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Significance of Mutation in Plant Breeding and its role in Evolution

BY: Jitendra E Wayde | Category: Genetics | Submitted: 2016-10-21 01:31:15
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Article Summary: "Mutation is defined as sudden and extreme heritable change in gene which is not perceptible or ascribable to segregation or recombination. Variation in the individuals either induced by environment or due to the hereditary change during genetic recombination..."

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Significance of Mutation in Plant breeding and its role in Evolution
Prof. Jiitendra E. Wayde, Assistance Professor (Genetics and Plant Breeding), H.H.S.S. Muralidhara Swamiji College of Agriculture, Malegaon, Nasik, Maharashtra, India.
Prof. Shilpa K. Udamale, Assistance Professor, (Dept. of Botany), H.H.S.S. Muralidhara Swamiji College of Agriculture, Malegaon, Nasik, Maharashtra India.
Dr. Manoj kumar Bahel, Assistance Profesor (Genetic and Plant breeding) Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar, Punjab, India.


Hugo de Vries is the first scientist presented a term of mutation in 1886. He first recognized the sudden changes in Oenothera Lamarkiana and studied the hereditary and came to this condition in 1901. De Vries's theory was one of the chief contenders for the explanation of how evolution worked, leading, for example, Thomas Hunt Morgan to study mutations in the fruit fly, until the modern evolutionary synthesis became the dominant model in the 1930s. Somewhat ironically, the large-scale primrose variations turned out to be the result of chromosomal duplications (polyploidy), while the term mutation now generally is restricted to discrete changes in the DNA sequence.

Mutation play important role in plant breeding and also evolution in species

Role of Mutation in Plant Breeding: Mutation in plant breeding improving the crop quality but improving the heredity through the cross hybridization technique. Plant mutation can be artificially affected by mutagenic agents and its utilization for production of traditional to new superior variety is called plant mutation breeding. In India mutation breeding started in 1935 at Bose institute, Calcutta and established at IARI, New Delhi in 1959

1) Mutation breeding in Rice (Oryzae sativa) 2n=24: Rice is common in Asia. Some chemical mutagens used in Rice to produce polyploidy varieties and diploids produce high yield and resistance varieties through hybridization. P-500.28 these mutated variety obtained from T-1145 at Bose’s institute, Calcutta. Jagannath variety produced from T.141.

2) Mutation breeding in Wheat (Triticum aestivum) 2n= 42: Chemical mutagen and Eradication being used to produce resistance wheat varieties NP836 from NP799 at IARI New Delhi. Using gamma ray on NP799 variety and produce NP836 mutant variety.

3) Mutation breeding in Cotton (Gossypium) 2n=52: Cotton variety produced by X-ray treatment. Indore-2 was produced from Malwa Upland 4. Indore-2 L.SS Burry-0394, 320-F and H-14 improved cotton varieties from mutation breeding.

4) Mutation breeding in Potato (Solanum tuberosum) 2n=48: Production of early harvesting varieties and high yielding varieties introduced from mutation breeding. Chemical mutagen and Eradication used through cross breeding.

5) Mutation in breeding in Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) 2n=80: Chemical mutagen and Eradication used to the mutation in sugarcane. Nodal buds of sugarcane are exposed to the radiation in mutant buds and tillers selected to f1 and f2 generation through artificial crosses and field. Co-213, Co-602, Co-612, H.M-661 varieties is higher quality produced of sugarcane through mutation breeding.

Role in Evolution:

Mutation key role of evolution and origin of new species. According to the mutation theory was proposed by Hugo de vries in 1901 he explained process of mutation in Oenothera Lamarkiana they marks sudden heritable changes in plants. He forwarded that:

1. Mutation carries the chance of selection

2. Mutation arises through new species

3. Mutation takes place virtually dictate and may involve anyone characters.

Oenothera chromosome number is 14 but Hugo de Varies was observed in some generation the chromosome numbers tend to vary and some it was found in 15, 16, 22, 24, 27, 28, 29 and 30. In this result variation shows the plant. In this plant flower size, shape, arrangement of buds and seed size.

According To Stages of Mutation Breeding:

1. Gene level: alteration of structure and position of gene

2. Alteration of phenotypic and genotypic of an organism

3. Change the basic number of chromosome either loss or addition of set of chromosome

4. Mutation in chromosomal level is established in population they subjected to natural selection.

A. Mutation breeding in Self Pollinating Species

Mutant characters is fairly direct in crops that are capable of self-pollinating. Because several mutations are recessive, after mutagenic treatment, the material should be self-pollinized and innovative to at least the M2 before phenotypic screening. Positive mutant identifications should be kept for future selection. This allows the breeder to have a series of lines from which to select for performance in addition to the presence of the mutant trait.

B. Mutation breeding in Cross Pollinating Species

Cross pollinating species increase some difficulties. Because species which are mostly cross pollinating typically exhibit significant inbreeding depression, the necessary self-pollinations to identify mutants in the population result in reduced plant vigor due to the genetic background and not necessarily the mutations.

C. Mutation breeding in Vegetatively propagated species

When trying to effect mutation in vegetatively propagated species such as banana or sugarcane, it is important to note the chimeric nature of mutagenic treatment. All cells exposed to the mutagen will not necessarily sustain mutations, but those that do sustain mutations, will give rise to cells exhibiting the mutation.

D. Mutation breeding in Seed propagated species

Seeds treated with mutagenic agents give rise to chimeric plants. Chimeric plants produce both mutant and non-mutant seed. This can be problematic; However, one just needs to plant more seeds to find the desired mutants. As long as an efficient screening method is in place, this should produce no significant consequences. Mutagenic treatment of seed is by far the most popular method in mutation breeding programs.


De Vries H. (1909). The mutation theory, Open Court Pub. Co., Chicago.

Bibikova M., Beumer K., Trautman J.K., Carroll D. (2003) Enhancing gene targeting with designed zinc finger nucleases. Science 300:764.

Brunner H., Keppl H. (1991) Radiation induced apple mutants of improved commercial value, Proc Plant Mutation Breeding for Crop Improvement, Internl Symp, IAEA and Food Agric Org of the UN, Vienna. pp. 547552.

Chakrabarti S. (1995) Mutation breeding in India with particular reference to PNR rice varieties. Journal of Nuclear Agriculture and Biology 24:7382.

About Author / Additional Info:
I have completed M.Sc. in Agriculture (Genetic and Plant Breeding) from Lovely Professional University, Punjab

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