Inheritance of Dwarfiness and Erect Growth Habit in Progenies of Jatropha curcas × Jatropha integerrima

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Tropical Agriculture Program, Faculty of Agriculture at Kamphaeng Saen, Kasetsart University, Kamphaeng Saen, Nakhon Pathom 73140, Thailand
  • 2 Plant Breeding Program, Faculty of Agriculture at Kamphaeng Saen, Kasetsart University, Kamphaeng Saen, Nakhon Pathom 73140, Thailand
  • 3 Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture at Kamphaeng Saen, Kasetsart University, Kamphaeng Saen, Nakhon Pathom 73140, Thailand, Center of Excellence on Agricultural Biotechnology (AG-BIO/PERDO-CHE), Bangkok 10900, Thailand

Jatropha (Jatropha curcas) is one of the most popular tree crops for seed production as a source of oil for biodiesel. However, currently grown cultivars are too large in canopy size and thus have very low harvest index. Alteration of canopy height and size can lead to identification of a desirable plant architecture for jatropha. A study was conducted to determine genetic control of dwarfiness and erect growth habit in jatropha populations derived from an interspecific cross between J. curcas with tall-erect (TL-ER) plant type and J. integerrima with dwarf-spreading (DW-SP) plant type. Crosses were made between both species to develop F1, F2, BC1F1, and BC1F2 generations. The F2 plants segregated at a 1:2:1 ratio for tall (TL), intermediate (ID), and dwarf (DW) plant types as well as for spreading (SP), upright (UP), and erect (ER) canopy angles. Both characters segregated independently producing nine phenotypes including TL-ER, TL-UP, TL-SP, ID-ER, ID-UP, ID-SP, DW-ER, DW-UP, and DW-SP at a 1:2:1:2:4:2:1:2:1 ratio. The BC1F1 (J. curcas × F1) plant segregated into TL-ER, TL-UP, ID-ER, and ID-UP at a 1:1:1:1 expected ratio. Six BC1F2 lines were also evaluated to confirm the results by selfing two trees each of BC1F1 showing TL-ER, TL-UP, and ID-ER growth habits. The progenies of TL-ER trees were all TL-ER; the progenies of TL-UP trees segregated into TL-ER, TL-UP, and TL-SP at an expected 1:2:1 ratio, whereas the progenies of ID-ER trees segregated into TL-ER, ID-ER, and DW-ER at an expected 1:2:1 ratio. The results indicated that dwarfiness and erect growth habit were each controlled by independent genes with incomplete dominant action. The knowledge and progenies obtained from this study can be used in breeding jatropha for desirable canopy size and shape.

Abstract

Jatropha (Jatropha curcas) is one of the most popular tree crops for seed production as a source of oil for biodiesel. However, currently grown cultivars are too large in canopy size and thus have very low harvest index. Alteration of canopy height and size can lead to identification of a desirable plant architecture for jatropha. A study was conducted to determine genetic control of dwarfiness and erect growth habit in jatropha populations derived from an interspecific cross between J. curcas with tall-erect (TL-ER) plant type and J. integerrima with dwarf-spreading (DW-SP) plant type. Crosses were made between both species to develop F1, F2, BC1F1, and BC1F2 generations. The F2 plants segregated at a 1:2:1 ratio for tall (TL), intermediate (ID), and dwarf (DW) plant types as well as for spreading (SP), upright (UP), and erect (ER) canopy angles. Both characters segregated independently producing nine phenotypes including TL-ER, TL-UP, TL-SP, ID-ER, ID-UP, ID-SP, DW-ER, DW-UP, and DW-SP at a 1:2:1:2:4:2:1:2:1 ratio. The BC1F1 (J. curcas × F1) plant segregated into TL-ER, TL-UP, ID-ER, and ID-UP at a 1:1:1:1 expected ratio. Six BC1F2 lines were also evaluated to confirm the results by selfing two trees each of BC1F1 showing TL-ER, TL-UP, and ID-ER growth habits. The progenies of TL-ER trees were all TL-ER; the progenies of TL-UP trees segregated into TL-ER, TL-UP, and TL-SP at an expected 1:2:1 ratio, whereas the progenies of ID-ER trees segregated into TL-ER, ID-ER, and DW-ER at an expected 1:2:1 ratio. The results indicated that dwarfiness and erect growth habit were each controlled by independent genes with incomplete dominant action. The knowledge and progenies obtained from this study can be used in breeding jatropha for desirable canopy size and shape.

