Origin of Genetic Variability and Improvement of Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.)

  • Atul Bhargava
  • Deepak OhriEmail author
Part of the Sustainable Development and Biodiversity book series (SDEB, volume 10)


Quinoa is a pseudocereal having a very balanced composition of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Various studies based on inheritance, molecular cytology, DNA markers, and single locus variability have established it as an allotetraploid (2n = 4x = 36). It has been cultivated for 5 millennia in the Andes where it probably originated from its wild and weedy forms. Domestication process led to loss of many characters disadvantageous to farmers leading to narrowing of the genetic base. However, wide diversity based on plant color, seed color, types of branching and panicles, productivity, abiotic stress tolerance, and disease resistance still exists. This diversity is also reflected at the molecular level and is being used by the plant breeders worldwide to develop improved plant types with respect to uniformity, early maturity, seed yield, protein content, and reduced saponin content in the seeds.


Chenopodium quinoa Origin Domestication Genetic variability Improvement 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Amity University Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow Campus)LucknowIndia

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