Variability for DUS characteristics in released varieties of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.

) in India
N MUKTA, A PRAVEEN REDDY, C LAVANYA AND MANGESH Y. DUDHE Directorate of Oilseeds Research, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad-500 030, Andhra Pradesh ABSTRACT
The Indian legislation – Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV & FR) Act was enacted in 2001. Under the Act, protection of plant varieties is based on the establishment of Distinctiveness (D), Uniformity (U) and Stability (S) of characteristics listed in the Crop specific guidelines. The guidelines for the conduct of the DUS test for safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) were finalized and published in 2009. A total of 26 traits which include 13 asterisked/essential traits are included in the final version. Information on range of character expression in released cultivars is required for the grant of rights through the establishment of distinctiveness which should include at least one essential trait. With this perspective, twenty one released varieties of safflower were characterized in accordance with the guidelines to form the basic database for the selection of appropriate reference varieties during the conduct of DUS testing for candidate varieties. The frequencies for expression of different states of all characteristics in accordance with the safflower guidelines are discussed. The information generated on range of variability will be valuable for comparison of newly developed cultivars.

Keywords: Safflower, DUS characteristics, variability Safflower (Carthamus tinctorious L.) is a member of the family Asteraceae (Compositae), cultivated mainly for the high quality edible oil extracted from the seeds. The crop has been grown in India since ancient times initially for the dye extracted from its florets and later as an oilseed crop. Safflower oil is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (linoleic acid 78%) which play an important role in reducing blood cholesterol levels and is considered to be a healthy cooking medium. Breeding initiatives in India have resulted in the development of many improved varieties and a few hybrids (Anjani and Mukta, 2008). The enactment of the Indian legislation - Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV & FR) Act, 2001 was followed by the establishment of the Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Authority (PPV&FRA) in 2005 for implementation of the provisions of the Act. The provisions of this legislation have been critically analysed (Brahmi et al., 2004). Under the Act, protection of plant varieties is based on the establishment of Distinctiveness (D), Uniformity (U) and Stability (S) of characteristics listed in the crop specific guidelines. The Draft guidelines for the conduct of DUS tests for safflower were formulated in 2006 (Mukta and Hegde, 2006) and have been finalized and published (Anonymous, 2009). Information on range of character expression in released cultivars is required for the grant of rights through the establishment of distinctiveness which is based on the difference of the candidate variety as compared to the reference variety and should include at least one essential trait. With this perspective, twenty one released varieties of safflower were characterized in accordance with the guidelines to form the basic database for the selection of appropriate reference varieties during the conduct of DUS testing for candidate varieties. The frequencies for expression of different states of all characteristics in accordance with the safflower guidelines are discussed. The information generated on range of variability will be valuable for comparison of newly developed cultivars. MATERIALS AND METHODS Twenty one safflower varieties notified during 1978 till 2006 formed part of the study. The material for the present investigation comprised of breeders’ seed of varieties viz., AKS-207, Manjira, JSI-99, Nira, A-1, JSI-97, A-300, NARI-6, JSI-7, Girna, Sharada, PBNS-12, JSI-73, Bhima, A-2, JLSF-414, HUS-305, S-144, Sagarmuthyalu, PBNS-40 and JSF-1 obtained from the respective breeders. The experiment was conducted at Research Farm of the Directorate of Oilseeds Research at Rajendranagar, Hyderabad during rabi 2005, 2006 and 2007. Each genotype was raised in 8 rows of 5 m length with a spacing of 45 x 20 cm. The experiment was laid out in randomised block design with two replications during 2005-2006 and 3 replications in 2007. Recommended agronomic practices and prophylactic measures were adopted for raising a good crop. Observations were recorded on 4 traits at six leaf stage of rosette, 2 at flowering of main capitula, 11 at full flowering and 9 at maturity. The data on state of expression of each trait was harmonized on the basis of the finalized guidelines (Anonymous, 2009). RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The guidelines for conduct of DUS testing in safflower comprise of 26 traits of which 13 are essential characteristics which are marked by an asterisk (Anonymous, 2009). Distinctiveness implies that the variety should be distinguishable by at least one essential characteristic from a variety which is a matter of common knowledge. Assessment of variability through the presence of different states of expression among released varieties of safflower was undertaken and the
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frequency distribution for various states of characteristics occurring in 21 varieties of safflower has been presented based on the types of characteristic assessed (Table 1). Grouping characters: The character expression for five grouping characters of 21 safflower varieties reveals that none of the traits were monomorphic though some states of expression were absent. Plant : Time of 50% flowering (Characteristic 5) - Most of the cultivars recorded medium duration for 50% flowering, 7 were late to flower while one each was very early and early. None of the cultivars were very late for flowering. Petal : Colour (Characteristic 6) - Yellow was the predominant petal colour being recorded in 17 varieties. Two cultivars possessed pale yellow petals while one each recorded orange and white petal colour. Petal : Change of colour (faded stage) (Characteristic 7) - Petal colour at faded stage was orange in the case of 16 varieties, pinkish white for 2 varieties while all other states grey white, golden yellow and red were observed in 1 cultivar each. Capitulum : Number of spines on outer involucral bract of main capitula (Characteristic 17) - Sixteen varieties exhibited dense spininess, 4 possessed no spines on outer involucral bract whereas