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Induction of Genetic Variation in Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp.) by Gamma Irradiation

Keywords: Induced mutations , cowpea , gamma irradiation , morphological attributes

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Cowpea IT84S2246D mutants were screened for useful agronomic traits. Dry seeds of cowpea ’IT 84S2246D were exposed to gamma irradiation from cobalt 60 source at 196 and 245 Gy dosages. The non-irradiated parent was used as the control. Identification and selections were carried out at the second generation (M2). The eight mutants selected from 245 Gy population included plants with light green pods, plants with leaflets having tendrils, early maturing plants with broad leaflets, plants with pigmented pods and plants with pods above canopy. They also included plants with dark green pods, plants with wide angled pods and pigmented plants with hairy pods. The two mutants selected from 196 Gy populations were early maturing and dwarf plants. The selected mutants were found to possess useful agronomic traits capable of conferring on them selection advantage for increased yield, easy harvesting and insect tolerance.


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