Diversity, distribution, collection and conservation of amaranth germplasm from Andhra Pradesh

L. Vincent, N. Sivaraj, P.L. Anushma, S. Ganeshan, P.E. Rajasekharan
Diversity of amaranths (family Amaranthaceae) can be observed from sea level to high altitudes even in the worse climatic conditions, and they are rich in micro-nutrients and bio-active compounds. In the rural areas of India, amaranths occupy an unparalleled position and are used in a large number of culinary preparations. Considering its importance and available diversity, a collaborative germplasm survey had been conducted in parts of Andhra Pradesh covering Chittoor, Cuddapah and Nellore districts by the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, Regional Station, Hyderabad and Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bengaluru in October, 2014, where amaranth species are widely cultivated. The surveyed region falls under the southern agro-climatic zone of Andhra Pradesh having a hot and humid tropical climate with an average rainfall of 600-1000 mm. Depending on the availability of the amaranth germplasm to be collected in the wild and from farmers' fields, random sampling and bulk sampling methods were followed, respectively. A few market samples were also collected. The survey resulted in augmentation of 99 accessions of Amaranth species viz., Amaranthus blitum (8), Amaranthus caudatus (2), Amaranthus graecizans (27), Amaranthus hybridus (10), Amaranthus spinosus (15), Amaranthus tricolor (26) and Amaranthus viridis (11). A great deal of variability with respect to stem colour, leaf colour, inflorescence, were observed in amaranth species and described. Amaranthus spinosus is being used as traditional veterinary medicine for cattle. It was also observed that the practice of traditional cultivation by farmers maintaining their own Amaranth seed material had been reduced in the surveyed region. The collected amaranth germplasm diversity will be characterized and evaluated at IIHR Bengaluru. The seed material is being conserved in the medium term module kept at the NBPGR, Regional Station and long term storage (LTS) at NBPGR.
Vincent, L., Sivaraj, N., Anushma, P.L., Ganeshan, S. and Rajasekharan, P.E. (2019). Diversity, distribution, collection and conservation of amaranth germplasm from Andhra Pradesh. Acta Hortic. 1241, 99-104
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1241.16
exploration, Andhra Pradesh, variation, traditional uses, storage

Acta Horticulturae