EFFECT OF SUCROSE CONCENTRATIONS ON THE IN VITRO PLANTLET REGENERATION FROM MATURE ZYGOTIC EMBRYO EXPLANTS OF JATROPHA CURCAS L. IN MURASHIGE AND SKOOG (MS) MEDIUM, A RESEARCH PROJECT TOPIC ON PLANT SCIENCE
Jatropha curcasL. (physic nut) is a multipurpose plant which belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae. The non-edible oil produced from the seeds is considered a potential renewable source of biodiesel. This research aims at estimating the optimum sucrose concentration for in vitro plantlet regeneration using mature zygotic embryos as explants in Murashige and Skoog (MS) media. Sucrose was employed as carbon source at concentrations ranging from 0 to 5 %. The study showed that mature zygotic embryos of J. curcas have the ability to sprout precociously in the absence of a carbon source without subsequent development. However, the addition of sucrose as carbon source led to a significant reduction in time of sprouting as well as enhanced seedling growth under all the sucrose concentrations (1 – 5 %). The highest percentage sprouting, sprouting rate, number of roots, length of roots, length of shoots, leaf area and fresh weight of plantlets were achieved in the regeneration medium with 3 % sucrose (i.e. 30 g l-1). Data obtained for sprouting and other growth parameters showed that the higher the concentration of sucrose, the greater the growth of the plantlets with 3 per cent sucrose as the optimum concentration for the parameters determined.
The depletion of world petroleum reserves, oil price hikes and the increased environmental concerns have stimulated the search for alternative sources to petroleum based fuel, including diesel fuel. Biodiesel extracted from vegetable oil is one such renewable alternative under consideration. The production of biodiesel would be cheap as it could be extracted from non-edible oil sources (Openshaw, 2000; Franciset al., 2005; Chhetri et al., 2008; Dermibas, 2009).
Jatropha curcas L. (physic nut), a non-edible oil bearing and drought hardy shrub with ecological and other advantages belonging to the family Euphorbiacea, was found to be a potential renewable source of biodiesel (Raju and Ezradanam, 2002; Chhetri et al., 2008; Idu et al.,2009).