After reading this article you will learn about: 1. Origin of Okra 2. Taxonomy of Okra 3. Botany 4. Distribution 5. Breeding Objectives 6. Inheritance 7. Sources of Resistance 8. Selfing and Crossing 9. Disease Resistance Breeding 10. Seed Production 11. Breeding Methods 12. Varieties.
Origin of Okra:
According to Zeven and Zhukovsky (1975), okra is believed to have originated in the Hindustani Centre of Origin, chiefly India, Pakistan and Burma. However, according to some other authors, A. esculentus originated in India, Ethiopia, West Africa and Tropical Asia.
Taxonomy of Okra:
The genus Abelmoschus is small and consists of at least six species. These are native to the Hindustani Centre or to south-east Asia, and are closely related to each other. Other authors have recognized still other specific entities or fertile amphidiploids.
A list of species, their distinctive characteristics, and chromosome numbers when known, is given in Table 14.1:
West African okras are characterized by many morphological and physiological differences from the normal okra. West African okras have less epicalyx segments, very red leaf veins, late flowering when planted in the summer, pods mounted at right angles to the stem, and large numbers of seeds per pod. In addition, pods of the East African type tend to be short, with a relatively long sterile tip (Fig. 14.1).
Hybridization of West African with Typical Okra:
The cross between common okra and West African okra are made with ease in either direction. Normally, every pollinated flower produces a pod and seed set is normal. The seeds are in no way abnormal and germinate in about the same time as the seeds of the female parent.
The F1 hybrids are more similar in appearance to the West African parent than to common okra (Table 14.2). They are robust, tend to have much anthocyanin, usually have shortened internodes and bloom more easily during the long days of summer. They are easily distinguished from the African parents by more rapid growth, upright pods, and narrower, more numerous sub-calyx segments. They flower more readily during long days.
The F1 hybrids are somewhat sterile (Table 14.3). Pollen range in size of grains from those that are very small, transparent, and obviously inviable, through intermediate sizes, to pollen grains that are much larger than those of either parent (0.24 mm).
This poor fertility of the pollen is reflected in production of many pods with few seeds, either by artificial or natural cross pollination. The seeds that are produced are often shrunken, small, or empty. Very few F2 seeds germinate in the majority of the hybrids. On the other hand, back crosses using pollen from either parent are less sterile than self-pollinations and fertile seeds are easily produced.
Botany of Okra:
Okra is an upright annual herbaceous plant, 3-6 feet tall and has hibiscus-like flowers. It has deep taproot system. Stem is semi-woody, usually green and occasionally, pigmented with green or reddish tinge colour. It is erect, having 3-5 branches. The leaves are alternate, 3-7 lobed palmate, hirsute and serrate. Leaves are subtended by a pair of narrow stipules. Okra leaf colour is dark green and leaf resembles a maple leaf.
Flowers are solitary, axillary having epicalyx (up to 10). Flower peduncle is 2-2.5 cm long. Flowers are large, around 2 inches in diameter, with 5 white to yellow petals with red or purple spot at the base of each petal. Flowers last only for a day. Each blossom develops a small green pod. The flowers are hermaphrodite and actinomorphic. There are 5 valvate, distinct or basally connate sepals.
Androecium consists of numerous monoadelphous stamens with apically divergent filaments. Gynoecium is a single compound pistil of 2 to many carpels with equal number of styles or style branches. Ovary is superior with 2 to many locules each having several ovules. Calyx is completely fused to make a protective case for flower bud and splits into lobes when the bud opens.
Calyx, corolla and stamens are fused together at the base and fall off as one piece after anthesis. The erect sexual parts consist of 5 to 9 part-style, each part with a capitate stigma, surrounded by the staminal tube bearing numerous filaments. Fruit is elongated, conical capsule, comprising 5 cavities containing ovules. Okra fruit contains 20-50, oval, smooth, dark green to dark brown seeds.
Distribution of Okra:
Okra, lady’s finger (Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench, 2n = 2x = 130) is a fast growing annual herb the young seed pods of which are used as a common vegetable. It is an important fruit vegetable crop of the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is commonly grown through the warmer parts of temperate Asia, southern Europe, northern Africa, the United States, and in all parts of the tropics.
