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									                                        VOL. 1, NO. 1, November 2011                                             ISSN XXXX-XXXX
                                         ARPN Journal of Science and Technology
                                             ©2011-2012 ARPN Journals. All rights reserved.


                                                     http://www.ejournalofscience.org 

    SEEDS GERMINATION AND SEEDLINGS ANALYSIS OF
 PICRORHIZA KURROOA ROYLE EX BENTH. IN GENWALA AND
       BAGORI (HARSIL) OF DISTRICT UTTARKASHI
                  (UTTARAKHAND)

                                                Ramdas, G. K. Dhingra and Prerna Pokhriyal
                        Department of Botany R. C. U. Govt. P. G. College, Uttarkashi‐ 249 193 (Uttarakhand)  
                                                                      
                                           Corresponding author: ram84.uki@gmail.com 


                                                          ABSTRACT
Picrorhiza kurrooa Royle ex Benth. a high value medicinal herb of alpine Himalaya and a source of hepatoprotective
picrosides, is listed as ‘endangered’ due to heavy collection from its natural habitat.
The present study deals with successful seeds germination, survival percentage and seedlings analysis of this species using
both field and within the Polyhouse techniques in low and high altitudinal villages. The material was collected from the
Bhesaj Sang Ikai, Uttarkashi. Vegetative propagation was achieved by rooting runner cuttings. Seedlings were measured
by seed germination and survival percentage, root and shoot length. A significant increment in root length was recorded in
high altitudinal Polyhouse condition as compared to low altitude. In low altitudinal village Genwala, open field condition
seed germination percentage and survival percentage ranged from 9.00% - 13.00% and 9.00 % to 19.00% while in low
altitudinal village seed germination percentage and survival percentage within Polyhouse were ranged from 17.00% to
33.00% and 20.50% to 46.00% respectively. Highest percentage of seed germination and survival percentage were noticed
in high altitudinal village, Bagori.

Keywords: Endangered, Hepatoprotective, Picrosides, Polyhouse, Runner

    1. INTRODUCTION                                                      Weinges K. et. al., 1972 and Stuppner H, Wagner H.,1989
                                                                         ] Apocynin is a catechol that has been shown to inhibit
     Picrorhiza kurroa is a well-known herb in the                       neutrophil oxidative burst in addition to being a powerful
Ayurvedic system of medicine and has traditionally been                  anti-inflammatory agent, ( Simons J.M. et. al. 1990) while
used to treat disorders of the liver and upper respiratory               the curcubitacins have been shown to be highly cytotoxic
tract, reduce fevers, and to treat dyspepsia, chronic                    and possess antitumor effects (Stuppner H., Wagner
diarrhea, and scorpion sting. It is a small perennial herb               H.,1989).
from the Scrophulariaceae family, found in the Himalayan                           Several reports indicate the need for its
region growing at elevations of 3,000-5,000 meters.                      conservation, sustainable utilization and cultivation (Ohba
Picrorhiza kurroa has a long, creeping rootstock that is                 and Akiyama 1992; Olsen 1998; Manandhar 1999; Subedi
bitter in taste, and grows in rock crevices and moist, sandy             2000). This plant is not only heavily exported by local
soil. The leaves of the plant are flat, oval, and sharply                traders but also natural regenerations is hampered due to
serrated. The flowers, which appear June through August,                 international fires set by local shepherds for making
are white or pale purple and borne on a tall spike; manual               grazing area for their Yaks which altimatly leads to
harvesting of the plant takes place October through                      unsustainable management and depletition of this species
December. The active constituents are obtained from the                  (Bantawa et. al. 2009). As a result this species was enlisted
root and rhizomes. The plant is self-regenerating but                    in a Red data book around 20 years ago (Anon 1987).
unregulated over-harvesting has caused it to be threatened               Additionally, seed setting and seedlings survival has been
to near extinction. Current research on Picrorhiza kurroa                reported to be generally in alpine plants (Pandey 2000).
has focused on its seeds and seedlings analysis in low and
high altitudinal villages of District Uttarkashi                         2. MATERIALS AND METHODS
(Uttarakhand). The plant is self-regenerating but
unregulated over-harvesting has caused it to be threatened                         While exploring the seed germination and
to near extinction (Atal C. K. et al., 1986; Subedi BP.,                 survival percentage diversity in high and low altitudinal
2004)                                                                    conditions we recorded observations on distribution,
     Kutkin is the active principal of Picrorhiza kurroa and             altitudinal range, habit and habitat of the Picrorhiza
is comprised of kutkoside and the iridoid glycoside                      species. Knowledge of indigenous uses was gathered
picrosides I, II, and III. Other identified active constituents          through interviews with local inhabitants. Seeds of
are apocynin, drosin, and nine cucurbitacin glycosides.[                 Picrorhiza kurroa were sown in within Polyhouse and

