 3.50 kR gamma rays + 0.50% EMS, AT15 - 3.50 kR gamma rays + 1.00% EMS, AT16 3.50 kR gamma rays + 1.50% EMS. While imposing the treatments, terminal cuttings were treated with Gamma rays and EMS separately. But for combination of mutagenic treatments, cuttings were initially treated with respective EMS concentration and immediately then they were exposed to Gamma radiation and planted in field in Randomized Block Design (RBD) with 600 plants in each treatment. Total number of branches (including primary, secondary and tertiary branches) and leaves produced from planted terminal cutting following mutagenic treatment was represented as first vegetative generation and designated as V 1M 1 generation plants. Secondary shoots were considered as the second vegetative generation. Secondary shoots were obtained by cutting back the primary shoot and planted for the study of V2M1 generation. The mutants were evaluated by adopting standard recommended cultural practices (Hegde, 2001 and Rajamani, 2003) for crop cultivation. The biometrical traits viz., plant height, number of branches plant-1 and number of leaves plant -1 were observed at 180 days after planting. Similarly, yield parameters like length and girth of tuber and fresh tuber yield plant-1 were also recorded. After the harvest of tubers, the quality traits like forskolin (Mersinger et al,1988), essential oil (A.S.T.A, 1960) and total alkaloids (Kokate et al, 2001) were estimated by adopting standard procedures. In V2M1 generations, the genotypic correlation coefficients


and phenotypic correlation coefficient were estimated according to Johnson et al (1955). The significance of the genotypic correlation coefficients was tested by referring to the standard table given by Snedecor and Cochran (1967). Path coefficient analysis was carried out according to Dewey and Lu (1959) by partitioning the genotypic correlation into direct and indirect effects.


The correlation coefficients between yield and its components and inter correlations among various yield attributes were estimated. In general, genotypic correlation coefficients were of higher in magnitude than phenotypic correlation indicting the lesser influence of environmental factors. Being a complex trait, tuber yield is largely influenced by many component characters. The relationship between yield and its component characters is likely to vary according to the genetic material used and environment under which the material is evaluated as well as due to interaction of these factors (Table 1 and 2). The highest positive and significant genotypic correlation of yield was observed with tuber girth (0.997) and it was closely followed by number of leaves plant-1 (0.962) and number of tubers plant-1 (0.958). Other traits exhibited positive and significant genotypic correlations with yield are tuber length (0.934), plant height (0.906) and number of branches plant-1 (0.847). While the characters viz., forskolin (-0.782) and essential oil content (-0.167) showed negative correlation with yield. Intercorrelation showed that the plant height had positive and highly significant association with number of branches plant-1, number of leaves plant-1, number of tuber plant-1, tuber length and tuber girth. Number of tuber plant-1 exhibited positive and highly significant association with tuber length and tuber girth. Each of these characters not only had positive association with each other but also highly significant with yield. The yield exhibited positive and significant phenotypic correlation with plant height, number of branches plant-1, number of leaves plant-1, number of tuber plant-1, tuber length and tuber girth. However, the forskolin and essential oil showed negative correlation with yield. This apparent negative correlation at genetic level would have arisen from repulsion linkage of gene(s), controlling the direct and indirect effects. Conversely, positive association was due to the coupling phase of linkage. This is in agreement with the earlier findings of Geetha and Prabhakaran (1987),

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Statistics on Coleus mutants and yield

Table 1. Effect of gamma rays (kR) and EMS on mean values for different traits in V2M1 generation in Coleus Treatment Biometrical traits at 180 Days from planting Plant Number Number height of of (cm) branches leaves plant-1 plant-1 63.50 62.00 60.55 59.20 58.00 56.50 55.00 55.10 53.60 53.00 52.50 50.00 49.00 45.50 43.10 42.35 53.50 51.00 50.50 49.95 49.00 48.65 48.05 46.50 45.00 44.95 44.00 43.70 42.80 41.20 40.15 39.80 235.00 222.50 216.50 211.00 229.50 215.00 203.00 210.50 200.00 192.00 182.00 178.50 160.00 148.00 131.50 108.00 Yield trait Number of tubers plant-1 24.50 21.00 20.50 19.00 23.50 21.00 18.00 21.50 18.50 18.00 16.50 14.50 13.00 12.00 10.50 9.00 Length of tuber (cm) 24.70 22.50 20.69 19.00 23.50 21.00 19.80 20.90 19.10 18.45 17.65 17.00 16.20 15.00 14.33 13.40 Girth Fresh of Tuber-yield tuber plant-1(g) (cm) 3.45 3.25 3.00 2.95 3.30 3.00 2.85 3.20 3.18 3.12 3.00 2.95 2.65 2.45 2.30 2.05 510.00 505.00 471.66 430.85 497.55 462.90 433.20 492.40 477.60 445.18 420.00 409.28 389.30 375.50 305.00 290.55 Quality trait Total Essential Forskolin alkaloid oil content (g) content(g) (ml) 1.20 1.19 1.25 1.25 1.19 1.15 1.10 1.21 1.20 1.17 1.14 1.10 0.96 1.10 1.26 1.09 0.10 0.09 0.11 0.09 0.10 0.11 0.09 0.07 0.18 0.09 0.12 0.10 0.09 0.10 0.14 0.10 0.40 0.52 0.50 0.48 0.42 0.45 0.40 0.40 0.45 0.62 0.46 0.46 0.55 0.50 0.61 0.63

Control 2.50 kR gamma rays 3.00 kR gamma rays 3.50 kR gamma rays 0.50 % EMS 1.00 % EMS 1.50 % EMS 2.50 kR gamma rays + 0.50% EMS AT9 2.50 kR gamma rays + 1.00% EMS AT10 2.50 kR gamma rays + 1.50% EMS AT11 3.00 kR gamma rays + 0.50% EMS AT12 3.00 kR gamma rays + 1.00% EMS AT13 3.00 kR gamma rays + 1.50 % EMS AT14 3.50 kR gamma rays + 0.50% EMS AT15 3.50 kR gamma rays + 1.00% EMS AT16- 3.50 kR gamma rays + 1.50% EMS

AT1 AT2 AT3 AT4 AT5 AT6 AT7 AT8-

Bhandari and Gupta (1991), Prabhakar et al (1994) and Shanmugasundaram (1998). Correlation coefficients between the characters revealed that those characters exerted positive association among others are prone for improvement and underlined the fact that one component character leads to the concurrent improvement of the other component characters. The present findings are concurrent with Shanmugasundaram (1998) in turmeric and Kavitha (2005) in coleus. The present information on strength and direction of correlation of these component characters on tuber yield and inter se association among them would be useful in designing breeding programmes for yield improvement. Correlation coefficient between any two characters would not give a complete picture for a situation like yield, which is controlled by several other traits, either directly or indirectly. In such situations, path coefficient analysis furnishes a means of measuring direct effect of each trait as well as indirect effect via other characters on yield. So information on direct and indirect effect on yield is important, which is explicable by path analysis proposed by Wright (1921) and illustrated by Dewey and Lu (1959). The

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interrelationships of the component characters on yield provide the likely consequences of their selection for simultaneous improvement of desirable characters with yield. The path analysis of component traits on yield of coleus mutants showed positive direct effects through the characters viz., plant height (0.979), number of leaves plant1 (0.422), number of tubers plant-1 (0.169), tuber length (0.386), tuber girth (0.048) and essential oil content (0.008) (Table 3). The direct effect was the highest for plant height (0.979) followed by number of leaves plant-1 (0.422), while the trait, number of branches plant-1 had the highest indirect effect (-0.930). Since correlation of these characters with yield is positive, preference should be given to these characters in selection programme to isolate superior mutants with genetic potential for improving yield. A similar line of work was reported by Viswanathan et al (1993) in Abrus precatorius and Srivastava and Chauhan (1998) in Bauhinia variegata. The direct effect was observed to be negative through number of branches plant-1 (-0.930), total alkaloids (-0.066) and forskolin content (-0.026). This vivid conflict


Datta et al

Table 2. Effect of gamma rays (kR) and EMS (per cent) on genotypic and phenotypic correlation coefficient in Coleus mutants in V2M1 generation X1 X1 X2 X3 X4 X5 X6 X7 X8 X9 X10 # Upper values refers to genotypic correlation coefficient # Lower values refers to phenotypic correlation coefficient X 1 : Plant height X 2 : Number of branches plant-1 X 3 : Number of leaves plant-1 X 4 : Number of tubers plant-1 X 5 : Length of tuber X 6 : Girth of tuber * Significant at 5 % level ** Significant at 1 % level X 7 : Total alkaloids X 8 : Essential oil X 9 : Forskolin X 10 : Fresh tuber yield plant-1 1 1 X2 0.983** 0.983** 1 1 X3 0.958** 0.959** 0.928** 0.931** 1 1 X4 0.943** 0.929** 0.919** 0.910** 0.980** 0.972** 1 1 X5 0.934** 0.938** 0.930** 0.933** 0.955** 0.957** 0.985** 0.973** 1 1 X6 0.888** 0.852** 0.818** 0.785** 0.968** 0.901** 0.981** 0.852** 0.924** 0.875** 1 1 X7 0.415 0.471 0.418 0.465 0.406 0.449 0.467 0.453 0.381 0.436 0.291 0.464 1 1 X8 -0.250 -0.140 -0.284 -0.181 -0.197 -0.108 -0.192 -0.152 -0.233 -0.130 -0.178 0.055 0.215 0.331 1 1 X9 -0.697** -0.435 -0.688** -0.445 -0.805** -0.552* -0.751** -0.590* -0.779** -0.514* -0.897** -0.328 -0.247 0.046 0.008 0.192 1 1 X 10 0.906** 0.909** 0.847** 0.854** 0.962** 0.963** 0.958** 0.951** 0.934** 0.937** 0.997** 0.919** 0.321 0.370 -0.167 -0.085 -0.782** -0.541* 1 1

Table 3. Effect of gamma rays (kR) and EMS (per cent) on path analysis in Coleus mutants in V2M1 generation X1 X1 X2 X3 X4 X5 X6 X7 X8 X9 0.979 0.952 0.968 0.896 0.944 0.897 0.419 -0.252 -0.704 X2 0.318 -0.930 -0.989 -0.991 -0.981 -0.882 -0.451 0.306 0.742 X3 0.338 0.392 0.422 0.414 0.403 0.409 0.171 -0.083 -0.340 X4 -0.179 0.155 0.166 0.169 0.166 0.166 0.079 -0.032 -0.127 X5 -0.386 0.359 0.368 0.380 0.386 0.356 0.147 -0.090 -0.301 X6 -0.048 0.040 0.047 0.048 0.045 0.048 0.014 -0.009 -0.043 X7 -0.043 -0.028 -0.027 -0.031 -0.025 -0.019 -0.066 -0.014 0.016 X8 -0.004 -0.002 -0.002 -0.001 -0.002 -0.001 0.002 0.008 0.000 X9 0.018 0.018 0.021 0.019 0.020 0.023 0.006 0.000 -0.026 Yield 0.993 0.956 0.974 0.903 0.956 0.997 0.321 -0.166 -0.783

# Residual effect: 0.158

Diagonal element - Direct effects X 4 : Number of tubers plant-1 X 5 : Length of tuber X 6 : Girth of tuber X 7 : Total alkaloid content X 8 : Essential oil content X 9 : Forskolin content X 10 : Fresh tuber yield plant-1

X 1 : Plant height X 2 : Number of branches plant-1 X 3 : Number of leaves plant-1

between the correlation and path coefficient analysis arouse largely from the fact that correlation simply measures the mutual association without regard to causation, while path specifies the relative importance of each causal factor. So information on direct and indirect effect on yield is important which is explicable only by means of path analysis. It is also evident from the study that direct selection can be made on tuber characters as they are true components relating to yield and selection on these will be rewarding. The current investigation resulted with the residual effect of 0.158

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indicating precision on selection of component characters. Most of the breeding programmes preferred with residual effect lesser than one. It indicates that accuracy and appropriate selection of component character for crop improvement programme. This is supported by the earlier works of Nandi et al (1992), Maurya et al (1998), Shanmugasundaram (1998), Ushanandhinidevi (2004) in turmeric and Kavitha (2005) in coleus. On a wholesome, the weightage must be given to component characters exhibiting positive attributes towards the fresh tuber yield


Statistics on Coleus mutants and yield

of coleus. However, certain traits with negative attributes are also chosen for getting improved quality i.e., forskolin content without much inhibition on fresh tuber plant-1.


