BioEnergy Research, January 2015. Juan M. Montes, Anna Bulach, Matthias Martin, Elisa Senger.
- JatroSelect GmbH, Echterdinger Str. 30, 70599, Stuttgart, Germany
- Institute of Plant Breeding, Seed Science and Population Genetics, University of Hohenheim, Fruwirthstr. 21, 70599, Stuttgart, Germany .
Jatropha curcas L. (jatropha) is an undomesticated plant with a high potential for sustainable production of biofuels in the tropics and subtropics. Oil content, seed mass, kernel mass, and the ratio of kernel to seed mass are important traits for breeding. These traits could potentially be improved by exploitation of parental effects. Besides, parental effects could be used to separate self- from cross-fertilized seeds and increase the efficiency of hybrid seed production. The main goal of this study was to assess the variation of quantitative seed traits (oil content, seed mass, kernel mass, and ratio of kernel to seed mass) in a panel of self- and cross-fertilized seeds from a genetically diverse germplasm. We analyzed a set of 31 genotypes (12 self- and 19 cross-fertilized genotypes) originated by combination of parental components from 2 different genetic pools (pool A: phorbol ester absence; pool B: phorbol ester present). We found strong significant effects of parental components and genetic pools on most seeds traits. Although the variation in oil content among single seeds was very large, some specific combinations of parental components showed promise to be exploited for rapid and automatized identification and classification of self- and cross-fertilized seeds. We conclude that parental effects need to be considered for breeding and cultivar production.