Genetic improvement of palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini var. motia) for herbage yield and essential oil quality through polycross system of breeding II. performance of polycross hybrids
Palmarosa is one of the commercially important essential oil yielding crops of India. Improving the herbage and essential oil yield through appropriate breeding methods is the major objective of this crop. Being a cross pollinated crop, its improvement can be made through mass selection. Fifteen best palmarosa clones are identified from two years of individual plant screening of seven germplasm material for different growth, yield and quality parameters formed the base material for this study. The slips of fifteen selected clones were planted in the polycross nursery at ICAR-DMAPR, Anand, Gujarat. The composite hybrid seeds of palmarosa were collected separately from each clone from the polycross nursery. In the present study, the performance of composite hybrids along with check was evaluated to identify best performing polycross hybrids for herbage and essential oil yield. Two hybrids DCMH 8 and DCMH 10 had more than 22 per cent higher dry herbage yield than the commercial variety Trishna. The polycross hybrid progeny proved to be significantly superior with respect to essential oil content and percentage of essential oil recovery. Among the hybrids DCMH 8 had the highest oil yield (16.08 g/plant), which was 37.79 per cent higher than check variety. Based on the performance of the polycross composite hybrids, top performing five hybrids viz., DCMH 1, DCMH 6, DCMH 8, DCMH 10, and DCMH 14 were selected and advanced to multi-location trials across different centers to identify the best one for release as a commercial composite variety.
Polycross breeding, half sib, palmarosa, composite hybrids, essential oil yield.
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