A.S.T.A. 1960. Official analytical methods of the American spice trade association, New York, pp. 41-42 Bhandari, M.M. and Gupta, G.S. 1991. Association analysis of Opium poppy Linn. Int'l. J. Trop. Agri., 9 (1): 42-44 Bhat, S.V., Bajwa, B.S., Dornauer, H., DeSouza, N.J. and Fehlilhaber, H.W. 1977. Structure and stereochemistry of new labdane diterpenoid from Coleus forskohlii. Tetrahedron Lett., 19:1669-1672 Dewey, D.R. and Lu, K.H. 1959. A correlation and path coefficient analysis of components of crested wheat grass seed production. Agron. J., 51:515-518 Geetha, V. and Prabhakaran, P.V. 1987. Genotypic variability, correlation and path coefficient analysis in turmeric. Agril. Res. J. Kerala, 25:249-254 Hegde, L. 2001. Crop improvement in Coleus forskohlii Briq. In : National seminar on transfer of technology of medicinal and aromatic crops, held on 20-22 February, Bangalore, pp. 92-96 Johnson, H.W., Robinson, H.F. and Comstock, R.E. 1955. Estimation of genetic variability in soybean. Agron. J., 47:314-318 Kavitha, C. 2005. Genetic diversity studies in Coleus forskohlii Briq. Ph.D thesis, TNAU, Coimbatore Kokate, C.K., Prohit, A.P. and Gokhale, S.B. 2001. Pharmacognosy, Nirali Prakasam Publ., Warangal, India. Maurya, K.R., Kumar, R., De, N. and Singh, S.N. 1998. Correlation and path analysis performance studies of some turmeric (Curcuma domestica Val.) genotypes. In: National Seminar on recent development in spices production technology, Bihar Agricultural College, Sabour. pp. 11-12

Mersinger, R., Donauer, H. and Rainhard, E. 1988. Formation of forskolin by suspension cultures of Coleus forskohlii. Planta Med., 54:200-204 Nandi, A., Lenka, D. and Singh, D.N. 1992. Path analysis in turmeric. Ind. Cocoa, Arecanut and Spices J., 17:54-55 Prabhakar, M., Singh, J. and Srivastava, L.J. 1994. Genetic variation and correlation studies for some important characters associated with solasodine yield in Solanum khasianum Clarke. Ind. J. Forestry, 17:26-31 Rajamani, K. 2003. Cultivation technology of Coleus forskohlii. In: State level sem. Medicinal Plants, held at Trichy, pp: 53-58 Rupp, R.H., De Souza, N.J. and Dohadwalla, A.N. 1986. In: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Forskolin: Its chemical, biological and medical potential. Hoechst India Ltd., Bombay, pp. 19-30 Shanmugasundaram, K.A. 1998. Evaluation and selection for certain quantitative and qualitative characters in turmeric (Curcuma domestica Val.). M.Sc. (Ag.) thesis, TNAU, Coimbatore Snedecor, G.W. and Cochran, C.W.G. 1967. Statistical methods. The Iowa State University Press, Iowa, U.S.A. Srivastava, A. and Chauhan, K.C. 1998. Path coefficient analysis between shoot dry weight and other characters in Bauhinia variegata Linn. progeny. J. Tree Sci., 15:111-113 Ushanandhinidevi, H. 2004. Induction of mutagenesis in turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) through gamma rays for variability and quality improvement. Ph.D thesis, TNAU, Coimbatore Vishwanathan, T.V., Sunil, K.P. and Sujatha, R. 1993. Path analysis for lethality in gamma irradiated population of Indian liquorice (Abrus precatorius L.) South Ind. Hort., 41:101-105 Wright, S. 1921. Correlation and causation. J. Agril. Res., 20:557-585

(MS Received 30 April 2008, revised 12 February 2009)

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J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 68-70, 2009

Short communication

Effect of different levels of N and P on ratoon crop of banana cv. Grand Naine

Tejinder Kaur, M.I.S. Gill and H.S. Dhaliwal

Department of Horticulture Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana ­ 141 004, India E-mail: [email protected]


An investigation was carried out to study the effect of various levels of N and P on growth and yield of banana cv. Grand Naine in first ratoon crop at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. The treatments consisted of six levels of nitrogen at 150, 200 (in 4 and 5 splits), 250 (in 4 and 5 splits) and 300 g (in 5 splits) per plant as urea, phosphorus at 60 and 90 g per plant as single super phosphate. Application of N and P at the rate of 200 g N in 5 splits + 60 g P2O5 per plant to ratoon crop of banana cv. Grand Naine proved to be the best among all treatment combinations. This also resulted in maximum plant growth, early shooting and fruit maturity. In addition, the fruit yield per plant (18.9 kg) was maximum with the above mentioned treatment. Finger length increased with increase in dose of N from 150 g to 200 g per plant. Key words: Banana, ratoon crop, nutrition, nitrogen, phosphorus, fertilization, punjab

In banana, higher yields are related to faster production of bigger leaves. Banana is a gross feeder of nutrients and has restricted root zone thus requires heavy fertilizer application in this limited root area. As most of soils are deficient in nitrogen and phosphorus, application of these two plant nutrients together with organic manure play an important role to get good crop returns (Datt and Sundharam 2005). Although, a lot of work has been done on nutrient requirement of banana with respect to production under different set of edaphic conditions, such information is lacking under Punjab conditions, where banana has been recently introduced and gaining importance. Therefore, a need was felt to study the response of various levels of nitrogen and phosphorus and their application on growth, yield and quality of banana and thereby formulate a fertilizer schedule under prevailing agro climatic conditions of Punjab. The present investigation was undertaken during 2007-08 at the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana on the first ratoon crop of banana cv. Grand Naine. The treatments consisted of six levels of nitrogen (N) at 150, 200 (in 4 and 5 splits), 250 (in 4 and 5 splits) and 300 g (in 5 splits) per plant as urea; phosphorus (P2O5) at 60 and 90 g per plant as single super phosphate. Thus, there were 12 treatment combinations. A common dose of 200 g potash (K2O) was applied in 5 split doses as muriate of potash. Full

dose of single super phosphate was applied in May while, urea and muriate of potash were applied from May to September, 2007. All plants were under uniform cultural practices, except the fertilizer treatments. Observations on plant height, girth, number of leaves (recorded at shooting stage), crop duration (time recorded after the complete harvest of the main crop in April) and yield attributing characters like number of fingers per hand, number of hands per bunch, finger length and bunch weight were recorded. The data recorded were statistically analyzed as per split plot design method (Chao and Lincoln, 1969). Data presented in Table 1 indicate that nitrogen and phosphorus application significantly influenced pseudo stem height, girth, and number of leaves at all levels tried. Though application of 200 g N in 5 splits and 60 g P2O5 produced the tallest plants (216 cm) with larger pseudo stem girth (57.4 cm), it was at par with 200 g N in 4 splits and 60g P2O5. Within nitrogen treatments the highest average height attained by plants treated with 200 g N in 5 splits was 210.5 cm. However, it was only 3.5 cm more than that at the maximum level of N applied (300 g N), showing thereby that increase in height of plants by application of N beyond 200g per plant was less rapid. These results are in agreement with other workers (Das and Khatna, 1974 and

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Table 1. Response of growth attributing characters, flowering and crop duration in banana cv. Grand Naine to various levels of N and P Leaf No. Bunch weight(kg) P1 17.6 18.0 18.9 17.4 16.3 17.5 16.8 15.8 16.0 17.7 9.7 8.0 8.9 8.3 17.2 9.3 8.6 8.8 7.6 7.6 7.3 P2 15.3 P1 7.5 P2 7.0 P1 16.0 20.2 20.6 18.4 17.5 17.6 Yield attributing character No. of hands No. of fingers per bunch per hand P2 14.0 16.6 16.7 14.1 13.9 14.4 Finger length(cm) P1 18.0 19.3 19.7 18.8 18.2 18.3 P2 17.5 18.2 18.5 17.6 18.0 17.9


Growth character Pseudostem Pseudostem height (cm) girth (cm) P2 50.8 55.7 55.8 53.2 53.0 53.7 12.8 12.7 98 115 110 117 12.6 12.1 85 108 107 119 13.4 12.5 85 108 107 119 14.6 13.4 79 93.0 90 108 14.5 13.8 79 93.0 90 108 P1 12.7 P2 11.3

P1 205

P2 201

P1 52.5

Crop duration(time taken for) Shooting Shooting to (no. of days) harvesting (no. of days) P1 P2 P1 P2 93 98.0 110 110







Effect of N and P on banana ratoon crop








N (g/tree) N1 - 150 g N in 5 split doses N2 - 200 g N in 4 split doses N3 - 200 g N in 5 split doses N4 - 250 g N in 4 split doses N5 - 250 g N in 5 split doses N6 - 300 g N in 5 split doses CD (P=0.05)




N=1.32 P=2.21 N=2.30 P=1.43 N=1.42 P=NS N=3.05 P=1.71 N=1.53 P=0.92 N=1.42 P=0.81 N=1.23 P=0.72 N=1.33 P=0.82 N=0.72 P=0.42 Nx P=3.02 Nx P= NS Nx P= NS Nx P=4.22 Nx P=2.14 Nx P=NS Nx P= NS Nx P= NS Nx P= NS

P1 = 60g P205 P2 = 90g P205

Tejinder Kaur et al

Parida et al, 1994). The result of the experiment also did not record much difference in height of banana plants due to application of P at the rate of 60 g and 90 g P2O5 per plant, but lower dose of 60 g P2O5 was significantly better than 90 g P2O5. This is in agreement with findings of Kohli et al (1976), who reported that due to low requirement of P in banana, lower doses of P is generally recommended. Nitrogen was found to be most effective in increasing the pseudostem girth at 200 g N. P did not record any significant difference in pseudostem girth (Mahakal and Gupta 1973). Significant increase in leaf number was observed with application of N. The highest average leaf number was recorded in 200 g N in 5 splits which was at par with 200 g N in 4 splits. No marked variation was noted with respect to leaf production due to interaction between N and P. Among P, both the treatments failed to show any effect on leaf number. Plants supplied with 200 g N in 4 or 5 splits and 60 g P2O5 took a shorter time for shooting and subsequently the time taken for harvest also reduced significantly (79 and 99 days, respectively), when compared to lower level of 150 g N and 60 g P2O5 (93 and 111 days, respectively) as well as other treatment combinations. Owing to earlier production of leaves with larger leaf area per plant and better disposition of photosynthetic area, the required net assimilation was reached early in plants receiving higher dose of nitrogen, hastening the process of initiation and emergence of inflorescence (Parida et al, 1994). Earlier studies by Israeli and Lahav (1986) and Singh et al (1990) suggested that an optimum supply of nutrients stimulated early shooting and shortened the duration. Effect of nitrogen was more pronounced than phosphorus in decreasing the shooting as well as harvest duration. Plants receiving 200 g N took significantly less number of days to shooting and harvesting as compared to 300 g N. Decrease in duration to shoot and harvest between 60 g P2O5 and 90 g P2O5 was 16 and 11 days, respectively and corresponding figure to nitrogen was 20 and 14 days, respectively. These results are in agreement with observations of Kohli et al (1981). In case of yield attributing characters, bunch weight, number of hands per bunch, number of fingers per hand and finger length, increased significantly due to treatment with nitrogen and phosphorus when applied singly. Application of 200 g N (5 splits) and 60 g P2O5 gave the highest bunch weight (18.9 kg). The increase in bunch weight was

associated with corresponding increase in number of hands per bunch, number of fingers per hand and finger length, which were found to be highest in 200 g N (5 splits) and 60 g P2O5 (9.7, 20.6 and 19.7 cm, respectively). The increased dry matter at harvest due to application of nutrients might have contributed to higher bunch characters, which may be attributed to timely availability of required amounts of nutrients at flower bud initiation (Basagarahally, 1996 and Armugam and Manivannan, 2001).


