Research Article

Genetic diversity and selection gain in the physic nut (Jatropha curcas)

Published: July 08, 2013
Genet. Mol. Res. 12 (3) : 2341-2350 DOI: 10.4238/2013.January.4.12

Abstract

The use of efficient breeding methods depends on knowledge of genetic control of traits to be improved. We estimated genetic parameters, selection gain, and genetic diversity in physic nut half-sib families, in order to provide information for breeding programs of this important biofuel species. The progeny test included 20 half-sib families in 4 blocks and 10 plants per plot. The mean progeny heritability values were: 50% for number of bunches, 47% for number of fruits, 35% for number of seeds, 6% for stem diameter, 26% for number of primary branches, 14% for number of secondary branches, 66% for plant height, and 25% for survival of the plants, demonstrating good potential for early selection in plant height, number of branches, and number of fruits per plant. In the analysis of genetic diversity, genotypes were divided into 4 groups. Genotypes 18, 19, 20, and 8 clustered together and presented the highest means for the vegetative and production. Lower means were observed in the 17, 12, 13, and 9 genotypes from the same group. We detected genetic variability in this population, with high heritability estimates and accuracy, demonstrating the possibility of obtaining genetic gains for vegetative characters and production at 24 months after planting.

The use of efficient breeding methods depends on knowledge of genetic control of traits to be improved. We estimated genetic parameters, selection gain, and genetic diversity in physic nut half-sib families, in order to provide information for breeding programs of this important biofuel species. The progeny test included 20 half-sib families in 4 blocks and 10 plants per plot. The mean progeny heritability values were: 50% for number of bunches, 47% for number of fruits, 35% for number of seeds, 6% for stem diameter, 26% for number of primary branches, 14% for number of secondary branches, 66% for plant height, and 25% for survival of the plants, demonstrating good potential for early selection in plant height, number of branches, and number of fruits per plant. In the analysis of genetic diversity, genotypes were divided into 4 groups. Genotypes 18, 19, 20, and 8 clustered together and presented the highest means for the vegetative and production. Lower means were observed in the 17, 12, 13, and 9 genotypes from the same group. We detected genetic variability in this population, with high heritability estimates and accuracy, demonstrating the possibility of obtaining genetic gains for vegetative characters and production at 24 months after planting.