- Mutation Induction in yam (Dioscorea esculenta) for improved tuber size and nutritional qualities.
Mutation induction is an important low cost technology for crop improvement. GAEC is using mutation induction to develop new varieties of yam, cassava and cherry tomatoes. Dioscorea esculenta (also known as Chinese yam) is underutilized species threatened by genetic extinction. However, with its high number of tubers (25-50) produced per vine, it is a good food security crop. Genetic improvement of the crop is, however, constrained by production of sterile flowers and hence narrow genetic base. GAEC is therefore using mutation induction as a feasible option to improve the tuber size and other nutritional attributes.
- Development of mutant Cherry Tomato varieties with increased lycopene content
Currently, Ghana is importing large metric tonnes of tomatoes from neighbouring countries using scarce foreign exchange.
To overcome this challenge, the Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI) under the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission has used mutation induction to develop four cherry tomato mutant varieties which are resistant to most tomato virus diseases, high yielding compared to their parental lines and also has high lycopene content.
The project is also focusing on domestic utilization of the crop and promote it for export in the non-traditional export sector.
- Cocoyam germplasm collection
Cocoyam is an important food security crop due to its ability to evade drought.
However, its cultivation is limited by lack of planting materials, pests and diseases.
Being a vegetatively propagated crop, tissue culture offers the best solution for rapid multiplication of the crop.
Field germplasm have been established in BNARI to produce explants for the micropropagation of the crop.
Additionally, induced mutation will be used to broaden the narrow genetic base and also develop new crop varieties.