It is adapted to climates with relatively short rainy seasons, hence its special acceptance in north-east Brazil where it is considered a crop that never fails. In India, okra is commercially grown in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Haryana, and Punjab covering an area of about 4.5 lakh ha in 2009-10 with a productivity of 10.5 tons/ha.
India ranks first in world in okra production. The other countries growing okra commercially are Turkey, Iran, Western Africa, Yugoslavia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Myanmar, Japan, Malaysia, Brazil, Ghana, Ethiopia, Cyprus and Southern USA.
Breeding Objectives of Okra:
1. High pod yield
2. Dark green, tender, thin, medium long, smooth, 4-5 ridged pods at marketable stage
3. Pods free from conspicuous hair, seed bulging and yellow ring at base
4. Early and prolonged harvest
5. Short plant with more number of nodes, short internodes
6. Optimum seed setting ability
7. Pods suitable for processing industry and export market
8. Resistance to diseases (yellow vein mosaic virus, fusarium wilt, cercospora leaf spot)
9. Resistance/tolerance to insects (fruit and shoot borer, jassids and whitefly)
10. Tolerance to abiotic stresses (low temperature, excessive rains, saline and alkaline soils)
Inheritance of Okra:
Martin (1981) carried out a study of variation of 29 characteristics (Table 14.5) of 585 varieties or seedlings of okra. The 17 West African varieties could be distinguished from all others on the basis of 5 discriminating characteristics (Table 14.6). In addition, seedlings of the 3rd outcrossing generation of a population differed from a varietal collection in several characteristics, the most important of which were more seeds/pod and more pods/plant.
This is believed to be the result of mass-selection. Country groups differed significantly in characteristics, but these differences are probably due to small sample size. No such distinguishing characteristics were seen among country groups represented by large number of varieties. However, one country group was an exception.
A group of 17 varieties from Africa was strongly distinguishable from all other country groups on the basis of the following characters:
(i) Red leaf veins
(ii) Very late flowering
(iii) Reduced number of sub-calyx bracts
(iv) Pods mounted at right angles to the stem
(v) Large number of seeds/pod
Inheritance of principal characteristics of okra as summarised by Martin et al. (1981) is given in Table 14.5:
Genetics of resistance to yellow vein mosaic, a serious disease of okra has been investigated by the Indian scientists, viz. Harbhajan Singh, N.D. Jambhale, Y.S. Nerkar, M.R. Thakur and B.R. Sharma, etc. Singh et al. (1962) reported the involvement of two recessive genes (yv1/yv1, yv2/yv2) in a field resistant line IC 1542.
However, Thakur (1976) while studying the mode of inheritance to yellow vein mosaic of okra in interspecific crosses, A. esculentus x A. manihot ssp. manihot under natural epiphytotic conditions, reported resistance to be conditioned by two complementary dominant genes despite occurrence of hybrid sterility. Symptomless carrier plants were also detected.
On the other hand Jambhale and Nerkar (1981) crossed two Abelmoschus species, viz., A. manihot (L.) Medik and A. manihot (L.) Medik sp manihot, resistant to YVM, to A. esculentus cv Pusa Sawani, a susceptible variety. The hybrids were resistant and partially fertile. Segregation pattern for disease reaction in F2, BC1 and subsequent generations of two crosses revealed that resistance to YVM is controlled by a single dominant gene in each species.
Sources of Resistance of Okra:
Based on Sharma and Arora (1993), the information is summarized as follows:
Selfing and Crossing of Okra:
(i) Cover unopened flower bud with half-length wheat pollination paper-bag and staple or clip the bag securely along peduncle. Put a thread-ring at the peduncle. The pod will come out piercing through the bag. The thread-ring acts as identification mark for selfed pods during harvesting.
(ii) Tie circular thread around pedicel/peduncle and put a knot around the unopened flower petals with the same piece of thread. The petals shall bulge out below the tied thread during flower opening and the stigma inside remains protected from unwanted pollen grains. The thread tied at pedicel is the identification mark for selfed-pod at harvesting.
