GA application induces alteration in sex ratio and cell death in Jatropha curcas
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Jatropha curcas L. is a commercially important plant with biodiesel and medicinal potential. It is a monoecious plant with staminate and pistillate flowers in same inflorescence with number of staminate flowers being higher than pistillate ones resulting in very low fruit yield. Altering sex ratio to increase the number of female flowers would lead to better yield. Phytohormones are most important factors known to alter sex ratio in plants. The mechanism by which phytohormones alter sex ratio differs in different plant species. Among phytohormones, GA plays an important role in sex alteration. In this study, we report the effect of exogenous application of GA on sex modification in J. curcas. There was considerable increase in number of female flowers by application of GA. At lower concentrations (10 and 100 ppm), increase in number of female flowers and fruit yield was proportionate to the concentration of hormone used but at higher concentration (1,000 ppm) though there was an increase in number of female flowers, fruit yield decreased. This was due to an increased peduncle length and enhanced cell death as a consequence of endogenous release of hydrogen peroxide in response to increased GA, resulting in withering of fruits.
KeywordsGibberellin (GA) ppm—parts per million Flower sex ratio Hydrogen peroxide Fruit fall Cell death
The authors are thankful to DRM, Vadodara of Indian Railways to be allowed the use of their Jatropha curcas plantation for this study. PR also acknowledges financial support from UGC, New Delhi, India for this work.
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