Improving bambara groundnut productivity using gamma irradiation and in vitro techniques


H.K. Adu-Dapaah1* and R.S. Sangwan2

In recent times efforts are being made to improve the productivity of bambara groundnut. Studies were initiated (i) to characterise and evaluate landraces and to select superior ones for irradiation, (ii) to induce genetic variation through gamma irradiation and (iii) to use biotechnological approaches to shorten the generation cycle. The results of the study indicated that gamma irradiation induced higher genetic variation of up to four times within the varieties used in the study compared to the unirradiated control. Bambara groundnut yield could be increased through selection for number of pods per plant. Using the in vitro plus in vivo system and embryo axis explants, over four generations per year were obtained compared to 1 or 2 in the field. All the plants were morphologically normal and fertile. The shorter duration, high efficiency and genotype independency makes this system well suited for wider biotechnological applications in bambara groundnut. This novel approach is being applied to the variants/mutants obtained from gamma irradiation.

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