Identification of seed sources of Asparagus racemosus Willd. for higher productivity

A. Parveen, S. Kumar, R. Kant
Asparagus racemosus Willd. is an important medicinal plant used in the Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani, traditional medicine systems in India. The species is threatened in India due to over exploitation. A field trial of 20 sources collected from different agro-climatic conditions has been established during 2007 at the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, India to evaluate for root production and total saponin content at the age of two and a half years old plants. The significant genetic variations for different morphological traits viz. number of shoots, shoot diameter, shoot height, collar diameter, shoot dry weight, number of tubers, tuber length, tuber dry weight and total saponin content were found between sources. The potential genotypes for higher productivity have been identified. The most promising seed sources showing highest tuber dry weight with high performance for other characters were identified as FRI/A3, FRI/A7, FRI/A2, FRI/A1 and FRI/A17 while for saponin content, seed sources viz. FRI/A2, FRI/A1 and A15 were found to be promising. Twenty seed sources were classified into nine distinct groups using D2 statistics. The maximum genetic diversity was found between genotypes of cluster I and V followed by cluster III and V. In this regard the hybridization between FRI/A3 and FRI/A1 or FRI/A2; and between FRI/A7 and FRI/A1 or FRI/A2; and between FRI/A3 and FRI/A14 could be made to exploit heterosis.
Parveen, A., Kumar, S. and Kant, R. (2020). Identification of seed sources of Asparagus racemosus Willd. for higher productivity. Acta Hortic. 1301, 83-90
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1301.12
genetic divergence, genetic variation, hybridization, seed sources

Acta Horticulturae