Armugam, S. and Manivannan, K. 2001. Response of in vitro raised banana cv. Robusta to different levels of N and K application. South Ind. Hort., 49:362-63 Basagarahally, R. 1996. Micropropagation and nutritional studies of tissue cultured plants of banana cv. Grand Naine. Ph.D (Hort). Thesis, UAS, Bangalore Chao, R. and Lincoln, L. 1969. Statistics methods and analysis 2nd ed. McGraw Hill, New Delhi, p.116-17 Das, G.C. and Khatna, N. 1974. Effect of nitrogen, phosphorus and potash on growth and yield of banana clone Dwarf Cavendish. Orissa J. Hort., 2:39-42 Datt, R. and Sundharam, K.P.M. 2005. Indian Economy. Naya Udyog 1: 529-30 Israel, Y. and Lahav, E. 1986. Banana. In: CRC Handbook of fruit set and development (Ed. Monsalise, S.P.). CRC Press, Florida, p. 45-73 Kohli, R.R., Chacko, E.K. and Randhawa, G.S. 1976. Effect of spacing and nutrition on growth and fruit yield of Robusta banana. Ind. J. Agril. Sci., 46:380-86 Kohli, R.R., Reddy, Y.T.N. and Iyenger, B.R. 1981. Response of Robusta banana to nitrogen. National Symp. on Trop and Sub-Trop. Fruit Crops, Bangalore (Abs. p.55) Mahakal, K.G. and Gupta, P.K. 1973. Effect of nitrogen alone and in combination with phosphate and potash on growth and production of Basrai banana (Musa cavendishii Lamb.) P.K.V. Res. J., 1:188-90 Parida, G.N., Ray, D.P., Nath, N. and Dora, D.K. 1994. Effect of graded levels of NPK on growth of Robusta banana. Ind. Agri. 38:43-50 Singh, H. P., Yadav, I. S. and Singh, K. D. 1990. Response of plant crop of dwarf Cavendish (Musa Cavendishii-AAA) to nitrogen and potassium, growing in a sandy loam soil in the sub-tropics. J. Potassium Res.6:60-69

(MS Received 9 February 2009, Revised 22 May 2009)

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J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 71-75, 2009

Short communication

Combining ability in African marigold (Tagetes erecta L.)

Y.C. Gupta

Department of Floriculture and Landscaping Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry Nauni, Solan ­ 173 230, India E-mail: [email protected]


A line x tester crossing programme was done using male sterile lines and a set of 11 genetically diverse pollinators as testers. F1's along with parents were evaluated during winter and summer seasons. During the seasons, for plant height and flower size, additive gene action was higher compared to non-additive gene action, while for flowering days and stalk length, non-additive and non-additive gene actions played important role during both the seasons, indicating the usefulness of hybrids in marigold cultivation. Similarly, for flower number during winter and for plant spread during summer, both additive and non-additive gene action played significant role. For other traits, gene action was inconsistent during different seasons. Key words: Additive, non-additive, gene action, GCA and SCA

African marigold (Tagetes erecta L.), a member of Asteraceae family, is grown for loose flower, cut flower, potting and bedding purposes, its insecticidal properties and as industrial use in poultry feed. The success of exploitation of hybrid vigour depends upon the combining ability of parental lines to be used in hybridization. Parents with high magnitude of combining ability are most suitable for heterosis breeding. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to select good combiners, which may produce most promising F1 hybrids. The present study was carried out at Experimental Farm of Division of Floriculture and Landscaping, IARI, New Delhi involving 3 male sterile lines, viz., ms7 ms8 and ms12 and a set of 11 genetically diverse pollinators numbered Sel. 7, Sel. 8, Sel. 14, Sel. 19, Sel. 21, Sel. 22, Sel. 27, Sel. 28, Sel. 29, Sel. 31 and Sel. 56 as testers. The total area

Source of variation df Days to flowering 36.20 19.10 160.21** 80.89** 12.47 Plant height (cm) 0.73 1139.35** 76.20** 56.64** 7.30 Number of flowers/plant 887.47 1628.18** 622.08** 326.53** 161.20

covered under the experiment was 800 sq.m. The line x tester analysis, designed by Kempthorne (1957), was adopted to derive combining ability variance and the genic effect and test of significance was carried out using the model given by Singh (1979). The hybrids and their parental lines were evaluated during winter and summer seasons in a Randomized Block Design with three replications. Observations were recorded on nine characters. It may be mentioned here that during summer crop, Sel. 7 did not flower but its three hybrids flowered. No seed set was obtained in any of genotypes in summer. Since the environmental conditions during two seasons were strikingly diverse, the data were separately analysed for the two crops without pooling together. The data presented in Table 1 & 2 are for winter and summer crops, respectively, indicated that during winter

Flower weight (g) 173.81 24007.67** 1239.48** 431.14** 159.82 Flowering duration (days) Flower yield (g) Harvest index No. of seeds/ head

Table 1. Analysis of variance for combining ability for nine characters during winter season Flower size (cm) 0.50 12.89** 0.94** 0.55** 0.15

Replication Females Males Females x Males Error

2 2 10 20 64

27.75 12194.59 25.30 166593.20** 362.74** 17889.93** 96.93** 26816.55** 31.14 1972.81

32.07 2063.83 67.96** 2674.28** 50.58** 352.96 68.23** 207.07 7.77 669.24

*Significant at 5% level **Significant at 1% level


Table 2. Analysis of variance for combining ability for eight characters during summer season Source of variation df Days to Plant Number of Flower Flower Flowering Flower flowering height (cm) flowers / plant size (cm) weight (g) duration (days) yield (g) Replication 2 6.38 1.39 0.69 0.01 22.15 1.37 1182.49 Females 2 51.13** 1002.70** 1508.97** 6.82* 1511.08** 68.06** 137327.80** Males 9 259.79** 72.60** 210.82** 1.02 634.17** 89.06** 19103.49** Females x Males 20 74.82** 43.24** 23.31** 0.48** 329.89** 3.73 10809.84** Error 64 6.19 5.65 10.27 0.17 46.17 4.46 3065.76 *Significant at 5% level **Significant at 1% level Table 3. Estimate of gca effects of parents for nine characters during winter season Parents Days to Plant Number of Flower Flower Flowering Flower Harvest flowering height flowers/plant(cm) size (cm) weight (g) duration yield (g) (days) index Females ms7 0.62 2.46* -1.15 -0.09 5.51 0.61 -21.78 -1.58* 0.23 4.25** 7.53* 0.67** 23.79** 0.39 79.39** 0.36* ms8 ms12 -0.85 -6.71** -6.38 -0.57** 29.30** -1.00 -57.61** 1.22 SE(gi) 0.42 0.32 1.51 0.05 1.51 0.66 5.29 0.33 Males Sel. 7 -1.48 -0.18 11.14** -0.35** 8.49* 7.57** 41.00** -5.77** Sel. 8 -0.62 0.97 2.04 0.07 10.28* 0.43 9.61 -0.71 Sel. 14 6.86** 3.42** 14.60** 0.11 -8.47* -5.84** -21.77 -3.42** Sel. 19 -3.48** -1.88* 6.56 -0.35** -14.87** 0.15 -15.93 0.30 Sel. 21 -8.68** 0.79 11.78** 0.39** 19.87** 13.51** 28.86* 0.12 Sel. 22 -0.79 -3.75** -8.35* -0.16 8.19* -4.24* -96.48** -0.06 Sel. 27 0.87 3.14** -6.42 -0.09 2.33 -5.59** 40.67** 0.15 Sel. 28 -2.32* -0.76 -2.75 -0.28* 14.08** -1.15 -56.44** -0.71 Sel. 29 -3.80** -1.86* -5.28 0.52** 2.05* 0.52 -19.60 -2.96** Sel. 31 1.76 -5.89** 1.44 -0.29* -9.52* -8.33** 6.49 1.09 Sel. 56 4.07** 2.25* 4.43 0.42** 12.10** 2.96 43.99** 0.43 SE(gi) 0.94 0.72 3.38 0.11 3.37 1.49 11.83 0.74 *Significant at 5% level **Significant at 1% level Table 4. Estimate of gca effects of parents for eight characters during summer season Parents Days to Plant Number of Flower Flower flowering height flowers/plant size (cm) weight (g) (cm) Females ms7 1.50* 2.56* -7.14** 0.22* 0.09 ms8 -0.86 4.06** 7.04** 0.33* 7.05* ms12 -0.64 -6.62** 0.10 -0.55** -7.14* SE(gi) 0.31 0.30 0.40 0.05 0.85 Males Sel. 7 Sel. 8 -0.92 0.26 8.35** 0.52** 1.84 Sel. 14 7.38** 3.36** -1.87* 0.22 -12.46** Sel. 19 -1.94* -1.35 -5.12** 0.31* -14.17** Sel. 21 -12.54** 0.61 6.97** 0.56** -3.79 Sel. 22 1.54* -4.35* -1.35 -0.22 9.64** Sel. 27 1.43 2.16** -4.02** -0.16 6.82** Sel. 28 -2.62** -1.21 -3.71** -0.43** 1.17 Sel. 29 5.42** 1.43* -4.23** 0.07 0.62 Sel. 31 1.21 -5.29** 1.87 -0.17 10.90* Sel. 56 1.04 1.97* 3.12** -0.08 0.67 SE(gi) 0.66 0.63 0.85 0.11 1.79 *Significant at 5% level **Significant at 1% level -No flowering

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Harvest index 1.44 93.31** 10.65** 6.02** 3.05

No. of seeds/ head -9.70 8.09 1.61 3.08 4.97 3.41 -6.92 3.64 9.08 -11.59 -1.81 -6.81 0.53 0.19 5.30 6.89

Flowering duration

Flower yield (g) (days) -33.10* 77.83** -44.74* 6.89 49.61** -71.32** -55.46** -4.66 -28.44 3.08 -15.12 -30.44 78.66** 17.21 4.62

Harvest index

-0.95 1.74* -0.78 0.26 2.57** -2.00** -4.95 4.81** -1.59* -2.30** -1.15 -1.57* 2.87** 3.31** 0.56

0.14 1.83* -1.69* 0.22 1.83** -0.70 -1.26* 0.63 -0.44 0.98 -0.70 -1.54** 0.85 0.35 0.46


Combining ability in African marigold

Table 5. Estimates of sca effects of hybrids for eight characters during winter season Hybrids Days to flowering 8.58** 4.98** 0.97 1.02 -6.72** -1.44 1.06 -2.78* -1.43 0.14 -4.37** -8.37** -6.27** 4.46** -1.80 -1.13 0.94 -1.82 -0.50 4.39 1.86 8.24** -0.22 1.28 -5.43** 0.78 7.85** 0.50 0.76 3.28* -2.96 -1.99 -3.87** 1.33 Plant height 2.12* -4.54** 3.52** -2.15* 1.32 -4.35** 2.39* -0.74 2.88** 0.79 -1.25 -5.07** -6.98** 2.87** 2.80** -4.43* -0.17 -1.59 -4.42** -3.10** 3.88** 2.27* 2.95** -2.44* -6.38** -0.65 3.12** 4.51** -0.81 5.16** 0.22 -4.67** -1.02 1.02 Number of flowers/plant (cm) -16.16** -12.99* -2.49 7.72 6.79 -3.44 -3.74 -7.51 17.56** 5.84 8.42 4.23 14.89** -5.21 -9.19* -3.25 -7.15 7.25 3.72 -2.72 -0.87 -1.69 11.93* -1.90 7.70 1.48 -3.54 10.59* -3.51 3.79 -14.84** -4.97 -6.72 4.78 Flower size (cm) 0.51** 0.28 0.17 0.06 0.21 0.16 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.17 0.19 0.30* -0.01 0.31* -0.27 -0.73** 0.34* -0.56** -0.40* -0.27 -0.47** 0.23 0.21 -0.27 -0.48** 0.21 -0.53** -0.18 0.52** 0.44** 0.27 0.25 -0.43** 0.15 Flower weight (g) -24.72* -10.71* 12.00* 7.07 -5.50 0.03 7.54 6.42 10.66* -5.24 2.44 5.23 12.44** -1.25 -4.85 -12.85* 8.04 2.48 7.97 1.81 0.57 -4.25 19.49** -1.73 -10.76* -2.22 17.74** -8.07 -10.02* 1.56 -12.47* 4.67 1.81 4.76 Flowering duration -3.31 -8.73 4.13* 7.71** 0.59 -8.40** 2.79 0.21 5.38* -0.34 -0.03 4.51** 10.06** -0.81 -5.60* 1.64 2.32 1.88 -0.83 -9.17** -3.52 -0.48 -1.20 -1.32 -3.32 -2.11 -2.23 6.08** -4.67* 0.62 3.79 3.87 0.51 2.10 Flower yield (g) (days) -105.78** -124.33** 22.55 77.71** 27.72 -74.24** -41.59* -95.12** 157.12** 52.10** 103.80** 6.88 77.86** -17.12 -44.04* -66.26** -57.91** 53.93** 104.18** -20.59 -18.71 -18.21 98.91** 46.46** -5.43 -33.67 38.54* 132.15** -12.34 -9.06 -136.59** -33.38 -85.58** 16.73 Harvest index -5.10** -5.85** -2.47* -1.53 1.22 -1.17 0.12 -0.89 -6.59** 2.38* 5.90** -1.61 6.04** -3.52** -0.74 2.34* -1.78 -1.23 2.44* 2.55* -2.66 -1.84 6.70** 0.19 5.99** 2.27* -3.55** 2.96** -1.11 -2.35* -9.14** 0.28 -4.07** 1.07

