A STUDY ON THE EVALUATION AND CROP IMPROVEMENT OF NERIUM OLEANDER L. ECOTYPES FOR YIELD AND QUALITY
Keywords:Nerium, germplasm, ecotypes, quality, Yield
A research was conducted at Department of Floriculture and Medicinal Crops, Horticulture College and Research Institute, Periyakulam to evaluate the ecotypes of nerium collected for yield and quality during 2010–2013. A total of 9 accessions were collected from Dindigul district based on variation in flower color, plant form and foliage variegation and the germplasm was evaluated for growth characters and yield parameters in the first year. Among the nine accessions, the accession A1 recorded the highest plant height (159.25 cm). However, the highest number of leaves per plant (1714.33), plant spread in East West direction (107.12 cm) and plant spread in North South direction (104.74 cm) were observed in accession A8. The number of productive shoots, number of flowers per plant, flower diameter and single plant yield was highest in accession A1. Hybridization was conducted using the germplasm A1 to A 5 and A 8 as male parents and A1 to A4 and A8 as female parent. Hybridization using red single and pink single as female parent was successful. Pod retention was also good in the same hybridization programme. Fruit set was highest in the cross A3 x A5 (18%) and A4 x A1 (12 %). Fruit retention up to maturity was highest in the same crosses (158 % & 94 %). Further germination studies of hybrid seeds were also conducted. Seeds were sown without treatment and after treatment with GA3 @100mg in 100ml of water, hot water ( 80oC and 100oC). Germination percentage was poor.
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