SCREENING OF SUPERIOR PROVENANCES OF AZADIRACHTA INDICA A. JUSS. IN CENTRAL INDIA THROUGH AZADIRACHTIN, OIL AND FATTY ACIDS CONTENT IN THE SEEDSAvinash Jain and S.K. Banerjee
Fifteen provenances of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss.) were selected from 12 agroclimatic zones of central India (Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa) for the study. Due to various uses of azadirachtin and high variation in oil content, neem trees were selected for assessing higher fruit yield and having high oil and azadirachtin content in their seeds. The fruit production per tree was assessed by quantifying number of fruits per foot length of branch (NFPF). Significant (P<0.05 P<0.01) variations were observed in oil, azadirachtin and fatty acids content in the neem seeds collected from different provenances. Oil content ranged from 31.80% (Gwalior) to 47.01% (Katni) and azadirachtin content varied from 848 ppm (Sambalpur) to 5263 ppm (Shahdol). The best zone with respect to high azadirachtin content was found to be the provenances from Shahdol and Sehore, followed by Khandwa, Bargi and Chhindwara. The relative values of different provenances on combined basis depicted superiority of Shahdol provenance over others.
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