Collection and conservation of Sorghum landraces from Tamil Nadu
Landraces are the varieties nurtured and cultivated by the farmers through traditional method of selection over the decades. The “landraces” are the primitive cultivars grown by farmers and their successors since ancient times. The Directorate of Sorghum Research (DSR) has explored Tamil Nadu and collected 150 accessions during 2003–2010. DSR has collected important landraces during its exploration, among them are Deshi, Irungu cholam, Kaka cholam, Karareddu cholam, Kari cholam, Karuncholam, Karuppu irunggu, Kolumeddu cholam, Kovilpatti cholam, Makkatai cholam, Manjal cholam, Matthappu cholam, Nathu cholam, Nattu cholam, Pei (Thalaiviracham) cholam, Periya manjal cholam, Rasa vellai cholam, Sembavala irunggu, Sencholam, Senkatan cholam, Sevappu cholam, Sivappu irunggu, Tenkasi vellai, Vailkattu cholam, Valapoo sigappu cholam, Veettu cholam, Vella cholam, Vellai cholam, and Vellai nattu cholam are very important and traditionally grown by the farmers over the centuries. Maximum frequency of 16 vellai cholam and 14 each of sencholam and irungu cholam were found in the collections. The highest number of twenty-one accessions were collected from Coimbatore district followed by 19 from Karur district. Forage landraces are very common in these regions as food and fodder values of the crop are considered essential the botanical race Bicolor had the maximum frequency (60 acc.) followed by durra race (42 acc.). Tamil Nadu has both the primitive race bicolor and advanced race durra. Most of the accessions were collected during were from the rabi (post-rainy) season (79 acc.) followed by late-kharif season (42 acc.). The landraces were grown as sole crop (121 acc.) in many parts of the state and as mixed crop either with green gram, red gram, black gram, bengal gram, cowpea, lablab and Italian millet in some pockets.
Sorghum, Landraces, Collection, Diversity, Tamil Nadu.