Volume 4 Special Issue 2 2010
How to reference: Chandra R, Babu KD, Jadhav VT, Teixeira da Silva JA (2010) Origin, History and Domestication of Pomegranate. In: Chandra R (Ed) Pomegranate. Fruit, Vegetable and Cereal Science and Biotechnology 4 (Special Issue 2), 1-6
National Research Center on Pomegranate, Solapur, India
CONTENTS AND ABSTRACTS
Ram Chandra, K. Dhinesh Babu, Vilas Tejrao Jadhav (India), Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva (Japan) Origin, History and Domestication of Pomegranate (pp 1-6)
Invited Mini-Review: Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is one of the ancient fruits associated with several human cultures of the world. There is mention of pomegranate in the Bible, the Koran, and in Buddhist and Chinese arts. Based on evidence from archeo-botanical samples, literature, religious iconography etc., it is estimated that pomegranate might have been introduced into culture about 5000 years ago. According to various reports, wild pomegranate grows in Transcaucasia and Central Asia from Iran and Turkmenistan to northern India. Thus, it is considered to be native of these regions. Its nutritional, therapeutic and ornamental values were known to humans since antiquity. Although pomegranate was reported to have a narrow genetic base, its huge collections available in different parts of the world indicate that it has high genetic diversity among the germplasm. The pomegranate family has a single genus Punica with two species viz., P. granatum and P. protopunica. The latter is considered to be the ancestor of the genus Punica which might have contributed to the evolutionary process of the cultivated form of pomegranate. Since the pomegranate tree is highly adaptive to a wide range of climate and soil conditions, it is grown in different tropical and subtropical regions. However, its main cultivation is confined to the northern hemisphere. Interestingly, the best quality fruits are produced in arid regions.
Ram Chandra, Vilas Tejrao Jadhav, Jyotsana Sharma (India) Global Scenario of Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) Culture with Special Reference to India (pp 7-18)
Invited Review: The pomegranate (Punica granatum L.), a member of the Punicacae family, is one of the important fruit crops grown in tropical to temperate agro-climatic conditions and has nutritional and therapeutic values due to the presence of several bioactive compounds in its different parts. It is rich in several potentially active phytochemicals like sterols and terpenoids, fatty acids and triglycerides, simple gallyol derivatives, organic acids, flavonols, anthocyanins and anthocyanidins, catechin and procyanidins. India ranks first in the world with respect to pomegranate area (0.125 million ha) and production (1.14 million tonnes). Maharashtra contributes more than 75% of the total area alone followed by Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. More than 250 germplasms are available in India. The National Research Centre on Pomegranate, Solapur is the nodal centre working exclusively on pomegranate. At present, 187 (both exotic and indigenous) germplasms are available in its national field gene bank. In the last 50 years, 10 pomegranate cultivars have been identified and released for commercial cultivation. Of the released cultivars, ‘Bhagawa’ and ‘Ganesh’ are popular among farmers. In India, bacterial blight, wilt, fruit borer, thrips, sun scald, fruit cracking and internal breakdown are some important biotic and abiotic stresses associated with the pomegranate industry. Work done on flowering behaviour, fruit breeding, propagation, plant nutrition and biotic and abiotic stresses have been reviewed, and future challenges and required research strategies are presented in the manuscript.
Tikam Singh Rana, Diganta Narzary, Shirish Anand Ranade (India) Systematics and Taxonomic Disposition of the Genus Punica L. (pp 19-25)
Invited Mini-Review: The genus Punica belongs to a monogeneric family Punicaceae and includes two species viz., Punica granatum L. and P. protopunica Balf. f. However, some authors also consider the ornamental dwarf pomegranate (P. nana Pers.) as a distinct species. The systematic and taxonomic circumscription of the genus Punica has been controversial in many floras. Earlier morphological studies considered the genus Punica, under Lythraceae. However, but based on distinct features like fruits with leathery pericarp, pulpy seeds with edible sarcotesta, ovule with multilayered outer integument and unicellular archesporium, it was found to differ from other typical Lythraceae genera and was therefore, included in a separate family, Punicaceae. The inclusion of the genus Punica in the order Myrtales is not questioned, but the family under which it should be placed is still a debatable question. Here, we discuss the taxonomic implications of the genus Punica in relation to different systems of classification that are already in place and nrDNA and CpDNA sequences that have been generated for the genus Punica, to understand the phylogenetic relationships with other taxa of the order Myrtales.
