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  Eur.J.Hortic.Sci. 81 (3) 137-147 | DOI: 10.17660/eJHS.2016/81.3.1
ISSN 1611-4426 print and 1611-4434 online | © ISHS 2016 | European Journal of Horticultural Science | Original article

Phenotypic and molecular effects of chronic gamma irradiation on Curcuma alismatifolia

S. Taheri1, T.L. Abdullah1, Z. Ahmad2, M. Sahebi3,4 and P. Azizi5
1Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2Agrotechnology and Biosciences Division, Malaysian Nuclear Agency, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
3Laboratory of Plantation Crops, Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
4Department of Land Management, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
5Laboratory of Food Crops, Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Mutation breeding is one of the methods for generating genetic variation and obtaining new cultivars of ornamental plants during the past decades. In present study, the effects of four doses (0, 14.6, 33, and 87.4 Gy) of chronic gamma irradiation on three cultivars of Curcuma alismatifolia and one Curcuma hybrid were investigated. Morphological aberrations from non-treated plants were observed by exposing growing plants. Higher doses induced phenotypical variations and significantly affected the plant growth parameters and flowering capacity. In terms of genetic variation, among the irradiated cultivars, the number of presumed alleles revealed by SSR analysis ranged from two to five with a mean value of 3.1 to 3.7 alleles per locus for radiation doses. The average value of the effective number of alleles, Nei’s gene diversity, and Shannon’s information index were 2.42–2.66, 0.50–0.56, and 0.90–1.03, respectively. Heat map hierarchical clustering divided 52 studied individuals into four major clusters. Results of this study showed that chronic gamma irradiation efficiently can enhance the phenotypical and genetic variations in C. alismatifolia cultivars at doses of 33 Gy and 84.6 Gy. In addition, SSR markers will likely accelerate the progress of selection of desired mutants during mutation breeding programs.

Keywords genetic variation, mutation breeding, microsatellite markers, morphological variation, Zingiberaceae

Significance of this study

What is already known on this subject?

  • Mutation breeding is one of the most effective ways for development of novel ornamental plants and crop varieties and increasing genetic and phenotypic variation.
What are the new findings?
  • The results obtained from this study include finding of optimum doses of chronic gamma irradiation, production of desired bract and leaf color and shape of Curcuma alismatifolia. In addition, SSR markers were used for induced genetic variation detection.
What is the expected impact on horticulture?
  • The topic could be of great interest for horticulturists dealing with mutation breeding and development of new cultivars of ornamental plants, since chronic gamma irradiation has the potential for development of new variants of Curcuma alismatifolia as pot plant or cut flower to promote the flower industry.

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Received: 10 November 2015 | Revised: 29 December 2015 | Accepted: 26 January 2016 | Published: 20 June 2016 | Available online: 20 June 2016

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