                                                                                                                              11
                                        VOL. 1, NO. 1, November 2011                                             ISSN XXXX-XXXX
                                         ARPN Journal of Science and Technology
                                             ©2011-2012 ARPN Journals. All rights reserved.


                                                     http://www.ejournalofscience.org 
open field condition and in Iron trays in soil compositions             length in Genwala (open field condition) were ranged
of soil: sand: litter in (1:1:1, v. v. v) proportion during the         from 0.668 to 1.598 and 0.941 to 1.023 while within
month of October 2010 inside Polyhouse at High Altitude                 Polyhouse it was ranged from 1.115 to 2.293 and 0.722 to
Plant Physiology Research Centre (2900 masl, Bagori) and                1.234 respectively. In Bagori (open field condition) mean
Genwala (1260 masl) Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand. Five plants                root and shoot length were ranged from 0.8667 to 2.101
for each low, high and Polyhouse conditions were dug out                and 0.453 to 1.763 while in within Polyhouse mean root
for observing the growth parameters such as leaf area                   and shoot length were ranged from 2.561 to 2.892 and
(cm2), root length (cm) and dry weight (mg) of                          1.564 to 3.100 respectively.
economically important part i.e. root/rhizome. These                              Cultivation was undertaken in two different
plants were taken to laboratory, washed with running                    seasons using fresh rhizomes as propagule.            Crop
water. Further, all samples were dried at 80°C for 24 hours             performance was better in polyhouse than in open field in
or until constant weight to measure dry weight in                       terms of plant spread, height, leaf- size and growth of
milligram per plant. Seed germination and survival                      stolons. Autumn season (mid September to mid October)
percentage were calculated in 15th days interval.                       was favourable for establishment of the transplants and
Following parameters were studied during the research                   production of viable seeds over summer season (April-
work:                                                                   May). Crop remained dormant during January-February in
          1. Seed germination and survival percentage                   field but it grew profusely in polyhouse. The crop in open
                                                                        field was also adversely affected due to heavy rains during
         2.   Seedlings growth parameters                               July-August. The crop in polyhouse was infested with
                                                                        white fly. Black spot fungal disease was noticed in both
         3. Root and shoot length etc.                                  the conditions of cultivation. Time of planting was
                                                                        standardized so that seed development took place before
         3. RESULT AND DISCUSSION                                       onset of summer which is not favourable for seed
                                                                        development under the subtropical conditions.

          In the present study Picrorhiza kurroa species                            4. CONCLUSIONS
were herbaceous in nature and distributed between 1260
masl to 3000 masl. This high species diversity may be due                        The present study provides comprehensive
to varied soil, climate and geography of the zone, which                information on the diversity, distribution, habitat
gives rise to many micro and macro habitats. The high                   preference, nativity, endemism and status of Picrorhiza in
altitudinal region (within Polyhouse) of the Himalayas,                 low and high Himalayan regions. Population assessment
particularly Bagori, contains the highest percentage of                 of the native, endemic and rare/endangered species using
seed germination and survival percentage while in low                   standard ecological methods has been suggested for the
altitudinal village (Genwala) low germination and survival              quantification of the existing stock of these species in their
percentage were noticed. In low altitudinal village                     natural habitats. A review of the literature indicates that
Genwala, open field condition seed germination                          propagation and cultivation techniques are available only
percentage and survival percentage ranged from 9.00% -                  for a few species of Picrorhiza and, therefore, these
13.00% and 9.00% to 19.00% while in low altitudinal                     techniques need to be developed, particularly for rare/
village seed germination percentage and survival                        endangered and multipurpose species. Native communities
percentage within Polyhouse were ranged from 17.00% to                  need to be made aware of the sustainable use and
33.00% and 20.50% to 46.00% respectively.                               conservation value of the species of Picrorhiza.
          In open field (Bagori, high altitudinal village)
condition seed germination and survival percentage were                             ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
ranged from 35.00% to 70.00% and 55.70% to 70.00%
while within Polyhouse seed germination and survival                             The authors are thankful to the Department of
percentage were ranged from 44.50% to 88.00% and                        Science and Technology (DST) for the financial support in
67.70% to 76.50% respectively. Highest percentage of                    the form of research project.
seed germination and survival percentage were noticed in
high altitudinal village, Bagori (Within Polyhouse) as
compared to low altitudinal village. Mean root and shoot




