Genetic diversity of Moringa oleifera Lam. in Rajasthan, India

S. Tak, I.B. Maurya
Drumstick (Moringa oleifera Lam.) is one of the important perennial vegetables grown in India. Every part of the plant is valued for food. It is highly nutritious with high levels of minerals and vitamins. Leaves, flowers and immature pods are used as a highly nutritive vegetable and for medicinal purposes. Thirty-six genetically diverse genotypes of drumstick were assembled from different places of Rajasthan (Ajmer, Jhalawar, Kota, Udaipur) and subjected to a multivariate analysis regarding the content of vitamin C, protein, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium. All 36 genotypes could be grouped into five clusters. Genetic diversity arises due to geographical separation or due to genetic barriers to crossability. The analysis used measures the forces of differentiation at two levels, namely intra-cluster and inter-cluster levels, and thus helps in the selection of genetically divergent parents for exploitation in hybridization programmes. In any crop breeding programme, genetic diversity is an essential pre-requisite in selecting parents for hybridization and evolving high yielding genotypes. The higher the genetic diversity between the parents, the greater are the chances of achieving transgressive segregants. Diverse agro-ecological conditions, migration of genetic material due to genetic drift, gene flow, introduction/exchange of genetic stocks at national and international levels, coupled with natural and artificial selection are the possible factors responsible for such diversity in the drumstick plant. Heritability estimates were over 94% for all characters studied, except iron (64%), indicating that selection was possible.
Tak, S. and Maurya, I.B. (2017). Genetic diversity of Moringa oleifera Lam. in Rajasthan, India. Acta Hortic. 1158, 71-78
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1158.9
Moringa oleifera, agro-ecological conditions, clonal selection, genetic differentiation, group constellation, evaluation, genotypes

Acta Horticulturae