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Spices and Condiments: Status of Genetic Resources and setting priorities for Introduction in India

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Abstract

India has a good amount of diversity in spices like black pepper, cardamom, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, tamarind and garcinia. The other important spices relevant to India are coriander, fennel, fenugreek, cumin, nutmeg, clove and vanilla. Introduction of useful germplasm from exotic sources has been one of the major activities of National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), New Delhi. More than 1000 accessions of spices and condiments have been introduced from diverse ecological areas of the world. Some accessions with specific traits are namely ginger-extra bold, low fiber, high dry recovery, small rhizomes, round fingers, compact rhizomes, globose smooth, close nodes, firm, long and slender rhizome ; Apium spp-tolerant to high temperatures and long duration type coriander. Major source countries and breeding programs. Future emphasis is to introduce specific genotypes with special characters especially like high quality lines and lines resistant to various biotic and abiotic stresses, early maturing erect, long spikes with high alkaloid content, bold seeded and suitable for high density planting.
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Environment & Ecology 32 (3A) : 1051—1056, July—September 2014
Website: environmentandecology.com ISSN 0970—0420
Spices and Condiments: Status of Genetic Resources
and Setting Priorities for Introduction in India
Anitha Pedapati, Vandana Tyagi, Anil K. Singh
Nidhi Verma, S. K. Yadav, S. P. Singh
Surender Singh, Pratibha Brahmi
Received 3 February 2014 ; Accepted 5 March 2014 ; Published online 15 March 2014
Abstract India has a good amount of diversity in
spices like black pepper, cardamom, ginger, turmeric,
cinnamon, tamarind and garcinia. The other impor-
tant spices relevant to India are coriander, fennel,
fenugreek, cumin, nutmeg, clove and vanilla. Intro-
duction of useful germplasm from exotic sources has
been one of the major activities of National Bureau of
Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), New Delhi. More
than 1000 accessions of spices and condiments have
been introduced from diverse ecological areas of the
world. Some accessions with specific traits are namely
ginger-extra bold, low fiber, high dry recovery, small
rhizomes, round fingers, compact rhizomes, globose
smooth, close nodes, firm, long and slender rhizome ;
Apium spp-tolerant to high temperatures and long
duration type coriander. Major source countries were
Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, Germany,
Israel, Mauritius, Nepal, Russia, UK and USA. These
accessions were utilized in various crop improvements
A. Pedapati*, V. Tyagi, N. Verma, S. K. Yadav
S. P. Singh, S. Singh, P. Brahmi
Germplasm Exchange Division, National Bureau of Plant
Genetic Resources New Delhi 10012, India
A. K. Singh
ICAR Research Complex for Eastern Region Patna 800014
(Bihar), India
e-mail: anita.pedapati@gmail.com
*Correspondence
and breeding programs. Future emphasis is to intro-
duce specific genotypes with special characters es-
pecially like high quality lines and lines resistant to
various biotic and abiotic stresses, early maturing
erect, long spikes with high alkaloid content, bold
seeded and suitable for high density planting.
Keywords Spices, Coriander Ginger, Nutmeg, Pep-
per, Turmeric.
Introduction
India is known as the “The home of spices”. There is
no other country in the world that produces as many
kinds of spices as India. India is the largest producer,
consumer and exporter of spices. The climate of the
country is suitable for almost all spices because of
diverse agro-climatic regions comprising tropical, sub
tropical and temperate regions, where we can grow
various kinds of spices [1, 2]. Among the 109 spices
listed by International Organization for Standardiza-
tion, India grows about 60 and Indian spices flavor
foods in over 130 countries [1, 3, 4]. India has share of
with a 46 per cent share by volume and 23 per cent
share by value, in the world market. India has a world-
wide reputation as the only country which produces
almost all kinds of spices and it is through these spices
exports the country earns the much needed foreign
exchange over a long period of time. The Indian spice
export basket consists of around 50 spices in whole
form and more than 80 products in value added form.
