Role of Mycorrhizal association in Jatropha

The hike in fuels consumption, increasing air pollution, environmental degradation demands a multidisciplinary research approach in different countries in the world today. The measures taken to promote the use of biofuels or other renewable fuels to replace diesel or petrol for transport purpose can to some extent achieve sustainability and bring down public health problems.

In ICRISAT, study is in progress with the plants of Jatropha and Pongamia for the extraction of biofules. The present study is based on the mycorrhizal association of Jatropha plants. Mycorrhizae are symbiotic associations that form in-between the plant species and fungi. In infertile soils, nutrients taken up by the mycorrhizal fungi can lead to improved plant growth and reproduction.

As the biofuel plants were planted in the waste lands of many semiarid locations the percentage of mycorrhizal infection gives us a wide knowledge, which can be applied to improve the production of Jatropha. In this study root samples where collected from different genotypes of Jatropha plants which were planted under two different soil types alfisols and vertisols. These different genotypes were collected from different location of India. After the % of infection was checked, the results were compared with different genotypic varieties. The most infected genotypes were identified and the reasons behind were also studied. In future identification of these fungal species can lead to external application to the soil as biofertlizer which in turn can improve the plant growth as well as production.

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