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15 Years of research & development

Key objectives

  • Produce superior quality jatropha seeds through selection and breeding
  • Develop genetic tools for marker assisted selection and scalable F1 Hybrid seed production
  • Develop robust techniques for seed processing, especially edible jatropha seed processing

Selection and Breeding of Jatropha

Jatropower processes one of the most diverse jatropha genotype collections as seen below.

The different genotypes have been evaluated under similar conditions at three different locations over the last 10 years in terms of:

  • Seed yield
  • Seed morphology and characteristics
  • Oil content of seeds
  • Nature of plants – stature, canopy structure, flowering and fruiting behaviour
  • Resistance to key diseases, e.g. root rot
  • Resistance to drought
  • Effect of different agronomic interventions – spacing, pruning, fertilisation, irrigation, dense planting

Genetic analysis based on state-of-the-art analysis techniques in collaboration with two world renowned public research institutes

  • Identification of accession specific markets for the different genotypes
  • Identification of genetic markers for the edible nature of jatropha+
  • Determination of genetic distance between the genotypes
  • Linkage between key characters to specific markers

In collaboration with engine manufacturers, Jatropower has worked on the development of scalable, robust and affordable machinery to allow optimal processing of jatropha seeds.

Suitable elite accessions were selected for purification and cultivar development. These elite cultivars are being marketed and has performed well under client conditions (evidenced by repeat orders from all clients that have been supplied so far)

Identification of compatible elite parent plants for the F1 hybrid programme

“Crossing-in” of the pistillate character into selected parents – in progress

Establishment of dedicated Seed Production Farms for production of elite cultivars

Establishment of the first 2 jatropha F1 Hybrid seed production farms

Identified markers that are clearly linked to the edible character of jatropha

Linkage of key jatropha characters to markers for accelerated marker assisted breeding

Some genotypes of Jatropha curcas shows the interesting property of apomixis (development of seeds from female flowers without fertilisation).

In collaboration with its university partners, Jatropower has evaluated this among its genotypes and found some that show a high degree of apomixis.

Jatropower has discovered that this property is a very interesting tool for genetic improvement of jatropha curcas.

The daughter plants derived from seeds developed through apomixis from a single parent plant has shown a very high degree of variability.