Agro-morphological and molecular diversity in castor (Ricinus communis L.) germplasm collected from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India M., Anjani K., Usha Kiran B., Vivekananda K. (2015): Agro-morphological and molecular diversity in castor (Ricinus communis L.) germplasm collected from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. Czech J. Genet. Plant Breed., 51: 96-109.
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Castor (Ricinus communis L.) is an industrial oilseed crop grown worldwide. Its oil with more than 80% ricinoleic acid makes it a chief raw material for numerous industrial applications and biofuel production. Castor grows in a wild form across India including Andaman & Nicobar Islands, which are geographically quite isolated from mainland India. Thirty-three accessions growing in isolation in these Islands were used in the present study. Genetic diversity among these accessions was assessed using 18 agro-morphological traits and 29 EST-SSR markers. High agro-morphological and molecular variability was observed among these accessions. Both agro-morphological traits and EST-SSR markers effectively discriminated the accessions. However, EST-SSRs separated the accessions into more groups than did agro-morphological data, implying high efficiency and resolution of EST-SSR markers in genetic analysis of castor germplasm from Andaman & Nicobar. The diverse accessions identified in the present investigation would serve as genetically diverse sources in castor breeding programmes.
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