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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1143: VII International Symposium on Edible Alliaceae

Development of photo and thermo- insensitive cultivars of short day onion in India

Authors:   V. Mahajan, A.J. Gupta
Keywords:   onion, photo-thermo sensitive, kharif, late kharif, rabi
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1143.10
Crop like onion is photo-thermo sensitive are more prone to change in climate. Aberrant weather conditions have always been unpredictable and often impairing realizable crop yields. Authorities, worldwide agree that climate is changing and it is changing at a faster rate and causing severe crop damage and extensive economic losses to the farmers not only in India but all over the world. In short day onion, very low (<10C) temperature during bulb development leads to bolting of onion. Excessive high temperatures (>42C) at the time of maturity during April-May leads to reduction in size of bulbs. Many varieties have been developed worldwide but are restricted for cultivation to specific season or climate and sensitive to climate change. In India, about 68 varieties have been developed but they are cannot be cultivated in different photoperiod or temperature conditions. Looking to over sensitiveness of varieties available, any one of the variety cannot be cultivated through the world. Even in India short day varieties were developed but that too are restricted for different seasons. Kharif or late kharif season varieties cannot be cultivated in rabi season and vice-versa. Looking to these challenges efforts were initiated to develop varieties which can sustain environmental vagaries and different varieties were tested in all the three seasons from 2002 to 2013. The results were encouraging and cultivar 'Bhima Super', 'Bhima Raj', and 'Bhima Red' were the outcome of the findings and were found promising. They can be grown in all the three seasons viz. kharif (May to October), late kharif (August to February) and rabi (October to April). Similarly in white onion Bhima Shubhra and Shweta is also giving encouraging results. These varieties have less effect of photoperiod and temperature and can sustain up to greater extent in changing climate. Hence, there is scope to identify potential germplasm which can be exploited for development of varieties to face environmental challenges in 21st century with the aim to develop photo and thermo insensitive varieties of onion for different locations.

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