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Jute quality breeding by reducing lignin content

M.K. Sinha1

1 Principal Scientist, Central Research Instituted for Jute and Allied Fibres, Division of Crop Improvement, Barrackpore-700120,
West Bengal, India www.crijaf.org. Email mohitsiha48@hotmail.com

Abstract

Jute as natural fibre, that possess the twin virtues of re-new ability and bio-degradability coupled with certain unique performance related features could be genuinely regarded as ‘fibre for the future’. Diversification of product requires better quality of jute fibre. Quality in jute is judged in terms of strength, fineness and lignin content of the fibre. For blending jute with cotton, the presence of higher lignin in jute has been one of the major bottlenecks so far. To meet the above-mentioned demands, breeding work has been undertaken in National Agricultural Technology project, R.R.P.S.-27, to evolve varieties with not more than 8-10% lignin content. Hybridisation and selection in C. olitorius L. and C. capsularis L. is undertaken using Diallel mating design. Interspecific hybrids have been derived between C.olitorius (15% lignin) and C.capsularis (soft stem strains of 3-4%lignin). Antibody mediated kit has been developed towards quick detection of jute and other plant peroxidases (a precursor enzyme in lignin synthesis). This novel kit can be used very effectively in large scale screening for future breeding programmes. Attempts to clone peroxidase enzymes are in progress. A tissue-culture protocol in jute has been perfected for developing transgenic plants resistant to Jute Stem Weevil in the near future. Thus the principal aim behind the programme is to breed short duration good quality jute variety, which will also facilitate early sowing of rain fed rice by a combined approach viz. conventional and non-conventional (bio-technology) breeding.

Media summary

Breeding attempted in both cultivated species viz. C. olitorius L. and C. capsularis L. to breed better variety with optimum lignin and better fineness to blend with cotton for textile use. Interspecific hybrid derived for low lignin and higher fibre yield.

Key words

Corchorus spp., lignin, peroxidase

Introduction

Export of diversified products (2000-01) has been observed to rise to some US $ 28.98 million out of US $ 152.88 million for jute exports. Thus it is estimated that at least 19% of the total output in jute sector will be diverted towards value added products and export of jute diversified products will rise to some US $ 40 million by 2005, for which jute fibre of finer quality or a fibre of low lignin and high cellulose is the foremost requirement. The major bottleneck is the highest lignin content (12.5%-13.5%) of jute compared to other natural fibres (with a range of 0.5%-9.9%). Thus a breeding program has been undertaken to evaluate some jute (C.olitorius L. and C. capsularis L.) germplasm (including IJO accessions) and subsequent hybridization materials with a view to develop a variety with 8%-10% lignin. There is now ample evidence that during biosynthesis of lignin, peroxidase isozymes occur in the cell walls of plants and catalyze the oxidation of lignin precursors. Thus peroxidase activity, which broadly depicts the presence of lignin, had been estimated along with yield parameters in F1 to breed new strains with higher yield and optimum lignin. The F1’s were advanced to F4 in C. capsularis L. and F5 generation in C.olitorius L.

Methods

Thirty germplasm accessions in each of C. capsularis and C. olitorius were assessed for fibre yield and quality (lignin content, cellulose content, fineness and strength). In addition 11 Tossa (C. olitorius L.) and 11 white (C. capsularis L.) strains were used as parents in diallel mating designs within each species. They were crossed in all possible combinations without reciprocals at the experimental fields of Central Research Institute of Jute and Allied Fibres, Barrackpore (New Alluvial Zone of W.B.; 8826E, 2245N; Alt. 9m.). The resulting 55 F1 s of both sets were sown and 5 competitive plants were selected at random from all the materials of each replication, for recording observations on 11 yield attributes and the quality parameters peroxidase activity/ g fresh wt, lignin (LTGA/100 mg of AIR) and cellulose percentage. A one-way diallel mating design was employed for combining ability analysis using the 11 yield attributes and peroxidase activity as per Method-2, Model-1 of Griffing (1956).

Results

Germplasm assessment

Assessment of 30 germplasm lines each of C. capsularis and C. olitorius for fibre yield and quality (lignin content, cellulose content, fineness and strength).

Table 1: Best five C. capsularis germplasm accessions on the basis of their fibre yield and other quality parameters.

Sample ID

Fibre Yield
(g/pl)

Fibre
Strength
(g / tex)

Fibre
Fineness
(tex)

Cellulose
(%)

Lignin
(%)

Disease
(%)
Macrophomina sp.

