EVALUATION OF GENETIC VARIABILITY IN BERSEEM AFTER MUTAGENESIS
YOGESH JINDAL, GAJRAJ SINGH DAHIYA AND D. S. PHOGAT
Forage Section, Department of Genetics & Plant Breeding,
CCS, Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar-125004 (Haryana), India
(Received: 6 Feruary 2014; Accepted: 20 March 2014)
Trifolium alexandrinum, commonly known as Berseem or Egyptian clover is the annual leguminous forage crop grown over wide areas in north India. The genus Trifolium comprises of 290 species out of which 25 are of agricultural importance. It was introduced in India in 1904 and now it is cultivated on an area of around 2 million hectares. In Haryana it occupies around 1.25 lac hectares. Breeding of berseem is highly restricted due to narrow genetic base. Thus, Mescavi is the only genotype which is being used for the last 110 years. To break this variability barrier, some approaches like induction of polyploids, polycrosses and mutations have been followed to harvest some gains in this important crop of rabi season. Mutation breeding is such an approach where one variety HB 2 was released after selection from Mescavi treated with gamma rays 70 kR. In this experiment, three doses of EMS (0.1%, 0.3% and 0.5%) were applied to dry seeds of HB 1, HB 2 and Mescavi. M1 generation were raised in the field. Germination was recorded 10 days after sowing. Maximum germination (85%) was observed with 0.1% EMS whereas, minimum germination (12%) was observed with EMS 0.5%. A total of 98 single plants in different treatments survived and were harvested and threshed individually. Superior plants based on phenotype will be selected in the subsequent generations. Various phenotypic characters are improved through selection viz. plant height, tillers per plant, leaves per plant, leaf stem ratio, trifoliate/tetrafoliate / pentafoliate leaves, small leaflets, oblong, bright green and slightly hairy. Flower head shapes and colour, days to maturity which spread from 180-210 days which are spread over varying climatic conditions. Green fodder yield, dry matter yield and their per day production are the most important among them. The procedure has proved beneficial in improving these characters to a reasonable extent.
Key words : Berseem, Trifolium, mutation.