Jatropha curcas (jatropha, physic nut) is a shrub producing seeds with high oil for biodiesel production. The center of origin of jatropha is in the Central American region around Mexico. It was introduced to Africa and Asia and cultivated worldwide in the tropics and subtropics, largely on waste lands under harsh climatic conditions (Openshaw, 2000). Most of the current jatropha cultivars were obtained from naturally grown plants; thus, they are still wild and giving low seed yield with uneven fruit maturity. Progress in jatropha breeding is still limited, attributed mainly to its low genetic diversity (Tar et al., 2011). Germplasm improvement is initially the main pre-breeding work before an effective jatropha breeding program can be launched. Presently, most jatropha trees are medium-sized bushes with canopy height of 3 to 6 m and canopy diameter of 2 to 4 m when fully grown. The farmers need to regularly prune them to reduce the plant size to ease fruit harvesting. Decreasing the canopy size to facilitate production and increase seed yield per unit area is an important objective to domesticate this shrub species.

Jatropha curcas has a shorter juvenility period (≈1 to 2 months shorter) in plants grown from stem cuttings than those grown from seedlings. Jatropha can flower 4 to 6 months after transplanting with profuse fruit set. The fruits mature 2 to 3 months after flowering and the seeds contain ≈35% to 45% oil content. J. integerrima (peregrina) is a strictly ornamental species bearing bright red flowers in inflorescences. The plants grown from cuttings can flower within 6 to 8 months with very few fruits set giving a similar seed oil content as J. curcas. J. integerrima seeds have ≈40% oil but the quality is inferior to jatropha oil as a result of lower oleic-linoleic acid ratio (Popluechai, 2010).

A number of scientists have reported inheritance of plant architecture such as basal branching type in guar [Cyamopsis tetragonoloba (Liu et al., 2006)], compact dwarf plant in pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (Dhanasekar et al., 2007)], and pillar (columnar), compact, and dwarf plants in peach [Prunus persica (Hu and Scorza, 2009; Scorza et al., 2002)]. Plant height and columnar (canopy angle) in peach were each independently controlled by a single gene (Hu and Scorza, 2009). For jatropha, there has been no report on inheritance of plant type, possibly as a result of low variability of this character available in its germplasm. However, genetic and phenotypic variability in jatropha can be created, particularly through interspecific hybridization between jatropha with a dwarf J. integerrima. Crossing between the two species can produce hybrid seeds (Dhillon et al., 2009; Muakrong et al., 2014; Parthiban et al., 2009; Sujatha and Prabakaran, 2003). Among these four reports, Muakrong et al. (2014) produced the hybrids for woody purpose, whereas Sujatha and Prabakaran (2003) produced ornamental hybrids. The other two articles reported the success in obtaining the interspecific hybrids without further pursuit.

In this study, we made interspecific crosses between tall-erect J. curcas and dwarf-spreading J. integerrima and obtained several F1, F2, BC1F1, and BC1F2 plants. The progenies were observed on canopy height and canopy angle with the objective to determine the inheritance of these two traits.

Materials and Methods

Plant materials.

Hand pollination was made in 2008 between a tall-erect plant from J. curcas (Jc) collected from a naturally grown plant in Chai Nat province, Thailand, and a dwarf-spreading plant of J. integerrima (Jid). Hybrid seeds were obtained only when Jc was the female parent. Nine F1 seedlings were sown but plant No. 4 set more seeds and thus was chosen for self-pollination and backcrossing to produce F2 and BC1F1 (Jc × F1) seeds for study on the inheritance of canopy height and shape. Two BC1F1 plants each of distinct plant types, viz. tall-erect, tall-upright, and intermediate-erect, were self-pollinated to obtain six BC1F2 families for confirmation of the F2 and BC1F1 results. In each generation, seedlings were sown from seed and raised in a nursery until 3 months old before transplanting into a field of the Department of Agronomy, Kasetsart University, Kamphaeng Saen campus, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.

Cuttings were also prepared from both parents and the F1 plant No. 4 using branches of 1 to 2 cm diameter and cut into pieces 20 to 25 cm long. Each cutting was planted in a 15-cm diameter plastic bag filled with 1 kg commercial soil.

Field study of F2 and BC1F1.

Seedlings of 183 F2 and 139 BC1F1, together with 20 cuttings each of the parents and F1 plant No. 4, were transplanted to the field at a spacing of 1 × 1.5 m in May 2010. Each plant was fertilized with 50 g/plant of 15N–6.5P–12.5K twice, once at 4 months and another at 8 months after transplanting. At 1 year old, the plants naturally shed leaves so their plant architecture could easily be recorded (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Nine growth habits of 1-year-old F2 plants from an interspecific cross between Jatropha curcas and dwarf Jatropha integerrima observed in dry season 2011, (A) tall-spreading, (B) tall-upright, (C) tall-erect, (D) intermediate-spreading, (E) intermediate-upright, (F) intermediate-erect, (G) dwarf-spreading, (H) dwarf-upright, and (I) dwarf-erect. The standing ruler in the picture is 3 m long.

