1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The main objective of this cooperative research project is to evaluate productivity of castor selected for high oil content and yield. The research will lead to improved understanding of the environmental factors on oil accumulation and seed production. The research also includes tests of the productivity of dwarf castor cultivars.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Combined use of plant physiology and chemistry approaches has led to the identification of castor lines with high oil content and seed yield. These Lines will be assessed in field for seed yield per plant, seed weight, plant height, days to flower and days to maturity. Plants with high oil content and desirable yield traits will be selected for future breeding. Uniform, stable, high oil content and high yield castor cultivars will be determined by field performance.
In June 2011 (the first year of the field testing), a total of 800 seeds were planted, with 400 for reference and 400 for testing plants. During the following two months, both populations had over 95% seed germination and similar healthy growth rate. Environmental conditions, such as temperature, water and fertilizer supplies were measured regularly to ensure an even distribution of these factors among the population. No abnormal growth was observed. Quantitative data are being collected, representing each population’s seed oil content, yield, days to flower and maturity. The ADODR communicated project plans and reviewed the field research work and through frequent emails and telephone calls, and site visits in FY2011.