EFFECTS OF CHRONIC GAMMA IRRADIATION ON THE GROWTH OF LOCAL TARO VARIETY (Colocasia Esculenta L. WANGI)
Mutation breeding has extensively been utilised for many years to enhance the agronomic qualities of crops. Taro (Colocasia esculenta L.) is an economically important tuber plant, hence induced mutation offers the best way to induce genetic variations for its breeding programme. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of chronic gamma irradiation in local taro cultivar, Wangi. This research was conducted at the chronic gamma irradiation facility (Gamma Green House), Nuklear Malaysia, Selangor from 12th July until 18th August 2019. Suckers of taro (Wangi variety) were exposed to chronic gamma irradiation (low dose, long period) at ring 2 (0.66 Gy/h), 3 (0.33 Gy/h), 4 (0.17 Gy/h), 5 (0.11 Gy/h), 6 (0.07 Gy/h), 8 (0.04 Gy/h), and 10 (0.03 Gy/h), in which ring 2 is the nearest to the radiation source whilst ring 10 is the farthest. The effects of gamma irradiation on growth traits were measured after 35 days of irradiation by measuring plant height, petiole height, width and length leaf, number of leaf and survival rate. The results showed that the LR25 (Leaf Reduction) occurred at 245.90 Gy. Leaf shapes variation (variegated and wrinkled) were observed prominently at accumulated dose 120.12 Gy (ring 2) and 268.28 Gy (ring 3), respectively. Plant and petiole height, leaves width and number of leaves were affected at all doses of irradiation. The findings in this study showed the potential of using chronic gamma irradiation to create genetic variations in taro genotypes.