Generation of chemically induced mutations using in vitro propagated shoot tip tissues for genetic improvement of fruit trees.

Elhiti, M., Wang, H.Y., Austin, R.S., Chen, B., Brown, D.C.W., and Wang, A.M. (2016). "Generation of chemically induced mutations using in vitro propagated shoot tip tissues for genetic improvement of fruit trees.", Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture: Journal of Plant Biotechnology, 124(2), pp. 447-452. doi : 10.1007/s11240-015-0894-0  Access to full text

Abstract

Mutagenesis via treatment of seeds with chemical mutagens such as ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) has been widely used for crop improvement. However, this approach is not suitable for some crop species such as clonally propagated crops and allogamous perennial plants characteristically with high levels of genome heterozygosity and a long life cycle. Here, we report direct treatment of in vitro-induced peach shoot tip tissues with EMS for generation of mutations in peach, a perennial, woody fruit tree. We optimized EMS dosage and exposure time and found that treatment of the explants with 0.2 % EMS for 16 h was optimal for generation of genetic variations. So far we have generated nearly 2000 peach seedlings. Typical EMS-induced phenotypic variations were present in the seedlings. Next generation sequencing and subsequent data analyses were performed to monitor the efficiency of mutagenesis. The mutation rate was estimated to be one mutation per 150 kilobase pairs in the mutagenized population, suggesting effectiveness of this method in inducing mutagenesis in peach. Taken together, our data open an avenue for the generation of mutant populations suitable for crop improvement in allogamous perennial plants including fruit trees and clonally propagated plants.

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