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The use of induced mutations to study shoot architecture in Capsicum

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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Towards our goal to produce a saturated mutation library of pepper as a tool to study pepper development, we generated an EMS mutant collection of 1650 M2 families of the blocky Capsicum annuum cultivar Maor. M2 families were evaluated for changes in characters related to shoot architecture. The main categories of mutations, which included changes in sympodial growth, leaf structure, and plant height, are described. Some of the mutant phenotypes were very frequent (e.g., 10% of all mutants were affected in plant height), while others were found only once. This difference in mutation rate may reflect varying complexities of genetic control for different traits or different rates of mutability in different genes. By utilizing phenotypic similarities with known mutants of model species, we will be able to test candidate genes for controlling the pepper mutations. This will allow comparing gene function within the Solanaceae family and across more diverse plant species, and will increase understanding of the diversification of sympodial architectures in different plants.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Plant Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center


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