Ever increasing demand for energy sources and reduction of non-renewable fossil fuel reserves have lead to exploration of alternative and renewable energy sources. Due to wide distribution, agronomic suitability, and desirable oil properties, J. curcas has been identified as a renewable and alternative energy source of biodiesel. Large scale commercial cultivation of this crop would not only be environmentally friendly and be worthwhile in carbon sequestration but also in decreasing the energy supply pressures. Wide adaptation across geographic regions, short gestation period compared to most tree species, rapid growth, hardiness, optimum plant size, and easy propagation in combination make this species suitable for large scale cultivation on barren lands. The limited information of the genetics and inheritance of desirable traits, unpredictable and low yields, the limited diversity and susceptibility to diseases and insects are however, key limitations in fruitful farming of J. curcas. In this review, an effort is made to project the current biotechnology and molecular biology tools employed in the direction of, evaluating the genetic diversity and phylogeny revelation of Jatropha spp., identification of genetic markers for desirable traits, development of efficient micropropagation and regeneration system, and genetic transformation methods for J. curcas. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.