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Mineral Profile and Variability in Vegetable Amaranth (Amaranthus tricolor)


Populations in North India depend on a number of vegetable crops of which Amaranthus spp. is the most important since it is the only crop available in the hot summer months when no other foliage crop grows in the field. However, reports on mineral composition of leaves are rare with absolutely no information on the qualitative improvement of foliage yield with special reference to minerals. Studies on correlation among the minerals as well as with yield and leaf attributes are also lacking. Hence, we report the proximate mineral composition in 30 strains of A. tricolor along with some suggestions for qualitative improvement of the foliage yield with reference to minerals. Our study showed that vegetable amaranth is a rich source of minerals like calcium (1.7±0.04 g/100 g), iron (1233.8±50.02 mg/kg), and zinc (791.7±28.98 mg/kg). The heritability estimates were high for most of the traits, with potassium and calcium showing high values, while comparatively lower values were recorded for magnesium and nickel. Nickel was the only mineral that showed positive correlation with all the minerals, as well as with leaf size and foliage yield. Zinc showed strong positive relationship with iron (0.66**) and manganese (0.74**), and was the only mineral exhibiting significant positive association with foliage yield. This study would be of use in enhancement of selected minerals in different regions according to local preferences and nutrient deficiency prevalent among the populations.

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The authors are thankful to Director N.B.R.I. for providing the necessary facilities and constant encouragement to carry out the present investigation.

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Correspondence to Sudhir Shukla.

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Shukla, S., Bhargava, A., Chatterjee, A. et al. Mineral Profile and Variability in Vegetable Amaranth (Amaranthus tricolor). Plant Foods Hum Nutr 61, 21–26 (2006).

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Key words:

  • A. tricolor
  • Correlation
  • Foliage yield
  • Genetic enhancement
  • Minerals
  • Selection parameters