Crop Wild Relatives of Selected Perennial Horticultural Crops in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

  • Pooja Bohra
  • Ajit Arun Waman
  • Sanjay Mishra


The tropical islands of India are amongst the 22 agro-biodiversity hotspots of the country, of which Andaman and Nicobar Islands harbour rich diversity of flora including species that are common to South Asia and Southeast Asia. High level of endemism (ca. 300 species) and fragile ecosystem are unique features of these distant islands. More than 81% of total geographical area of these islands is under forest cover, which opens up opportunities to explore them for valuable germplasm for future use. This germplasm includes crop wild relatives of perennial horticultural crops, most of which have not been studied systematically so far. The present article aims at highlighting the diversity, importance and present status of selected perennial crop wild relatives of these islands. Further, researchable issues associated with these species, their conservation and sustainable utilization have been dealt herewith.


Endemism Rootstock Sustainability Tropical islands Utilization 



PB and AAW are thankful to Director, ICAR-CIARI, Port Blair, for providing facilities to conduct various studies and exploration trips to different parts of the islands. SM is thankful to Director, Botanical Survey of India, for providing necessary facilities and HOO, BSI, ANRC for facilities and constant support. Thanks are also to the farmers and officials of various line departments of the ANI administration for their help in germplasm collection.


  1. Abraham, Z., Senthilkumar, R., Joseph, K. J., Sharma, T. V. R. S., Nair, N. V., Unnikrishnan, M., Kumaran Johnson, P. M., George, K. J., Uma, S., Latha, M., Malik, S. S., Mishra, S. K., Bhandari, D. C., & Pareek, S. K. (2008). Collection of plant genetic resources from Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 55, 1279–1289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahlawat, S. P. S., Sheeja, T. E., Mandal, A. B., Madhu, K., Madhu, R., & Dam Roy, S. (2001). Reports on survey of medicinal plants in South Andaman and socio-economic status of fisherman in Andamans (pp. 1–53). Port Blair: Central Agricultural Research Institute.Google Scholar
  3. Awasthi, R. K. (1987). Folklore medico-botany of the aboriginal inhabitants of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Journal of Andaman Science Association, 3(2), 80–87.Google Scholar
  4. Awasthi, A. K. (1988). Plants used as food items by the tribals of Andaman and Nicobar islands. Journal of the Andaman Science Association, 4, 128–131.Google Scholar
  5. Bhargava, N. (1983). Ethnobotanical studies of the tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. I. Onge. Economic Botany, 37, 110–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bohra, P., & Waman, A. A. (2019). Morphological and Biochemical Studies in Garcinia gummi-gutta (L.) Roxb. Erwerbs-Obstbau, 10.1007/s10341-019-00419-3. Google Scholar
  7. Bohra, P., Waman, A. A., Basantia D., Devi H. L., & Reang, E. (2018). Domestication and conservation efforts in Haematocarpus validus(Miers.) Bakh. f. ex Forman (Menispermaceae): An underutilized fruit species and natural colourant. Current Science, 115(6), 1098–1105. Google Scholar
  8. Chaichana, N. (2016). Nutrition composition and analysis of medicinal herbal potential of Horsfieldia glabra Warb. seeds. KMUTNB International Journal of Applied Science and Technology, 9(1), 61–69.Google Scholar
  9. Chakrabarty, T., & Rao, M. K. V. (1988). Ethnobotanical studies on the Shompens of great Nicobar Island. Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany, 12(1), 39–54.Google Scholar
  10. Chakrabarty T. and Balakrishnan N.P. (2003). Ethnobotany of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands- a review. Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany, 27(4), 869-893.Google Scholar
  11. Chander, M. P., Kartick, C., & Vijayachari, P. (2015). Herbal medicine & healthcare practices among Nicobarese of Nancowry group of Islands – An indigenous tribe of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The Indian Journal of Medical Research, 141, 720–744.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Chinthamani, J., Waman, A. A., Saravanan, K., & Bohra, P. (2016, December 8–10). Screening antibacterial potential of Piper genotypes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands against seven fish pathogens. In Book of abstracts, International Conference on Climate Change Adaptation and Biodiversity: Ecological sustainability and resource management for livelihood security, Port Blair, India.Google Scholar
  13. Dagar, H. S. (1989). Plant medicines among Nicobarese tribals of Car Nicobar Islands, India. Economic Botany, 43, 215–224.Google Scholar