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India accounts for 25—30 per cent of world’s pepper
production, 35 per cent of ginger and about 90 per
cent of turmeric production. Among the Indian Fed-
eral states, Kerala tops in pepper (96 per cent), car-
damom (53 per cent), ginger (25 per cent) production
in the country. Andhra Pradesh leads in chilly and
turmeric production in the country with 49 per cent
and 57 per cent. In coriander, cumin and fenugreek
production in the country, Rajasthan emerges as the
largest producer with 63 per cent, 56 per cent and 87
per cent of domestic production [5]. Egypt, Iran, Paki-
stan, Turkey, Iraq, Morocco, Italy are important com-
petitors in spices production. A spice is a dried seed,
fruit, root, bark or vegetative material used in nutri-
tionally insignificant amount as a food supplement
for the reason of flavoring, Condiments are usually a
combination of herbs and spices blended in a liquid
form [4, 6—8]. Important spices like black pepper,
cardamom, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, tamarind and
garcinia are native to India. The climate of the coun-
try is suitable for almost all spices because of diverse
agro-climatic regions comprising tropical, sub tropi-
cal and temperate regions, where we can grow vari-
ous kinds of spices. Spices may be bark, buds, flow-
ers, fruits, leaves, rhizomes, roots, seeds, stigmas and
styles or the entire plant tops. Important commercial
crops from the point of view of both domestic con-
sumption and export are cardamom, pepper, turmeric
and ginger. The major objective of the paper is intro-
duction of diverse genetic resources from the center
of diversity as biotic stress is the major production
constraint in the spice crops [1, 2, 9].
Materials and Methods
Introduction is an effective mean to overcome the
narrow genetic diversity and introduction of useful
germplasm from exotic sources has been one of the
major activities of National Bureau of Plant Genetic
Resources (NBPGR), New Delhi [1, 8]. Director,
NBPGR has been authorized to issue import permit
and receive imported materials from custom authori-
ties for its quarantine inspection and these acces-
sions were utilized in various crop improvements and
breeding programs. Besides, NBPGR is the nodal
agency for facilitating import for research purposes,
this is the method followed by NBPGR to get the ma-
terials from different countries. We similarly screened
and analyzed literature through the crop databases,
research papers. The import requests were sent to
various sources in the world. The introduced mate-
rial, after the custom clearance, was subjected to quar-
antine examination and healthy samples were allotted
the national identity number i.e. Exotic Collection
Number (EC). The material was provided to the Na-
tional Active Germplasm Site (NAGS) for its estab-
lishment and maintenance [1, 2].
Results and Discussion
Imported spices germplasm
in India
Spices are important commercial crops from the point
of view of both domestic consumption and export [4,
7]. Introduction of useful germplasm from exotic
sources has been one of the major activities of
NBPGR, New Delhi. More than 1000 accessions of
spices and condiments have been introduced from
diverse ecological areas of the world [4, 2]. Black
pepper a total of 62 accessions is being introduced
from major black pepper producing countries. Foot-
rot disease caused by Phytophtphora capsici is a
major biotic problem in production and productivity.
Resistant sources are not available in the indigenous
germplasm collections but available in an exotic Cen-
tral American species, viz., Piper colubrinum. This
indicates the availability of resistant genes in the pri-
mary center of diversity of the genus Piper. Identi-
fication and introduction of resistance sources from
the Central and South American regions will be rel-
evant (Table 1).
Cardamom is a perennial herb and the fruit borne
on panicles at the base of the plants, is a trilocular
capsule. Introduction of Sri Lankan wild cardamom,
E. ensal, which is tolerant to stem-borer, is worth
consideration [10]. The genus Amomum comprises
of a large number of species occurring in South East
Asia including India, Malaysia, Indonesia and other
pacific Islands. Aframomum species are known in
the African regions of Sierra Leone, Guinea Coast,
Madagascar and Tanzania and used like large carda-
mom. Species of Elettaria, Amomum and Aframomum
are to be introduced.
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Ginger germplasm introduced from Nepal and
other countries are 54 accessions. Biodiversity of gin-
ger is concentrated in Indo-Malayan region. For dis-
ease resistance, introduction of local varieties of gin-
ger from South East Asian countries, China, Ja-
maica, Nigeria and Australia may yield varieties with
less fiber and with resistance to rhizome rot, which is
the most important disease affecting ginger [11]. Di-
verse germplasm (rhizomes / clones) resistant / toler-
ant to major pests and diseases such as rhizome rot,
bacterial wild, leaf spot, shoot borer and rhizome scale
together with agronomic characters, suitable as both
green and dry ginger, adaptable to hilly areas and
drought prone areas, high essential oil and oleoresin
content, high yielding with less fiber, short duration
and plumpy. A total 118 accessions of Turmeric im-
ported from Nepal, Indonesia, Denmark, USA, Ger-
many, Bangladesh Diseases resistant tolerant
germplasm materials with rhizomes big and orange
Table 1. Details of Import by NBPGR, New Delhi. *Figure in the parentheses indicate the number of germplasm
accessions.