Citation: Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 139, 5; 10.21273/JASHS.139.5.582

Field study of BC1F2.

To confirm the inheritance of growth habit, two BC1F2 lines from each distinct BC1F1 phenotype were evaluated. This included plants derived from two BC1F1 plants with tall-erect character, two with tall-upright, and two with intermediate-erect. The BC1F2 seedlings were transplanted into the field in Dec. 2011.

Data collection.

Plant architecture was evaluated 8 months after transplanting, when most leaves dropped off on approaching the dry season (Fig. 1). Plant height was measured from the ground to crown height by a meter ruler, whereas canopy shape was measured from degree of canopy angle by a giant protractor and presented following the equation of Thakur et al. (2010). A canopy angle is obtained from θ1+ θ2 where θ1 and θ2 are the angles of inclination of the widest position of canopy from the vertical orientation on both sides (Fig. 2). Each plant was measured once from north–south direction of the canopy and another time from east–west direction to determine an average canopy angle of that plant. Upright canopy angle is wider than the erect type but narrower than the spreading type.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Measurement of canopy angle (degrees) in jatropha plant as suggested by Thakur et al. (2010). θ1 and θ2 are the angles of inclination of the widest position of canopy from vertical orientation on both sides.

Citation: Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 139, 5; 10.21273/JASHS.139.5.582

Statistical analysis.

The differences between the parents and F1 for canopy height and canopy angle were examined by F-test in an analysis of variance (ANOVA) performed in a completely randomized design with unequal replications. The goodness-of-fit in segregation ratio of the growth habits in each family as well as heterogeneity among families sharing the same expected ratio were tested by χ2 (Russell, 1996). Both ANOVA and χ2were analyzed using the R freeware program (R Development Core Team, 2010).

Results and Discussion

Canopy height and degree of canopy angle were different between the parents, whereas the F1 plants exhibited intermediate canopy height and upright canopy angle (Table 1). The tall plant showed incomplete dominance to the dwarf plant, whereas spreading showed incomplete dominance to erectness. The number of plants showing different canopy height and degree of canopy angle in parents, F1, F2, and BC1F1 (Jc × F1) are given together with appropriate χ2 tests (Table 2). The frequency distribution in different classes is also depicted in Figure 3. Canopy height in the F2 population segregated as 55 TL:76 ID:52 DW, which fit with a 1:2:1 ratio at a χ2 value of 5.35 (P = 0.07, df = 2). BC1F1 seeds were obtained only when Jc was the female parent pollinated by the F1 and the progenies segregated as 63 TL:76 ID, which agreed to a 1:1 ratio with a χ2 value of 1.22 (P = 0.27, df = 1). Degree of canopy angle among the F2 plants showed 40 ER:93 UP:50 SP, which was acceptable at a 1:2:1 ratio with a χ2 value of 1.14 (P = 0.56, df = 2). BC1F1 plants were 66 ER and 73 UP, which agreed with a 1:1 ratio at a χ2 value of 0.35 (P = 0.55, df = 1).

Table 1.

Mean canopy height and degree of canopy angle in parents and F1 hybrid from an interspecific cross between Jatropha curcas (Jc) and dwarf Jatropha integerrima (Jid).

Table 1.
Table 2.

Chi-square test for goodness-of-fit of segregation ratios in F2 and BC1F1 populations from an interspecific cross between Jatropha curcas (Jc) and dwarf Jatropha integerrima (Jid).

Table 2.
Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Frequency histograms of canopy height and degree of canopy angle in parents, F1, F2, and BC1F1 from an interspecific cross between Jatropha curcas (Jc) and dwarf Jatropha integerrima (Jid).

Citation: Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 139, 5; 10.21273/JASHS.139.5.582

Nine phenotypic combinations of plant height and growth habit in the F2 population are depicted in Figure 1. The number in each class were 16 TL-SP:29 TL-UP:10 TL-ER:16 ID-SP:44 ID-UP:16 ID-ER:18 DW-SP:20 DW-UP:14 DW-ER, giving a χ2 against a 1:2:1:2:4:2:1:2:1 ratio of 12.54 (P = 0.13, df = 8) (Table 3). In the BC1F1 population, the observed data were 32 TL-ER:31 TL-UP:34 ID-ER:42 ID-UP, which fit well with a 1:1:1:1 ratio at a χ2 value of 2.15 (P = 0.54, df = 3). Both F2 and BC1F1 populations showed no association between canopy height and degree of canopy angle (Table 3).

