Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench), is an important vegetable crop with limited studies on genomics. It is considered as an essential constituent for balanced food due to its dietary fibers, amino-acid and vitamins. It is most widely cultivated for its pods throughout Asia and Africa. Most of the okra cultivation is done exclusively in the developing countries of Asia and Africa with very poor productivity. India ranks first in the world with a production of 6.3 million MT (72% of the total world production). Cultivated okra is mostly susceptible to a large number of begomoviruses. Yellow vein mosaic disease (YVMD) caused by Yellow vein mosaic virus (YVMV) of genus Begomovirus (family Geminiviridae) results in the serious losses in okra cultivation. Symptoms of YVMD are chlorosis and yellowing of veins and veinlets at various levels, small size leaves, lesser and smaller fruits, and stunting growth. The loss in yield, due to YVMD in okra was found ranging from 30 to 100% depending on the age of the plant at the time of infection. Exploitation of biotechnological tools in okra improvement programmes is often restricted, due to the non availability of abundant polymorphic molecular markers and defined genetic maps. Moreover, okra genome is allopolyploid in nature and possess a large number of chromosomes (2n = 56–196) which makes it more complicated. Genomics tools like RNA- seq. for transcriptome analysis has emerged as a powerful tool to identify novel transcript/gene sequences in non-model plants like okra.
Part of the book: Landraces