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Productivity and Oil Content in Relation to Jatropha Fruit Ripening under Tropical Dry-Forest Conditions

Cañadas-López, Álvaro; Rade-Loor, Diana Yasbhet; Siegmund-Schultze, Marianna; Iriarte-Vera, Marys; Domínguez-Andrade, Juan Manuel; Vargas-Hernández, Jesús; Wehenkel, Christian

FG Umweltprüfung und Umweltplanung

Jatropha is promoted as a pro-poor bioenergy plant, while basic information about its productivity, age of maximum production, and oil content are missing. This study aims to determine the seed yield (dry weight) for three INIAP elite jatropha accessions, and to evaluate the changes in physical and chemical seed traits at the different fruit ripening stage in a split-plot design. Maximum seed production occurred four years after planting for the accessions CP041 and CP052, while for accession CP054, it occurred after the first year. CP041 was the most productive, with a mean of 316.46 g tree−1 year−1 (±76.50) over the 8-year study period. No significant differences in oil content were found among accessions, fruit ripening stage, and their respective interactions. Seed moisture content decreased drastically as the fruit ripening stage increased, from 40.5% ± 1.0% at fruit ripening stage 1 (greenish-yellow) down to 13.8% ± 0.4% at fruit ripening stage 4 (black-brown). No significant differences in seed weight were found among accessions, but it decreased as maturation progressed. Yellow fruits (stage 2) were the heaviest (62.4 g ± 1.5 g) and the black-brown fruits the lightest (44.3 g ± 1.9 g). The oil content (%) increased with seed weight up to the point of 58.3 g, but then decreased for heavier seeds.