Morpho-molecular Characterization of local Genotypes of Hyppophae rhamnoides L. ssp.
Turkestanica a Multipurpose Plant from Northern Areas of Pakistan
S. D. Ahmad
Seabuckthorn is one of the most important multipurpose plants having great value in
medicines, health food, beverages, spray dried and freeze-dried powder, additives,
cosmetics, as nitrogen fixer, fodder for livestock’s and a tool for the control of soil erosion
under degraded soil conditions. The plant can withstand extremes of the temperature
ranging from 55°C(surface) to -43°C and grow well under drought conditions of about 250-800mm annual rainfall. It also withstands the soil pH from 5.8 to 9.5. Seabuckthorn thus
can prove to be an effective plant for ecological purposes and economic activity for
mountain communities. The present investigation was to identify the potential genotypes
of Seabuckthorn for breeding better varieties in terms of fruit yield, fruit quality, nitrogen
fixing ability and better adaptation in various agro-ecological zones of mountains of Pakistan.
The initial investigation carried out at UCA Rawalakot included the collection of basic
information regarding the cultivation and genetic diversity of the Seabuckthorn among the
local genotypes based on morph-molecular tools consisting of phenotypic characters and the
genotypic characters using SDS-PAGE. The phenotypic as well as genotypic studies revealed
greater variation among the local genotypes with immense potential for future improvement
using conventional breeding techniques. The general information revealed its potential to
cultivate the plant directly without improvement under degraded soils of Azad Kashmir and
elsewhere. However, in order to improve it’s nutritional, medicinal and nitrogen fixing
qualities and to breed thornless varieties for smooth harvesting, some conventional and non-conventional plant improvement techniques would be more meaningful.
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