ms7 x Sel. 7 ms7 x Sel. 8 ms7 x Sel. 14 ms7 x Sel. 19 ms7 x Sel. 21 ms7 x Sel. 22 ms7 x Sel. 27 ms7 x Sel. 28 ms7 x Sel. 29 ms7 x Sel. 31 ms7 x Sel. 56 ms8 x Sel. 7 ms8 x Sel. 8 ms8 x Sel. 14 ms8 x Sel. 19 ms8 x Sel. 21 Ms8 x Sel. 22 ms8 x Sel. 27 ms8 x Sel. 28 ms8 x Sel. 29 ms8 x Sel. 31 ms8 x Sel. 56 ms12 x Sel. 7 ms12 x Sel. 8 ms12 x Sel. 14 ms12 x Sel. 19 ms12 x Sel. 21 ms12 x Sel. 22 ms12 x Sel. 27 ms12 x Sel. 28 ms12 x Sel. 29 ms12 x Sel. 31 ms12 x Sel. 56 SE(Sij) *Significant at 5% level **Significant at 1% level

both male and female lines showed significant variation for plant height, plant spread, flower number, flower weight, flower size, stalk length, flower yield, harvest index and 1000seed weight, providing the evidence of appreciable diversity present in the parental lines for these traits. For flowering days and flowering duration only males, and, for seed number per head only females showed the presence of significant diversity. However, significant variances for all the traits, except for seed number per head, proved that there were significant genic interactions among parental lines for all the characters providing appreciable heterosis for all the traits under study. During summer (Table 2), both female and male parents showed significant variances for all the traits, except for flower size in males and for stalk length in females,

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indicating the presence of appreciable diversity among parents for all the traits during this crop season also. Significant variances for all the traits, except for flowering duration, proved the presence of significant genic interactions among male and female lines, giving appreciable heterosis for these traits during summer also. A perusal of data presented in Table 3 & 4 indicated that three male sterile lines involved in hybrid production, showed varying degrees of general combining ability (gca) effects for different traits. Male sterile line ms- -12 showed significant gca for four traits during winter but the effect was in negative direction. During summer also, this female line showed significant gca for five traits but in this season too the effect was in negative direction. Line ms-7 showed significant gca effects for three traits during winter, the effect



Table 6. Estimates of gca effects of hybrids for ten characters during summer season Hybrids Days to flowering 6.06** 1.16 2.51* -4.52** 0.09 -1.53 -3.14** -0.09 -1.21 0.66 -8.15** 2.35* -3.33** -4.27** -0.82 0.82 -0.65 2.53* 4.15** 7.38** 2.10* -3.50** 0.82 8.78** 0.73 0.71 3.80** -2.45* -2.94** -8.04** 0.93 Plant height -3.36** 2.61** -2.82** 1.79 -4.45** 2.04* 3.66** 1.14 0.43 -1.04 5.48** 3.08** 1.39 -4.50** -0.05 -1.89* -5.67** -2.06* 2.60** 1.53 -2.11* -5.68** 1.43 2.71** 4.40** -0.15 2.01* 0.92 -3.03** -0.49 0.89 Number of flowers/plant (cm) -2.87* 0.74 1.43 0.48 1.26 1.10 3.59** 0.11 -4.62** -1.21 -0.99 1.03 -2.22 -0.27 -0.19 -2.25 -3.33** 3.46** 4.49** 0.27 3.85** -1.77 0.79 -0.20 -1.08 1.15 -0.26 -3.57** 0.13 0.94 1.20 Flower size (cm) 0.29 0.59** -0.21 -0.17 -0.16 -0.26 -0.02 0.02 0.35* -0.44** 0.28 -0.55** -0.29 -0.22 -0.07 0.53** -0.16 0.14 0.04 0.28 -0.58** -0.08 0.49** 0.39* 0.24 -0.26 0.18 -0.15 -0.39 0.16 0.15 Flower weight (g) 5.93 -1.43 0.38 -0.67 13.53** 6.29** -10.83** -1.21 -4.89 -7.10** -3.56 -2.60 -5.12 -0.60 -19.03** 8.96** 18.07** 5.14 11.65** -2.63 -2.37 4.03 4.74 1.26 5.50* -15.25** -7.24** 6.33* -6.76* 9.73* 2.54 Flowering duration -0.89 -0.98 0.06 -0.36 -0.59 -0.78 1.26 2.35** 0.11 -0.19 -0.48 0.43 0.04 -0.01 1.35 0.73 -0.09 -0.67 -0.51 -0.78 1.37 0.55 -0.11 0.37 -0.76 0.05 -1.17 -1.68* 0.41 0.97 0.79 Flower yield (g) (days) 7.80 -7.17 68.58** 24.18 -53.44* 17.93 34.87 -9.75 -82.15** -38.00 -21.63 -17.10 -81.66** 25.31** -88.96** 21.90 55.30* -11.18 122.05** -11.23 13.84 24.27 13.08 -49.49* 35.51 -47.03* -20.43 20.92 -39.91 -49.24* 20.68 Harvest index 0.89 -0.45 1.42 0.89 -1.27 1.10 -2.12** 0.29 -1.23 0.47 -1.37* 0.02 0.25 -0.44 -1.11 0.24 2.48** 0.99 1.04 -1.10 0.48 0.44 -1.66* -0.45 2.38** -1.24 -0.36 -0.39 0.10 0.62 0.65

ms7 x Sel. 8 ms7 x Sel. 14 ms7 x Sel. 19 ms7 x Sel. 21 ms7 x Sel. 22 ms7 x Sel. 27 ms7 x Sel. 28 ms7 x Sel. 29 ms7 x Sel. 31 ms7 x Sel. 56 ms8 x Sel. 8 ms8 x Sel. 14 ms8 x Sel. 19 ms8 x Sel. 21 Ms8 x Sel. 22 ms8 x Sel. 27 ms8 x Sel. 28 ms8 x Sel. 29 ms8 x Sel. 31 ms8 x Sel. 56 ms12 x Sel. 8 ms12 x Sel. 14 ms12 x Sel. 19 ms12 x Sel. 21 ms12 x Sel. 22 ms12 x Sel. 27 ms12 x Sel. 28 ms12 x Sel. 29 ms12 x Sel. 31 ms12 x Sel. 56 SI (Sij) *Significant at 5% level **Significant at 1% level

being negative for two traits. During summer, this female line showed significant gca effects for six traits but the effect was negative for three traits. Line ms-8 showed significant gca effects for eight traits during both the seasons, of which only one was in negative direction. For flower yield, ms-8 gave the highest positive gca effect during both the seasons, while for other two female lines it was in negative direction. Among the 11 male lines selected for F1 hybrid production, Sel. 7 did not flower in summer, while in winter it showed positive gca effects for five traits and negative gca effects for three traits. Sel. 8 showed significant negative effect for five traits during summer, while during winter significant negative effect was for three traits. Sel. 14 showed significant positive gca effects for three traits during both the seasons. Sel. 19 showed significant negative effect for four traits during winter and for eight traits during

J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 71-75, 2009

summer. Sel. 21 showed significant positive gca effects for three traits during summer and for six traits during winter including flower yield. Sel. 22 showed significant negative effect for six traits during winter and for three traits during summer. Sel. 27 produced significant positive gca effect for three traits including yield during winter. In Sel. 28, almost all significant effects observed were in negative direction during both the seasons. Sel. 29 showed significant positive gca effects for two traits only during winter and summer. Sel. 31 showed significant negative effect for five traits during winter but positive effect for three traits during summer. Sel. 56 showed significant positive effect for three traits during summer, while during winter it showed significant positive effect for six traits including flower yield. Above discussion clearly indicates that among females, ms-8 and among pollinators, Sel. 7 (during winter only), Sel. 21, Sel. 27 and Sel. 56 were the best general combiners in both the seasons.


Combining ability in African marigold

An understanding of magnitude of additive and nonadditive gene actions controlling various traits in the breeding population is essential for the purposeful management of genetic variability in any crop. During both the crop seasons, for plant height and flower size, additive gene action was more important in addition to non-additive gene action in production of hybrids in marigold. It was supported by earlier finding of Reddy et al (1989). In case of flowering days and stalk length, non-additive gene action played a major role in both the seasons. Singh and Swarup (1971) also reported the role on non-additive gene action in controlling flowering days in marigold. For other traits, gene action was inconsistent over the seasons. Estimates of gca effects for 10 characters (Table 5 & 6) indicate that for flower yields and for two of its most important components, i.e., flower number and flower weight, out of 33 F1 hybrids evaluated, ms-7 x Sel. 29, ms7 x Sel. 56, ms-8 x Sel. 8, ms-12 x Sel. 22 and ms-12 x Sel. 7 were suitable for cultivation during winter, and three

hybrids, ms7- x Sel. 19, ms-8 x Sel. 28 and ms-8 x Sel. 31 for cultivation during summer. Hybrid, ms-8 x Sel. 28 showed adaptation for cultivation over both the seasons. Thus, for flower production, desirable performance of only 8 F1 hybrids out of 33 F1 hybrids advocates that a large number of hybrids combinations should be attempted and the hybrids should be the best performance for commercial cultivation.


