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With probable center of origin
in Brazil, the species Jatropha curcas L., known as physic nut, is a tropical oilseed with potential for cultivation
aiming at the production of biodiesel. This study was conducted with the
objective of investigating the genetic variability regarding the morphology of
seeds of physic nut, using biometric analyses to identify variables that have
potential for the study of the diversity of the species and the classification
of genotypes. Seeds of 22 genotypes of physic nut, from the germplasm bank of
Embrapa Agroenergia (Brazil) were evaluated regarding characteristics of size
and mass. The genotypes of Jatropha curcas L. selected by the Brazilian breeding program presented high diversity for
characteristics of the seeds, allowing the exploration of this genetic
variability to classify genotypes in different groups. In addition, variables
related to the biomass of the seeds present high relative contributions to the
diversity observed in the genotypes.
The adequate supply of nitrogen is essential for the plant metabolism. This nutrient has an irreplaceable role on the vegetative and reproductive growth of physic nut; therefore the correct management of the fertilization is very important, particularly in tropical regions, which present considerable losses of nitrogen by leaching and volatilization processes. This study was made with the objective of evaluating the growth of genotypes of physic nut conditioned by nitrogen fertilization. The experiment was conducted in controlled environment, following a factorial scheme 12 × 4, with 12 Brazilian genotypes of Jatropha curcas L. and 4 levels of nitrogen fertilization (0%, 50%, 100% and 150% of the recommendation), in completely randomized design, with four replications. The growth of the genotypes was evaluated at 100 days of cultivation. Positive response to the increase in the nitrogen supply was observed in most genotypes, with gain in plant height, stem diameter, number of leaves, leaf area and root volume. The levels of nitrogen fertilization promoted differential growth between genotypes, being possible to identify genotypes with superior growth for each level.