S. H. Jalikop (India) Pomegranate Breeding (pp 26-34)
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Invited Mini-Review: Although pomegranate is an ancient fruit plant it has gained commercial significance recently. Nowadays there is increasing worldwide demand for this fruit owing to its superior pharmacological and therapeutic properties. The cultivated species of pomegranate, Punica granatum, is reported to contain 2n=16, 18 chromosomes. Inheritance of some fruit and flower types has been studied. Pomegranate, often a cross pollinated crop, is genetically heterozygous and adequate variation for several plant and fruit traits is generated in nature. Punica has ornamental ‘Double Flower’ and ‘Nana’ types. Some wild forms like ‘Daru’ possess resistance to pomegranate bacterial blight. Very little breeding work has been carried out in India, Israel, China and Iran. In this review, new varieties that are bred with specific objectives using modern breeding techniques are outlined. Criteria to be considered in developing varieties to suit the needs of growers, retailers and exporters are also presented along with important germplasm sources for various traits. Hybridization, mutation and polyploidy work in pomegranate has recently resulted in some new varieties. Hybridization and development of a hybrid population is relatively easy in pomegranate as the flowers are big, pollen is available in plenty and seeds germinate well; besides, many varieties are easily crossable. The inter-relation and inheritance of some fruit and plant traits is reviewed as these will serve as a guide in making a discreet selection of appropriate progeny from the segregating population. A consortium of pomegranate breeders working in various countries, germplasm exchange, and multi-location testing of varieties and initiating collaborative programmes should help in addressing some regional and international objectives in pomegranate breeding.
Sanjay Kumar Singh, Anita Singh, Nripendra Vikram Singh, D. Ramajayam (India) Pomegranate Tissue Culture and Biotechnology (pp 35-44)
Invited Review: In vitro regeneration systems in pomegranate have been established basically for two factors, i.e. a need for an inexpensive and efficient method for clonal propagation of elite genotypes and for application of modern genetic improvement methods for efficient de novo recovery of plants from cell cultures. Pomegranate cell and tissue culture is not easy and regeneration from existing meristems (shoot tip and nodal bud) and vegetative and reproductive plant parts have also been attempted with some noteworthy success. Reliable procedures now exist for micropropagation, organogenesis, somatic embryogenesis, and other regeneration procedures in vitro. However, the exploitation of these regeneration pathways for genetic transformation has been slow. Besides in vitro approaches, molecular marker technology has opened up new vistas for pomegranate breeding and germplasm management strategies. Nowadays these are in vogue for germplasm characterization, progeny analysis, etc. In this review an effort has been made to consolidate the state-of-the-art cell and tissue culture and biotechnological potential and applications, advancements and future implications in pomegranate improvement and propagation.
K. Dhinesh Babu (India) Floral Biology of Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) (pp 45-50)
Invited Mini-Review: A key member of the family Punicaceae, pomegranate (Punica granatum L.), is an ancient and important fruit crop of arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Unlike other perennial fruit crops, it has a characteristically short juvenile period of 1-2 years. In tropical climates, it flowers almost throughout the year whereas in subtropics, flowering is observed only once in a year. In areas where the temperature is low in winter, the plant is deciduous, but in tropical conditions, it is evergreen or partially deciduous. Although evergreen pomegranate cultivars flower throughout the year under subtropical conditions in central and western India, there are 3 distinct waves/seasons of flowering i.e. ambe bahar (January-February flowering), mrig bahar (June-July flowering) and hasth bahar (September-October flowering). The inflorescence is a dichasial cyme possessing hermaphrodite, staminate and intermediate flowers, which are urcerate, campanulate and tubular in shape, respectively. Both pin- and thrum-type flowers are found in hermaphrodite flowers. The sex ratio varies in different seasons and with respect to variety. Both self- and cross-pollination occurs in pomegranate. Cross pollination in pomegranate is due to protogyny. From the point of view of crop improvement through hybridization, pollen viability of the male parent and the number of hermaphrodite flowers of the female parent are of paramount significance.
Ram Chandra, K. Dhinesh Babu (India) Propagation of Pomegranate – A Review (pp 51-55)
Invited Mini-Review: Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is mainly propagated by vegetative (clonal) means. However, sexual propagation is not a commercial venture. Stem cutting is the most important method of propagation in major parts of the world, excluding India, where air-layering (gootee) is prevalent. Generally, hardwood and semi-hardwood stem cuttings show high rooting success and survival. Certain efforts on micropropagation and grafting have been made, although these techniques will take some time for commercial implementation. Both sexual and asexual methods of pomegranate propagation are reviewed in this paper.