Kempthorne. O. 1957. An introduction to genetic statistics. John Wiley and Sons, New York, USA Reddy, N.T., Muthuswamy, S., Irulappan, I. and Abdul Khader, M. 1989. Heterosis and combining ability for yield and yield components in African marigold (Tagetes erecta L.). South Ind. Hort., 36:51-56 Singh, B. and Swarup, V. 1971. Heterosis and combining ability in African marigold. Ind. J. Genet., 31:407415 Singh, D. 1979. Dialle analysis for combining ability over environments. Ind. J. Genet., 39:383-386

(MS Received 13 May 2008, Revised 8 January 2009)

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J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 76-77, 2009

Short communication

Performance of tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa L.) cultivars in Goa

K. Ramachandrudu1 and M. Thangam

ICAR Research Complex for Goa, Ela, Old Goa-403 402, India E-mail: [email protected]


Tuberose is one of the popular cut flowers in Goa and holds great potential for cultivation in the state. The experiment laid out in randomized block design (RBD) with four replications was conducted at ICAR Research Complex, Ela, Old Goa, during 2003-04 to evaluate the performance of five tuberose cultivars under local agroclimatic conditions. Results were significant among cultivars for all characters except bulb production/plant. Maximum plant height was observed in `Prajwal' whereas, the minimum was observed in `Shringar'. Among the cultivars, `Mexican Single' was found to be early, while, `Suvasini' and `Prajwal' were late in flowering. Highest number of florets/spike was recorded in `Suvasini', closely followed by `Vaibhav'. The best performance for spike length, number of spikes/plant, number of bulbs/plant, bulb weight and bulb diameter was observed in Mexican Single. Key words: Cultivars, performance, tuberose

Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa L.), a popular bulbous flower crop, is grown commercially for varied uses particularly in Eastern, Southern and Western parts of India. Tuberose needs warm and humid conditions for its luxuriant growth. Average range of annual temperature, relative humidity and rainfall of Goa are 22-330C, 58-88% and 27003000 mm, respectively. There is a good demand for cut tuberose in Goa, which is totally dependent on neighbouring states for the supply. There is a huge potential for tuberose production in the state owing to the presence of congenial climate and good market. There are reports on the performance of tuberose varieties in different parts of the country (Biswas et al, 2002). Though there are many varieties available in the country, location specific evaluation of varieties will help the growers to select the most suitable and high yielding variety. In this context, efforts were made to identify an ideal cultivar for commercial cultivation of tuberose in Goa. Five cultivars namely Mexican Single, Shringar, Suvasini, Prajwal and Vaibhav were evaluated in randomized block design with four replications during August 2003 and September 2004 at ICAR Research Complex for Goa, Ela, Old Goa. Soil of the experimental site was lateritic in nature having 5.4 pH and 0.037 EC and available N (0.89%), P (98.1 kg/ha), K (604.8 kg/ha) status was high. Farmyard manure @30 t/ha was applied at the time of land preparation. Sampurna (19:19:19) @600 kg/ha was applied


in three equal splits. First dose was given at the time of planting, second dose in 4th month and third dose in 8th month after planting. Healthy and medium size bulbs of 2-3 cm were planted at a spacing of 35 x 30 cm on flat bed. Other standard cultural practices including earthing up were carried out during the crop period. Observations were recorded on plant height, days to flowering, yield components and characters of bulbs. The collected data were subjected to statistical analysis and presented in Table 1. Results of the study revealed that differences among cultivars for various characters except bulb yield/plant were found significant (Table 1). Plant height which was measured before the emergence of spike was recorded the maximum in Prajwal (65.13 cm) and followed by Mexican Single (60.85 cm). Plants were dwarf in nature in Shringar (52.09 cm), which was found at a par with Vaibhav (54.92 cm). The difference between Mexican Single (60.85 cm) and Suvasini (58.27 cm) for plant height was found non-significant. Among the cultivars, earliness both in emergence of spike (101 days) and opening of first pair of flower buds (119.79 days) was observed in Mexican Single whereas, it was delayed in Prajwal and Suvasini. Marked difference between Shringar and Vaibhav for days to opening of flower buds was observed though they took almost the same period of time to reach the spike emergence stage. In tuberose, sturdy and lengthy spikes are preferred in cut flower trade. Spike length was significantly

Directorate of Oil Palm Research, Pedavegi-534 450, West Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh

Performance of tuberose in Goa

Table 1. Performance of tuberose cultivars under agro-climatic conditions of Goa Cultivar Plant height (cm) 60.85 52.09 58.27 65.13 54.92 5.67 Days to emergence of spike 101.00 104.50 109.00 110.50 104.00 1.62 Days to flower opening 119.00 122.00 131.00 131.00 126.00 1.32 Spike length (cm) 103.79 76.95 91.54 97.78 91.25 5.95 Rachis length (cm) 34.15 26.36 50.52 33.75 56.03 6.94 Florets/ spike 42.65 44.77 57.46 51.39 55.65 5.55 Floret weight (g) 1.18 1.06 2.65 1.98 2.26 0.30 Floret No. of diameter spikes/ (cm) plant 3.34 3.22 4.12 3.59 3.58 0.20 5.73 3.02 2.43 2.67 3.02 0.54 No. of bulbs/ plant 16.86 15.54 17.05 16.69 16.53 NS Bulb weight (g) 11.98 7.96 11.60 10.52 8.88 1.55 Bulb diameter (cm) 2.20 1.90 1.88 1.95 1.79 0.17

Mexican Single Shringar Suvasini Prajwal Vaibhav CD (P=0.05)

superior in Mexican Single (103.79 cm) when compared to other cultivars whereas it was shortest in Shringar (76.95 cm). Spike length was similar in Suvasini (91.54 cm) and Vaibhav (91.25 cm). Maximum rachis length was seen in Vaibhav (56.03 cm) followed by Suvasini (50.52 cm), while the minimum was observed in Shringar (26.36 cm). Spikes of Suvasini (57.46) had the highest number of florets while the lowest was recorded in Mexican Single (42.65), which was found at a par with Shringar (44.77). Individual floret weight (Table 1) was maximum in Suvasini (2.65 g) whereas, it was minimum in Shringar (1.06 g). Similar trend among the cultivars was observed in respect of floret diameter. Cultivar Mexican Single (5.73) recorded the highest spike yield/plant, which was significantly superior to other cultivars. The present results are in conformity with the findings of Irulappan et al (1980) on tuberose. Results were found non-significant between Shringar (3.02) and Vaibhav (3.02). Spike yield/plant was lowest in Suvasini (2.43) followed by Prajwal (2.67). Non-significant results were observed among the cultivars for number of bulbs/ plant. Both the bulb weight (11.98 g) and bulb diameter (2.20 cm) were happened to be the maximum in Mexican Single. The bulb weight was minimum in Shringar (7.96 g), followed by Vaibhav (8.88 g). Lower bulb size was observed in Vaibhav (1.79 cm) and Suvasini (1.88 cm), Shringar (1.90

cm) and Prajwal (1.95 cm). Similarly, Irulappan et al (1980), Bankar and Mukhopadhyay (1980), Patil et al (1987) and Murthy et al (1997) reported performance of tuberose cultivars under various agro-climatic conditions. It is concluded from the study that cultivar Mexican Single can be a good choice for commercial cultivation in Goa, as it excelled in performance for most of the characters.


Bankar, G.J. and Mukhopadhyay, A.1980. Varietal trial on tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa L.) South Ind. Hort., 28:150-151 Biswas, B., Naveen Kumar, P. and Bhattacharjee, S.K. 2002. Tuberose. Tech. Bulletin, All India Co. Res. Proj. Flori, New Delhi, pp.1-25 Irulappan, I., Doraipandian, A. and Muthuswamy, S. 1980. Varietal evaluation in tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa L.). National Seminar Prod. Tech. Comm. Flower Crops, TNAU, Coimbatore, pp.69-70 Murthy, N. and Srinivas, M. 1997. Genotype performance and character association studies in tuberose. J. Orn, Hort., 5:31-32 Patil, J.D., Patil, B.A, Chougule, B.B. and Bhat, N.R. 1987. Performance of different tuberose cultivars under Pune conditions. Curr. Rep., Mahatma Phule Agricultural University, Rahuri, 3:118

(MS Received 11 November 2008, Revised 5 June 2009)

J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 76-77, 2009


J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 78-80, 2009

Short communication

Effect of plant growth regulators on corm production in gladiolus

V. Baskaran1, R.L. Misra and K. Abirami1

Division of Floriculture and Landscaping Indian Agricultural Research Institute New Delhi -110 012, India E-mail: [email protected]


Experiments (spraying and dipping) were carried out to study the effect of different plant growth regulators with two methods of application on gladiolus cv. Pusa Jyotsna for various parameters of corm production. Spraying TIBA at 500 ppm produced maximum number of corms. Maximum number of cormels was produced by dipping corms in kinetin at 500 ppm concentration. Corm weight was maximum by dipping with 200 ppm of GA3. Spraying GA3 at 500 ppm resulted in maximum weight of cormels per plant and maximum diameter of corms. Dipping in 500 ppm of GA3 produced maximum volume of corms. Propagation co-efficient was maximum in BA at 100 ppm as spray treatment, whereas it was minimum in the case of TIBA at 1500 ppm. This may be due to growth retardation. Key words: Plant growth regulators, corm, gladiolus

Gladiolus is a very popular bulbous flowering plant with its magnificent inflorescence. It is grown in herbaceous border, bed, rockery, pot and also for cut flowers. The flowers, varying in colour with attractive shades are most suitable as cut flowers as the flowers have good shelf-life. However, major constraint for gladiolus cultivation is the corm dormancy. Plant growth regulators play an important role in breaking dormancy and promote more number of quality corm productions in gladiolus (Bhattacharjee, 1983). In spite of its importance, very little information is available on effect of growth regulators on gladiolus corm production. Hence, an experiment was laid out to study effects of growth regulators and their application methods in gladiolus. The experiment was conducted during 2002-04 in the Division of Floriculture and Landscaping, IARI, New Delhi, on gladiolus cultivar Pusa Jyotsna. Healthy corms of uniform size (8-10 cm circumference) were planted at a spacing of 30 cm x 20 cm. In total, there were 49 treatments viz., control, BA 25, 50 and 100 ppm; kinetin 125, 250 and 500 ppm; NAA 100, 250 and 500 ppm; IAA 100, 250 and 500 ppm; GA3 200, 500 and 1,000 ppm; MH 500, 1,000 and 1,500 ppm; TIBA 500, 1,000 and 1,500 ppm; and cycocel 1,000, 1,500 and 3000 ppm, with two methods of application (corm dipping and spraying). Data were recorded on various parameters of corm production. Statistical analysis was carried out according to Gomez and Gomez (1983). Randomized block design was followed for data interpretation.


Results indicated that all the growth hormones exhibited highly significant role in characters pertaining to corm production. Maximum number of corms was produced by use of TIBA 500 ppm as spraying followed by spraying of BA 100 ppm. In general, BA 100 ppm increased number of corms per plant followed by kinetin 250 ppm irrespective of modes of application. It shows that BA, like other cytokinins, characteristically causes more splitting than increasing the size of corms. Present results are in conformity with the work of Deutch (1974) and Vlahos (1989) in achimenes; Nightingale (1979) and Raju (2000) in lilies and Sehgal (1984) in gladiolus. The lowest number of corms was obtained by use of NAA 250 ppm as corm dipping. This was mainly due to inhibition of lateral root development by auxin. Maximum number of cormels was produced by kinetin 500 ppm as corm dipping followed by spraying of GA3 at 500 ppm and IAA 100 ppm. These results are in conformity with the findings of Saniewski and Puchalski (1983) in Muscari spp. by use of cytokinin. ElMeligy (1982), Dua et al (1984) and Mahesh (1992) reported increased number of cormels in gladiolus by GA3 treatment. The corm weight was maximum in corm dipping with 200 ppm of GA3- followed by 500 ppm GA3 and lowest weight was recorded in Kinetin 250 ppm. The superiority of GA3 at low concentrations in improving corm weight when compared at higher concentrations might be due to exhaustion of assimilates towards stem elongation at higher concentrations. Similar results were reported by Bose et al

Present address: National Research Centre for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Boriavi, Anand, Gujarat

