DIVISION OF CROP IMPROVEMENT & BIOTECHNOLOGY

Genetic Resource Management

The Institute has field gene bank of mandated crops such as mango (745), guava (120), papaya (17), bael (54), litchi (35), aonla (35), Jamun (38), khirnee (17), mahua (25), tamarind (20), wood apple (17), custard apple (8), mulberry (10), hog plum (3), lasora (5), carambola (3), karonda (30), grape (4) and cape gooseberry (4). A catalogue of 184 accessions (including morphological and molecular characterization) was published in 2011 and an interactive CD was prepared.

Molecular characterization and genomics

Mango (Mangifera indica L.)

Characterization of mango accessions (>200 cvs) using SSR markers was done towards fingerprinting and diversity assessment based on 30 loci. The fingerprint development of the Indian varieties by converting the genotypic data into barcodes has been published. Clonal variability among commercial cultivars could be traced to genomic SSRs. Candidate gene approach is being used for MAS and the target traits under study include fruit peel and pulp colour, regulation of flowering and abiotic stresses. Primer designing and its validation in diverse genotypes for genes involved in anthocyanin pigmentation pathway (peel colour) ANS (anthocyanidin synthase), CHS (chalcone synthase), F3’H (flavonoid 3’- hydroxylase), WD (WD repeat motifs) and flowering regulation viz., CON (constans), LFY (leafy), FLT (Flowering Time) has been completed to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the trait expression.

Guava (Psidium guajava L.)

Molecular characterization and diversity analysis of guava cultivars (22), Psidium sp. (6), and intervarietal hybrids was done using microsatellites (SSR and SSR),minisatellites (DAMD) and dominant markers (RAPD). Diversity analysis based on allelic data generated by RAPD and DAMD markers revealed differentiation of exotic types from cultivars originated in Northern plains. SSR markers were found suitable to discriminate between half sib populations of Apple Colored Guava collected from Allahabad. Microsatellite loci mPgCIR16 and 09 were found most informative and useful for fingerprinting of closely related accessions. Cp DNA gene sequences were used in mapping the chloroplast gemome.

Litchi (Litchi chinensis L.)

New protocol was developed for DNA isolation using double extraction with 3.5% CTAB buffer and purification by spin column. Twenty germplasm accessions of NRC Litchi, Muzaffarpur were characterized using microsatellites (SSR and ISSR) and RAPD markers. Based on the discrimination and resolving power, ISSR markers were found to supplement SSR markers for generation of cultivar barcode and clustering analyses. Phylogenetic analysis using UPGMA method revealed clustering of the cultivars into four major groups, although within a very narrow range (0.28 to 0.04) of dissimilarity. Reproducible markers like microsatellites have exposed narrow genetic background of litchi cultivars from India, rationalizing cross breeding and widening of genetic base towards its improvement.

Jamun (Syzygium cumini Skeels.)

Eight jamun accessions J-34, J-36, J-37, J-21, J-22, J-28, J-33, and J-30 characterized by RAPD and SSR (guava SSR cross amplification) markers. J-34 and J-37, which are selections from the Lucknow region, share similarity as per the matrix generated by Jaccard’s coefficient. J-36 and J-22 occupy distant branches sharing the least similarity with the other genotypes.Cross species amplification of guava SSR markers was verified in Jamun.

Achievements

Varieties

Mango(Mangifera indica L.)

Ambika: A cross between Amrapali and Janardhan Pasand, fruits oblong oval, colour bright yellow with dark red blush, pulp dark yellow, firm with scanty fibre and weighs about 300-350g. TSS is 21oB. It is a regular bearing variety and late in maturity. The hybrid has potential for both internal and export markets because of its attractive fruit colour. Yields about 80 kg/plant by about 10 years of planting under improved cultural practices.

Arunika: A cross between Amrapali and Janardhan Pasand, the tree produces dwarf and compact canopy. Fruits are smooth, orange yellow with red blush, weigh about 190-210g, medium sized, ovate oblique, pulp orange yellow, firm with scanty fibre, pulp about 65%, TSS 24.6oB. The hybrid has potential for both internal and export markets because of its attractive fruit colour. Average fruit yield is about 69 kg/plant at 8 years of planting. It has demonstrated wider adaptability and is performing well under northern plains. It is a regular bearer and has red peel color.

Hybrid-1084: A cross between Amrapali and Janardhan Pasand was found promising with attractive dark red colour on the peel and better shelf life. These hybrids have regular bearing character.

CISH-M-2: A cross between Dashehari x Chausa. Fruits of this hybrid are also medium with an average weight 220 g and oblong in shape. Skin is smooth, tough and yellowish green when ripe. Flesh is firm, dark yellow in colour with scanty fibre. TSS 23o Brix. This hybrid has commercial potential because of its sooty mould free fruit surface even after exposure to heavy rains. The fruits are similar to those of Dashehari, a leading variety of North India, but mature 15 days after Dashehari.

