Contents: Preface. I. The cymbopogons : An overview/J.R. Sharma and A. Husain: 1. Introduction. 2. Etymology and local/commercial names. 3. Species complexes. 4. Ecogeographical distribution and cultivation. 5. General features. 6. Problems and prospects. References. II. Botanical description and taxonomy of Indian Cymbopogon/S.P. Jain, Z. Abraham and H.S. Puri: 1. Introduction. 2. Description of the genus. 3. Key to identification. 4. Detailed botanical description of important species. 5. Summary. References. III. Anatomical characteristics and surface feature of leaves of Cymbopogons/G.D. Bagchi and H.S. Puri: 1. Introduction. 2. Leaf surface features. 3. Anatomical characters. 4. Important diagnostic leaf traits. 5. Concluding remarks. References. IV. Descriptors for three major species of Cymbopogon : C. flexuosus, C. martinii and C. Winterianus/Samresh Dwivedi, A.K. Kukreja, S. Rajeshwari and Sushil Kumar: 1. Introduction. 2. Descriptors for palmarosa. 3. Descriptors for lemon grass. 4. Descriptors for citronella. 5. Conclusion and future perspectives. References. V. Genetics and genotype improvement of cymbopogon species/J.R. Sharma and R.S. Ram: 1. Introduction. 2. Breeding (mating) behaviour. 3. Genetic investigations: basic studies. 4. Genetic manipulation: crop improvement. 5. Concluding remarks: future projections. References. VI. Breeding perspectives of three major species of Cymbopogon/N.K. Patra and Sushil Kumar: 1. Scope of genetic improvement. 2. Yield appraisal parameters in improvement. 3. Productivity sustenance and chemovar development. 4. Potent breeding methodologies: an appraisal. 5. Summary and conclusions. References. VII. Cytogenetics of Cymbopogon/U.C. Lavania: 1. Chromosomal organization. 2. Chromosome behaviour. 3. Conclusion and prospects. References. VIII. Chemical induction of male sterility for production of hybrids with enhanced herbage and essential oil yield in palmarosa/H.K. Srivastava: 1. Introduction. 2. Chemical hybridization agent (CHA) induced male sterility. 3. Pollen mitochondrial ultrastructure. 4. CMS and heterosis exploitation. 5. Site and mode of action of CHA’S. 6. Summary and future prospects. References. IX. Tissue culture studies in Cymbopogon/S. Sahoo: 1. Introduction. 2. General tissue culture procedures. 3. Cytogenetic stability, somaclonal variation, selection and improvement. References. X. Potential of plant tissue culture for the improvement of Cymbopogon species/P.S. Ahuja, A.K. Mathur, A.K. Kukreja and Banibrata Pandey: 1. Introduction. 2. Improvement through mass propagation of selected clones. 3. Induction of genetic variation through callus cultures. 4. Problems and prospects of in vitro techniques for grasses. References. XI. Physiological, biochemical and environmental aspects of essential oil synthesis/A.H.A. Farooqui, R. Luthra, N.S. Sangwan, S. Fatima, R.P. Bansal and R.S. Sangwan: 1. Introduction. 2. Metabolism of monoterpenes. 3. General physiology of growth and essential oil production. 4. Future studies. References. XII. Metabolic and molecular analysis of chemotypic diversity in Cymbopogon/R.S. Sangwan and N.S. Sangwan: 1. Introduction. 2. An overview of oil chemotypic variability in Cymbopogon. 3. Metabolic modes of chemotypic variability in cymbopogons. 4. Biosynthetic pathway and nodes of chemotypic branching. 5. Metabolic engineering opportunities. References. XIII. Agronomical studies and cultural practices in Cymbopogon/S.K. Kothari and D.D. Patra: 1. Introduction. 2. Soil profile. 3. Environmental factors. 4. Propagation. 5. Planting season. 6. Plant spacing and yield. 7. Effect of manures and fertilisers on herb and oil yield. 8. Irrigation requirement. 9. Weed control. 10. Harvesting schedule. 11. Future projections. References. XIV. Nutrient management in Cymbopogon/E.V.S.P. Rao: 1. Introduction. 2. Nutrient management in citronella. 3. Nutrient management in lemongrass. 4. Nutrient management in palmarosa. 5. Issues for future work. References. XV. Exploitation of major Cymbopogon species in marginal lands and agroforestry/D.D. Patra: 1. Introduction. 2. Performance of Cymbopogon species under salt affected soils, moisture, stress conditions and agroforestry. 3. Effect of salt stress on quality aspects. 4. Conclusion. References. XVI. Diseases of Cymbopogon species/M.L. Gupta, K.K. Janardhanan, A. Ahmad, M. Alam, K. Kalra and A. Husain: 1. Introduction. 2. Diseases caused by fungi. 3. Diseases caused by bacteria. 4. Diseases caused by viruses. 5. Diseases caused by Nematodes. 6. Lethal yellowing a disease of unknown etiology. 