Table 3.

Chi-square test for independent segregation between canopy height and canopy angle in F2 and BC1F1 plants from an interspecific cross between Jatropha curcas (Jc) and dwarf Jatropha integerrima (Jid).

Table 3.

The segregation pattern for plant types in BC1F2 families (Table 4) confirmed that the progenies of BC1F1 plants with tall-erect were all tall-erect, whereas the tall-upright plants gave BC1F2 progenies that fitted with a 1 TL-ER:2 TL-UP:1 TL-SP within individual families as well as pooled data. The segregation number also agreed across families, giving heterogeneity among families of 0.04 (P = 0.98). The BC1F2 families derived from two plants with ID-ER were TL-ER, ID-ER, and DW-ER, which fell into a 1:2:1 ratio without heterogeneity among families (χ2 = 0.27, P = 0.88).

Table 4.

Chi-square test for independent segregation between canopy height and canopy angle in BC1F2 jatropha families.z

Table 4.

The two gene loci for growth habits in jatropha are designated here as Dw1/Dw2 for canopy height and Er1/Er2 for degree of canopy angle. Each locus expresses incomplete dominant gene action and segregates independently. A suitable molecular marker analysis could reveal whether they are located on different chromosomes. Intermediate or semidwarf plant height has the heterozygous Dw1Dw2 genotype, whereas upright canopy angle carries the heterozygous Er1Er2 genotype. Our results are in line with those reported in peach by Gradziel and Beres (1993), Hu and Scorza (2009), and Scorza et al. (2002) that plant height and canopy angle were controlled by a single gene with an incomplete dominant action. This information is useful for jatropha breeding and genetic studies.

The F2 plants from this interspecific cross comprise nine plant type combinations from the genotypes Dw1Dw1 Er2Er2 of Jc and Dw2Dw2Er1Er1 of Jid. Some novel growth habits, especially dwarf-erect and dwarf-upright, can have a commercial value for jatropha production under high plant density, for machine harvesting, and for ornamental purposes. Tall-erect and tall-upright characters have a potential in breeding jatropha for high biomass (Muakrong et al., 2014). These novel plant types are being used in breeding jatropha for fuel and feed by Kasetsart University.

Literature Cited

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  • Dhillon, R.S., Hooda, M.S., Jattan, M., Chawla, V., Bhardwaj, M. & Goyal, S.C. 2009 Development and molecular characterization of interspecific hybrids of Jatropha curcas × J. integerrima Indian J. Biotechnol. 8 384 390

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gradziel, T. & Beres, W. 1993 Semidwarf growth habit in clingstone peach with desirable tree and fruit qualities HortScience 28 1045 1047

  • Hu, D. & Scorza, R. 2009 Analysis of the ‘A72’ peach tree growth habit and its inheritance in progeny obtained from crosses of ‘A72’ with columnar peach trees J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 134 236 243

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Liu, W., Hou, A., Peffley, E.B., Auld, D.L. & Powell, R.J. 2006 The inheritance of a basal branching type in guar Euphytica 151 303 309

  • Muakrong, N., One, K.T., Tanya, P. & Srinives, P. 2014 Interspecific jatropha hybrid as a new promising source of woody biomass Plant Genet. Resources 12(S1) S17 S20

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Openshaw, K. 2000 A review of Jatropha curcas: An oil plant of unfulfilled promise Biomass Bioenergy 19 1 15

  • Parthiban, K.T., Kumar, S., Thiyagarajan, R., Subbulakshmi, P., Vennila, V. & Govinda, S. 2009 Hybrid progenies in Jatropha—A new development Curr. Sci. India 96 815 823

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Popluechai, S. 2010 Molecular characterization of Jatropha curcas; Towards an understanding of its potential as a non-edible oilseed-based source of biodiesel. PhD thesis, Newcastle Univ., Newcastle, UK

  • R Development Core Team 2010 R: A language and environment for statistical computing. 23 Dec. 2013. <http://www.R-project.org>

  • Russell, P.J. 1996 Genetics. Harper Collins College Publ., New York, NY

  • Scorza, R., Bassi, D. & Liverani, A. 2002 Genetic interactions of pillar (columnar), compact, and dwarf peach tree genotype J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 127 254 261

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sujatha, M. & Prabakaran, A.J. 2003 New ornamental jatropha hybrids through interspecific hybridization Genet. Resources Crop Evol. 50 75 80