Crops* Source country
Allspice (1) USA
Azowain (3) UAE, Denmark
Apium (2) Indonesia
Anise (33) Cyprus, Italy, Yugoslavia, Holland, Greece, Canada, Germany, USA, UAE, East Africa, Hun
gary, Australia, Netherlands, Egypt, France
Black pepper (62) Israel, Turkey, USA, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, Hungary, China
Carum (78) Germany, Argentina, Switzerland, Netherlands, Japan, Holland, Afghanistan, Hungary, UK,
Egypt, USSR, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Sweden, France, Poland, Romania, Canada, Nepal,
USA
Cinnamon (12) Sri Lanka
Cardamom (3) Nigeria, Mauritius, Sri Lanka
Cumin (53) UAE, USA, France, UK, Holland, USSR, Afghanistan, Egypt, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Canada,
Syria, Bulgaria, Germany, Switzerland, Nepal, Japan, Hungary, Singapore
Coriander (283) Russia, Morocco, USA, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland, Netherlands, Thailand, UAE, Cyprus,
Greece, Germany, Mauritius, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Holland, Hun-
gary, Italy, Egypt, France, Denmark, Nepal, Japan
Dill (108) UAE, USSR, USA, UK, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Greece, Finland, Germany, Australia, Japan,
France, Netherlands, Sri Lanka, England, Canada, Nepal, Bulgaria
Fennel (118) UK, UAE, USA, USSR, Greece, Switzerland, Argentina, Holland, Poland, Bulgaria, Egypt,
Italy, Hungary, Germany, France, Canada, Japan, Taiwan
Ginger (54) Nepal, Sri Lanka, Spain, Nigeria, Jamaica, Japan, Taiwan, USA, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia,
Bangladesh, Mauritius
Kokum (3) Mauritius, Singapore, Nepal
Nigella (3) UAE, Germany
Papavar (29) Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Denmark
Tamarind (8) Syria, Thailand, Mexico, UK, Niger
Trigonella (36) Eritrea, UAE, USA, Canada
Turmeric (118) Nepal, Indonesia, Denmark, USA, Germany, Bangladesh
Vanilla (2) Seychelles, Mauritius
yellow in color, suitable to drought prone, water
logged and hilly areas as well as saline and alkaline
areas from Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia Pakistan
and Sri Lanka [12].
Cinnamon is the dried bark, Srilanka is the pri-
mary center of origin of true cinnamon and 12 acces-
sions were introduced into India. Kokum at total of
three accessions were introduced from Mauritius,
Singapore and Nepal. The genus Garcinia found in
the Old World tropics, especially Asia and Africa
[12]. Nutmeg is the kernel of the seed, while mace is
the net like crimson colored leathery outer growth
(aril) covering the sheil of the seed it is indigenous to
the Mollucas Islands in Indonesia. Indonesia, New
Guinea and Grenada are the major producers [11].
Clove is indigenous to Mollucas Islands. Introduc-
tions from Mollucas (Indonesia), Mauritius, Zanzi-
bar and Pemba (Tanzania), Madagascar, Malaysia,
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Table 2. Targeted promising traits for improvement of some important spices and condiments.
Sl.