The flowering in okra starts from below to upwards. Dehiscence usually occurs around 8-10 am, about 20 minutes after anthesis flowers remain open for the three-fourth of the day and wither in the afternoon. Stigma is receptive during anthesis, hence pollination is not very successful at bud stage.
Emasculation is done in the late afternoon. A plump, big size, unopened bud is selected. Two long and opposite slits are made on the calyx with forceps. Both the halves of the sepal are pulled downwards and removed. Now, entire corolla and anthers are removed and the emasculated bud is covered with paper-bag which is secured with U clip on the pedicel.
Flowers just to open fully are collected. Calyx and corolla are removed and the dehiscing anthers are brushed over stigma of the buds emasculated on preceding afternoon. One male flower can be used to pollinate 3-4 female flowers. After pollination, the buds are again covered with pollination paper bag and a label having name of male parent along with date of pollination is tied at the pedicel of the pollinated flower bud.
Disease Resistance Breeding of Okra:
Yellow Vein Mosaic (Gemini-virus):
1. Most devastating disease of okra.
2. First reported by C.S. Kulkarni in 1924 followed by B.N. Uppal, P.M. Verma and S.P. Capoor in 1940 and S.P. Capoor and P.M. Verma in 1950.
3. Characteristic symptoms include-homogeneous interwoven network of yellow veins enclosing islands of green tissues.
4. Initially, the infected leaves exhibit only yellow coloured veins but in later stages, entire leaf turns completely yellow.
5. Plants infected in early stages remain stunted and fruits from infected plants show pale yellow colour.
6. Fruits are often small, deformed and tough.
7. Transmission is by whitefly (Bemisia tabaci).
8. 10 whiteflies/plant are required to induce infection.
9. Acquisition period is 1 hr and viruliferous whiteflies can transmit the virus to healthy plants after 30 minutes of feeding.
10. Preliminary fasting up to 4 hrs. improves efficiency of whiteflies as vector.
11. Infected plants within 20 days of germination remain stunted and hardly produce any fruit.
12. Whitefly population and YVMV incidence are maximum during March-June under Bangalore and Pune conditions. In north India, severity is high in rainy season planting, particularly in June sowing. In Pune, May sown okra shows good disease expression in July.
13. The virus belongs to begomavirus of family Geminiviridae.
14. Arka Anamika, Arka Abhay and Parbhani Kranti were initially highly tolerant.
15. Abelmoschus manihot accessions have shown resistance to YVMV.
16. Crosses of cultivated okra with Abelmoschus manihot under BC2/BC3 followed by pedigree method of breeding are expected to give YVMV resistant segregants.
Enation Leaf Curl of Okra:
1. First observed at Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Hessarghatta, Bangalore in 1924 by S.J. Singh and 1986 by S.J. Singh and O.P. Dutta.
2. Initial symptoms include small, pin-headed enations on leaves, followed by warty and rough texture of leaves. Later on, leaves begin to curl in an adexial direction. Bold enations are prominent on the under surface of leaves.
3. There is twisting of main stem, lateral branches and leaf petiole. The leaves become thick and leathery. In severe cases, bending of stem is obvious.
4. Virus transmission is by grafting. Natural transmission is by whitefly.
5. No resistant source is reported.
Cerscospora Leaf Spot (Cercospora abelmoschi, C. malayensis, C. hibisci):
1. The disease occurs in humid season.
2. Brown irregular spot/sooty black angular spots.
3. Affected leaves roll, wilt and fall.
4. There could be severe defoliation.
Seed Production of Okra:
Breeder/Foundation seed – 400 m
Certified seed – 200 m
This is in accordance with George (1999).
1. Usage: fresh product, early production, processing, drying, export market, suitability for specific day length
2. Seed: colour of mature seed
3. Time of start of anthesis
4. Plant habit: degree of branching and side shoot development
Degree of anthocyanin pigmentation
Length of internodes
Character of leaf from first leaf to fifth leaf, including lobing
Character of leaf from sixth leaf onwards, including lobing
Colour of petals
Anthocyanin present or absent at base of petals
If present, on inner and/or outer surface
Shape in transverse section and number of facets
Degree of spininess (pubescence)
9. Resistance to specific pathogens e.g. mosaic virus
Okra Roguing Stages:
1. Before flowering:
Check the general plant height and habit; morphology of leaves; pigmentation of leaves, petioles and stems; remove plants with virus symptoms.