  • Tar, M.M., Tanya, P. & Srinives, P. 2011 Heterosis of agronomic characters in jatropha (Jatropha curcas L.) Kasetsart J. (Nat. Sci.) 45 583 593

  • Thakur, A.K., Uphoff, N. & Antony, E. 2010 An assessment of physiological effects of system of rice intensification (SRI) practices compared with recommended rice cultivation practices in India Exp. Agr. 46 77 98

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

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Contributor Notes

The senior author is a fellow of the Royal Golden Jubilee PhD program (Joint TICA-RGJ-French Embassy Fellowship Program), Thailand. This research was also supported by Office of the Higher Education Commission on the Strategic Scholarships-Fellowships for Frontier Research Networks (specific for Southern region of Thailand), the Chair Professor Fellowship of Thailand’s National Science and Technology Development Agency, and the Center of Excellence on Agricultural Biotechnology (AG-BIO/PERDO-CHE), Bangkok, Thailand.

Corresponding author. E-mail: agrpss@yahoo.com.

  • View in gallery

    Nine growth habits of 1-year-old F2 plants from an interspecific cross between Jatropha curcas and dwarf Jatropha integerrima observed in dry season 2011, (A) tall-spreading, (B) tall-upright, (C) tall-erect, (D) intermediate-spreading, (E) intermediate-upright, (F) intermediate-erect, (G) dwarf-spreading, (H) dwarf-upright, and (I) dwarf-erect. The standing ruler in the picture is 3 m long.

  • View in gallery

    Measurement of canopy angle (degrees) in jatropha plant as suggested by Thakur et al. (2010). θ1 and θ2 are the angles of inclination of the widest position of canopy from vertical orientation on both sides.

  • View in gallery

    Frequency histograms of canopy height and degree of canopy angle in parents, F1, F2, and BC1F1 from an interspecific cross between Jatropha curcas (Jc) and dwarf Jatropha integerrima (Jid).

  • Dhanasekar, P., Pandey, R.N. & Dhumal, K.N. 2007 Inheritance of compact dwarf plant type in pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) Plant Breed. 126 551 552

  • Dhillon, R.S., Hooda, M.S., Jattan, M., Chawla, V., Bhardwaj, M. & Goyal, S.C. 2009 Development and molecular characterization of interspecific hybrids of Jatropha curcas × J. integerrima Indian J. Biotechnol. 8 384 390

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gradziel, T. & Beres, W. 1993 Semidwarf growth habit in clingstone peach with desirable tree and fruit qualities HortScience 28 1045 1047

  • Hu, D. & Scorza, R. 2009 Analysis of the ‘A72’ peach tree growth habit and its inheritance in progeny obtained from crosses of ‘A72’ with columnar peach trees J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 134 236 243

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Liu, W., Hou, A., Peffley, E.B., Auld, D.L. & Powell, R.J. 2006 The inheritance of a basal branching type in guar Euphytica 151 303 309

  • Muakrong, N., One, K.T., Tanya, P. & Srinives, P. 2014 Interspecific jatropha hybrid as a new promising source of woody biomass Plant Genet. Resources 12(S1) S17 S20

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Openshaw, K. 2000 A review of Jatropha curcas: An oil plant of unfulfilled promise Biomass Bioenergy 19 1 15

  • Parthiban, K.T., Kumar, S., Thiyagarajan, R., Subbulakshmi, P., Vennila, V. & Govinda, S. 2009 Hybrid progenies in Jatropha—A new development Curr. Sci. India 96 815 823

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Popluechai, S. 2010 Molecular characterization of Jatropha curcas; Towards an understanding of its potential as a non-edible oilseed-based source of biodiesel. PhD thesis, Newcastle Univ., Newcastle, UK

  • R Development Core Team 2010 R: A language and environment for statistical computing. 23 Dec. 2013. <http://www.R-project.org>

  • Russell, P.J. 1996 Genetics. Harper Collins College Publ., New York, NY

  • Scorza, R., Bassi, D. & Liverani, A. 2002 Genetic interactions of pillar (columnar), compact, and dwarf peach tree genotype J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 127 254 261

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sujatha, M. & Prabakaran, A.J. 2003 New ornamental jatropha hybrids through interspecific hybridization Genet. Resources Crop Evol. 50 75 80

  • Tar, M.M., Tanya, P. & Srinives, P. 2011 Heterosis of agronomic characters in jatropha (Jatropha curcas L.) Kasetsart J. (Nat. Sci.) 45 583 593

  • Thakur, A.K., Uphoff, N. & Antony, E. 2010 An assessment of physiological effects of system of rice intensification (SRI) practices compared with recommended rice cultivation practices in India Exp. Agr. 46 77 98

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
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