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Targeted mutagenesis in Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. and Cucumeropsis mannii (NAUD) in Nigeria

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The mutagenic effects of 0.2% aqueous solution of colchicine on gross and micromophological features of seedlings of Vigna unguiculata (L) Walp. and Cucumeropsis mannii (Naud.) were investigated. Terminal buds of two-week old seedlings were assaulted with 0.2% colchicine by the cotton plug and micro syringe methods and performances were monitored until maturity. Colchicine-treated V. unguicu-lata seedlings were observed to grow slower, had malformed leaves, flowered late and produced less number of seeds per pod than the control. Mean values of features like stomatal indices on both the abaxial and adaxial surfaces, terminal leaflet dimensions and trichome distribution between the treated and control were found to be significantly different. In contrast, treated seedlings of C. mannii flowered and fruited earlier than the case of control material. However, growth was also slowed down by the treatment while features like stomatal indices and trichome distribution were not significantly different. The results here have shown that apart from doubling of chromosomes, colchicine can also be used to induce other mutagenic changes which may be of agronomic utility.


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