Growth regulators in gladiolus corm production

Table 1. Effect of growth hormones on corm production in gladiolus (pooled data) Treatment(ppm) Number of corms per plant 2.27 2.22 2.37 2.52 1.47 1.32 1.97 2.27 1.77 1.97 2.57 1.68 1.88 2.33 1.58 1.53 2.18 2.52 2.37 1.82 1.72 1.67 1.67 1.72 2.22 3.05 3.25 3.58 2.00 1.90 2.15 2.56 2.88 2.47 2.86 2.30 3.05 2.52 3.02 3.32 3.20 3.52 3.34 3.77 3.17 2.32 2.57 3.57 2.82 0.97** Number of cormels per plant 11.17 16.83 20.83 34.17 13.83 11.83 18.83 14.83 19.73 17.73 22.23 17.23 19.73 29.57 20.23 18.75 14.48 26.92 38.92 16.58 11.18 17.88 13.58 12.28 19.38 22.85 22.05 27.52 19.85 20.85 30.85 37.35 20.85 17.85 15.85 38.85 23.17 15.87 14.17 20.97 18.17 20.67 20.17 31.23 20.67 14.87 16.67 19.57 15.17 6.20** Weight of one corm (g) 31.73 Corm Dipping 30.67 28.17 21.37 36.37 44.80 34.87 35.28 31.83 41.37 66.37 52.40 35.00 29.73 34.93 49.17 26.03 20.53 22.63 33.73 34.93 31.23 49.03 52.13 43.70 Spraying 30.13 33.93 36.73 35.43 36.93 34.73 35.43 32.73 36.73 49.17 37.93 37.53 34.73 35.13 37.93 25.53 22.13 28.93 33.23 29.33 28.23 33.33 36.53 34.03 11.31** Weight of cormels per plant (g) 3.05 2.72 3.66 4.33 2.57 2.22 4.05 3.37 4.00 3.63 4.51 3.57 3.97 4.13 3.95 3.65 2.95 4.85 5.66 3.42 2.60 3.81 3.03 2.71 3.91 4.82 4.70 5.02 4.31 4.44 5.14 5.62 4.42 4.04 3.54 6.14 4.82 3.95 3.22 4.72 3.88 5.01 4.77 5.54 4.52 3.62 3.91 4.58 3.79 1.05** Corm diameter (cm) 4.70 3.89 4.10 3.59 4.21 4.43 4.11 4.05 4.28 4.36 4.66 5.63 4.36 3.61 4.01 4.53 4.01 3.79 3.95 3.90 4.43 4.07 4.60 5.30 4.68 4.32 4.59 4.58 4.69 4.78 4.39 4.50 4.83 4.88 5.15 5.63 4.70 4.74 4.77 5.10 4.76 4.33 5.01 4.53 5.01 4.72 4.90 5.44 5.24 1.04** Volume of the corm (cm3) 32.84 50.11 46.84 36.35 59.19 61.98 56.38 53.21 49.07 60.32 71.08 75.45 65.88 48.11 55.35 58.84 46.98 39.84 42.60 55.30 57.66 52.05 67.51 71.06 64.51 42.93 40.70 30.32 52.42 56.78 45.64 46.68 38.31 49.66 60.48 62.96 58.24 37.32 44.78 43.91 40.92 32.64 34.82 39.70 42.08 36.95 53.49 55.91 49.12 11.39** Propagation co-efficient (%) 99.59 221.80 220.90 185.44 176.56 166.81 181.92 217.50 126.41 210.95 319.73 216.47 211.97 223.59 164.34 158.50 176.09 172.88 179.06 172.25 157.92 123.75 207.36 194.19 237.84 213.88 266.75 337.86 126.74 119.69 148.19 193.69 204.88 186.28 276.86 180.53 271.42 151.71 213.05 277.31 162.17 163.46 205.30 303.36 185.80 101.21 151.71 311.45 178.77 30.49**

Control BA 25 BA 50 BA 100 NAA 100 NAA 250 NAA 500 IAA 100 IAA 250 IAA 500 GA3 200 GA3 500 GA3 1000 MH 500 MH 1000 MH 1500 Kinetin 125 Kinetin 250 Kinetin 500 TIBA 500 TIBA 1000 TIBA 1500 Cycocel 1000 Cycocel 1500 Cycocel 3000 BA 25 BA 50 BA 100 NAA 100 NAA 250 NAA 500 IAA 100 IAA 250 IAA 500 GA3 200 GA3 500 GA3 1000 MH 500 MH 1000 MH 1500 Kinetin 125 Kinetin 250 Kinetin 500 TIBA 500 TIBA 1000 TIBA 1500 Cycocel 1000 Cycocel 1500 Cycocel 3000 CD (P=0.05)

** Significance at 1% probability level

J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 78-80, 2009


Baskaran et al

(1980) in Hippeastrum hybridum; Bhattacharjee (1983), Sujatha and Bhattacharjee (1992) and Raju (2000) in lilies; Dua et al (1984), Ravidas et al (1992) and Mahesh (1992) in gladiolus. Maximum weight of cormels per plant was observed by application of GA3 500 ppm as spraying followed by kinetin 500 ppm as corm dipping. Results are in agreement with the work of Winkler (1969), Dua et al (1984), Lopez Oliveras et al (1984), Mukhopadhayay and Bankar (1986) and Mahesh (1992) in gladiolus. The cormels weight per plant was minimum in plants treated with NAA 250 ppm as corm dipping. GA3 500 ppm gave the maximum diameter of the corm followed by cycocel 1500 ppm as dipping or spraying treatments. The diameter of the corm was minimum in case of BA 100 ppm spraying. Many workers reported similar effects in gladiolus (Bhattacharjee, 1984, Dua et al, 1984 and Mahesh, 1992) and in Hippeastrum hybridum (Bose et al, 1980). Maximum volume of the corm was achieved by corm dipping with GA3 500 ppm followed by GA3 200 ppm and the minimum in case of plants sprayed with BA 100 ppm. From these findings it is inferred that all these chemicals have potential in increasing corm size in terms of volume, as these would have participated in cell enlargement in the corms except cytokinins like BA and kinetin as these would have participated in cell division. An increase in volume with corresponding increase in weight may prove best for flowering in the next season. Propagation co-efficient reveals that multiplication rate by which, at a glance, one can visualize over all corm and cormel production per plant. The propagation co-efficient was maximum in BA 100 ppm as spraying treatment followed by GA3 at 200 ppm as corm dipping treatment indicating that these treatments are the best for good development of gladiolus corms and cormels. Reason may be due to BA 100 ppm would have encouraged other lateral buds present in the corm, inactive form, to accelerate the growth. In fact, corm starts forming just after sprouting and cormel starts forming normally at the time of spike formation. In the case of GA3 200 ppm, the weight of corm was high and hence had a high propagation co-efficient. The propagation co-efficient was least in case of control followed by TIBA 1500 ppm as spraying treatment. This may be due to growth retardation.


Bhattacharjee, S.K.1983. Response of Lilium tigrinum KerGawl (tiger lily) to soil drench application of growth regulating chemicals. Progressive Hort., 15: 204-209 Bhattacharjee, S.K.1984. The effects of growth regulating chemicals on gladiolus. Gartenbauwissensechaft, 49: 103-106 Bose, T.K., Jana, B.K. and Mukhopadhyay, T.P. 1980. Effects

of growth regulators on growth and flowering in Hippeastrum hybridum Scientia Hort., 12: 195-200 Deutch, B. 1974. Bulblet formation in Achimenes longiflora. Physiol. Plant., 30: 113-118 Dua, I.S., Sehgal, O.P. and Chark, K.S. 1984. Gibberellic acid induced earliness and increased production in gladiolus. Gartenbauwissenschaft, 49: 91-94 El-Meligy, M.M. 1982. Effect of gibberellin and radiation on corm formation and anthocyanin content in gladiolus. Agril. Res. Rev., 60: 265-280 Gomez, K. A. and Gomez, A. A. 1983. Statistical procedures for Agricultural research. An IRRI Book, John Wiley and Sons, New York Lopez Oliveras, A.M., Lopez Perez, D.and Pages Pallares, M. 1984. Vegetative propagation of gladiolus: Influence of exogenous gibberellic acid application and division of the mother corm. Anales del Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrarias, No. 27: 29-45 Mahesh, K.S. 1992. Effect of growth regulators on gladiolus var. Snow Princes. M.Sc. thesis, IARI, New Delhi. Mukhopadhyay, A. and Bankar, G.J. 1986. Pre-planting soaking of corm with gibberellic acid, modified growth and flowering of gladiolus cultivar ` Friendship'. Ind. Agric., 30: 317-319 Nightingale, A.E. 1979. Bulbil formation on Lilium longiflorum Thunb. cv. Nellie White by foliar application of PBA. Hort. Sci., 14: 67-68 Raju, D.V.S. 2000. Effect of plant growth regulators and disbudding on growth and development of Asiatic hybrid lily cv. Corrida. M.Sc. Thesis, IARI, New Delhi Ravidas, L, Rajeevan, P.K. and Valsakumari, P.K. 1992. Effect of foliar application of growth regulators on the growth, flowering and corm yield of gladiolus cv. Friendship. South Ind. Hort., 40: 329-335 Saniewski, M. and Puchalski, J. 1983. The synergistic effect of benzyladenine and cycloheximide in Muscari bulblet formation. Prace Instytutu Sadownictwa i Kwiaciarstwa w Skierniewicach, B, 8:167-177 Sehgal, O.P. 1984. Studies on vegetative propagation of gladiolus. Ph.D. Thesis, IARI, New Delhi Sujatha, K. and Bhattacharjee, S.K. 1992. Influence of growth regulating chemicals in Lilium longiflorum Thunb. var. Formosum. Ann. agril. Sci., Cairo, 2: 547-552 Vlahos, J.C. 1989. Effects of GA3, BA and NAA on dry matter partitioning and rhizome development in two cultivars of Achimenes longiflora DC, under three levels of irradiance. Acta Hort., No. 251 , pp. 79-92 Winkler, G. 1969. Investgations on the effect of growth substances on the corm yield of gladioli. Arch. Gartenb., 17: 325-340

(MS Received 25 August 2008, Revised 27 January 2009)

J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 78-80, 2009


J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 81-84, 2009

Short communication

Effect of different GA3 concentration and frequency on growth, flowering and yield in Gaillardia (Gaillardia pulchella Foug.) cv. Lorenziana

D.V. Delvadia, T.R. Ahlawat and B.J. Meena

Department of Horticulture Junagadh Agricultural University Junagadh-362 001, India E-mail: [email protected]


The present experiment was conducted at the Horticultural Instructional Farm, Department of Horticulture, J.A.U., Junagadh during the winter 2004-05. The experiment comprised of ten treatments, viz., three concentrations of GA3 (50, 150, 250 ppm) at three frequencies (single, double and triple spray at 30, 45 and 60 days from transplanting) and control. Each treatment was replicated thrice in randomized block design. Of the different treatments, GA3 250 ppm single spray recorded maximum plant height and plant spread. Number of branches per plant was highest under double spray of GA3 at 50 ppm. Longest flowering duration, maximum flower diameter and maximum shelf-life were observed with single spray of 250 ppm GA3. It also registered maximum number and weight of flowers per plant besides highest flower yield. Keywords: Gaillardia, GA3, growth, flowering, yield

Of the various seasonal flowers, Gaillardia (Gaillardia pulchella Foug.) is an important flower crop of the Asteraceae family. It is commonly known as "Blanket Flower" and is a native of America. Gaillardia is fast gaining prominence as a commercial crop, owing to its wide adaptability to varying soil and climatic conditions, better resistance to pest and diseases, hardy nature, long duration of flowering and attractive flower colour. In the Saurashtra region of Gujarat, flowers of Gaillardia are extensively used in preparation of garlands and for decoration purpose during weddings, religious ceremonies, festivals and social gatherings. It is widely marketed as a loose flower and often as a substitute for marigold and chrysanthemum, whenever these flowers are in short supply or out of season. In recent years, idea of regulating plant growth, flower yield and quality by application of plant growth regulators has assumed significant importance. Therefore an attempt was made to study the response of Gaillardia to gibberellic acid at three different concentrations and frequencies. The present experiment was conducted at the Horticultural Instructional Farm, Department of Horticulture, J.A.U., Junagadh during winter season of the year 200405. The experiment was laid out in a Randomized Block Design (RBD) with three replications and ten treatments including control. The treatments comprised of three

concentrations of GA3 (50, 150 and 250 ppm) and three frequencies single, double and triple sprays. GA3 was sprayed thrice, starting from 30 days of transplantation and at 15 days intervals for second and third sprays. The seedlings of Gaillardia were transplanted at a spacing of 45 x 45 cm. Uniform cultural practices were followed to raise a good crop. Five plants were selected randomly from the net plot in each treatment and tagged for the purpose of recording different observations. Characters such as plant height, plant spread, number of branches per plant and shelflife were recorded at full bloom stage. The duration from first flower opening to final harvesting was recorded as flowering span. Flower diameter was measured using Vernier caliper. Number and weight of flowers per plant was computed by summing up number and weight of flowers obtained during each plucking from randomly selected five plants. The data were expressed per plant. While flower yield was calculated by multiplying average weight of flower with total number of flowers per plant. The data thus generated were statistically analyzed.