  14. Dagar, H. S., & Dagar, J. C. (1991). Plant folk medicines among Nicobarese of Katchal Island, India. Economic Botany, 45(1), 114–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Damodaran, T., Ahmad, I., & Nagarajan, B. (2013). Bouea oppositifolia – A fast disappearing native mango genetic resource from Andamans: Morphological and molecular evidences. Indian Journal of Horticulture, 70(2), 161–164.Google Scholar
  16. Elanchezhian, R., Senthil Kumar, R., Beena, S. J., & Suryanarayana, M. A. (2007). Ethnobotany of Shompens: A primitive tribe of Great Nicobar Island. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 6, 342–345.Google Scholar
  17. Ellis, J. L. (1986). A botanical tour of Andaman Islands. Journal of the Andaman Science Association, 2(2), 11–22.Google Scholar
  18. Ellis, J. L. (1990). Exploitable souring plants of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Journal of the Andaman Science Association, 6, 52.Google Scholar
  19. Gautam, R. K., Sankaran, M., Zamir Ahmed, S. K., Sunder J., Ram, N., & Dam Roy, S. (2014). Custodian farmers and communities of biodiversity conservation and utilization in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. CIARI, Port Blair. p. 39.Google Scholar
  20. Gautam, R. K., Waman, A. A., Bohra, P., Singh, P. K., Singh, A. K., Singh, S., Baskaran, V., Abirami, K., Jaisankar, I. & Dam Roy, S. (2015, April 17–19). Utilization of agri-horticultural biodiversity for food and nutritional security in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In Souvenir, national seminar on harmonizing biodiversity and climate change: Challenges and opportunity, ICAR-CIARI, Port Blair, pp. 58–65.Google Scholar
  21. Hazra, P. K., Rao, P. S. N., & Mudgal, V. (1999). Flora of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata, pp. 1–487.Google Scholar
  22. Hunter, D., & Heywood, V. (2011). Crop wild relatives: A manual of in situ conservation (p. 6). London: Bioversity International/Earthscan Ltd.Google Scholar
  23. Jarvis, S., Fielder, H., Hopkins, J., Maxted, N., & Smart, S. (2015). Distribution of crop wild relatives of conservation priority in the UK landscape. Biological Conservation, 191, 444–451. Scholar
  24. Kaushal, K. B., Kumar, T., Sajibala, B., Jairaj, R. S. C., Mehrotra, S., & Pushpangadan, P. (2006). Ehtnobotanical heritage of Nicobarese tribes. Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany, 30(2), 331–375.Google Scholar
  25. Krishnamurthy, K. S., Rema, J., Mathew, P. A., & Krishnamoorthy, B. (2008). Identification of suitable Myristica species/related taxa as rootstock to combat drought in nutmeg. Indian Journal of Horticulture, 65, 204–208.Google Scholar
  26. Kulkarni, A. R., & Mulani, R. M. (2004). Indigenous palms of India. Current Science, 86(12), 1598–1603.Google Scholar
  27. Kumar, V., & Gangwar, B. (1985). Agriculture in the Andamans – An overview. Journal of Andaman Science Association, 1(1), 18–27.Google Scholar
  28. Mandal, A. B., Chattopadhyay, D., Sheeja, T. E., & Srivastava, R. C. (2005). Ethnomedicines of Bay islands: Pharmacological evaluation and bioprospecting (pp. 1–232). Port Blair: Central Agricultural Research Institute.Google Scholar
  29. Mathew, S. P., Mohandas, A., & Nair, G. M. (2004). Piper sarmentosum Roxb. – An addition to the flora of Andaman Islands. Current Science, 87, 141–142.Google Scholar
  30. Meilleur, B. A., & Hodgkin, T. (2004). In situ conservation of crop wild relatives: Status and trends. Biodiversity and Conservation, 13, 663–684.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Murthy, B. N. S., Dinesh, M. R., Rekha, A., Vasugi, C., Sakthivel, T., & Sankaran, M. (2016) Fruit genetic resources of IIHR: Distribution, diversity and its conservation. In: Compendium of lectures, Summer School on Contemporary Methods of Conservation and Management of Horticultural Genetic Resources held at ICAR-IIHR, Bengaluru from June 7-27, 2016, pp. 15–23.Google Scholar
  32. Murugan C, Prabhu S, Sathiyaseelan R and Pandey RP (2016) A checklist of plants of Andaman and Nicobar islands (Eds. Paramjit Singh and Arisdason W.). ENVIS Centre on Floral Diversity, Botanical Survey of India.
  33. Pandey RP and Diwakar PG (2008) An integrated check-list flora of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, India. J Econ Taxon Bot32: 403–500.Google Scholar
  34. Pandey, A., Bhandari, D. C., Bhatt, K. C., Pareek, S. K., Tomer, A. K., & Dhillon, B. S. (2005). Wild relatives of crop plants in India: Collection and conservation. New Delhi: National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources.Google Scholar
  35. Pandey, C. B., Rai, R. B., Singh, L., & Singh, A. K. (2007). Homegardens of Andaman and Nicobar, India. Agricultural Systems, 92, 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pandey, A., Tomer, A. K., Bhandari, D., & Pareek, S. K. (2008). Towards collection of wild relatives of crop plants in India. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 55, 187–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Porwal, M. C., Padalia, H., & Roy, P. S. (2012). Impact of tsunami on the forest and biodiversity richness in Nicobar Islands (Andaman and Nicobar Islands), India. Biodiversity and Conservation, 21, 1267–1287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Prasad, G. S., Singh, D. R., Senani, S., & Medhi, R. P. (2004). Eco-friendly way to keep away pestiferous Giant African snail, Achatina fulica Bowdich from nursery beds. Current Science, 87(12), 1657–1659.Google Scholar
