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Field performance of somaclones of rose scented geranium (Pelargonium graveolens L'Her Ex Ait.) for evaluation of their essential oil yield and composition

Saxena, Gauri, Laiq-ur-Rahman, Verma, Praveen Chandra, Banerjee, Suchitra, Kumar, Sushil
Industrial crops and products 2008 v.27 no.1 pp. 86-90
Pelargonium graveolens, essential oils, essential oil crops, micropropagation, field experimentation, crop yield, chemical composition, leaves, plant morphology, morphs, crop quality, agronomic traits, somaclonal variation, plant adaptation, greenhouse production, clones, cultivars, India
Several randomly selected glasshouse grown somaclones of rose scented geranium, Pelargonium graveolens L'Her Ex Ait. cv. Hemanti were successfully transferred to the field in Northern India for evaluation. Two distinct morphotypes were described on the basis of leaf dentation-one resembling the parental cultivar in having highly dentated leaves (HDL) and the other with less dentated leaves (LDL). After repeated field-testing for 3 consecutive years, the HDL clones closely resembled the parental cultivar with respect to the different quantity and quality determining traits, while the LDL group was clearly different. The field established LDL somaclones possessed higher herb yield, number of branches and other oil yield attributing traits as compared to the HDL clones and the parent cultivar. The chemical investigations of the essential oil revealed significant differences between the LDL clones, the HDL clones and the control. Selection of such somaclones, which are superior to the parental in most of the quantitative and qualitative traits and show better adaptability to different areas of cultivation, will help towards commercialization of geranium in India.