See more from this Session: Bioenergy Production, Modeling, Sustainability, and Policy
Monday, November 1, 2010
Long Beach Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Lower Level
The importance of Jatropha curcas as a feedstock for renewable energy is well recognized by developed nations in need of alternatives to petroleum. Although the plant is widespread mostly as a wild bush in the poorest nations in the tropics, research on its genetics, agronomic characteristics and cultivation are presently being elucidated. This work discusses the importance of seed size and its relationship to germination, seedling development, and size of cuttings and their efficiency in establishing new plants. A seed lot was separated into 9 different ranges based on seed size (gram seed-1) and seeds from each range were placed on moist blotting paper at room temperature to imbibe and transferred to pots having Promix in a greenhouse environment. Seed size ranged from <0.19 to >0.90 but <1 gram seed-1 with most of the seeds being within ranges: 0.50 – 0.59g = 167 seeds, 0.60 – 0.69g = 270 seeds and 0.70 - 0.79g = 268 seeds. In another evaluation, cuttings of different sizes based on number of nodes, length and diameter from four 1-year old plants were made to determine efficiency on production of new leaves, roots and callus from a stock of mother plants. Results showed a continuous distribution for both quantity and size of seeds within the investigational seed lot of 1,000 seeds. Germination was highest in the 0.80 - 0.89g weight range, while no significant difference found for root, stem and true leaves initiation of new seedlings. The establishment of new plants from cuttings of different size showed formation of callus as a precursor for root formation and was significantly greater with longer and smaller diameter cuttings. Results from this work will provide information which will allow more efficient establishment of jatropha plantation either from seeds or cuttings from established parent plants.