Gamma Ray Dosage and Mutation Breeding in St. Augustinegrass1
- Philip Busey2
Stolon pieces of St. Augustinegrass [Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walt.) Kuntze] were irradiated with gamma rays in an attempt to cause mutations. A practical dosage for most genotypes was 4,500 fads. This dosage caused considerable (50%) growth retardation and a mean survival of about 40% of single-node cuttings. However, ‘Bitterblue’ and another accession were entirely killed at 4,000 rads. At 4,500 rads, up to 7% recognizable mutants of accession FA-243 were obtained. This proportion resulted when irradiated cuttings were propagated clonally and observed for 1.5 years in replicated microplots. In addition, to morphological variants, a chimeral anthocyanin change was noticed. From this chimera arose a stable genotype with green stolons and white stigmas, whereas the source genotype (FA-243) had red stolons and purple stigmas. Associated reduction in fertility from 56 to 0.6% suggested that the mutation arose as a small chromosome deletion. Mutation breeding is effective in improving St. Augustinegrass when easily recognizable variants are needed.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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