Jatropha, Challenges for a New Energy Crop: Volume 1: Farming, Economics and Biofuel

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Nicolas Carels, Mulpuri Sujatha, Bir Bahadur
Springer Science & Business Media, Dec 15, 2012 - Science - 600 pages
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Jatropha curcas or Physic Nut is a small tree (bush plant) that produces fruits under tropical climate. The fruits contained seed that are ~40% oil rich. This oil is excellent for biodiesel. The bush is a now new coming crop because it may cope with harsh environmental conditions such as semi-aridity and poor land. It is considered as one alternative for climate mitigation that does not compete with arable land normally dedicated to food crop and can be used to regain degraded land or fight desertification. This bush has been considered seriously by the international community only recently (~2006-2008), but worldwide scientists did an outstanding job to drawn Jatropha out of its semi-wild status and bring it on the industrial scene. Problems remains, but we have now a comprehensive picture of this crop and almost every technological challenged were addressed. From now, the job will have to concentrate on breeding in order to domesticate this species. Therefore, it is the right time to sum up worldwide contributions in a comprehensive book with a breeding looking to improve the chance of this plant to stabilize as a crop and to fulfil with the expectations that humans invested in it. A book with this perspective will help international community to give a step on.

The book will be a broad and comprehensive look on Jatropha until the details since the book is being contributed by international experts worldwide that have already published works in the international press of Science. Illustrations, tables geographic maps, GPS location, etc are added by each contributors according to the feeling they have concerning what they think their contribution should be.

This book will benefit the scientific community immensely. Being aware of any challenges related to Jatropha, i.e. (i) its economy in Asia (India, China) and South America (Brazil), (ii) basics of biofuel technology, (iii) physiology, (iv) farming, (v) byproducts, (vi) biotechnology, (vii) genetic resource (germplasm) and their benefit for the crop by genetic transfer, (viii) genetic map, (ix) comparative genetics, (x) genomics. Breeders and technologist will have access to a complete digested view on Jatropha to decide where and how they should move on with their investigations.


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Part II Physiology
Part III Farming
Part IV Byproducts
Part V Biofuel

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About the author (2012)

Nicolas Carels has been graduate in Agronomy in Belgium and did a PhD in plant pathology (FUSAGx, Gembloux) prior to work as a scientist on the elaboration of the first genetic map of sugarbeet at the end of the 1980's (ICIseed-SES, Belgium). He then moved to Paris (IJM, CNRS, France) where he did a PhD on the genome organization in plants. He continued his work on genomics in Italy (SZN, Naples) and Spain (INTA-CAB, Madrid, Torrejon de Ardoz) prior to move to Brazil (Bahia, Ilhéus, UESC) where he contributed to the application of bioinformatics and genomics to the improvement of Cacao and Rubber Tree for resistance to fungal diseases. He took Jatropha at its beginning when it was declared a strategic crop for the Brazilian economy by President Lula. His investigations covered the measure of the genome size by flow cytometry and the application of reverse genetics to detect QTLs for oil production with the purpose of breeding Jatropha for this trait. He also published an extensive review (ABR) on Jatropha and more recently an overview on the bioenergies (InTech) with special concern for climate change mitigation and biodiversity preservation. He is now a Federal Officer of Fiocruz (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and is interested by the exploration of genomics, bioinformatics and natural products for the human health benefit.

Mulpuri Sujatha has been graduated in Plant Sciences by the University of Hyderabad (UoH), India. She has a PhD in Genetics from Osmania University, Hyderabad (OU) and worked on intergeneric and interspecific affinities between Ricinus and Jatropha. She made significant contributions for the genetic improvement of oilseed crops through genetics, tissue culture and biotechnological tools. The important achievements include development of male sterility systems in safflower, sunflower and niger; reliable and efficient tissue culture and transformation protocols for sunflower, castor, niger, safflower, and Jatropha. The genetic transformation protocols developed are being used for development of insect resistant transgenics through deployment of suitable Cry genes in castor, development of transgenic male sterility and fertility restoration system in safflower and development of transgenics for resistance to necrosis disease in sunflower. Her experience in molecular markers resulted in mapping of downy mildew resistance gene (Pl13) in sunflower besides development of appropriate molecular markers for distinguishing the toxic and non-toxic accessions of Jatropha curcas.

Bir Bahadur has graduated from Nizam College and Post-graduated from University college, Osmania University, Hyderabad India. He obtained his PhD in Plant Genetics from Osmania university and was closely associated with Prof. J.B.S. Haldane, FRS, the renowned Geneticist of last century. He advised, guided and encouraged him to study heterostyly and incompatibility in Indian plant species, a subject first studied by Charles Darwin in England about 160 years back. He made significant contributions in several areas of plant biology especially in incompatibility, mutagenesis, morphogenesis, tissue culture, and organism asymmetry.,application of SEM in plant sciences He published over 250 research papers, which are well received and quoted in national and international journals, including number of theses and several publications on Jatropha and Castor. He served Osmania and Kakatiya Universities as Lecturer, Reader and Professor, also served as Chairman, Head of Department, Dean of the Faculty of Science ,Kakatiya University,Warangal. He has taught the genetics, biotechnology and reproduction of plants for over 40 years and accumulated research experience in these areas for about 50 years. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institute of Genetics of Hungarian Academy (Budapest), recipient of the Royal Society Bursary, London and Honorary Research Fellow at the Birmingham University (UK). He has been invited speaker of over 100 conferences including Max Plank Institute, Koln (Germany), Institute of Genetics (Budapest), Birmingham (UK), University Texas, Houstan (USA) and Missouri University, St Louis (USA), Sabrao conference, Szukoba, Tokyo (Japan), Indian Science Congress etc. He has authored / edited 8 books and was Chief Editor of both Proceedings of Andhra Pradesh Akademi of Sciences (Hyderabad, India) and Journal of Palynology (Lucknow, India). He is on the editorial boards of several Journals in India. He is recipient of Best Teacher Award by A.P. state Government and Prof. Vishwamber Puri, Gold Medal of Indian Botanical Society for his original contributions in various aspects of plant sciences. He is fellow of over dozen professional bodies in India and abroad including the Fellow of Linnean Society, London, Fellow of Institute of Biology, and Chartered Biologist, London, Fellow of New York Academy of Sciences. He has been recently awarded the Bharath Jyoti Award for his sustained academic and research career at New Delhi. Presently he is on the Board of Directors of Sribiotech, Hyderabad, India.

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