Application of Molecular Markers in Genetic Improvement of Jatropha
Jatropha curcas L. has gained prominence during the past 15 years as a potential source of biodiesel. Massive plantations of Jatropha were raised world-wide between 2003 and 2008. Unfortunately, these plantations failed to deliver the promised yields primarily due to unrealistic assumptions and also due to the use of uncharacterised planting material. However, several initiatives have been taken towards the characterisation and genetic improvement for oil yields and other important traits. An excellent foundation in the form of genetic and genomic tools such as DNA-based molecular markers, linkage maps, genetic transformation and mapping populations has been developed in Jatropha so far. These resources are being used to develop Jatropha varieties with desirable traits such as high seed yield and oil content. Development of non-toxic varieties is also being attempted to make the oil cake usable as cattle feed.
The current chapter describes the past research and future trends in applications of various molecular marker technologies for the genetic improvement of Jatropha.
KeywordsGenome sequencing Interspecific hybridization Linkage mapping Next-generation genotyping QTL mapping
The authors wish to thank the TERI School of Advanced Studies for its kind support in carrying out this study.
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