Gamma-ray Irradiation Induces Useful Morphological Variation in Bermudagrass
Bermudagrass, Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. is a widely used warm-season turfgrass species in warmer regions of the world. Gamma (É£) irradiation has been used to generate useful variations in turfgrass breeding for various morphological traits. The objective of the present study was to measure and determine variations in morphology and turfgrass characteristics of a native drought resistant bermudagrass germplasm irradiated with 70, 90 or 110 Gy using a 60Co source. The stolons containing a single node were irradiated and immediately planted for regeneration in a greenhouse at the Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey. Selected mutants regenerated from the irradiated stolons were clonally propagated and transplanted into plastic pots for further observations of turfgrass characteristics.Â Survival rates of stolons exposed to 70, 90 and 110 Gy were 76%, 43% and 17% respectively, 6 weeks after treatment. Dosages of 85 and 57 Gy were determined as LD50 and LD20 for the cuttings, respectively. The linear reduction of survival rate with increasing gamma-rays was highly correlated (r2=0.99). A total of four mutant lines (0.3 % of the irradiated plants) showed a distinct dwarfed growth habit. Three of these lines were originated from 70 Gy and one from 110 Gy. These mutant lines exhibited more dwarf growth habit, higher shoot density, finer leaf texture than parental genotype. Mutant lines developed in this study can be used for the development of improved bermudagrass cultivars for landscaping and sports turf.
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