Colchicine-induced mutagenesis for improved growth and yield of fonio (Digitaria exilis [Kippist] Stapf.)
The effect of colchicine on some growth and yield parameters of fonio (Digitaria exilis) was studied. Seeds of five accessions of fonio (Dinat, Jakah, Jiw 1, Jiw 2 and Nkpowas) were treated with five different colchicine concentrations (0.1mM, 0.5 mM, 1.0 mM, 2.0 mM and 0.0 mM as control) via soaking with the aim of inducing variability that could be exploited in the improvement of the crop. The treated seeds were sown in a plot in a Completely Randomized Design with three replications in a factorial arrangement. The result obtained revealed highly significant difference (P≤0.01) in the effects of different concentrations of colchicine on the growth and yield components of fonio. The result showed that colchicine produced taller mutants (79-83.93 cm) with many leaves (10-14 leaves) that are larger in cross sectional area (11.35-13.15 cm2). More so, the mutants produced high tiller number with high number of spikes that are longer and bear high number of seeds/spikes. Similarly the 1000 mutants’ seeds weight is higher than that of the controls. The effect of the mutagen is concentration dependent, decrease with increase in concentrations. Lower colchicine concentration (0.1 mM) and accession Jiw 1 having highest responses to colchicines treatment was recommended for breeding programs in fonio.
Keywords: Colchicine. Concentrations, Fonio, Mutation