                                                                                                                              12
                                           VOL. 1, NO. 1, November 2011                                                         ISSN XXXX-XXXX
                                            ARPN Journal of Science and Technology
                                                   ©2011-2012 ARPN Journals. All rights reserved.


                                                           http://www.ejournalofscience.org 


Table 1.1: Temporal seed germination percentage and survival percentage (low and high altitudinal villages) of Picrorhiza
                                    kurroa (Open field condition and within Polyhouse)

   Sites Name                                      Germination Percentage                                       Survival percentage


                                   R1       R2             R3        R4       R5        R6      R1      R2        R3       R4         R5      R6


     Low altitudinal Village ,

       Genwala (Open field
                                   10.00    9.00           13.00     9.00     11.00     13.00   15.18   11.00     10.00    9.00       19.00   13.00
            condition)




                                 R1         R2             R3        R4       R5        R6      R1      R2        R3       R4         R5      R6


    Low altitudinal Village ,

       Genwala (within
                                 19.00      25.00          33.00     23.00    17.00     33.00   32.82   20.50     27.80    30.45      40.70   46.00
          Polyhouse)




                                 R1         R2             R3        R4       R5        R6      R1      R2        R3       R4         R5      R6


   High altitudinal Village ,

      Bagori (Open field
                                 50.60      35.50          67.40     70.00    44.60     60.00   60.37   61.90     60.40    55.50      60.60   70.00
           condition


                                 R1         R2             R3        R4       R5        R6      R1      R2        R3       R4         R5      R6


   High altitudinal Village ,

        Bagori (Within
                                 42.00      44.50          54.90     88.00    75.50     77.40   75.00   75.50     69.70    67.70      65.40   76.50
          Polyhouse)




                                                                                                                                                13
                                                     VOL. 1, NO. 1, November 2011                                                        ISSN XXXX-XXXX
                                                      ARPN Journal of Science and Technology
                                                             ©2011-2012 ARPN Journals. All rights reserved.


                                                                     http://www.ejournalofscience.org 




       Table: 1.2: Data table showing mean length of root and shoot in 15th days old seedlings of Picrorhiza kurroa (Open field
                                                                 condition and within Polyhouse)




Sites Name                                         Mean length of Root                                        Mean Length of Shoot


                                   R1      R2           R3        R4        R5       R6        R1        R2      R3      R4      R5       R6


Low altitudinal Village ,

Genwala      (Open       field
                                   1.598   0.737        0.695     1.002     0.668    0.731     0.896     0.454   0.941   0.871   0.911    1.023
condition)




                                 R1        R2           R3        R4        R5       R6        R1        R2      R3      R4      R5       R6


Low altitudinal Village

,   Genwala         (within
                                 2.293     1.748        1.269     1.134     1.115    1.153     1.328     1.210   1.047   0.722   1.036    1.234
Polyhouse)




                                 R1        R2           R3        R4        R5       R6        R1        R2      R3      R4      R5       R6


High             altitudinal

Village , Bagori (Open
                                 0.867     1.678        1.345     1.903     2.101    2.110     0.453     0.987   0.876   1.763   1.432    1.021
field condition


                                 R1        R2           R3        R4        R5       R6        R1        R2      R3      R4      R5       R6


High             altitudinal

Village      ,      Bagori
                                 2.762     2.786        2.892     2.561     2.901    3.291     1.564     2.342   2.223   2.123   2.342    3.100
(Within Polyhouse)




                                                                                                                                                     14
                            VOL. 1, NO. 1, November 2011                                   ISSN XXXX-XXXX
                             ARPN Journal of Science and Technology
                                 ©2011-2012 ARPN Journals. All rights reserved.


