Review Article

An overview of the genetics and cytogenetics of Jatropha curcas L. for its improvement

Free access

Jatropha curcas, an ingenious source for providing biodiesel is becoming a god given crop to sustain the energy requirements in the years to come. Biodiesel, an alternative diesel fuel, is made from renewable biological sources such as vegetable oil and animal fats. Though many non edible oilseeds are available, Jatropha curcas L. is recognized as the most potential species for biodiesel production since its seed contains high oil (30 to 38%) and could be grown under different land use situations. India is fifth in the world in terms of fossil fuel consumption which amounts to 40 million tones of diesel and hence there is imperative need for identifying and utilizing plant species that are capable of yielding biodiesel. Centre of excellence in biofuels at TNAU concentrates on the breeding, agronomic and systematic evaluation of seed/ hybrid clones for oil yield maximization. An earnest attempt is made to summarize available information on Jatropha genetics, cytogenetics, genetic variability, heritability, genetic advance, association of traits and molecular approaches, interspecific hybridization programmes and prospects of tissue culture, mutation and transgenic breeding for further crop improvement to provide comprehensive understanding on complete exploitation of Jatropha.