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Generation of mutant lines of Nigella sativa L. by induced mutagenesis for improved seed yield

Asif, Ambreen, Khalil Ansari, M. Yunus
Industrial crops and products 2019 v.139 pp. 111552
Nigella sativa, anthers, bioactive compounds, ethyl methanesulfonate, farmers, gamma radiation, genetic variation, germplasm, herbaceous plants, high performance liquid chromatography, income, industry, inheritance (genetics), leaves, market share, medicinal plants, mutagenesis, mutagens, mutants, seed yield, seeds
Nigella sativa L., an elegant herbaceous plant, envisaged immense medicinal potentials. It is widely used in pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetic industries. Economic market share of this plant and its products are not so significant because the seed yield and content of its bioactive compounds (especially thymoquinone) are low. To enhance the productivity and income of farmers, there is a need to develop high seed yielding germplasms of this plant. Given this, an attempt has been made in the present study to develop various mutant lines of N. sativa by inducing viable macro mutations through physical (gamma rays) and chemical (EMS) mutagens. These mutant lines differ in various phenotypical features, seed yield and thymoquinone content (TQ). Nine mutant lines were selected in M3 generation. These lines were high yielding tall (HY1) and semi dwarf (HY3); moderately high yielding tall (MHY2) and semi dwarf (MHY4); normal yielding dwarf (NY3); low yielding semi dwarf (LY1) and dwarf (LY3) and very low yielding dwarf (VLY2 and VLY3). The mutant lines also exhibited various other inherited peculiar characters including profused branches, feathery leaves, multicolored anthers, bilocular capsules, white seeds, etc. The HPLC analysis showed significant variations in the TQ content in all the mutant lines. The maximum content was reported in the seeds of dwarf mutants. Variations in the seed yield and content of thymoquinone among the mutant lines of Nigella sativa were due to mutagens-induced mutations. It may be concluded that ethyl methane sulphonate, gamma rays and their different combinations can be used efficiently to improve N. sativa and to induce genetic variability in this medicinal plant. The identified mutant lines that have high seed yield and high thymoquinone content may be explored for large-scale cultivation.