No. Crop Traits Source country
1. Apium Best Flavored and crispy types USA
2. Black pepper Different species with high safrole lines and resistant to
Phytophora Indonesia, Malaysia,
Resistant to foot disease Brazil
Resistant to pollu beetle and Nematodes
Tolerent to root knot nematode with long spikes
and bold berries
High content of piperine and oleoresin
Early maturing and erect types
3. Cardamom Wild species cardamom Elettaria ensal (tolerant to
stem borer) Sri Lanka, Malaysia
High seed : Husk ratio, higher percentage of dry
recovery, boldcapsules Indonesia
Higher percentage of a terpenyl acetate,
Suitable for different agro climatic conditions
and high density planting
4. Coriander European plant types with specific marker traits and
for grain characters Russia, Hungary,
High essential oil content USA
Big umbels and non-shattering types
5. Cinnamon High cinnamaldehyde types Indonesia
6. Cassia High cinnamaldehyde types Indonesia
7. Cloves Bold flower bud Brazil, West Indies
High oil content Mauritius,
Madagascar
8. Ginger Resistant to Rhizome rot China, Jamaica,
Low fiber and vegetable varieties Nigeria, Australia,
Better curing percentage and high curcumin content Fiji, Bhutan,
Short duration, cylindrical rhizomes and deep brown scales Mexico, Japan
9. Cumin Good grain characters Ethiopia, Iran, Syria
Erect, bushy, quick growing and bold grained types
Non shattering and high essential oil content
Disease resistance, particularly for blight and wilt
10. Fennel Sweet fennel types, better odour and flavour quality Rumania, Germany,
high yield with improvement in aroma, taste, color and uni- Russia, France,
formity in size and shape of the seeds Italy
11. Kokum More number of fruits with thick rind, Africa
Fruits free from bitterness and astringency
12. Turmeric High curcumin content Chile, Peru, Sri
Diseases resistant Lanka, Fiji
Tolerant germplasm materials with big rhizomes and Guatemala, Pakistan
orange yellow in color
Suitable to drought prone areas Indonesia, Malaysia,
13. Vanilla Resistant to fungal diseases Madagascar
14. Nut meg Variable fruit size and shape, seed volume and chemical composition Indonesia, New
Sweet nutmeg Guinea
Sri Lanka, Reunion, Comoros, Gabon, French Guiana,
Martinique, Dominica and Jamaica with more variabil-
ity will help in clove breeding [11]. Allspice is a forest
tree cultivated to produce the dried fruit berries and
is native to tropical America. Jamaica is the major
producer and exporter. It is a recent introduction in
to India hence, less popular. Introductions from
Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Cuba
(Central America) and neighboring Caribbean Is-
lands will be helpful [13].
Vanilla a perennial vine which produces vanilla
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beans originated in Mexico and was introduced in
to India 100 years back, but the attention in its culti-
vation is very recent. A few species are reported
from Central America with resistance to major fungal
diseases affecting vanilla. In view of the very nar-
row genetic base, vanilla is another crop where the
introductions form centers of origin and diversity will
help in crop improvement programs [11]. Two acces-
sions introduced from Seychelles and Mauritius.
Important seed spices
Major seed spices are coriander, cumin, fennel and
fenugreek ; while minor seed spices are ajowan, dill,
nigella, celery, caraway and anise. Most of the seed
spices were introduced to India from the Mediterra-
nean and Central Asian regions. Cumin a small an-
nual herb native of Mediterranean and a total of 53
accessions were introduced. Coriander is a native of
Mediterranean or Southern Europe, Asia Minor and
Caucasus (wild). The germplasm introduced from
Russia, Morocco, USA, Malaysia are 283 accessions.
Coriander cultivar S-33 (Ex Bulgaria) having high oil
content, cv. Coriander-2 with more secondary
branches, large umbel, bold and yellowish green
seeds, EC 305595 very early, EC 363927-78 and
EC363989 having mid maturity, bold small accessions
(EC 363980-81, 363965-66) and accessions (EC 279047-
48, 343636-70, 343373, 243360-70, 232665-66, 232669,
363959-89, 357848-49, 279053-54) were established well
under Delhi, Calicut and Gujarat conditions [14]. Fen-
nel is a native of Canary Islands, Mediterranean and
western, southern and central Europe. Bitter fennel
is commercially cultivated in India, Romania, Russia,
Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Germany, France and Italy.
Introduction of sweet fennel types from the Eurolean
region is worth [11]. Germplasm imported from coun-
tries like UK, UAE, USA, etc. are 118 accessions.
Dill is native of Europe, Africa, Asia or Mediter-
ranean, 108 accessions were introduced from differ-
ent sources. Dill apiole, a poisonous component in
oil, occurs in Indian dill (Anethum sowa), but not in
the European dill oil [11]. Indian dill (Anethum sowa)
is cultivated in India, South and South East Asia and
Japan. Anise is native of Eastern Mediterranean and
33 accessions imported from different sources. Nigella
is native of Eastern Mediterranean. Introductions
from the centers of diversity of seed spices can en-
hance the utility of these introduced germplasm in
crop improvement, especially in developing high
quality and disease resistant types.
