Mutagenic components and dosage effects of ethyl methanesulphonate on Arachis hypogea (Samnut 24 VR.)
Determination of the optimum concentrations of a specific mutagen for crop improvement has always been a challenge. The present study assessed the mutagenic effect of Ethyl methanesulphonate (EMS) concentrations on growth, yield and nutrient composition of Arachis hypogea (Samnut 24 vr.). Seeds treated with varying concentrations (0.00, 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1.00 and 1.25 % v/v) of EMS for 12 hours were sown in randomized complete block design with three replicates. Alkylating effects of the EMS was studied on growth and yield parameters while nutritional quality was determined by proximate analysis at M and M generations. 1 2 Concentrations of 0.75% and 1.00% increased growth, biological yield and seed related parameters significantly (at P< 0.05). Maturity time was significantly shortened by EMS application across the generations. Higher percentage seed crude fat and protein were induced by the treatments with the optimal performance at 0.75- 1.00% concentrations. Mineral content indicated by the percentage ash was marginally increased. The trend in response to the EMS was similar across the generations, however, decreased vigour, reduced growth, less nut and biological yields were observed at M . In most traits evaluated, performance of 0.00, 0.25 and 0.50% 2 treatments were similar, 0.75-1.00% treatments were optimal while 1.25% v/v of EMS was detrimental. Correlation analysis revealed poor linkage of characters in the groundnut; nevertheless, positive significant associations exist between number of leaves and branches, pod length and seed number, seed dimension (length and circumference) and seed weight. The study concluded that since groundnut is basically cultivated for biomass yield a well as source of plant vegetable oil and fat, EMS application at optimal concentration could be used for the crop improvement.
Keywords: Alkylating effect, Ethyl methanesulphonate, Mutagenesis, Proximate analysis, Samnut 24.