Nura Salisu, A. K. Adamu, M. A. Adelanwa, I. S. Usman, H. E. Negbenebor, K. Shehu


A research was conducted to investigate the extent of genetic variability induced by different doses of gamma rays with the aim of identifying the suitable dose to be employed in fonio (Digitaria exilis) improvement program. Seeds of five different accessions of fonio were irradiated with five different doses of gamma rays (100 Gy, 200 Gy, 400 Gy, 500 Gy and 0 Gy as control). The experiment was conducted during 2014 and 2015 wet seasons and was laid out in Randomized Completely Block Design with three replications. The result obtained from the M2 generation revealed highly significant difference (P≤0.01) in the effects of different doses of gamma rays for all the selected agronomic traits of fonio indicating the presence of induced variability among the accessions. The LD50 values of gamma rays in the five fonio accessions were found to be genoype dependents. The results for the estimation of genetic parameters revealed higher PCV and GCV values and that PCV values were slightly greater than GCV values for all the traits studied. However, moderate to high heritability among the mutants’ traits indicates that the traits are primarily under genetic control. While, the predominance of moderate heritability estimates and high GAM in most of the traits revealed additive gene effects induced by the mutagen in controlling such traits indicating that selection for improvement might be effective. Thus, 100 Gy is found to be suitable for fonio improvement.

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