Title : Morphological and biochemical traits for the selection of an improved prickleless variety of Solanum viarum- Nishkantak
Solanum viarum Dunal belongs to family Solanaceae and commonly known as tropical soda apple. It’s a multipurpose perennial plant native to South America and widely distributed in Asian subcontinent from Khasi Hills, Naga hills, West Bengal, Nilgiris, Orissa, Sikkim, and upper Gangetic plains of India. S. viarum is mainly cultivated in India for the production of solasodine. The medicinal value of this plant mainly attributed due to the presence of bioactive steroids and alkaloids such as solasodine, α-solanine, solamargine, solanidine, etc. These Phyto-constituents possess a wide range of therapeutic value and used in the treatment of various chronic ailments such as cancer, rheumatic arthritis, Addison’s disease, asthma, obesity and other skin diseases. Traditionally, these alkaloids and glycoalkaloids are predominantly found in ripe berries and the crop takes six to eight months for harvesting to get quality fruit. The aerial parts of plants are also highly packed with large and sharp prickles. Long gestation period and the presence of prickles on the aerial plant parts make the harvesting of berries an enormously difficult and tedious job. In the light of these constraints, CSIR-NBRI has obtained a spontaneous mutant prickleless variety – ‘Nishkantak’. This variety is advantageous for not only to get rid of the problem of prickles but also for higher yield and solasodine content. This variety normally does not contain prickles throughout the year but during winter seasons 2-4 prickles appeared on mature leaves and stems. Germplasms of both prickly (wild type) and prickleless (mutant) have been conserved in the host laboratory for last ~35 years maintaining their prickly/prickleless nature. According to SNP analysis, prickly and prickleless genotypes exhibited 99.92% genetic similarity. The morphological, physiological and biochemical parameters of both prickly and prickleless germplasm were studied. The comparative analysis of the metabolite accumulation in berries and different vegetative plant parts viz. leaf, stem and root of both prickly and prickleless plants were compared. The growth and alkaloid production kinetics of the two germplasm were also compared under in vitro conditions. The overall compilation of the present work will lead us for the identification of high yielding germplasm of S. viarum Dunal - Nisthkantak. The results presented during the conference will provide a better platform for the collection and identification of improved germplasm of S. viarum with higher bioactive in-demand alkaloids and glycoalkaloids.