one cultivar was sparsely spiny. Plant : Height upto main capitula (Characteristic 21) - Very tall plants characterized 14 varieties whereas 6 varieties were tall. Though one cultivar was very short, none of the cultivars were medium or short in height. The results indicate that though variability exists for most of the traits, majority of safflower cultivars released were tall, medium duration, densely spiny varieties possessing yellow corolla at flowering which fades to orange. Other Essential characteristics: In addition to the five grouping traits (Characteristic 5, 6, 7, 17 21) eight other essential traits (Characteristic 4, 11, 14, 15, 18, 22, 25, 26) have been identified in the safflower DUS guidelines. These include two leaf traits one each for the first and the main stem leaf. Fifteen cultivars exhibited medium dentations of the first leaf while 5 varieties exhibited weak and one was categorized as very weak for this trait. Leaf shape of main stem leaf was obovate in 4 varieties, all others possessed fusiform leaves while the other two states ovate and elliptic were not represented. Among the traits to be recorded on the main capitula, length of outer involucral bract (OIB) of main capitula was short for 5 genotypes whereas 16 recorded medium length. None of the cultivars evaluated possessed long OIB. In the case of width of OIB, narrow bracts were observed in majority of the cultivars (20) while it was medium in one genotype, no cultivar possessed broad bracts. Sixteen varieties exhibited dense spininess, 4 possessed no spines on outer involucral bract whereas one cultivar was sparsely spiny. Medium capitulum diameter was observed in most of the varieties, whereas only one variety each was classified under small and large category. Of the 3 traits to be recorded on seeds, seed weight (1000 seeds) was very low, low, medium, high and very high in 2, 5 5, 8 and 1 cultivar. High seed hull content (%) was recorded in 17 varieties whereas as 4 possessed medium hull. None of the varieties characterized possessed low seed hull. Seed oil content was low in 9 cultivars while it was medium in 12 varieties. None of the released varieties studied possessed high or very high oil content. Standard characteristics: Among the 13 standard characteristics, 8 leaf characters have been included. Variability was recorded for length of the blade of first leaf where in medium length was recorded for 14 varieties and seven possessed long leaves. The other 3 states very short, short and very long were not represented. Width of the blade was narrow for 3 cultivars while it was medium in 18 genotypes. The three extreme states, very narrow, broad and very broad were not represented. First leaf length was long for most of the cultivars, only one cultivar each was categorized as medium and very long while the other states very short and short were not represented. Width of the blade was broad in 18 cultivars and medium in 3 genotypes. Spines on leaves were absent in 2 cultivars and medium in 12 varieties whereas very few, few and many spines were observed in 1, 4 and 2 cultivars respectively; the state very many was not represented. Weak leaf dentations were observed in 3 cultivars, medium in 12 and strong in 6 cultivars. The two extreme states very strong and absent were not represented. Height of insertion of first branch on the plant was short in one variety, it was medium, tall and very tall in 9, 8 and 3 varieties respectively. No variety was classified as very short. Very short branch length (recorded for longest primary branch) was recorded in 6 cultivars whereas short, medium and long branches were observed in 5, 7 and 3 cultivars. None of the varieties possessed very long branches. Most of the varieties exhibited white yellowish seed colour whereas it was white in one genotype. The other two states brown yellowish and brown were not recorded in any of the cultivars charactersied. Seed number per main capitula was medium in 18 and high in 3 varieties; the state low was not represented. The information generated on range of variability is the basic database to be utilized in the selection of reference varieties for comparison with newly developed cultivars and identification of the most appropriate example varieties. It also serves as a basis for modifications in the reference ranges for different states. Incorporation of states of essential traits which are not represented among the released varieties into newly developed cultivars can form the basis for their distinctiveness. Acknowledgement: Financial grant from DAC and PPV&FR Authority, Government of India is gratefully acknowledged.
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Table 1 Frequency distribution for various states of characteristics in 21 Indian varieties of safflower Characteristic State # First leaf: Length of blade (cm) Medium(14), long(7) First leaf: Width of blade (cm) Narrow(3), medium(18) First leaf : Ratio (Length/width of blade) High(11), very high(10) First Leaf : Dentations Very weak(1), weak(5), medium(15) Plant : Time of 50% flowering (days) Very early(1), early (1), medium(12), late(7) Petal : Colour White(1), pale yellow(2), yellow(17), orange(1) Petal : Change of colour (Faded stage) Grey white(1), pinkish white(2), golden yellow(1), orange(16), red(1) Leaf : Length of blade (cm) Medium(1), Long(19), very long(1) Leaf : Width of blade (cm) Medium(3), broad(18) Leaf : Ratio (Length/width of blade) Medium(19), high(2) Leaf : Shape Fusiform(16), obovate(5) Leaf : Number of spines Absent(2), very few(1), few(4), medium(12) many(2) Leaf : Dentations Weak(3), medium(12), strong(6) Capitulum : Length of outer involucral bract of main capitula (cm) Short(5), medium(16) Capitulum : Width of outer involucral bract of main capitula (cm) Narrow(20), medium(1) Capitulum : Ratio of length/width of outer involucral bract Low(5), medium(10), high(6) Capitulum :Number of spines on outer involucral bract of main Absent(4), sparse(1), dense(16) capitula Capitulum : Diameter of main capitula (cm) Small(1), medium(19), large(1) Plant : Height of insertion of first branch (From ground level) (cm) Short(1), Medium(9), tall(8), very tall(3) Plant : Length of longest primary branch Very short(6), short(5), medium(7), long(3) Plant : Height upto main capitula (cm) Very short(1), tall(6), very tall(14) Seed : Weight of 1000 seeds (g) Very low(2), Low(5), medium(5), high(8), very high(1) Seed : Colour White(1), white yellowish(20) Seed : Number/main capitula Medium(18), high(3) Seed : Hull content (%) Medium(4), high(17) Seed : Oil content(%) Low(9), medium(12) # Figures in parenthesis represent the frequency of cultivars expressing that state

