Challenges to achieving food security are diverse in a developing country like Ghana. Issues such as nutrition and food safety are relegated to the background in favour of increasing food production to eradicate hunger. Lack of political will coupled with inadequate funding and infrastructure is hampering the battle against food insecurity and malnutrition. However, with the adoption of modern biotechnology tools, including mutation breeding, there is hope of increasing agricultural productivity to help reduce malnutrition and inch towards achieving food security. The main objective of this study was to produce mutants through gamma irradiation of sorghum seeds. The study sought to identify mutants with superior nutritional and chemical characteristics. Three local sorghum varieties namely Kapaala, Naga White and NSV1 were irradiated with gamma rays at 300 Gy, 500 Gy, 700 Gy and 1000 Gy. Mutant NSV1300B3 sorghum exhibited 30% more protein content, with K300B1 and K500B1 also exhibiting a 4 and 3 fold increase in carotenoids respectively. Significant increases in Mg, Fe, K and P were identified in mutants K300B1, NSV1300B3 and NSV1500B4 as compared to non-irradiated genotypes. Irradiated genotypes also exhibited some changes in plant morphology and seed characteristics with respect to the production of multiple tillers and a change in colour from the initial genotype from cream-like colour to red-like respectively. This study would allow for the identification of specific mutants for use in weaning foods, bake products and the brewing industries.
|Title of host publication||Mutagenesis: exploring novel genes and pathways|
|Editors||N B Tomlekova, M I Kozgar, M R Wani|
|Publisher||Wageningen Academic Publishers|
|Publication status||Published - 10 Jul 2014|