Check the relative size, pigmentation and colour intensity of flowers; remove plants with virus symptoms.
Check that fruits are true to type; remove plants with virus symptoms.
Harvesting and Seed Extraction:
There is a sequential ripening of okra pods on the plant. The pods of the angular-fruited types have a tendency to split when the seed ripens. The traditional hand harvesting of ripe pods is still done in many tropical areas where there is adequate labour, although the crop is combined when produced on a large scale in the USA.
Seeds are extracted after the hand-harvested pods become dry and brittle. The most efficient method of seed extraction by hand is to twist the pods open. Alternatively, the pods are either flailed or the seeds extracted with a stationary thresher.
1. 1000 kg/ha
2. 1000 seed weight-50 g
Hybrid Seed Production on Commercial Scale in India:
Hybrid seed of okra on commercial scale is mostly produced in Ranebennur area of Karnataka and Buldha district of Maharashtra. The system is totally manual, where large scale emasculations followed by pollinations are practiced by trained family members of the contract growers. The production season is rainy season.
The size of production plots is 1000 m2/unit plot. Each production plot needs 200 g seed of female parent and 50 g seed of male parent. These seeds give rise to about 2000-2500 female plants and 500 male plants. One g of seed = 10 seeds = 10 plants on an average basis. For emasculation, calyx, corolla and all the anthers are removed from un-opened, but mature full-sized buds in the afternoon by the trained labourers.
During this process, all open flowers and already set pods are also removed. Next morning, fully developed flower buds, not open are collected from the male parent and are left as such in the sun for some time. Calyx and corolla of those flowers are removed and the dehiscing, staminal column is used to brush against stigma of already emasculated flowers of the female parent. One male flower can be used to pollinate 3-4 female flowers.
In some cases, mature but unopened flower buds of male parent are collected in the evening, calyx is removed and the buds are taken home and kept under bulb. In this process, they open in the night and anthers start dehiscing. These are used for pollination next morning. Under normal circumstances about 50 kg hybrid seed/unit plot of 1000 m2 is produced.
Breeding Methods Applicable to Okra:
1. Pure-line Selection:
This is applicable to landraces/cultivars collected from Farmers’ field, for example, Pusa Makhmali was bred from a material collected from West Bengal. Similarly, Co 1 is a single plant selection from Red Wonder.
2. Pedigree Method:
This method is applicable to the segregating generations after hybridization between desirable promising donors. The individual plant selection starts in the F2 generation and continues till F5 or F6. For example, Pusa Sawani was developed through this method in an inter-varietal cross. Punjab Padmini, Parbhani Kranti, P7, Arka Anamika and Arka Abhaya are examples following interspecific hybridization.
3. Mutation Breeding:
There are not significant achievements in okra through this breeding method so far. Phadvibulya et.al. (2009) have reported some success in developing YVMV resistant selections in Thailand based on induced mutations.
These scientists irradiated seeds of two okra varieties, Annie and Okura with gamma rays at doses of 400 and 800 Gy. Screening of YVMD resistant plants was conducted for M3 and M4 plants under field conditions and greenhouse conditions using whitefly transmission.
One M4 plant of Okura irradiated at 400 Gy was reported to be highly resistant, but none of Annie. M5 plants of M4 plant showing resistance to YVMD were screened further for YVMD under both greenhouse and field conditions. Ten resistant lines obtained by screening for YVMD resistance up to the M7 generation were selected for yield trial.
Three of the mutant lines were further evaluated at location where YVMD was seriously widespread. However, only a small portion of plants of mutant lines appeared to be resistant throughout the whole growth duration, others eventually, exhibited the yellow vein symptoms.
Thus, the net result could not lead to commercialisation of the mutant. Therefore, mutation breeding for YVMD resistance in okra should be initiated with heavy odds against it and the breeder should be realistic in approach.
4. Heterosis Breeding:
Heterosis in okra has been reported for various economic traits, viz. early and late flowering, plant height, number, weight and size of pods, number of ridges, marketable and total yield.