Jyotsana Sharma, Ashis Maity (India) Pomegranate Phytochemicals: Nutraceutical and Therapeutic Values (pp 56-76)
Invited Review: Pomegranate tree is the oldest domesticated tree for its countless health benefits, known even before the 21st Century. Folk medicines make use of all parts of this tree. Various researchers have identified about 153 phytochemicals, including their derivatives in pomegranate. Polyphenols are the major class of phytochemicals, extracted from almost all parts of pomegranate tree, but are most abundant in fruits. Flavonoids, hydrolysable tannins and condensed tannins are the major pomegranate polyphenols. Anthocyanins, which impart red colour to the arils, are most abundant and responsible for potential health benefits. Workers have reported more than 18 hydrolysable tannins in pomegranate leaves, bark and fruits, among which gallotannins, ellagitannins, punicalgin and punicalin have attracted most attention among researches, and which are pomegranate’s most powerful antioxidants. Other phytochemicals reported in pomegranate include catechin and procyanidins, organic acids, phenolic acids, sterols, terpenoids, fatty acids, triglycerides, alkaloids and some other compounds. The prophylactic and curative potential of these bioactive compounds has been proved against cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, all types of cancers, inflammations, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, ageing, Alzheimer’s disease, etc., and are, in addition, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anthelmintic, vermifugal tenicidal and molluscidal agents. Pomegranate juice contains 3-fold more antioxidants than green tea and red wine as well as several common fruits like apples, grapes, etc. Researchers have used various technologies to extract, purify and analyse these phytochemicals for chemical characterization and evaluation of their antioxidant capacities. Research in this area is expanding rapidly because of an understanding of the fact that naturally available phytonutrients offer the best protection against many diseases.
Rufeng Wang, Yi Ding, Ruining Liu, Lan Xiang, Lijun Du (China) Pomegranate: Constituents, Bioactivities and Pharmacokinetics (pp 77-87)
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Invited Review: Pomegranate(Punica granatum L.), a species of Punicaceae, has recently become of great interest to the scientists who engage themselves in pharmaceutical, nutriological and pharmacological research, and new drug development, due to its distinctive multiple officinal parts and multiple bioactivities such as hypolipidemicemic, antioxidant, antiviral, anti-neoplastic, antibacterial, anti-diabetic, anti-diarrheal, and helminthic effects. In the present review, we reported the research on pomegranate as to chemical constituents, bioactivities and pharmacokinetics in combination with the recent publications. The constituents of this plant were thoroughly reviewed, and the biosynthetic pathways of major compounds were discussed based on our research results and those reported in the literatures. The bioactivities categorized by vascular protection, digestive protection, anti-pathogenic microbes, anticancer, anti-diabetes, immunomodulation, and others were summarized based on our experimental and the reported data. This article also included the review of pharmacokinetic experiments conducted in our laboratory and toxic investigation reported up to date which may be in favor of the research and development of new drugs.
Raj Nath Prasad, Ram Chandra (India), Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva (Japan) Postharvest Handling and Processing of Pomegranate (pp 88-95)
Invited Mini-Review: Botanically pomegranate is a fleshy berry and is considered to be a non-climacteric fruit. The fruit is rich in sugars, organic acids, minerals, anthocyanins, flavonoids, punicic acid, the sex steroid estrone, the phytoestrogen coumestrol, etc. and because of these properties it has received special attention in recent years. Its wide range of significance, in human health, nutritional and livelihood security, has been recognized. This resulted in increased fruit consumption not only in India but also in the western world where it was not previously popular. The fruit, which is a high-value food product, is used in a fresh form or to produce juices. There is high demand of pasteurized juice in the global market. The isolated arils are used fresh or in dried form as condiments. In addition to these, there are several commercial herbal formulations utilizing pomegranate extract in various parts of the world such as Brazil, India and China. However, in the present review, the main focus is envisaged on maturity indices, fruit physiology, handling and storage of pomegranate fruits and postharvest diseases.
