Induction of Genetic Variability in Selected Groundnut (Arachis Hypogaea l.) Genotypes Using Neutron Irradiation
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Induction of Genetic Variability in Selected Groundnut (Arachis Hypogaea l.) Genotypes Using Neutron Irradiation

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– Induction of Genetic Variability in Selected Groundnut (Arachis Hypogaea l.) Genotypes Using Neutron Irradiation –

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Abstract

Improvement of groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is constrained by its narrow genetic base.

Studies were conducted to compare the sensitivity of groundnut genotypes to different doses of thermal neutron irradiation, to determine the effective dose for the induction of variability among the genotypes and to evaluate the variability for farmer preferred traits induced by the irradiation.

Three genotypes of groundnut; SAMNUT 21 SAMNUT 23 and SAMNUT 24 obtained from the Institute for Agricultural research were irradiated with five doses of thermal neutron irradiation, 0 Gy, 3 Gy, 6 Gy, 9 Gy and 12 Gy at the Centre for Energy Research and Training, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 2013.

The irradiated seeds and their respective controls were sown in a randomized complete block design with three replications in the screen house to produce M1 plants. A total of 96 M1 families generated from M1 plus three controls were evaluated using 11 x 12 augmented designs in 2014.

Data were collected on plant height, number of branches per plant, days to 50% flowering, canopy spread, number of pods per plant, 100 seed weight, pod yield per plant, shelling percentage, kernel yield per plant and pod yield at M2.

Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is a self-pollinated crop, an allotetraploid (2n = 4x = 40), belonging to the family Fabaceae, sub-family Papilionidae, tribe Aeschomeneae, sub-tribe Stylosanthinae, genus Arachis and species hypogaea (Isleib et al., 1994). Groundnut is an annual herb of indeterminate growth habit.

It ranks thirteenth among the world food crops, fourth as most important source of edible oil and third as most important source of vegetable protein (FAOSTAT, 2011). It is cultivated in more than 100 countries on about 23.95 million hectares.

The total annual production is about 36.5 metric tons with an average yield of 1520 kg ha-1, of which China (41%), India (21%), Nigeria (8%) and United States of America (7%) are the largest producers (FAOSTAT, 2011).

Globally, the largest use of groundnut is for oil, with the meal being used as a high protein dietary supplement for human and animal consumption.

The kernels are rich in protein and vitamins A, E and some members of B group. It is an important protein supplement in animal rations. Groundnut is also of value as a rotation crop.

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