Low productivity in the spice sector is one of
the serious problems facing the Indian spice indus-
try. Result is low competitiveness in the international
markets. The rapid disappearance of some indigenous
varieties of spices due to mixing of planting material
results in loss of genetic purity. Examples are variet-
ies contributing to the production of Cochin ginger
(viz. Kuruppampady, Ellackal), Alleppey finger tur-
meric (viz. Elanji), and Byadagi chilli [15]. Major chal-
lenges facing seed spices production in India are low
productivity, lack of high yielding varieties are needed
to overcome such challenges, fertilizer responsive
varieties, pests and disease problems. Introduction
of germplasm of spices from their centers of diversity
both in general as well as for specific characters will
help in broadening the genetic base and for attempt-
ing meaningful crop improvement programs. India
being the diversity of many spices the genetic vari-
ability in major spices like black pepper, cardamom,
Cumin, Coriander, Nigella, Ajowan is highly sensi-
tive to such problems. Therefore, diverse germplasm
is needed in these crops. Genetic resource enhance-
ment, its evaluation and valuation for effective use
to meet the challenges of biotic and abiotic stresses
to sustain the impact of climate change besides yield
quality and nutritional value. For genetic enhance-
ment the germplasm will be screened for genes con-
ferring resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses and
the lines with desirable genes will be utilized in the
improvement. Improvement of black pepper for
pyramiding multiple resistance genes (Pollu beetle,
Phytophthora and nematodes) and suited for uni-
form ripening. Varieties of ginger suited to specific
end products such as candy, shreds, wine as well as
turmeric rich in one or the other curcuminoids will be
evolved. Novel nutmeg genotypes with altered mace
color and uniform seed size will assume priority. Lo-
cating sources of resistance for biotic and abiotic
stresses using conventional and biotechnological
tools and developing varieties with high yield, qual-
ity and specific traits.
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Source for promising introductions
Besides India, The other major spice growing coun-
tries are Brazil, China, Guatemala, Indonesia, Mada-
gascar, Nigeria, West Indies, Malaysia, Sri Lanka,
Spain and Turkey, and the countries in Mediterra-
nean region and Central America. Introduction is
needed in crops like nutmeg, clove, allspice and va-
nilla. In others, introduction of specific genotypes
with special characters will augment our future breed-
ing programs (Table 2). The efforts made in this di-
rection have provided useful germplasm of different
spices and condiments. The recipients to this
germplasm has been mainly the all India coordinated
Research Project on spices, presently National Re-
search Center for Spices, Calicut. Among them some
of the promising introductions procured from di-
verse ecological areas of the world contributed more
genetic variability possessing resistance to various
diseases [1, 2].
Conclusion
Introduction of germplasm from the centers of diver-
sity in crops like paprika, nutmeg, clove, allspice and
vanilla to improve our genetic stocks for future utili-
zation. Popular spices need to be introduced like
chives, lavender, anise, dill, oregano, majoram etc. to
help in diversify our spices production and introduc-
ing them to non traditional areas. Saffron is known
for its use as a condiment spice, as a dye and tradi-
tional medicine. Saffron is experiencing an increasing
interest mainly due to its peculiar and manifold prop-
erties of the metabolic pool of its stigmas, mainly
crocetin esters and picrocrocin. Nowadays, saffron
is used almost exclusively for cooking purposes to
give color, flavor and aroma to food. Introduction of
suitable modern hybrids considering the market de-
mand and more emphasis on utilization of exotic wild
species in breeding programs.
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Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) an ancient species, known to be the most precious spice of the world; belongs to family Iridaceae and comprises of around 85 species (8). The commercial produce of saffron is the filaments or threads, which is actually the dried stigmas of' "saffron" flower. Each flower has only three stigmas, which is plucked by hand, contains crocine having strong cotoruing properties with distinctive aroma and bitter taste. It is also a source of essential oil, having therapeutic properties (16). The name saffron is derived from the Arabic world Zafran. The origin of saffron is in eastern Greece and presently it is cultivated in the western parts of the mediterranean, i.e., Spain to India. Iran, India and Spain are the three largest producer of saffron in the world. In India, commercial cultivation of saffron is mainly confined to Kashmir valley, about twelve kilometers from Srinagar', near Pampore on the banks of Vitasta (Jehlum) river. In addition, saffron is also grown under sizeable area in the Kishtwar valley of Doda district of .Jammu. The area under saffron cultivation dramatically EXTENT AND PATTERN OF AGRO-MORPHOLOGICAL DIVERSITY IN SAFFRON (CROCUS SATIVUS L.) FROM JAMMU AND KASHMIR IN INDIA
Germplasm introduction in spices and condiments : Achievements and opportunities. Training manual on germplasm exchange : Policies and procedures in India
  • Z Abraham
  • S K Yadav
  • D Chand
  • S P Singh
  • S S Ranga
Abraham Z, Yadav SK, Chand D, Singh SP, Ranga SS (2008) Germplasm introduction in spices and condiments : Achievements and opportunities. Training manual on germplasm exchange : Policies and procedures in India, pp 217-225.