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. 2003 Feb 12;51(4):910-5.
doi: 10.1021/jf025994m.

Variability in Neem (Azadirachta Indica) With Respect to Azadirachtin Content

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Variability in Neem (Azadirachta Indica) With Respect to Azadirachtin Content

O P Sidhu et al. J Agric Food Chem. .

Abstract

There is a controversy over variations in azadirachtin content in neem (Azadirachta indica) seeds among various provenances and countries. Also, variations in azadirachtins are usually attributed to climatic conditions such as temperature and humidity. The present study was undertaken to evaluate qualitative and quantitative variability in azadirachtins A and B among various neem provenances or individual neem trees. Forty-three provenances of India were examined for intraprovenance variability in azadirachtin A and B content and oil percentage. Twenty-eight individual neem trees from five provenances of different agroclimatic regions were also examined for interprovenance variability. The azadirachtins were quantified using reversed phase analytical HPLC. There were wide variations in oil and azadirachtin contents among different provenances. Azadirachtin A ranged from 556.9 to 3030.8 mg kg(-)(1) of kernels, whereas azadirachtin B was in the range 43.1-590.6 mg kg(-)(1) of kernel among the provenances investigated. Analysis of variance among various neem provenances showed significant differences in oil content, azadirachtin A, total azadirachtin (A + B), and A:B ratio. There were individuals with high and low azadirachtins within a single provenance, and this trend was observed in all of the provenances selected from five agroclimatic regions of the country. Variations among individual trees of a particular provenance indicated that climatic factors such as rainfall, humidity, or temperature did not influence azadirachtin content in the neem trees. The present study shows that there are individual genetic differences among neem trees. A systematic study for tree improvement with a population of mother trees with desired traits should be undertaken by performing half-sib progeny trials and further selections by clonal propagations. The role of genetic makeup needs further research.

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