PDF Identifying and Estimating the Genetic Impact of Chemical Mutagens

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Laboratory tests for seedling emergence and growth reduction after mutagenic treatment of barley cv. Select one to two doses for a large-scale treatment see Note 9. Assign a number to each M 1 plant. Optimally, develop approximately 10, M 1 plants. Remember to water and fertilize the plants regularly. Harvest M 1 plants and establish a seed bank. Sow one seed from each M 1 plant into a 13—cm pot. Only one M 2 plant derived from each M 1 individual is grown in order to avoid the repetition of the same mutations.

Optionally, two seeds from the same plant can be sown in order to save time in the event that one of them does not germinate or is a chlorophyll mutant. If two M 2 seedlings emerge, discard one of them. There should only be one M 2 plant per pot.

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Remember to water the plants regularly. Fertilize them with N:P:K fertilizer two to three times during vegetation. When the plants begin to tiller, collect leaf samples for DNA isolation. Observe the M 2 plants for chlorophyll mutations at seedling stage see Note 16 and any morphological changes during growth.


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Input the information about them into a database. Before harvesting, perform a basic phenotype analysis of M 2 plants. Collect the information on, e. Input these data into a database. Put the seeds of M 3 and further generations into the seed bank. Each package should be described with information on the plant ID, year of harvest, and optionally with the number and weight of the seeds.

A label should be placed inside the package and printed out using non-bleaching ink Fig. After the identification of a particular M 2 plant carrying a mutation in the gene of interest for methods of mutation identification, s ee Chaps. Only plants carrying the mutation in a homozygous state should be analyzed see Note It is important to multiply the homozygous material prior the detailed phenotypic analysis.

If a large number of M 3 seeds from a particular M 2 plant have been obtained, you can sow 15—20 M 3 seeds in a field in order to check for any morphological traits and their segregation. M 3 lines with positive traits may be used in breeding programs forward approach.


All data should be archived in the database. Perform a backcross of an identified mutant with the parent variety in order to clean the genetic background of the mutant from other mutations. In the BCF 2 generation, identify plants carrying a homozygous mutation in the analyzed gene. Use the BCF 2 homozygous mutants for phenotyping, including a detailed evaluation of traits of interest. Put dry fragments of leaves into 2. Transfer the upper aqueous phase into a new tube; discard the lower organic phase.

Different pooling strategies are used for different mutation discovery methods for example see Chaps. The structure of the tables can be modified at each stage of database creation. It is convenient to design individual tables for each generation or for each part of the presented studies.

Each table should contain a column with an ID number that allows information about a specific individual that is collected in different tables to be connected. Each column in the tables should be defined in regard to data type in numeric format, text format, data, etc. This will allow space on the server to be saved and will ensure the efficient operation of the database.

Genetics - Mutation Part 1

Database users should never have direct access to the tables that contain the data. All operations, including adding, modifying, removing, and searching the data, should be done using forms that are prepared by the administrator. The forms, which are usually prepared in the HTML and PHP languages, can be created using special programs web page editors, see Note 4 or using any text editor. All operations during the creation of database and its administration can be done on files that are saved on the server, but it is more convenient to test all of the implemented solutions on a local computer and then to transfer them to the server.

After adding a large amount of data, the modified tables should be checked and optimized. Examples of database tables with information about the M 1 A and M 2 B generations and the mutations identified in the analyzed genes C. The scheme shows three independent tables; red and green circles indicate how information from different tables can be related using the names of the M 1 plants. Selection of a cultivar or line for mutagenesis is a very important step. The batch of seeds chosen for mutagenesis should be homozygous or near homozygous and should have a high germination capacity.

Any seeds that are injured, are abnormal, or have symptoms of a disease should be discarded. Otherwise, commercial services that provide the security and maintenance of the server can be used. It is also possible to develop a database on a server that is free of charge. However, this solution is not recommended due to the problems with data security and with unwanted advertisements being displayed while using a database.

The space needed for the development of database on a server depends on the format of the data that will be stored.

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Pictures and all graphical files occupy much of the available space and significantly increase the transfer rate needed to use the database. For a simple database that contains data in a text file, at least 0. For the creation of a database and the individual tables, we recommend the freeware phpMyAdmin, which is installed by default on most servers. It should be stressed that most chemical mutagens are also strong carcinogens. For this reason, all steps of mutagenic treatment should be carried out under a biohazard fume hood.

Disposable gloves and a lab coat should be used when performing treatments and dealing with treated seeds. Taking these precautions is especially important during treatment with MNU—a strong mutagen and carcinogen. Presoaking the seeds in distilled water see also Note When a double treatment with two mutagens is performed, the regular protocol of mutagenic treatment is followed with the addition of the 5—6-h inter-incubation germination period between treatments during which the seeds are incubated on a wet filter paper.

The concentration of the mutagen should be considered together with duration of the treatment. A shorter treatment time with a higher concentration of mutagen can increase somatic effects and could be insufficient to penetrate equally all cells in the plant material. In addition to DNA lesions in the nucleus and cytoplasmic organelles, mutagens can generate damages in all components of cytosol and disturbances of the cell cycle. Therefore, mutagenic treatment can impair metabolism of cells in various tissues and organs and influence the growth and development of M 1 plants.

The size of the M 1 generation should be calculated taking into account the lethality and sterility of M 1 plants in order to guarantee enough seeds for M 2 generation. It is worthwhile to organize a pilot experiment to help compare the somatic and genetic effects induced by a range of doses. The pilot experiment will extend the whole procedure but it helps in a proper selection of the dosages for the large-scale treatment.

The presoaking in distilled water should be applied to activate seeds physiologically before treatment with mutagen. The presoaking reduces the somatic effect of chemical mutagen. The extensive posttreatment rinsing in tap water is necessary to stop the action of the mutagen and to remove its residues from the surface of the seeds.

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To facilitate sowing, the treated seeds can be dried on a filter paper under a fume hood. However, too intensive drying, especially at increased air temperature, can enhance somatic effects of the mutagen. If a net is placed over the incubation beaker, that would protect seed from falling out. If the appropriate space in the greenhouse or the growth room for growing M 1 generation is not available, the M 1 plants can be grown in an experimental field, but the size of the population should be increased.

The analysis of chlorophyll mutations is based on visual observation. There are several types of chlorophyll mutations that can be observed at seedling stage in barley. The most common are: albina white , xantha yellow , and viridis pale green. The other categories include alboviridis partially white and pale green , tigrina with transverse yellow or necrotic stripes , and striata with longitudinal, narrow white stripes.

Nevertheless, after several years of storing, the germination capacity of M 3 seeds should be checked out, and when it is low, the remaining seeds should be multiplied. M 3 plants should be harvested individually and the track of M 3 and M 4 origin from each individual M 2 plant should be kept. Optionally, the whole M 3 progeny derived from the same M 2 plant can be bulked, but in this case, the identification of plants carrying mutation in the homozygous state might be more difficult. Most of mutations are recessive; therefore, it is crucial to develop homozygous lines of mutants before phenotyping.

The database that is established on a server can be used as a local variant without publication on the Internet or as a public version. Never allow users to work on database with access to the administrator rights.