Mutagenesis—A Potential Approach for Crop Improvement

  • Rajib Roychowdhury
  • Jagatpati Tah


Global environmental dissociative changes are now in steady state. Its negative impacts were gradually imposed on a wide range of crops and thus crop improvement was hindered as well. Given this challenge, existing and new, appropriate technologies need to be integrated for global crop improvement. Among the different present approaches, mutagenesis and mutation breeding and the isolation of improved or novel phenotypes in conjunction with conventional breeding programmes can result in mutant varieties endowed with new and desirable variation of agrometrical traits. Induced mutations and its related technologies play very well in this ground and this overall strategy helps to trace the crop genetic diversity along with its biodiversity maintenance. Such induced mutagenesis, a crucial step in crop improvement programme, is now successful in application due to the advancement and incorporation of large-scale selection techniques, micropropagation and other in vitro culture methods, molecular biology tools and techniques in modern crop breeding performance. Time to time, different mutation techniques and their application processes are changing significantly; in this perspective, insertional mutagenesis and retrotransposons are taking more supports for mutational tagging and new mutation generation. For details investigation on plant structure and function, mutagenic agents and their precise role are much essential as it can produce mutants with some phenotypic changes. Functional genomics studies make the ultimatum platform on this field of study where few crop plants were used for mutational experimentation on some prime agronomic traits till now. This is a prerequisite step and is applying on diverse crop for further improvement. High throughput DNA technologies for mutation screening such as TILLING (Targeting Induced Limited Lesions IN Genomes), high-resolution melt analysis (HRM) , ECOTILLING etc. are the key techniques and resources in molecular mutation breeding. Molecular mutation breeding will significantly increase both the efficiency and efficacy of mutation techniques in crop breeding. Such modern and classical technologies are using for the development of mutation induction with the objective of using a set of globally important crops to validate identified relevant novel techniques and build these into modular pipelines to serve as technology packages for induced crop mutations. Thus, mutation assisted plant breeding will play a crucial role in the generation of ‘designer crop varieties’ to address the uncertainties of global climate variability and change, and the challenges of global plant-product insecurity.


Linear Energy Transfer Mutant Variety Chemical Mutagen Ethyl Methane Sulfonate Maleic Hydrazide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyVisva-BharatiSantiniketanIndia
  2. 2.Botany Department (UGC-CAS)The University of BurdwanBurdwanIndia

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