Induced-growth and yield responses to seasonal variation by sodium azide in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.)
The mutagenic effect of various concentrations of sodium azide on some selected quality traits of three varieties of tomato was investigated with the aim of improving the quality and quantity of the traits of economic importance. The seeds of three tomato varieties namely: Roma, UC and a Local variety were treated with four different concentrations of sodium azide (0.1mM, 1.0 mM, 2.0 mM and 0.0 mM as control) via pre-soaking during both the wet and dry seasons. The results obtained revealed highly significant difference (P≤0.01) in the effects of various concentrations of sodium azide on the number of leaves, leaf area, number of fruits, fruit weight, pericarp thickness, number of seeds/fruit and pH of the fruit juices. Significant improvement (P≤0.05) was recorded on fruit diameter. More so, significant differences were found in the interactions of the varieties to the mutagenic treatments during the rainy season than the dry season. The interaction showed that all the mutants treated with 0.1mM concentration have the highest response in all the selected traits during rainy season except fruit diameter. Similarly, all the 1.0mM treated mutants showed highest response during rainy season except in leaf area where highest response was found in dry season. Similar result was found in 2.0 mM treated mutants. We therefore concluded that 0.1Mm sodium azide concentration improves important quality traits of tomato more especially variety UC as it responds significantly to sodium azide and that, the mutant tomato could be grown both during the rainy and dry seasons.
Key Words: Concentrations, Mutation, Sodium Azide, Tomato