7. Problems and prospects. References. XVII. Mites and insect pests of cymbopogons species/Dwijendra Singh: 1. Introduction. 2. Occurrence and out break of mites. 3. Occurrence and out break of insect pests. 4. Conclusion: future prospects. References. XVIII. Agrochemical potential of Cymbopogon species in insect-pest management/A.K. Tripathy and Sushil Kumar: 1. Introduction. 2. Insect-pests of cymbopogon and their control. 3. Pesticidal potential of Cymbopogon species. References. XIX. Essential oils of cymbopogons : chemistry, uses and biological activities/L.N. Mishra, M.S. Siddiqui, A.K. Singh and Y.N. Shukla: 1. Introduction. 2. Physico-chemical properties of essential oils. 3. Chemical composition and uses of oils. 4. Biological activities. 5. Chemical changes during storage of oils. References. XX. Essential oils of important Cymbopogon: production and trade/A.K. Singh, A.K. Gauniyal and O.P. Virmani: 1. Introduction. 2. Citronella Java oil. 3. Lemon grass oil. 4. Palmarosa oil. 5. Conclusion. References.
From the preface: "In constant effort to improve the quality of life, man has used plants as source of food, shelter, clothing, medicine, and cosmetics and for seeking relief from hardship of life. While all plants synthesize some amount of aromatic compounds in their different parts, some plants including the so called aromatic grasses belonging to the genus Cymbopogon accumulate such large amounts of them in leaves, inflorescences, and/or in roots that these can be obtained as hydro-distilled essential oils. On account of their diverse uses in pharmaceutical, cosmetics, food and flavour and agriculture industries, Cymbopogon grasses are cultivated (medicultured) on a large scale, especially in the tropics and subtropics. There is a large worldwide demand for the essential oils of Cymbopogon species.
"The genus Cymbopogon (Spreng.) belongs to the family Poaceae, its members occur abundantly in tropics and subtropics with unrestricted distribution ranging from mountains and grasslands to arid zones. There exists considerable ethno-botanical and pharmacological knowledge associated with the use of Cymbopogon materials.
"Lemongrass, palmarosa-and citronella-essential oils are the main raw material products of the cultivated cymbopogons. Three species of Cymbopogon namely citratus, flexuosus, and pendulus yield lemongrass oil of commerce, with monoterpene citral as the major constituent (75%) which finds uses as flavouring agents, and in perfumery and pharmaceutical industry and as a natural precursor of semisynthetic vitamin A. The oil of palmarosa Cymbopogon martinii having geraniol, gerany1 acetate and linalool as main constituents finds usage in the perfumery, cosmetic and flavouring industries. Citronella Java (Cymbopogon winterianus) yields citronella oil whose ingedient citronellal, citronellol and geraniol are employed in the manufacture of soap, pharmaceuticals, perfumery, cosmetic and flavouring agents. Cymbopogon populations occurring in the wild harbor considerable genetic variation. They produce seeds as well as are amenable for vegetative propagation. These features of Cymbopogon make maintenance of induced variants or genotype constructs easier. Cymbopogons offer opportunities for both basic and applied research, for dissecting the secondary metabolism pathway of terpenoid synthesis by associating and characterizing the concerned genes with their products and functions of individual participating proteins and genetic manipulation of the pathway for increasing its efficiency and creation of genotypes yielding oils of novel quality.
"Many laboratories in several countries are deeply involved in studying various aspects of cymbopogons using variously derived genetic resources. The work already done covers a wide array of topics, including botanical identification, plant description, cytogenetics, cell, tissue and organ in vitro cultures. Physiology and biochemistry of stress tolerance and essential oil biosynthesis, genetics and biotechnology, and agrotechnology involved in crop production and disease and pest control chemistry of terpenes, biological activities of essential oil terpenoids and trade and marketing aspects. Here an attempt has been made to assemble the available information on cymbopogons to provide a comprehensive monographic account of these aromatic grasses. The major objective of this monograph is to review the literature and give references on the above mentioned aspects of cymbopogons. We believe that this monograph will help the researchers in the formulation of new questions that are required to be answered for taking fuller commercial advantage of the Cymbopogon commodities."