Kuldeep Kumar Sharma, Jyotsana Sharma, Vilas Tejrao Jadhav (India) Etiology of Pomegranate Wilt and its Management (pp 96-101)
Invited Mini-Review: Wilt surveys of major pomegranate areas in India carried out during 2005-09 revealed disease prevalence in the states of Maharashtra (49.2%), Karnataka (61.11%) and Andhra Pradesh (8.69%). In general, wilt was prevalent in 47.57% of orchards, of which only 5.82% had severe wilt infections, 10.03% moderate and 31.71% mild wilt infections. Wilt was prevalent on all important cultivars of all ages from 2-20 years. On the basis of microscopic examination of diseased plant parts, cultural studies and pathogenicity tests the causal organism of pomegranate vascular wilt was identified as Ceratocystis fimbriata Ellis & Halsted as isolations from about 77.0% of the wilt samples from different locations revealed growth of C. fimbriata. Pathogenicity tests revealed that C. fimbriata was able to infect plants without any injury on roots and developed symptoms in one to five months incubation period in one and half year old plants. Besides C. fimbriata, someother pathogens have also been found associated with wilt infection. Although C. fimbriata has been reported on many hosts like Ipomoea batatas, Eucalyptus spp., Mangifera indica, Coffea spp., Citrus spp., etc. there appears to be host specialization in the pathogen as it had failed to cross infect the other hosts than its own. In vitro studies revealed efficacy of many fungicides like carbendazim (0.1%), propiconazole (0.2%), hexaconazole (0.1%), mancozeb (0.2%), captan (0.2%), chemicals like boric acid (0.1%) and bioagent Trichoderma viride preparation (0.2%) in providing complete inhibition of the pathogen. Under field conditions soil drenching of affected and adjacent healthy plants with carbendazim or propiconazole (0.1%) + chlorpyriphos (0.2%) has resulted in effective wilt management.
Kuldeep Kumar Sharma, Jyotsana Sharma, Vilas Tejrao Jadhav (India) Status of Bacterial Blight of Pomegranate in India (pp 102-105)
Invited Mini-Review: In recent years, particularly since 1998, bacterial blight caused by Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. punicae has emerged as a major constraint in pomegranate production in important pomegranate-growing states of the country. Surveys conducted during 2005-09 revealed blight prevalence in Maharashtra (52.5%), Karnataka (58.33%) and Andhra Pradesh (43.47%). Blight resulted in yield losses to the extent of 60-80% under epidemic conditions. Although the disease affects all plant parts, fruits are most susceptible to infection as infected fruits result in splitting and become unfit for consumption and market. Blight pathogen survives in infected plant stems, buds and debris in soil. Studies by different groups revealed survivability of bacterium in infected plant parts (kept in orchard soil and laboratory conditions) from 5 months to one year. Dissemination of the pathogen to healthy plants and orchards usually takes place through spray and rain splashes, irrigation water, infected planting material, pruning tools, insect vectors and man. Studies revealed transmission of the bacterium through apparently healthy planting material. The disease remained prevalent throughout the year at a temperature range of 9.0-43.0°C and relative humidity of 30.0→>80.0%. However, its severity varied depending on the season. Blight severity was greater during the summer rainy season (48.9% of orchards) than in autumn (10.5% of orchards). A rapid build-up of blight during the rainy season was evident from a higher infection rate (0.21/unit/day) versus autumn (0.08/unit/day). Integrated disease management practices involving disease-free planting material, avoidance of rainy season crop, adoption of sanitation measures and sprays of an antibiotic, streptocycline (500 ppm) alone or in combination with copper oxychloride (0.2%) at 15 days’ interval resulted in effective blight control and higher yields of good quality fruit.
Deodas Tarachand Meshram, Sunil Digambar Gorantiwar (India), Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva (Japan), Vilas Tejrao Jadhav, Ram Chandra (India) Water Management in Pomegranate (pp 106-112)
Invited Mini-Review: Water management is a critical aspect for the successful cultivation of pomegranate. In arid and semi-arid regions of India, water is a scarce resource and its efficient use has to be prioritized. Regular water supply through a drip irrigation system is essential for sustainable production of pomegranate. Water applied in appropriate irrigation scheduling can influence productivity and fruit quality. In this paper, a critical review of several research studies pertaining to water management in pomegranate has been highlighted.
Ram Chandra, Deodas Tarachand Meshram (India) Pomegranate Culture in Deccan Plateau of India (pp 113-119)
Invited Mini-Review: The Deccan Plateau is a large plateau in India, making up the majority of the southern part of the country, ranging in elevation from 100 m in the north to 1000 m in the south. The main pomegranate producing areas are distributed between 300 and 950 m above mean sea level in hot arid and semi-arid regions having tropical and subtropical climate. Interestingly, the major production of pomegranate in India is from Deccan Plateau, especially from Maharashtra followed by Karnataka. The agro-climatic condition of Deccan Plateau is congenial for staggering of pomegranate production throughout the year. Maharashtra contributes about 84% in area and 75% in production of pomegranate in Deccan Plateau. Mainly three flowering seasons viz. winter (January-February flowering), rainy season (June-July flowering) and autumn season (September-October flowering) are promoted for fruit production in this plateau. In the present paper, information pertaining to Deccan Plateau and its climatic and soil conditions and existing cultivation practices of pomegranate has been envisaged.