Using hand emasculation and pollination, commercial hybrids are developed. There are promising hybrids under private sector seed companies in India. The current seed market of okra in India is approximately 4000 tons for open-pollinated cultivars and 1000 tons for hybrids.
The prominent hybrids in Indian market presently are as follows:
Mabyco: MH10, MH64
Syngenta: Syn 16, 152
Krishdhan Seeds: Hyb 215 and 577
These hybrids have high yield potential and high level of tolerance to yellow vein mosaic virus.
Varieties of Okra:
Important varieties of okra are described as follows.
It was developed by H.B. Singh and S.M. Sikka in 1955 at the then Plant Introduction Division, IARI, New Delhi, as a result of selection from the local material collected from West Bengal. It is an early variety. Pods are smooth, straight, 5-edged, attractive, light green, slender, 15-20 cm long. The yield potential is 100 q/ha.
It was bred by H.B. Singh in 1957-58 at the then Plant Introduction Section, Division of Botany, IARI, New Delhi. It is derived from a cross of IC-1542 (field resistance to yellow vein mosaic virus) and Pusa Makhmali. Plants are 120-180 cm tall in rainy season. The pods are smooth (slightly hairy on the edges), 5-edged, dark green and 18-20 cm long.
It is distinguished by the presence of a purple patch at the base of the yellow petal on both the sides (a character of the parent IC 1542), whereas in most okra varieties the patch is present only on the inner side. Initially, it was reported to be free from the YVM. But at present it has been found to be susceptible.
The variety is still popular for growing in the plains of northern India in virus free period (spring summer). It has been notified by the central seed committee in 1969 for general cultivation throughout the country. Yield potential is 100 q/ha.
It was developed by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore in 1976. It is a single plant selection from a population of Red Wonder collected from Hyderabad. The plants are medium tall (90-120 cm) with 5-8 branches. Stem, shoots, petioles, midrib and basal veins of the lower surface of the lamina are prominently scarlet red. Leaves are deeply lobed (5-7 lobes).
The first fruit is borne on the 5th node and each plant yields on an average 20 fruits weighing around 300 g. The pods are long, slender, 5-ridged, glossy, smooth and scarlet red, but colour disappears on cooking. It has field tolerance to YVM but susceptible to fruit borer and powdery mildew. It is suitable for rainy, winter and summer seasons in Tamil Nadu. It was notified by the central seed committee in 1978.
It was evolved by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore in 1978. It is an induced mutant, isolated from ‘Pusa Sawani’. On an average, there are 13 nodes/plants. Stem is green with light purple pigmentation. Fruiting begins from 4-5th node. It takes 33 days to first flowering and 43 days to first picking. Fruits are light green, about 20 cm long. It has been notified by the central seed committee in 1985.
It was evolved by B.R. Sharma in 1982 at the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana from a cross between Abelmoschus esculentus and A. manihot ssp. manihot.F1 plant of a cross A. esculentus cv. ‘Reshmi’ X A. manihot ssp. manihot cv. Ghana was hybridized with an F2 (OP) plant of a cross A. esculentus cv. Pusa Sawani X A. manihot ssp. manihot cv. Ghana.
Continuous selection for resistance to yellow vein mosaic virus and desirable horticultural traits in the subsequent generations led to the isolation of Ludhiana Sel-1 in the F8 generation which was later named as ‘Punjab Padmini’. Plants are tall (180-200 cm). Stem, shoots, petiole and basal veins of the lower surface of the lamina are mildly scarlet red. Leaves are large, dark green, hairy, with 3-5 moderate lobes.
It flowers in 45-50 days and first picking starts about 55 days after sowing. Fruiting starts from 6-8th node onwards. Pods are fast growing, dark green, shining, smooth, thin, 15-20 cm long, 5-ridged and remain tender for 3-4 days.
It has field resistance to YVMV and tolerance to jassids and cotton boll worm. It is suitable for cultivation during both spring/summer and rainy seasons under north Indian conditions. Yield potential is 100-125 q/ha of green pods and 12.5 q/ha of seed. It was notified by the central seed committee in 1983 for general cultivation.