Effect on growth parameters

Plant height was significantly influenced by GA3 at all levels (Table 1). The maximum height was recorded with

Delvadia et al

a single spray and triple spray of GA3 at 250 ppm (45.20 cm and 43.24 cm respectively). GA3 was known to increase the plant height by influencing the internodal length, attributable to both cell division and cell elongation (Reddy and Sulladmath, 1983). Increased auxin content was reported due to the application of GA 3 and resulting in apical dominance, which may also have contributed to the increased plant height (Scott et al, 1967). Promotion in plant height as a consequence of GA3 application was earlier reported by Makwana (1999) in Gaillardia. A somewhat similar trend was observed in plant spread where all treatments registered a significant increase in plant spread over control. A single spray of GA3 at 250 ppm registered the maximum plant spread (39.10 cm). According to Verma (1991) it was due to the formation of new cells in meristematic region and an increase in size and mass of cells produced. Similar findings were also reported by Singh et al (1991) in marigold. A significant increase in number of branches per plant was observed with the application of a single spray of GA3 at 250 ppm, double spray of GA3 at 50, 150 and 250 ppm and a triple spray of GA3 at 150 and 250 ppm. Of the above treatments, GA3 50 ppm double spray yielded the highest number of branches per plant (24.33). Increase in the number of branches with GA3 treatment may be due to the hyper elongation of internodal length and a resultant increase in nodal count on the main axis. Consequently these nodes increased number of dormant buds from where the primary branches may have originated (Krishna Kumar and Ughreja, 1998). This confirms the report on an increase in number of branches with GA3 application in Gaillardia by Patel (1998).

Table 1. Effect of various GA3 concentrations and frequencies on vegetative growth in Gaillardia Treatment Plant height at full bloom (cm) 25.40 34.25 45.20 39.80 39.89 41.54 39.60 42.42 43.24 22.96 0.82 2.44 3.61 Plant spread at full bloom (cm) 35.60 37.96 39.10 27.96 22.13 29.06 26.83 24.87 29.90 20.10 0.68 2.02 4.14 No. of branches/ plant 15.00 13.68 16.68 24.33 19.68 17.00 11.33 15.68 19.67 12.00 1.04 3.10 10.64

Effect on flowering traits

The influence of varying GA3 levels on flowering traits and shelf-life of Gaillardia indicated significant differences in the flowering span, flower diameter and shelf life as affected by various treatments (Table 2). GA3 250 ppm single spray, GA3 50 ppm double spray and GA3 250 ppm triple spray recorded a significant increase in flowering span. Advanced bud formation and onset of flowering in GA3 treated plants was attributed to enhanced flowering duration (Dutta et al, 1993). Prolonged flowering duration owing to GA3 was also documented by Dahiya and Rana (2001) in chrysanthemum. A 250 ppm single spray, 250 ppm triple spray, 150 and 50 ppm single spray of GA3 showed a significant increase in flower diameter over control. They were all at par with each other. The enlargement in flower size is caused by drawing of photosynthates to the flower as a consequence of increased sink activity (Zieslin et al, 1974). According to Dutta et al (1993) the enhancement in flower size might be due to an increase in the length of the petals and pedicels accompanied by increased number of petals. It is in conformity with the observations of Meher et al (1999) in chrysanthemum. A single spray of GA 3 at 150 and 250 ppm significantly enhanced the shelf-life of flowers. These treatments were at par with each other. The maximum shelf life (72.80 h) was observed when the plants were subjected to a single spray of GA3 at 250 ppm. GA3 reduces water loss and has anti-senescence properties leading to enhanced shelf-life of flowers (Singh et al, 1994). Similar results were

Table 2. Effect of varying GA3 levels and frequencies on flowering traits and shelf life in Gaillardia Treatment Flowering span (days) 80.33 75.00 91.33 86.00 71.66 63.33 58.33 74.66 85.33 73.33 3.38 7.06 5.42 Flower diameter (cm) 5.85 5.86 6.30 5.75 5.55 5.49 5.67 5.71 5.95 5.32 0.12 0.50 5.20 Shelf-life of loose flowers (hours) 68.20 71.10 72.80 63.33 65.80 60.73 69.43 70.40 67.87 68.10 0.90 2.72 4.05

T 1 GA3 50 ppm single T 2 GA3 150 ppm single T 3 GA3 250 ppm single T 4 GA3 50 ppm double T 5 GA3 150 ppm double T 6 GA3 250 ppm double T 7 GA3 50 ppm triple T 8 GA3 150 ppm triple T 9 GA3 250 ppm triple T10 Control S. Em + C. D. (P = 0.05) C. V. %

T 1 GA3 50 ppm single T 2 GA3 150 ppm single T 3 GA3 250 ppm single T 4 GA3 50 ppm double T 5 GA3 150 ppm double T 6 GA3 250 ppm double T 7 GA3 50 ppm triple T 8 GA3 150 ppm triple T 9 GA3 250 ppm triple T 1 0 Control S. Em + C. D. (P = 0.05) C. V. %

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Effect of gibberellic acid on Gaillardia

also reported by Dutta and Seemanthini (1998) in chrysanthemum.

Effect on yield characters

Significant differences in flower yield and its associated traits were observed with application of GA3 (Table 3). With the sole exception of GA3 250 ppm double spray, all other treatments recorded a significant increase in number of flowers over control. Maximum numbers of flowers (150.48) were observed with a single spray of GA3 at 250 ppm. This is attributed to the production of large number of laterals at an early stage of growth, which then had sufficient time to accumulate reserve carbohydrates for proper flower bud differentiation (Dutta et al, 1993). Increasing number of flowers per plant was observed because of the production of large number of branches and more plant spread due to GA3 application. This result finds support from the findings of Poshiya et al (1995) in Gaillardia. All treatments proved significantly superior over control in increasing weight of flowers per plant. Single spray of GA3 at 250 ppm registered the highest flower weight (341.60 g). This treatment was at par with a single spray of GA3 at 50 and 150 ppm, a double spray of GA3 50 ppm and a triple spray of GA3 at 150 ppm. Increase in weight of flowers per plant with GA 3 may be attributed to the production of more number of flowers with larger size and more florets. Dehale et al (1993) also observed similar results in chrysanthemum with GA3 application. A significant increase in flower yield was observed by the application of GA3 at all levels. A single spray of

Table 3. Effect of different GA3 levels and frequencies on yield characters in Gaillardia Treatment No. of flowersper plant 120.20 131.80 150.48 104.53 97.25 91.30 110.67 122.10 102.93 82.20 3.14 10.14 5.32 Total weight of flowersper plant(g) 320.20 323.90 341.60 319.80 290.10 288.03 312.93 323.10 312.43 259.50 9.53 28.10 5.18 Flower yield (t/ha) 15.68 16.08 18.06 15.09 14.21 14.06 15.35 15.85 15.52 12.51 0.41 1.33 5.10

GA3 at 250 ppm recorded the highest flower yield (18.06 t/ ha). The increase in flower yield was due to the production of more number of flowers per plant and improvement in weight of flowers per plant. Similar results were reported by Pandya (2000) in marigold. It can thus be inferred that a single spray of GA3 at 250 ppm was found best for optimum growth and production of Gaillardia flowers under South Saurashtra conditions of Gujarat.


Dahiya, D.S. and Rana, G.S. 2001. Regulation of flowering in chrysanthemum as influenced by GA3 and shadehouses of different intensities. South Ind. Hort., 49:313-314 Dehale, M.H., Deshmukh, P.P. and Moharkar, V.K. 1993. Influence of foliar application of GA3 on quality of chrysanthemum. J. Soils and Crops, 3:135-137 Dutta, J.P. and Seemanthini, R. 1998. Growth and flowering response of chrysanthemum (Dendranthema grandiflora cv. Tzvelev.) to growth regulator treatments. Orissa J. Hort., 26:70-75 Dutta, J.P., Seemanthini, Ramdas and Khader. A.M.D. 1993. Regulation of flowering by growth regulators in chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum indicum L.) cv. CO-1. South Ind. Hort., 41:293-299 Krishna Kumar and Ughreja, P.P. 1998. Effect of foliar application of GA3, NAA, MH and Ethrel on growth, flowering and yield of chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ram.) cv. IIHR-6. J. Applied Hort., 4:20-26 Makwana, M.K. 1999. The effect of plant growth regulators on growth, yield and quality of gaillardia (Gaillardia pulchella) cv. Lorenziana. M.Sc. (Agri.) thesis, GAU, Sardar Krushinagar Meher, S. P., Jitode, D.J., Turkhede, A.B., Darange, S.O., Ghatol, P.U. and Dhawad, C.S. 1999. Effect of planting time and growth regulator treatments on flowering and yield of chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat). Crop Res., 18:345-348 Pandya, P.N. 2000. Effect of plant growth regulators on growth, yield and vase life of African marigold (Tagetes erecta L.) cv. Lemon Yellow. M. Sc. thesis GAU, Sardar Krushinagar Patel, S.L. 1998. Effect of plant growth regulators on growth, flowering and flower yield of annual (Gaillardia pulchella) var. Lorenziana. M.Sc. (Agri). thesis, GAU, Sardar Krushinagar


T 1 GA3 50 ppm single T 2 GA3 150 ppm single T 3 GA3 250 ppm single T 4 GA3 50 ppm double T 5 GA3 150 ppm double T 6 GA3 250 ppm double T 7 GA3 50 ppm triple T 8 GA3 150 ppm triple T 9 GA3 250 ppm triple T 1 0 Control S. Em + C. D. (P = 0.05) C. V. %

J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 81-84, 2009

Delvadia et al

Poshiya, V.K., Katariya, G.K. and Chovatia V.P. 1995. Effect of growth substances on growth and yield in gaillardia. J. Applied Hort., 1:99-100 Reddy, Y.T.N. and Sulladmath, U.V. 1983. Effect of growth regulators on growth and flowering of China aster (Callistephus chinensis Nees). South Ind. Hort., 31:95-98 Scott, T.K., Case, D.B. and Jacobs W.P. 1967. Auxin gibberellin interaction in apical dominance. Pl. Physiol., 42:1329-1333 Singh, J.N., Singh, D.K. and Sharma K.K. 1994. Effect of GA 3 and alar on growth, flowering and seed

production of dahlia (Dahlia variabilis L.) Orissa J. Hort., 22:10-12 Singh, M.P., Singh, R.P. and Singh, G.N. 1991. Effect of GA3 and ethrel on the growth and flowering of African marigold (Tagetes erecta L.). Har. J. Hortl. Sci., 2:81-84 Verma, V. 1991. "A Text Book of Plant Physiology". Emkay Publications, Delhi. 518p Zieslin, N., Brian, I. and Halevy, A.H. 1974. The effect of growth regulators on growth and pigmentation of Baccara rose flowers. Pl. Cell Physiol., 15:341-349

(MS Received 19 August 2008, Revised 4 March 2009)

J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 81-84, 2009


J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 85-89, 2009

Short communication

Incidence of post-harvest fungal pathogens in guava and banana in Allahabad

Renu Srivastava and Abhilasha A. Lal

Department of Plant Protection Allahabad Agricultural Institute ­ Deemed University Allahabad-211007, India E-mail: [email protected]


A survey was conducted to study incidence of pathogens associated with post-harvest losses in fruits in produce from fruit markets of Allahabad. Rhizopus stolonifer (20.76%) was a major post-harvest pathogen isolated from the samples, followed by Pestalotia psidii (18.46%), Alternaria sp. (17.69%), Penicillium expansum (11.53%), Colletotrichum gloesporioides (10.76%), Aspergillus niger (9.23%), Tricothecium sp (8.46%), and Cladosporium sp. (4%) in Guava, and, Fusarium sp. (28.3%) Curvularia (23.39%), Colletotrichum musae (16.6%), Trichothecium sp (11.6), Penicillium (10.8%), Alternaria (5%) and Rhizopus (4%) in banana fruit samples. Key words: Banana, guava, incidence, post- harvest losses

