The Bionic Enterprises Group Sustainability in energy and agriculture

Heterosis a promising tool in Jatropha Breeding

Recently the Jatropha breeders at Bionic Palm found that heterosis can become one of the very interesting tools in their breeding program. Heterosis (also called hybrid vigor) is defined as “the increase in growth, size, fecundity, function, yield, or other characters in hybrids over those of the parents”. Very impressive effects of positive and negative heterosis where observed at the Bionic Palm breeding orchard. Intraspecific and interspecific crosses show the effects alike. The visible expression of heterosis clearly correlates with the genetic diversity as indicated by a former genetic marker based variability analysis of the parental germplasm.

The advantage of heterosis breeding is a relatively short time from the first cross to a proven superior F1 hybrid.

This article at Jatropha Breeder describes some of the details.

Several research reports have been published over the last 2 years confirming Bionic Palm’s findings on heterosis in Jatropha. However, nobody is describing the type of large effects in negative and positive heterosis we are experiencing. Where the reports show effects of up to 25%, at Bionic Palm we often see 100% and more. Most impressive so far are time from seed to flowering (negative heterosis, over 100%), leave size (length increase over 100%), seed weight over 80%, plant growth (height over 150%) and stem diameter.

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