It was developed at the Gujarat Agricultural University in 1983. It is a pure line selection from an unknown bulk seed sample received from IARI, New Delhi. Plants are about 60 cm tall .in summer season and 90 cm in rainy season. There is purple tinge on stem. Leaves are broad, dark green with purple tinge on veins. Fruiting starts from 4-5th node. Fruits are 5-ridged, 14-15 cm long and 6-7 cm in girth. Green pod yield is about 70 q/ha. It has been notified by the central seed committee.
The original ‘Perkins Long Green’ or Sel-6 has been named as Harbhajan in the memory of the most dedicated Vegetable Scientist, Dr. Harbhajan Singh of IARI, New Delhi by T.A. Thomas and R. Prasad. Plants are very tall, thick and prolific bearer. Leaves are large, moderately lobed with rough surface and prominent veins. Fruits are long, tapered, bright green, spineless and mostly 8-edged. It is notified by the central variety release committee.
It was evolved by H.B. Singh and his colleagues in 1973-74 at IARI, New Delhi. It is a derivative of the cross (Pusa Sawani Best-1) x (Pusa Sawani x IC 7194). Plants are 110 cm tall with occasional branching tendency. Flowers have purple petal base colour.
Fruits are green, long, 5-edged, tender and are available for market after 50 days of sowing. The duration of the harvest is 40-50 days. It is tolerant to YVMV. The green pod yield potential is about 100 q/ha. It was identified by the all India coordinated research project on vegetables in 1985.
It is a YVM resistant variety evolved by N.D. Jambhale and Y.S. Nerkar of Maratha Wada Agricultural University, Parbhani in 1985 from an interspecific cross between A. esculentus cv. ‘Pusa Sawani’ and A. manihot, an African species carrying resistance to YVMV. BC2 with Pusa Sawani was subjected to selfing and selection up to F8.
Plants are tall, single stemmed with dark green foliage. Leaves are deeply lobed with narrow leaflets in the top 1/3rd portion. Fruit stalk is funnel shaped. First fruit is borne on the 5-6th node. Marketable fruit size (8-9 cm) is attained 7-8 days after anthesis. The fruits are extremely dark-green, smooth, tender, slender, 5-ridged with long and narrow tip.
On an average, green fruit yield is 85-90 q/ha during summer and 115 q/ha during rainy season. Seed yield of 10 q/ha from the rainy season crop and 5-6 q/ha from the summer crop is possible. It has been notified by the central seed committee in 1986 for cultivation throughout the country. Now it is susceptible to YVMV.
It is a YVM virus-resistant variety developed by M.R. Thakur and S.K. Arora in 1985 at PAU, Ludhiana from a cross between A. esculentus cv. ‘Pusa Sawani’ and A. manihot ssp. manihot, a species from Ghana carrying resistance to YVM. The F1 was back-crossed to ‘Pusa Sawani’ four times and selection was practiced in the selfing generations up to F8.
Plants are medium tall with short internodes and grow upto 105 cm in the rainy season and 85 cm in the spring season. Stem carries splashes of pigmentation. Leaves are deeply lobed up to the base of the petiole and leaf margins are less serrated. The basal portion of the petiole is deeply pigmented. Stem, leaves and petiole are sparsely hairy. Fruits are medium long, green, tender and 5-ridged.
The top of the fruit is blunt and slightly furrowed. It flowers in about 45-50 days and is ready to first picking after 54 days of sowing. The first fruit is borne on the 5-6th node. Yield potential is about 95 q/ha during rainy season and 50 q/ha during spring season. On an average, it yields 4- 8 q seed/ha.
Sel 10 (Arka Anamika):
It is YVM virus resistant variety evolved by O.P. Dutta and his group in 1984 at IIHR, Bangalore. It is of interspecific origin between A. esculentus and a wild species A. manihot ssp. tetraphyllus. Plants are medium tall (about 100 cm) with short inter-nodal length and less branched.