Hybrid-949:This is a cross between Amrapali and Vanraj with firm flesh, attractive dark red colour on the peel and better shelf life. This hybrid has regular bearing character and late in season.

Guava (Psidium guajava L.)

Lalit: Selection from half sib population of apple guava suitable both for fresh as well as processing purposes. Highly responsive to pruning. Yields higher than other commercial varieties; about 100kg/plant by about 6 y ears of planting under improved cultural practices. Saffron yellow colored fruits with red blush, pulp firm pink and fruits weigh 185-200g with good blend of sugar and acid. It has about 250 mg/100g vitamin ‘C’ content. The pink color in the beverage remains stable for more than a year in storage.

Shweta: Selection from half sib population of apple guava variety with globose fruits, medium size, weight 225g, creamy white exocarp, snow-white flesh, high TSS (12.5-13.2%) and vitamin C (300 mg 100g1 pulp) with good keeping quality. High yield, good quality and attractive fruit appearance, medium size, creamy white exocarp with red spots or blush. 90 kg/plant at the age of 6 years.

CISH-G-1: Fruits are deep red coloured with soft seeds, attractive shape, high TSS (15oBrix) and long shelf life. Fruits of this selection recorded higher anthocyanin content. The spatial distribution of the pigments in various portions of the same fruits has shown less variation in this selection.

CISH-G-5: A selection from open pollinated seedling guava population raised at Lucknow has been found promising (fruit weight 190g & TSS 13.7°Brix). It has attractive crimson colour fruits, higher proportion of coloured fruit, good yield and responsiveness to pruning.

Jamun (Syzizium cuminii Skeel)

CISH J-42: Seedless accession obtained from a land race of Chandauli district of UP. Fruits are ovoid, seedless with good taste. Average fruit weight is 8.0g, fruit length 2.57 cm, breadth 2.18 cm, average, pulp 97.9 per cent TSS 14.47oB, ascorbic acid 34.14mg/100g, tannin 0.231 per cent, anthocyanin 1.56 per cent, has a total antioxidant value 5.54 mg /g fresh weight AEAC. It recorded total phenol content (26.78 mg/g fresh weight) and flavonoids (1.21mg/g fresh weight). The selected type has good processing potential into value added products due to absence of seed.

CISH J-37: Selection made from land race of Lucknow district of U.P. A mid season type, fruiting during second week of June. Average fruit weight is 22-24 g; length 3.90 cm and diameter 3.03 cm, pulp 92.26 per cent TSS 16.4oB, ascorbic acid 49.88 mg /100g and has a total antioxidant value 38.30 mg AEAC/g.

Bael (Aegle marmelosCorr.)

CISH B-1: It is a selection from open pollinated seedlings. It is a mid season variety which matures during April-May. Trees are tall, vigorous with dense canopy, erect growth habit, precocious and heavy bearer. Fruit shape is oval to oblong, fruit size 15-17.8cm in length and 39.2-41.0 cm in circumference, average fruit weight 1.01 Kg. Fruits are thin shelled with pleasant flavour and less mucilage content. It has a very good taste and flavour. Fruits have 65.57 per cent pulp, TSS 38.0 0B. Fruits are also good for processing , total carotenoids 1.18 mg/100g pulp, total sugar 20.54 per cent and tannin content 3.5 per cent. The yield of fully grown up tree varies from 50-80 Kg. It is suitable for canning and slices preparation.

CISH B-2: It is also a selection from open pollinated seedlings. Tree is dwarf with medium spreading habit. Foliage is sparse and almost thornless, precocious with moderate bearing habit. Fruits are oblong to round in shape with average length of 14.80 cm and circumference of 52.64 cm. Fruit weight is from 1.80-2.70 Kg/fruit. Fruit pulp is orange yellow and shell is thin 0.24-0.26 cm. Seed and fibre contents are low with average seed number 50.12/ fruit and average seed weight 4.40g. Seed to pulp ratio is 1:270. It has good taste with pleasant aroma. It has 61.32 per cent pulp, 31.900B TSS, 0.99 mg/100g, total carotenoids, 16.33per cent total sugars and 2.45 per cent tannin content. The yield of the grown up tree varies from 60-90 Kg. whereas CISH-B-2 is excellent, high yielding variety for processing with pleasantly aromatic pulp.

Somatic embryogenesis

Somatic embryogenesis system has been developed in papaya, guava and mango. These regeneration systems are being utilized for genetic manipulation of fruit crops.

Genetic Engineering

Agrobacterium mediated genetic transformation systems has been standardized in papaya cultivar Pusa Delicious with coat protein gene for incorporating PRSV resistance and endochitinase gene has been introgressed in guava for wilt resistance. The work is in progress.