  39. Prasad, K., Joe, A., Bheemalingappa, M., & Rao, B. R. P. (2013). Musa sabuana (Musaceae): A new species from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. Indian Journal of Forestry, 36(1), 151–153.Google Scholar
  40. Ramana, M. V., Venu, P., & Sanjappa, M. (2017). Implications of mistaken identities in conservation of wild mangoes. Current Science, 112, 1107–1108.Google Scholar
  41. Rema, J., Krishnamoorthy, B., Mathew, P. A., & George, J. K. (2006). Conservation of wild nutmegs of Andamans at IISR. Spice India, 19, 21–22.Google Scholar
  42. Saldanha, C. J. (1989). Andaman, Nicobar and Lakshadweep: An environmental impact assessment. New Delhi: Oxford and IBH Publishing Pvt. Ltd.Google Scholar
  43. Sharief, M. U. (2007). Plants folk medicine of Negrito tribes of Bay Islands. Indian Journal of Traditonal Knowledge, 6, 468–476.Google Scholar
  44. Singh, L. J. (2014). Musa indandamanensis L. J. Singh: A new species (Musaceae) from the Bay Islands, India. Taiwania, 59, 26–36.Google Scholar
  45. Singh, D. B., Sreekumar, P. V., Sharma, T. V. R. S., & Bandyopadhyay, A. K. (1998). Musa balbisiana var. andamanica (Musaceae) – A new banana variety from Andaman Islands. Malayan Natural Journal, 52(3&4), 157–160.Google Scholar
  46. Singh, D. B., Attri, B. L., Medhi, R. P., Suryanarayana, M. A., & Sharma, TVRS (2002) Under-utilized fruits of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Port Blair: Central Agricultural Research Institute.Google Scholar
  47. Singh, D. B., BL, A., & Singh, C. (2012). Underutilized fruit crops of Andaman: Its biodiversity and role in environmental conservation and nutritional security. The Indian Forester, 138(1), 27–30.Google Scholar
  48. Singh, S., Waman, A. A., Bohra, P., Gautam, R. K., & Dam Roy, S. (2016). Conservation and sustainable utilization of horticultural biodiversity in tropical Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 63, 1431–1445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Smitha, G. R., & Thondaiman, V. (2016). Reproductive biology and breeding system of Saraca asoca (Roxb.) de Wilde: A vulnerable medicinal plant. Springer Plus, 5, 2025. Scholar
  50. Sreekumar, P. V., & Ellis, J. L. (1990). Six wild relatives of betel vine from Great Nicobar. Journal of Andaman Science Association, 6(2), 150–152.Google Scholar
  51. Srivastava, S. K. (1994). Garcinia dhanikhariensis (Clusiaceae), a new species from Andaman Islands, India. Nordic Journal of Botany, 14(1), 51–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Uma. (2006). Farmers’ knowledge of wild Musa in India (p. 46). Rome: FAO.Google Scholar
  53. Vanaja, T., Neema, V. P., Mammootty, K. P., & Rajeshkumar, R. (2008). Development of a promising interspecific hybrid in black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) for Phytophthora foot rot resistance. Euphytica, 161, 437–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Waman, A. A., & Bohra, P. (2013). Choice of explants – A determining factor in tissue culture of Ashoka (Saraca indica L.). International Journal of Forest Usufructs Management, 14(1), 10–17.Google Scholar
  55. Waman, A. A., Bohra, P., Basantia, D., & Kashinath, B. L. (2016a). Pepper cultivation: An Andaman experience. Spice India, 29(9), 28–30.Google Scholar
  56. Waman, A. A., Bohra, P., Jaisankar, I., Sakthivel, K., Bharathimeena, Y., Gautam, R. K., Dam Roy, S. (2016b). Status and strategic plan for the sustainable development of horticulture sector in Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep groups of islands, India. In: Book of abstracts, International Symposium on Sustainable Horticulture-2016 held on March 14–16, 2016 at Mizoram University, Aizawl, p. 111.Google Scholar
  57. Waman, A. A., Bohra, P., & Avinash, N. (2018a). Chemical pre-treatments improve seed germination and seedling growth in Semecarpus kurzii Engl.: An ethnomedicinally important plant. Journal of Forest Research, 29(5), 1283–1289.Google Scholar
  58. Waman, A. A., Bohra, P., & Basantia, D. (2018b). Effect of chemical pre-treatments on germination and seedling growth in Horsfieldia glabra Warb. and Semecarpus prainii king. Indian Forester, 144(1), 24–29.Google Scholar
  59. Waman, A. A., Bohra, P., & Chakraborty, G. (2019). Vegetative propagation of Piper sarmentosum Roxb. - a medicinally important species. Current Agriculture Research Journal, 7(1) (Published Online).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pooja Bohra
    • 1
  • Ajit Arun Waman
    • 1
  • Sanjay Mishra
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Horticulture and ForestryICAR-Central Island Agricultural Research InstitutePort BlairIndia
  2. 2.Botanical Survey of IndiaAndaman and Nicobar Regional CentrePort BlairIndia

Personalised recommendations