REFERENCES
AICRP on Safflower, DOR 2006. Research Achievements in Safflower. All India Coordinated Research Project on safflower, Directorate of Oilseeds Research, Hyderabad. India. 111p. Anjani K and Mukta N 2008. Varieties and Hybrids of safflower. Directorate of Oilseeds Research, Hyderabad. 95p. Anonymous, 2009. Guidelines for the conduct of test for Distinctiveness, Uniformity and Stability on safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.). Plant Variety Journal of India. 3(10): 235-244. Brahmi P, Saxena S and Dhillon B S 2004. The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act of India. Current Science 863(3) 392-398. Mukta N and Hegde D M 2006. Draft National Guidelines for the Conduct of Tests for Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius, L.) Directorate of Oilseeds Research, Hyderabad. 14p. PPV and FR Act 2001. Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act (No. 53 of 2001). Dept of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi.

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Prospects of marker-assisted recurrent selection (MARS) for improvement of oil content and quality in safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.)
P KADIRVEL, S SENTHILVEL, B USHAKIRAN AND M SUJATHA Directorate of Oilseeds Research, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad-500 030, Andhra Pradesh (kadirvelp@yahoo.com) ABSTRACT
Improvement of oil content and quality is one of the major objectives of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) breeding. Safflower germplasm possess tremendous range of variability for oil content and quality. However, breeding for enhanced oil content and quality in safflower is slow due to polygenic control and high sensitivity to the environmental conditions. Recurrent selection is generally considered as a suitable breeding method to improve complex quantitative traits. However, recurrent selection is difficult and sometimes impractical due to phenotypic selection, which is tedious, destructive and very expensive as in the case of fatty acid composition of seed oil. With the use of markers, recurrent selection can be accelerated considerably. Marker assisted recurrent selection (MARS) is expected to overcome the limitations of phenotype-based recurrent selection and results in greater genetic gains by

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