Heritable Tissue Culture Induced Genetic Variation in Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) as a Tool for Crop Improvement

Dobroudja Agricultural Institute, BG-9520 General Toshevo, Bulgaria


ENCHEVA, J., F. TSVETKOVA and P. IVANOV, 2003. Heritable tissue culture induced genetic variation in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) as a tool for crop improvement. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 9: 631–638

Immature zygotic embryos from the Bulgarian fertility restorer line R 147 (father form of commercial hybrid Albena) were used as donor material for induction of direct organogenesis in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). The range of spontaneous somaclonal variation among the progenies of regenerants was studied. The genetic modifications observed in regenerants included agronomic traits such as oil content in seed, 1000 seed weight, plant height, petiole length, internode length, number of branches, length of branches, number of ray florets, seed width and seed length. Somaclonal line R 12001 showed a modified architecture, higher oil content in seed in comparison to the standard R 147, and very good combining ability. Hybrid Julia produced with the participation of somaclonal line R 12001 demonstrated 18.3 % seed yield and 17.0 % oil yield higher than the standards Albena and Super Start. In 2002 hybrid Julia was presented for testing at the State Variety Testing Commission and demonstrated seed yield higher than the mean standard. The combination of these favourable changes is desirable in breeding work on sunflower. Somaclonal variation through direct organogenesis has facilitated the creation of genetically heritable variation in sunflower, which can be used with great success for hybrid seed production of highly productive and adaptable hybrids.

Key words: Helianthus annuus L., direct organogenesis, somaclonal variation, new breeding material, combining ability