Application of induced mutation technique to improve genetic variability of Indonesian traditional rice varieties

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The development of rice genotype is vital to guarantee food security to cope with global climate changes and increasing population growth. Biodiversity is spread throughout the Indonesian archipelago. Many Indonesian local varieties are resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses that may be useful for rice breeding program. They are well-adapted to specific environment and have good aroma and eating quality, but have some weaknesses, such as late maturity, susceptible to lodging, unresponsive to fertilizer and low yield. Induced mutation breeding is useful for increasing genetic variability to develop genotypes with several interesting agronomical characters and yield. Center for Isotope and Radiation Application, National Nuclear Energy Agency (CIRA-NNEA) has been conducting the induced mutation technique for genetic improvement of rice. Pandan Putri, an early maturing mutant variety that was derived from irradiated Pandan Wangi variety from Cianjur area, is one of successful improvements of traditional rice varieties using mutation technique. The other success stories are described in this paper. It is concluded that nuclear technology can be applied for induced mutation breeding to improve several agronomical traits.
nuclear technology, induced mutation, traditional rice, genetic improvement.