Optimized gamma radiation produces physiological and morphological changes that improve seed yield in wheat

Marzieh Shabani, Abbas Alemzadeh, Babak Nakhoda, Hooman Razi, Zeinab Houshmandpanah, David Hildebrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


To study the effect of gamma radiation on various morphological and agronomic characters of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), seeds were subjected to different gamma radiation doses; and selected M5 and M6 generation lines were evaluated. The optimum doses to induce desirable changes in bread wheat were 100–200 Gy. Seed loss decreased while grain yield, yield components, fertile florets number, biological yield, plant height, harvest index and flag leaf area increased in all mutant lines. Shear strength increased in many lines. Selected mutant lines also showed reduced seed shattering that can greatly reduce seed loss at harvest. Some new phenotypic characters such as the appearance of bristles on the glume, important for drought tolerance, two spikelets at each rachis and more fertile florets at each spikelet. These can greatly increase yield, as seen in some mutant lines. Also, some physiological characteristics including photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, water use efficiency, and chlorophyll content improved in some mutant lines. About 95.8% of the total variation in grain yield was explained by three selected variables: flag leaf area, number of seeds per spike, and spike number per plant. Grain yield increased more than 45% in some mutant lines the highest ever reported using this approach to the genetic improvement of wheat. Wheat grain yield has increased 2.2 times in the last 50 years, which indicates that if mutagens are optimally used and the selection is carefully performed as described herein, it is possible to improve important economic traits, in a much shorter time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1571-1586
Number of pages16
JournalPhysiology and Molecular Biology of Plants
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Prof. H.S. Srivastava Foundation for Science and Society.


  • Agronomic characteristics
  • Grain yield
  • Mutant lines
  • Phenotypic characters
  • Physiological parameters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimized gamma radiation produces physiological and morphological changes that improve seed yield in wheat'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this