Unlocking the Potential of Genetic Resources for Improvement of Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.): The Current Scenario

  • Vibhuti Singh
  • Sachin Kumar
  • Amrita Singh
  • Niti Pathak Bhaduri
  • Kangila Venkataramana Bhat
  • Suman LakhanpaulEmail author
Part of the Sustainable Development and Biodiversity book series (SDEB, volume 10)


Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) economically valued worldwide for its seeds and seed oil has been designated as ‘queen of oilseeds’. Antioxidants such as lignans and their derivatives prevent oxidation of the oil and provide longer shelf life making sesame oil one of the most stable oils. Due to the presence of several bioactive compounds it has been often listed among the world’s healthiest foods. However, the attempts to improve sesame crop remain scanty resulting in lack of superior genotypes having high yield potential and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Further, traits such as indeterminate growth habit and capsule shattering are also responsible for its reduced yields making it less favorable for large-scale farming. Wild relatives of sesame are important reservoir of useful genes and need to be exploited for sesame improvement. These wild species exhibit crossability with the cultivated gene pool to varying extents and can be utilized for transferring the desirable traits using conventional breeding approaches assisted with modern techniques. Extensive research efforts are therefore desirable in several aspects such as identification of different gene pools of sesame genetic resources, phylogenetic relationships, assessment of genetic diversity in the cultivated gene pool, etc. Molecular approaches to develop genetic map, hybrid testing, identification of core collections, DNA fingerprinting are already underway. Biotechnological interventions required for the successful production of transgenic plants have also been initiated. Recently, most of the genes and biosynthetic pathways involved in oil and other useful components of sesame seeds have been unraveled. An integrated approach based on conventional and modern tools for identification and utilization of useful genes followed by their successful incorporation in the cultivated gene pool is desirable for large-scale cultivation of sesame, to meet the increasing demands of healthy food crops due to the ever increasing heath awareness world over.


Sesame Germplasm Wild relatives Crop improvement Genomic resources 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vibhuti Singh
    • 1
  • Sachin Kumar
    • 1
  • Amrita Singh
    • 1
  • Niti Pathak Bhaduri
    • 1
  • Kangila Venkataramana Bhat
    • 2
  • Suman Lakhanpaul
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of DelhiDelhiIndia
  2. 2.National Bureau of Plant Genetic ResourcesIndian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia

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