                                         http://www.ejournalofscience.org 




Figure 1: Photographs of Picrorhiza kurroa (Kutki) showing Roots, seedlings and mature flowered plants




                                                                                                         15
                                        VOL. 1, NO. 1, November 2011                                       ISSN XXXX-XXXX
                                         ARPN Journal of Science and Technology
                                             ©2011-2012 ARPN Journals. All rights reserved.


                                                     http://www.ejournalofscience.org 


 100
  90
  80
  70                                                                                                    Series2
  60
  50
  40                                                                                                    Series1
  30
  20
  10
   0
               R1            R2    R3      R4     R5     R6       R1      R2      R3     R4   R5   R6

              50.6           35.5 67.4     70    44.6     60 60.37 61.9 60.4 55.5 60.6             70

       High

               R1            R2    R3      R4     R5     R6       R1      R2      R3     R4   R5   R6

                19           25    33      23     17      33 32.82 20.5 27.8 30.45 40.7            46

        Low

               R1            R2    R3      R4     R5     R6       R1      R2      R3     R4   R5   R6

                       10     9    13       9     11      13 15.18 11             10     9    19   13

           Low

                       R1    R2    R3      R4     R5     R6       R1      R2      R3     R4   R5   R6

          Sites             Germination Percentage                         Survival percentage




Figure 2: Graphical presentation of temporal seed germination percentage and survival percentage (low and high altitudinal
                         villages) of Picrorhiza kurroa (Open field condition and within Polyhouse).




 3.5
   3
 2.5
   2                                                                                                    Series2
 1.5                                                                                                    Series1
   1
 0.5
   0
               R1            R2    R3      R4     R5     R6      R1       R2      R3     R4   R5   R6

              0.867         1.678 1.345 1.903 2.101 2.11 0.453 0.987 0.876 1.763 1.432 1.021

       High

               R1            R2    R3      R4     R5     R6      R1       R2      R3     R4   R5   R6

              2.293         1.748 1.269 1.134 1.115 1.153 1.328 1.21 1.047 0.722 1.036 1.234

       Low

               R1            R2    R3      R4     R5     R6      R1       R2      R3     R4   R5   R6

                      1.598 0.737 0.695 1.002 0.668 0.731 0.896 0.454 0.941 0.871 0.911 1.023

          Low

                       R1    R2    R3      R4     R5     R6      R1       R2      R3     R4   R5   R6

          Sites              Mean length of Root                         Mean Length of Shoot




Figure 3: Graphical Presentation of mean length of root and shoot in 15th days old seedlings of Picrorhiza kurroa (Open
                                       field condition and within Polyhouse).




                                                                                                                       16
                                     VOL. 1, NO. 1, November 2011                                           ISSN XXXX-XXXX
                                      ARPN Journal of Science and Technology
                                          ©2011-2012 ARPN Journals. All rights reserved.


                                                  http://www.ejournalofscience.org 

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                                                                        (2000). Chemical Stimulation of seed germination in
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China, 54 pp.                                                           value. Seed Science and Technology 28, 39-48.
[2] Atal CK, Sharma ML, Kaul A, Khajuria A. (1986).
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[3] Bantawa P., Ghosh S. K., Maitra S., Ghosh P.D.,                     [9] Weinges K., Kloss P., Henkels W. D. (1972). Natural
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Picrorhiza scrophulariflora Pennell. (Scrophulariaceae):                new 6-vanilloyl-catapol from Picrorhiza kuroa Royle and
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China Himalayan region. Bioremediation, Biodiversity,                   in German]
Bioavailability 3. 15-22.
                                                                        [10] Stuppner H., Wagner H. (1989). New cucurbitacin
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[6] Olsen C. S. (1998). The Trade in Medicinal and                      [12] Stuppner H., Wagner H. (1989). New cucurbitacin
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Economic Botany 52, 279-292.                                            55:559.




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