India ranks second in production and area under banana (after mango) over an acreage of 600.3 million hectares and annual production of 20857.8 tonnes. In Uttar Pradesh, the acreage is 1.6 million hectares and annual production is 57.1 million tonnes. Similarly, guava (Psidium guajava L.) is an important fruit crop and ranks fourth in area and production after mango, banana and citrus. Its acreage is 178.7 million hectares and annual production is 1856 million tonnes in India. In Uttar Pradesh, its acreage is 15.8 million hectares and annual production is 162.8 million tonnes (National Horticulture Board, 2008). Post harvest diseases of guava and banana presents a peculiar problem. There is colossal wastage with our poor marketing and transit facilities. The most important causal agents responsible for post harvest diseases of guava and banana are fungi. These microorganisms attack fruits and cause considerable damage during transit, storage and final transportation to the market. Around 90-100% fruits have been found to be infected with fungi, namely, Pestalotia psidii, Colletrotrichum gloeosporioides, Rhizopus stolonifer and Aspergillus niger, during storage (Chaube and Pundhir, 2005). One hundred thirty and 120 diseased guava and banana fruit samples were collected during summer season and rainy season from 13 and 12 different fruit markets, respectively of Allahabad (Table 1 and 2). Fungal pathogens were isolated from infected guava and banana fruits and

stored at ambient temperature ranging between 33­37± 2ºC with 98% RH. Diseased portions of the fruit surface were cut into small pieces (2-3 mm) and surface-sterilized with 0.1% mercuric chloride solution for 30 seconds. These pieces were then washed thrice with sterilized distilled water and aseptically transferred into clear, sterilized petri dishes (6mm dia) containing 85ml solidified potato dextrose agar medium. The petri dishes were incubated in an inverted position at 28°C for 4-5 days (Aneja, 2004). Pathogencity of the cultures was tested on healthy, uninjured fruits of uniform size. Fruits were surface-sterilized with 0.1% mercuric chloride solution. Wounds were made in the fruit with the help of a sterilized cork-borer (0.2 to 0.5 cm). These wounds were inoculated with pathogen-containing spore load (1x104 conidia / ml) as described by He et al (2003). The inoculated fruits were wrapped in sterilized paper and incubated at 28°C and observations were made for development of rot upto 10 days. Frequency (%) was calculated as per by Singh (2002) :

Number of fruit samples infected with certain pathogens Frequency % = ----------------------------------x 100 Total no. of fruit samples brought from certain fruit market

Renu Srivastava and Lal

Table 1. Incidence of fungal pathogens associated with post-harvest diseases of guava in fruit markets of Allahabad Sl. No. 1. Location Naini Pathogen isolated Rhizopus stolonifer Pestalotia psidii Aspergillus niger Alternaria sp. Trichothecium Rhizopus stolonifer Pestalotia psidii Alternaria sp. Aspergillus niger Rhizopus stolonifer Penicillium expansum Alternaria sp. Pestalotia psidii Trichothecium sp. Cladosporium sp. Rhizopus stolonifer Colletotrichum gloeosporioides Pestalotia psidii Alternaria sp. Penicillium expansum Rhizopus stolonifer Colletotrichum gloeosporioides Alternaria sp. Pestalotia psidii Rhizopus stolonifer Alternaria sp. Penicillium expansum Trichothecium sp. Rhizopus stolonifer Alternaria sp. Pestalotia psidii Colletotrichum gloeosporioides Penicillium expansum Aspergillus niger Trichothecium sp. Aspergillus niger Pestalotia psidii Alternaria sp. Colletotrichum gloeosporioides Alternaria sp. Aspergillus niger Pestalotia psidii Colletotrichum gloeosporioides Trichothecium sp. Penicillium expansum Rhizospus stolonifer Alternaria sp. Colletotrichum gloeosporioides Pestalotia psidii No. of samples tested 3 3 1 2 1 3 3 1 3 2 1 2 2 2 1 2 1 3 2 2 3 2 2 3 3 3 2 2 2 1 2 1 2 2 2 2 2 1 3 3 2 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Frequency (%) 20 10 30 30 10 30 30 10 30 20 10 20 20 20 10 20 10 30 20 20 30 20 20 30 30 30 20 20 20 10 20 10 20 20 20 20 20 10 30 30 20 10 20 20 20 20 20 20 20




Medical Chauraha


Mundara Mandi




Mahewa East




Civil Lines





J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 85-89, 2009


post-harvest fungal pathogens in guava and banana

Table 1. Continued ............ Sl. No. 11. Location Jhunsi Pathogen isolated No. of Samples tested 2 1 2 1 2 2 2 1 2 1 2 2 2 2 1 3 2 Frequency (%) 20 10 20 10 20 20 20 10 20 10 20 20 20 20 10 30 20

Aspergillus niger Trichothecium sp. Pestalotia psidii Trichothecium sp. Alternaria sp. Colletotrichum gloeosporioides 12. Muthiganj Rhizopus stolonifer Penicillium expansum Pestalotia psidii Trichothecium sp. Alternaria sp. Colletotrichum gloeosporioides 13. Zero Road Rhizopus stolonifer Alternaria sp. Pestalotia psidii Aspergillus niger Penicillium expansum Ten diseased guava fruit samples were collected from each location

Table 2. Overall incidence of fungal pathogens associated with post-harvest diseases of guava in Allahabad Sl. Pathogen No. isolated 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Rhizopus stolonifer Pestolotia psidii Alternaria sp. Penicillium expansum Colletotrichum gloeosporioides Aspergillus niger Trichothecium sp. Cladosporium Post-harvest disease Soft watery rot Fruit canker Fruit rot Penicillium rot Anthracnose Aspergillus rot Trichothecium rot Fruit rot No. of Frequency fruit (%) infected 27 24 23 15 14 12 11 5 20.76 18.46 17.69 11.53 10.76 9.23 8.46 4.00

of post harvest fungal pathogens associated with guava fruits in Allahabad was 18.4%. Rhizopus stolonifer was the dominant disease followed by Pestalotia psidii, Alternaria sp., Penicillium expansum, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, Aspergillus niger, Trichothecium sp. and Cladosporium sp. (Table 2). Incidence of various diseases from different fruit markets in banana are presented in Table 3. Maximum disease incidence of Fusarium sp. (36%) was found in Zero Road, Gaught, Naini East, Mahewa West, Jhunsi, Mundara Mandi, Naini West, Chowk, Civil lines, Katra and Medical Chouraha followed by Curvularia sp (24 ­ 36%) in Zero Road, Teliarganj, Gaught, Naini East, Mahewa west, Jhunsi, Mundara Mandi, Naini west, Chowk, Civil Lines, Katra and Medical Chouraha. Colletotrichum sp. and Penicillium sp. were found to be the next most serious post harvest diseases on banana in Allahabad. Mean incidence of post harvest fungal pathogen associated with banana fruits in Allahabad was 17.1. Thus, Fusarium sp. was the major post-harvest pathogen isolated, followed by Curvularia sp., Colletotrichum musae, Trichothecium sp., Penicillium sp. and Alternaria sp. (Table 4). Factors such as inoculum density, presence and concentration of microbiotic components on fruit surface, physiological state of the fruit and interaction of these factors with temperature and relative humidity may influence the incidence of fruit rot in Allahabad. Similiar findings have been reported by Majumdar and Pathak (1989) from Jaipur. Incidence of Pestalotia psidii in guava and


Fungal pathogens isolated from fruits were identified as Pestalotia psidii, Rhizopus stolonifer, Aspergillus niger, Penicillium expansum, Trichothecium spp., Fusarium sp., Colletotrichum sp. and Alternaria sp. From the pathogencity tests it was confirmed that canker was caused by Pestalotia psidii, soft rot caused by Rhizopus stolonifer, fruit rot caused by Alternaria sp. and anthracnose by Colletotrichum sp. in guava. Incidence of various diseases in different fruit markets on guava is presented in Table 1. Maximum disease incidence (30%) in guava was found in Naini, Chowk, Mundera Mandi, Gaught, Mahewa East, Mahewa west, Civil Lines, Baluaghat and Zero Road, followed by 20% incidence in Medical Chouraha, Teliarganj, Jhunsi, Mutthiganj and Katra. Rhizopus stolonifer was isolated from guava collected from all the fruit markets surveyed in Allahabad. Mean incidence

J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 85-89, 2009

Renu Srivastava and Lal

Table 3. Incidence of fungal pathogens associated with post-harvest diseases of banana in fruit markets of Allahabad Location Pathogen isolated No. of Frequency samples tested Zero Road Fusarium sp. 3 36% Colletotrichum musae 2 24% Curvularia sp. 3 36% Alternaria alternata 1 12% Trichothecium sp. 1 12% Teliarganj Fusarium sp. Curvularia sp. Trichothecium sp. Rhizopus sp. Alternaria alternata Fusarium sp. Curvularia sp. Alternaria alternata Trichothecium sp. Penicillium sp. Colletotrichum Fusarium sp. Curvularia sp. Trichothecium sp. Penicillium sp. Alternaria Colletotrichum Fusarium sp. Curvularia Trichothecium Penicillium Colletotrichum Rhizopus sp. Fusarium sp. Curvularia Penicillium Rhizopus sp. Colletotrichum Trichothecium Fusarium sp. Curvularia Penicillium Colletotrichum Trichothecium Fusarium sp. Curvularia Penicillium Trichothecium Colletotrichum Fusarium sp. Curvularia Penicillium Trichothecium Colletotrichum Fusarium sp. Curvularia Trichothecium Colletotrichum Penicillium 2 2 2 2 2 3 2 1 1 2 1 3 1 1 1 2 1 3 2 1 1 2 1 3 2 1 1 2 1 3 2 2 2 1 3 2 2 1 2 3 3 1 1 2 3 3 1 2 1 24% 24% 24% 24% 24% 36% 24% 12% 12% 24% 12% 36% 12% 12% 12% 24% 12% 36% 24% 12% 12% 24% 12% 36% 24% 12% 12% 24% 12% 36% 24% 24% 24% 12% 36% 24% 24% 12% 24% 36% 36% 12% 12% 24% 36% 36% 12% 24% 12%


Naini East

Mahewa West


Mundara Mandi

Naini West


Civil Lines

J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 85-89, 2009


post-harvest fungal pathogens in guava and banana

Table 3. Continued Location

Pathogen isolated

No. of samples tested 3 3 1 2 1 2 3 2 2 1



Fusarium sp. Curvularia Trichothecium Colletotrichum Penicillium Fusarium sp. Curvularia Colletotrichum Trichothecium Penicillium

36% 36% 12% 24% 12% 24% 36% 24% 24% 12%

Medical Chauraha

Ten diseased banana fruit samples were collected from eachlocation; 120 samples from 12 fruit market Table 4. Overall incidence of fungal pathogens associated with post-harvest diseases of banana in Allahabad S. No. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Pathogen isolated Fusaruim sp. Curvularia sp. Colletotrichum musae Trichothecium sp. Penicillium expansum Alternaria alternata Rhizopus sp. Post-harvest disease Fruit rot Fruit rot Crown rot Fruit rot Penicillium rot Alternaria rot Fruit rot No. of fruits tested 34 28 20 14 13 6 5 Frequency


Aneja, K.R. 2004. Experiments in Microbiology, Plant Pathology and Biotechnology (Fourth edition). New Age International (P) Ltd., Publishers, New Delhi, pp. 437-450 Chaube, H.S. and Pundhir, V.S. 2005. Crop diseases and their management. Prentice Hall of India Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi. India, pp. 641-642 He, D., Zhang. X., Yin, Y. Sun, P., and Zhang, H. 2003. Yeast application controlling apple post-harvest disease associated with Penicillium expansum. Bot. Bull. Acad. Sin., 44:211-216 Majumdar, V. L. and Pathak, V.N. 1989. Incidence of major post-harvest diseases of guava fruits in Jaipur markets. Indian Phytopath., 42:469-470 National Horticulture Board, 2008. The production and productivity of fruits. Database, pp.1-4 Singh, R.S. 2002. Introduction to principles of plant pathology. Oxford and IBH publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, (IV edition), pp. 290

28.3% 23.3% 16.6% 11.6% 10.8% 5.0% 4.0%

Fusarium sp. in banana was found to be maximum. Therefore, in future, an intensive survey of the guava and banana growing area of Allahabad should be carried out as these are important fruit of this district. Information obtained from this study can be effectively utilized to develop suitable post-harvest management practices to increase the shelflife of guava and banana.

(MS Received 13 October 2008, Revised 12 February 2009)

J. Hortl. Sci. Vol. 4 (1): 85-89, 2009




XIII International Conference and Exhibition: Medicinal and Aromatic Plants - Challenges and Opportunities, October 3-5, 2009 Nasser City, Cairo, Egypt

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