Plant Diversity ›› 2013, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (1): 26-32.DOI: 10.7677/ynzwyj201312063

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Induction of Bisexual Flowers by Gibberellin in Monoecious Biofuel Plant Jatropha curcas (Euphorbiaceae)

 PI  Xue-Jing-1、2, PAN  Bang-Zhen-1、2, XU  Zeng-Fu-1   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Tropical Plant Resource and Sustainable Use, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy
    of Sciences, Mengla 666303, China; 2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2012-05-04 Online:2013-01-25 Published:2012-05-24


Biofuel plant Jatropha curcas (physic nut) seeds contain about 30%-40% oil, which is a promising feedstock for producing aviation biofuel and biodiesel. Physic nut is a monoecious plant that produces both male and female flowers in the same inflorescence. The proportion of female flowers in physic nut inflorescences is very low, which is probably one of the most important reasons for its poor seed yield. This study was undertaken to determine the effects of gibberellic acid (GA3) on the flower and seed development of physic nut. The results showed that exogenous application of GA3 induced bisexual flowers and asexual flowers in physic nut inflorescences. With the increase in the number of induced bisexual flowers, the number of female flowers on the same inflorescence decreased, but the sum of female flowers and bisexual flowers did not varied significantly, suggesting that gibberellin induced bisexual flowers may be derived from the female flowers. In addition, the number of seeds in each fruit, seed size and weight, seed weight per infructescence and seed oil content were all significantly reduced in physic nut plants treated with high concentrations of GA3 (500-1500mg·L-1), which suggested that the development of seeds from GA3treated physic nut plants was abnormal. These results help us to understand the role of gibberellin in regulation of physic nut flower and seed development, and are valuable for the genetic improvement of physic nut seed yield by molecular breeding.

Key words: Gibberellic acid, Physic nut (Jatropha curcas), Sex expression, Hermaphrodite flower, Seed yield

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