Nidhi Verma, Aparajita Mohanty, Arjun Lal (India) Pomegranate Genetic Resources and Germplasm Conservation: A Review (pp 120-125)
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Invited Mini-Review: The genus Punica consists of two species, Punica granatum L. and P. protopunica Balf. Pomegranate is one of the oldest fruits known to mankind. It is important for its taste, nutritional and medicinal properties. The origin of pomegranate is considered to be in Central Asia from where it has spread to the rest of the world. Genetic diversity in pomegranate is found in a wide range of climatic conditions. Studies on center of origin, centers of diversity, characterization, evaluation and conservation would be useful for better understanding of this fruit plant and information on genetic resources and cultivars in pomegranate at different centers of the world would be quite useful for its utilization for crop improvement. In the present paper effort has been made to bring together information on pomegranate genetic resources, its conservation in different parts of the world.
Diganta Narzary, Tikam Singh Rana, Shirish Anand Ranade (India) Molecular Analyses of Genetic Diversity in Indian Pomegranates using RAPD, DAMD and ISSR (pp 126-143)
Original Research Paper: Genetic diversity and cultivar relationships of Indian pomegranates were studied for 87 accessions representing 28 cultivars and a closely related taxon (Lagerstroemia speciosa) as an out-group. Three different markers namely, randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), directed amplification of minisatellite DNA (DAMD) and inter simple sequence repeats (ISSRs) were used and the data generated by these markers were analyzed individually and then in combination using different statistical methods. RAPD (21) primers revealed 92.35% polymorphism with average polymorphic information content (PIC) = 0.17, whereas DAMD (5) primers showed 98.52% polymorphism with average PIC = 0.26. ISSR (17) primers resulted in 76.50% polymorphism with average PIC = 0.16. Cumulative data analysis of all three markers showed 88.83% average polymorphism across different accessions of cultivated pomegranates. Jaccard’s coefficient of similarity ranged from 0.18 to 0.55. The UPGMA dendrogram showed a clustering pattern of different accessions of pomegranate cultivars. The comparative analysis of the three markers (RAPD, DAMD and ISSR) showed that DAMD is more powerful than RAPD and ISSR in assessment of genetic diversity in pomegranates. Furthermore, implications of molecular markers in breeding and diversity analyses are also discussed in the paper.
Kamlesh Kanwar, Kalpna Thakur, Vipasha Verma, R. K. Sharma (India) Genetic Variability of in Vitro Raised Plants of Punica granatum L. by RAPDs (pp 144-147)
Original Research Paper: Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers were used to evaluate the genetic variation of in vitro raised plants of Punica granatum L. derived from cotyledonary callus. Twenty four random decamer primers were used to amplify DNA; the total number of bands amplified was 116, out of which 71 were monomorphic and 45 were polymorphic, equivalent to 38.8% polymorphism. Dice similarity coefficient ranged between 0.74-0.94 among 15 plants. All 15 plants showed 74.0% similarity in the dendrogram constructed using Dice’s coefficient and UPGMA analysis. Our results suggest that the genetic variation may be related to somaclonal variation among in vitro raised plants of wild pomegranate.
Saeid Eshghi (Iran), Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva (Japan), Rouhollah Ranjbar (Iran) Molybdenum and Boron Affect Pollen Germination of Strawberry and Fertile and Infertile Flowers of Pomegranate (pp 148-150)
Short Communication: In the present research the effects of molybdenum (Mo) and boron (B) on pollen germination in fertile and infertile flowers of pomegranate (Punica granatum L. cv. ‘Rabab’) and strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch. cv. ‘Pajaro’) were investigated. After collecting unbloomed flowers of both plants, pollen grains were gathered then cultured on medium containing 12.5% sucrose + 0.8% agar + boric acid (0, 2.5 or 5 mg l-1) + molybdic acid (0, 2 or 4 mg l-1 for pomegranate and 0, 2, 4 or 6 mg l-1 for strawberry). B increased pollen germination but Mo at higher concentrations decreased it. Pollen germination was increased when 2.5 and 5 mg l-1 B was added but without Mo in pomegranate fertile flowers compared to the control (without B and Mo) by 46.89, 60.07 and 34.88%, respectively and in infertile flowers this increase was 40.59, 45.73 and 26.77 % , respectively. Moreover, Mo at 2 mg l-1 increased pollen germination, but at higher levels decreased it. Highest pollen germination in strawberry occurred with B at 5 mg l-1 + Mo at 2 mg l-1 and lowest germination on medium containing 2.5 mg l-1 B + 6 mg l-1 Mo.