BZ-1-3

8.0

17.32

1.77

60.2

10.55

5.00

Branca

8.8

16.35

1.75

78.3

11.00

-

Solimos

9.13

14.92

1.63

46.0

14.95

0.00

BZ-2-2

8.0

14.63

1.60

51.5

15.85

15.38

JRC-321

7.6

16.38

1.70

49.5

11.20

0.00

Table 2: Best five C. olitorius germplasm accessions on the basis of their fibre yield and other quality parameters.

Sample ID

Fibre
wt.
(g/pl)

Fibre
%

Fibre
Strength (g/tex)

Fibre Fineness (tex)

Cellulose
(%)

Lignin
(%)

Disease
(%)
Macrophomina sp
.

JRO-524

14.33

7.12

23.24

2.8

68.02

18.50

11.80

KEN/DS/060C

11.00

7.22

11.40

1.8

80.03

16.15

11.24

KEN/DS/053C

10.20

7.52

22.44

2.5

60.65

20.16

2.89

NPL/YPY/026C

10.00

7.35

25.48

2.9

62.68

14.67

8.13

JRO-3670

9.00

7.27

19.88

2.1

60.22

15.81

3.17

Diallel crosses

11x11 diallel sets were raised for each of the cultivated species. These crosses had been advanced to F4 generation in case of C. capsularis and F5 generation in case of C. olitorius by adopting a selection procedure mainly for fibre yield and quality (fineness, strength, cellulose and lignin content).

Table 3: Best five crosses of C. capsularis (from the 11 X 11 diallel set) on the basis of their fibre yield and quality parameters, advanced to F4 generation and a few elite entries to F5 by availing Off season Nursery

Cross I.D.

Fibre wt.
(g/pl.)

Fibre %

Fibre
strength
(g/tex)

Fibre
fineness
(tex)

Cellulose
(%)

Lignin
(%)

Disease
(%)
Macrophomina sp.

CHN/FJ/052C
X JRC-212

15.65

6.31

17.4

2.1

64.56

13.73

0

SOLIMOS
X THA/Y/086C

10.86

5.55

12.84

1.7

59.38

15.21

0

NPL/KUC/032C X
JRC-212

10.18

5.72

14.19

2.1

55.22

18.00

0

JRC-321
X NPL/KDC/093C

9.78

5.79

16.27

1.8

62.00

12.00

0

LISA
X NPL/KUC/032C

9.13

6.12

21.23

2.0

58.35

12.88

5.88

Table 4: Best five crosses of C. olitorius (from the 11 X 11 diallel set) on the basis of their fibre yield and quality parameters, advanced to F5 generation and few elite entries to F6 by availing Off season Nursery.

Cross I.D.

Fibre
wt.
(g/pl)

Fibre
%

Fibre
Strength
(g/tex)

Fibre
Fineness
(tex)

Cellulose
(%)

Lignin
(%)

Disease
(%)
Macrophomina sp.

JRO-524
X
JRO-3352

20.46

7.21

14.67

2.4

61.08

13.28

1.06

KEN/DS/053C
X
JRO-3352

17.01

6.63

13.53

2.4

57.09

11.12

2.98

KEN/DS/060C
X
TAN/X/112C

14.55

8.07

13.67

2.5

69.88

12.73

9.06

KEN/DS/053C
X
NPL/YPY/026C

13.18

6.35

15.17

2.3

67.09

13.16

4.78

JRO-524
X
JRO-3670

12.55

7.26

18.93

2.3

57.36

12.60

5.83

Biotechnology and Biochemistry

A tissue culture protocol for jute plant has been standardized using 3-5 days old coleoptile tips as starting material. This protocol gave a tissue-cultured plant through callus formation within 2 months, which was found to be true to type.

Peroxidase enzyme estimation by using Dot blot technique was standardized to assess quickly large samples.

The zymogram pattern of peroxidase in jute bark by Poly Acrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (PAGE) showed a single band which indicated a single peroxidase gene expressed in the bark tissue.

A plot of lignin / cellulose versus cellulose on log scale gave a distinct bi-phasic plot which indicate the negative correlation.

Interspecific Hybridisation

A cross between the most popular variety JRO-524 (C. olitorius) and Soft stem (C. capsularis) possessing less lignin showed anatomical characters confirming its interspecific taxonomical status.

Conclusion

After selection amongst segregates a new variety will be released for better quality, which will be used for a new diversified textile product.

Reference

Griffing, B. (1956). Concept of general and specific combining ability in relation to diallel crossing systems. Aust. J. Biol. Sci. 9: 463-493

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