Splashes of purple pigmentation are present on the stem, petiole and lower surface of the basal leaves. Leaves are green, small and deeply lobed. Stem, petiole and leaves are sparsely hairy. Fruits are medium green, rough, 5-ridged and start after 5-6th node onwards. Yield potential is 115 q/ha of green pods. It has been identified for general cultivation by the all India coordinated vegetable improvement project in 1990.
EMS-8 (Punjab 8):
It has been developed by B.R. Sharma and S.K. Arora in 1989 at PAU, Ludhiana. It is an induced mutant derived from Pusa Sawani treated with 1% EMS. The final selection was made in the M8 generation.
Plants are tall. Stem, petioles, and basal portion of the lower surface of the leaves have splashes of purple pigmentation. Fruits are medium long, thin, tender, green and 5- edged. It has field resistance to YVMV and tolerance to fruit borer. On an average, it gives 95 q/ha marketable yield of green pods.
Pusa A 4:
This variety has been released by IARI in 1994 as a substitute for Pusa Sawani. The plants are dark-green with sparse pigmentation (occasional) on stem and petiole, with usually single stem having short internodes (2-4 cm). The leaves are broad and medium lobed.
The fruits are 5-ridged, attractive dark-green, 12-15 cm long having excellent shelf-life. It is resistant to YVMV and tolerant to jassids and shoot and fruit borer. Green fruit yield during summer season ranges 10-12 tonnes/ ha while during kharif and late kharif it could give still higher yields. It also responds to pruning to extend the summer crop for added harvests during kharif season.
Arka Abhay (Sel 4):
The variety has been released by IIHR, Bangalore as resistant to YVMV. It is a sister line of Arka Anamika. The plants resemble Arka Anamika in appearance as well as YVMV resistance. It carries tolerance to fruit borer and may suit pruning for a ratoon crop.
Kashi Mohini (VRO 3):
Developed by IIVR, Varanasi, 110-140 cm tall plant, flowers at 4-5th node during summer and 5-7th node during rainy season, fruits five ridged, 11 -12 cm long pods, 130-150 q/ha pod yield, tolerant to YVMV under field conditions.
Kashi Pragati (VRO 6):
Developed by IIVR, Varanasi, 130-175 cm tall plants with average of 2 effective branches/ plant, flowering at 4th node after 36-38 days after sowing in rainy season, 8-10 cm long pods, 23-25 pods/plant, 150-180 q/ha yield, highly tolerant to YVMO.
Varsha Uphar (HRB 9-2):
This variety has been developed by Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar from the cross, Lam Selection 1 x Parbhani Kranti following pedigree selection method. It was released in 1992 and notified in 1995 by the Central Sub-Committee on Crop Standards. It has resistance to YVMV and field tolerance to leaf hopper and suits to disease prone rainy as well as disease-free spring- summer season.
Plants are medium tall (90-120 cm) with short internodes, producing 2-3 branches each. Petiole is pigmented. It takes 40 days to first flowering and 50 days to first picking. Fruit bearing starts from 4th node. Fruits are smooth, dark-green, attractive with long tapering tip and measure 18-20 cm on full maturity. Average number of seeds per fruit is 55-60. It is a prolific bearer with an average fruit yield of 10 tonnes/ha.
Hisar Unnat (HRB 55):
Developed by Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar from the cross, Se.1 2-2 x Parbhani Kranti, has been released by the Central Variety Release Committee and notified in 1996. It is resistant to YVMV, early (first picking in 46-47 days) and high yielding (12-13 tonnes/ha green fruits) variety.
Plants are medium tall with short internodes producing 3-4 branches each. Foliage is green, petioles occasionally pigmented. Petal base is pigmented on inner side only. Fruits are green, attractive, 5 ridged and measure 15-16 cm in length on full maturity. It is suitable for growing during summer as well as rainy season.
Prominent hybrids of private sector seed companies in India are Mahyco 10, Mahyco 64, Sonal, Avantika, Syn 16, Syn 152, KVS 215 and KVS 577. The hybrid okra market is quite dynamic.
The hybrids to survive in the market should be highly tolerant to YVMV along with other desirable features, like shiny green or dark green pods, shorter internodes, pods without seed bulging and free from yellow ring at the base. Pods should be smooth and easy to harvest. Hybrid okra market is going to be very competitive.