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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 32 No. 1, p. 95-98
    Received: Feb 7, 1991

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Mutation Studies of an Oilseed Spurge Rich in Vernolic Acid

  1. M. J. Pascual  and
  2. E. Correal
  1. Consejería de Agricultura Ganadería y Pesca de la Región de Murcia, Dpto Cultivos Zonas Aridas, Centro Regional de Investigaciones Agrarias (CRIA), La Alberca, Murcia, Spain



Euphorbia lagascae Spreng., a wild spurge native to southeastern Spain, is being evaluated as a potential new oilseed crop. It has high seed oil content, with 58 to 62% vernolic acid, a long-chain unsaturated fatty acid with several applications for the chemical industry. Seed dehiscence is a common problem of all 62 accessions collected to date. The objective of this work was to use chemically induced mutagenesis to develop nonshattering lines. Self-pollinated M2, M3, and M4 plants were observed in the field in Spain. Three indehiscent mutants were found in the M2 and M3 generations of ethyl methanesulfonate-treated seed, together with four quatricarpellate mutants containing capsules with >3 seeds capsule−1. The M3 and M4 progenies of mutant plants were studied and the following results were observed: (i) indehiscent plants transferred the character to ≈3.5 and 5% of their M3 and M4 progenies, respectively; (ii) indehiscent plants had on the average 2 seeds capsule−1, one-third less than normal plants; (iii) M3 quatricarpellate mutants transferred this character, on average, to 40 to 60% of their M4 progeny and produced 10 to 30% more seeds per plant with the same number of capsules.

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